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Tech Stories Archives - February 2002

21. Incompetence
I work for a small ISP. I had heard rumors about the way one of our competitors handled certain situations, but I didn't believe them until this actually happened to the sister of one of my co-workers. She *had* service with our competitor. It seems she had call waiting where she lived so she had *70 in her dial-up to disable it while on the internet. Well, she moved and canceled her call waiting. Of course she couldn't connect. Not knowing how to change her settings, she called their support line. This was what they told her (I kid you not) "You need to re-install Windows".2002-02-04
[By: redneckgeek / 2002-02-04]
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  • Do those folks pay better? They sure have shorter call times and call queues... -Mushroom
  • Don't feel bad. My wife cancelled our call waiting, and I of corse had my connectiod set to do the *70 thing, and could not get on. I called tech support to "just" get another access #(didn't want help.) Created a new Connectiod with the new # and no *70, And I was back online!! -computerdoc
  • Unfortunately, the bad reputation of the company discourages most people from working for them. The rare few who know what they're doing (like me), don't tell people that. -Burzmalli

    Had this call today. USER: Just got a new computer and now signed up to the internet through you guys can you help me set it up? ME: (thinking it was a new computer) yes I can help you out with that. ME: Do you have win xp me 98 or 95? USER: Well it is a new computer. After I told her to right click on my computer icon and prop I soon came to see it was win 95a with 16mb of ram. ME: Thinking well it could be worse I ask her to double click on my computer and ask if she has a icon named dun. USER: No ME: Ok do you have the win95 cd that came with the computer. USER: No I bought it at a yard sale and it came with no cd's. (She did not even have phone dialer installed on the computer and no modem in the computer.) ME: I am sorry mamm untill you get the win95 cd and a modem installed in the computer there is nothing I can do to help you. USER: Well you said that you could help me out with the setup. ME: There is nothing I can do to get you connected untill you get the two things. USER: Well I guess I will just have to go with a diffrent ISP click. Ok good luck. She probley paid more for the internet access then she did the computer. I say to her good luck connecting and when you do let me know how fast those web pages pop up. Dummbass2002-02-04
    [By: ALLHELLDOTNET / 2002-02-04]
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  • I worked at a Radio Shack located in the same parking lot as the Goodwill. I feel your pain, I was the goober those "new" computer users came to for parts like power cords and stuff... -Mushroom
  • People sell computers at yard sales now? damn, i gotta get out more, think of all the pretty linux boxes i could have by now. -Lordpryo
  • Yes they do but why would you wanna buy a shit box like that. The only good use you would get out of it is the case. -ALLHELLDOTNET
  • And the screws!! Don't forget the screws!!! And of course the motherboard for a poster on the wall, and the monitor for a fish bowl. :) -TheDarkPenguin
  • it's even more fun when they 1st buy a yardsale computer, and then 2nd, decide that they want the *isp* discount, so they lock themselves into a 1 year contract without bothering to find out if their computer will even be able to connect... "what??? you mean to break my contract i have to pay $250?? that's more than my computer cost!!!!" *sigh* -cubiclegimp
  • At Computer City, lo these many years ago, had a customer come in wanting to get software for the 'new computer' he had just bought 'real cheap' at a yard sale. Sorry, guy, Computer City didn't stock software for Atari 800's. Nor did anyone else that I knew of, not even the BBSes that were so popular back then. (Remember them?) -TechnoVampire

  • 23. to tried to deal with this idiot:
    Got this call 2 days ago close to the end of my nightshift, I was running on about 2 hours of sleep so my patience was thin. heres the call: cust: when ever I try to go online i get a dial up networking thing come up (cust is on cable) ME: ok, thats easy to fix, i want you to open your browser right now and hit work offline when the dial up networking box comes up. Cust: ok, hold on, alright, I'm in startup now, what should i do. Me: What?!!!? took me 15 minutes to convince the cust to actually open his web browser, all i had to do was have him check 'never dial a connection' in the internet options box, but he kept going of on his own doing things that had absolutly nothing to do with anything close to resembling the internet. I'm surprised these people can breath and walk at the same time without choking. God I need a drink.2002-02-05
    [By: Lordpryo / 2002-02-05]
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  • can someone tell me why my job is to become a tech support guy? -Manya

  • 24. internet ready
    ok, this happend last month, i just didn;t have the energy to submit it then, and then promplty forgot about it until just now. I got this old lady call in saying she was having problems getting online, so the first thing I ask her was her last name so I could look up her account and quiry the modem, couldn;t find her, tried all sorts of things, like phone number, address ect, I finally got the sicking feeling and asked her if she has an account with us. She said no. I sat there stunned for a couple seconds before I asked her how she planned to get online without an ISP and why she decided to call me in the first place. She honestly didn;t think she needed an ISP because the nice people at the computer store told her that her computer was internet ready. after explaining what that meant she decided to take the opposite viewpoint saying that she paid for an internet ready computer she should be able to get online the second she plugged the thing into the wall. took me 15 minutes and a supervisor to get off that call.2002-02-05
    [By: Lordpryo / 2002-02-05]
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  • My TV is cable ready too, but Cox still wants me to pay them for service... -jhawk
  • Got to love sells people. They will say anything to sell the product and then we have to clean up the mess! -nutz2bhere
  • Hey, "Internet Ready" mean s that all you have to do is log onto the internet. But some idiots think that you just buy a computer that's internet-ready and the internet will be beamed directly into their skull. Dimwits aren't the fault of the salespeople. Bad advice/information is, though. -kingofdrivel
  • We have a chain of stores in the UK called PC ***** who will sell you a dust cover and say its internet ready. A while back they were selling a cheap internet ready pc which didnt have a cdrom drive. "Luckily" it already had their own isp software installed so you didnt need to go anywhere else (It sucked big time). If I ever meet anyone who was stupid enough to buy one im gonna tell thenm about that wonderful game 'deltree *.*' :) -nomoretears
  • Assuming that they were calling from the U.S., I would have sent them to AOL because *they* are responsible for getting America On Line.... -deltree/y
  • no, not American, That particular person was calling from Alberta Canada. I deal with about a dozen differnet ISP's at the same time. only one is American, and they are in Georgia. (i really hate that southern drawl) -Lordpryo
  • As a genuine Canadian I should remind you that we do actually have AOhell up here too... although it's usually spelled "AOhell Canada". -chazz
  • Ouch deltree. That was painful. :) -Myhrr
  • But, unlike most Americans, we are smart enough *NOT* to use AOL. Nah, I'm only kidding. Americans aren't dumb, they will just buy anything with the word America in it. A nice fresh batch of America balls anyone? -Owyn

  • 25. Really Really Novice User
    A customer calls up complaining that they can't get their email. They have a pop account with us, (a small ISP), and she is complaining bitterly about the password errors she is getting. When I ask her what program she is using, she replies, (and I quote): "I've tried several! Hotmail, Yahoo, they all keep saying my password is wrong." At this point I interrupt and ask if she is really trying to get her ISP POP mail through those accounts. "Yes! How else are supposed to do it!" Is it time to go home yet?2002-02-05
    [By: icedanno / 2002-02-05]
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  • No, you have 7hours and 45 minutes left in your shift. ;) -kingofdrivel

  • 26. Techs should be more specific....
    I was just at a customer's house who is having problems with DSL. TWO YEARS ago the ISP decided that the only way to make the dilapidated connection faster was to upgrade to the business DSL connection which is $75 instead of $35. It still runs at 3.2KB/sec. ISP didn't want to/couldn't fix the problem so she calls me, an independant contractor. She tells me that every day when she turns on her computer Tech support tells her she has to unplug and restart the Internet. Her: "Should I do that now?" Me: "Yep, go ahead." She promptly pulls the plug for the entire surge protector while the computer is on!!! Explained that Tech might have meant just the modem. Resolution: determined ISP-provided ADSL modem was faulty, replaced modem, changed connection back to residential, customer satisfied, but I don't think she ever understood that she was paying an extra $40/month for absolutely nothing...argh!2002-02-05
    [By: grahamwboyes / 2002-02-05]
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    27. Eavesdropping
    I just got off a call with one elderly man who Im guess really didnt like my service. His computer was running slow so I suggested a scandisk & defrag along with some other things. He then wanted to be transferred to a printer dept. so I did. I listened in as he talked to the other tech and he BASHED me so much! Calling me all sorts of bad names and such. How rude =)2002-02-05
    [By: Zidane / 2002-02-05]
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  • Welcome to the jungle! -ledhed
  • That's surprising? Try hardware vs software. -JackDish
  • Just sit back, relax, and wait for the death threats. :) -nomoretears
  • Try sending him a "Ping Of Death" to test the connection... -deltree/y

  • 28. Sibling Rivelry
    A woman called in saying her brother who was a hacker was getting into her computer (WinME) and she wanted me to stop HIM from getting on. She said she called the police because hes stealing money and information from her somehow. I told her to tell her brother to stop it, or tell on him =)2002-02-05
    [By: Zidane / 2002-02-05]
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  • Eh, you could always call thier mother and she could ground both of them and take away their computer privledges.... ;) LOL!!! :) -Zentar

  • 29. Oh, boy! A computer popsicle!
    I went to a cutomer to fix his computer. I had him pegged for someone who knows at least a decent amount about computers from the way he talked on the phone. Anyway, I get there and he has his computer wired to the inside of one of those tiny college-dorm fridges. No case, nothing. He even has holes cut out of the front for CD and floppy drives. THe problem: Ice started forming on the motherboard because it was too close to the little freezer unit. Sufficed to say, I almost threw a spinal disk out of alignment laughing after I left. I told him that he needs a new computer, and to just use a compressor to air-condition his computers, not a fridge.2002-02-05
    [By: kingofdrivel / 2002-02-05]
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  • atleast he gets an "A" for creativity....that's what happens when you breed a refridgerator repairman with a starving artist.... scary -cubiclegimp
  • Actually it's a sound theory if you can keep the fridge at a low humidity level, the ice won't build up, have a buddy who has his machine in a freezer, and has managed to almost double overclock it...has one hell of a de-humidifier unit attached to it...proc runs at 114f.... -rapture1235

  • 30. Misconceptions and Associations
    I returned a customer call for a bad tape drive. He proceeded to give me part of the error message (not the entire message) until I dialed into the system to find the information from the error log. OS sees the drive, but the tape drive doesn't see the tape. Verified the customer indeed DID have a tape in the drive, tried a couple more tapes and reconfiguring the tape drive before informing the customer he has a dead drive. Customer: "This tape drive works! Just push the button and make it work!" Me: "Uh... button? Which button are you referring to?" Customer: "I don't know what it is, I just know you have a button on your end that you can press and it'll fix my computer!" Me: "Sorry sir, that button won't fix this problem." During the call, I had the customer reboot his system. He was complaining that his system took about two minutes to perform the shutdown and he didn't have to wait so long if he just unplugged the power cord. I told him this was generally a bad move and he couldn't understand why. Customer: "If I just pull the cord, it's off, right? So why is that so bad?" Me: "Look at it this way. If you're driving down the highway and you just turn your car off, are you safe?" Customer: "No, but what do cars have to do with this?!" Me: "Same situation though... in either case, shutting it off without the proper procedure puts you at risk for bad things to come." Customer: "Oh... I get it!" 2002-02-05
    [By: CelticSkyhawk / 2002-02-05]
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  • Good analogy (the highway). I'll have to remember that. -grahamwboyes
  • I've had to use analogies with my customers every day for years. The scary part is that nearly every customer I speak to is either a highly educated person (Ph.D) or a specially trained and certified tech(non computer). -CelticSkyhawk
  • I have discovered over the years that, most of the time, analogies do work. You just have to use one that the EU understands. Cars and Offices work real well. "Shutting the computer off without doing a proper shutdown is like stopping your car by running it into a lamp post." and "If you delete a file and then empty the Recycle Bin, it's like you ran your resume through a shredder. You're not gonna get it back any time soon." -TechnoVampire

  • 31. cowboy
    Guy calling from a plains state, installed his OS on top of itself and now everything is all screwed up. I told him he'd hosed the system and he actually said DAGNABBIT just like Yosemite Sam. He also sang for me and kind of giggled throughout the whole call. Like he just spontaneously sang, like in a musical. I got him out to a dos prompt to format and reinstall windows, so we're at d:\win98\>, and I told him to type "format c:" Well, it took him 5 tries, but he finally got the phrase typed in, and he says it says bad command or file name. No surprise from this guy, so I asked OK, how did you spell format? HIM: F-O-R-M-A-T-E. ME: And what does that spell? Formate? (I know it sounds rude, but who spells format that way?) He started giggling again, and I just couldn't help laughing, too; his laugh was just really funny. Then he said, "Formate? That's like that wife swapping thing, isn't it?" I haven't laughed so hard on the phone for a long time. I couldn't even reach the mute button! He was my 3rd-to-last call of the day, and I'm still laughing two hours later. Half-hour call, but it was certainly fun.2002-02-05
    [By: ladysethos / 2002-02-05]
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  • I wonder what he was doing with his *other* hand? -deltree/y

  • 32. serves me right for being cheap
    I just got a new computer that comes with a free year of aol. I'm cheap, so I decide to use it. Only problem is, if I use IE while aol is on, I get page cannot be displayed after about 8 hours on both browsers and have to run the repair on ie, or use that nifty system restore thing from xp. I decided to chat with an aol tech to see if there's a setting I should change, or a compatibility issue. She gave me some good general suggestions like clearing my cache and cookies, but then she told me I should downgrade to ie 5.5 because some websites don't support 6.0. And this is why I get page cannot be displayed from aol? I asked her this very question and she gave me the # for microsoft support, decided it's not their problem. Can you even install ie 5.5 on xp? Does anyone know a real fix for this?2002-02-06
    [By: ladysethos / 2002-02-06]
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  • Yes... get a real ISP. :) -CelticSkyhawk
  • About AOHELL's service; Our ISP Claims, that AOHELL can offer a "piggyback" for any type of access. I would suggest that. I do not know if this works for xp, but that's what we tell our Lusers! -computerdoc
  • I suggest removing AOL. Amazing how it solves so many issues. I did it, then my computer worked, my dog came back, I found my missing wallet, and I finally understand calculus. Darn you AOL! -jhawk
  • Open up the AOL System Information, click on the Utilities tab, and click "Uninstall AOL Adapter." Then restart your computer. AOL will reinstall the adapter next time you run it and all should be well. -Burzmalli
  • Here's a fix: Remove AOL CD from drive. Place in microwave and cook for 15 minutues. Serve with mashed potatoes and good wholesome vegetables. -Zentar
  • In answer to a REALLY stupid you cannot install IE 5.5 on your XP machine. As far as I know 6 was created specifically for XP. Duh, aol needs to get informed... -CheaTah
  • Removing the AOL adapter worked beautifully. I have the transcript of the chat session yesterday, and I considered calling AOL to tell them my OS was destroyed when I tried installing IE 5.5 on XP, and generally whining like most of the people I talk to do when they get bad tech advice...but then I realized the hold time is really long today and I have to clean my house. But it might have been interesting. -ladysethos
  • Most people would kill to get that kind of support from me... er us... er AOL without waiting 45 minutes to talk to a tech. You're welcome. -Burzmalli
  • Anothing thing about AOL 7.0 (the only version of AOL Canada that works with XP)... I have a theory that if you aren't making an L2TP connection, it can't link to your external web applications like IE. Anyone out there brave enough to run AOL and test that for me? :) -Jonos

  • 33. Password Reminder Questions....
    On our website, we ask customers to write their own password reminder question and answer. Usually it's "What's your mother's maiden name" or something like that. I'm sure you're familiar with what this is. It's so that if they forget their password, we can ask them this question and they can answer it, and then we can give them their password. It's a security thing, right? Well, usually people don't understand what these are for, and they type in the stupidest things, or they type in really complicated things that they would never remember. Today i got a customer who forgot the answer to his question. When I looked up his question and answer, this was the information that I got: Q: WHAT DO I LOVE TO DO? A: givehead I think that is too much information to know about a customer.2002-02-06
    [By: Keurigirl / 2002-02-06]
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  • oh my dear god. -Lordpryo
  • Icky Poo! That's okay. We have that too, and people don't know what a maiden name is. For birthday, we get today's date...And for graduating high school we get the college's name. I guess that says more about the college than the user. -Zentar
  • And "givehead"'s email address is? :) We have a secret word on our accts too but more often than not we verify by password, or last four digits of SSN or credit card. -Mushroom
  • and why, praytell, would you want his email address mushroom? Hmmm??? *wink* *wink* -obie099

  • 34. Before when?
    Great customer comment from one I'm wrapping up. We did a system restore on WXPP, customer's pretty competent. He's commenting on "Restore system to an earlier time." Quote: "Before Windows?" We BOTH started laughing. 2002-02-06
    [By: MadJack / 2002-02-06]
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    35. HI, do you support AOL
    Got this call a while ago. As you know, I work at a college's ISP. "Hi, I'm having problems connecting to the Internet". "Okay, what exactely is happening" "Well when I click on the yellow guy..." "Wait a minute, are you using AOL" "Yes". "We don't support that, is your college connection working fine?" "What connection"... my suspicions were up so I asked "Are you a staff or student at the school?" "No...but..." Me: "Call AOL". CLICK! 2002-02-07
    [By: Zentar / 2002-02-07]
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  • You mean you didn't realize? When you support an Internet connection, that means you support all ISP's. Also, since the connection uses the computer, it means you support all hardware and software on the computer. -Hatedsl

  • 36. Hardware/User Issue
    A lady called because her home new printer did work. I told her we don't support it, and asked her where she bought it from and who the company was. It's from Future Shop (Canuk version of Circuit City), a HP model. I told her to contact either company for help. She wanted to know what the problem could be, so I said "did you install the driver?". Answer: "Oh yeah, I plugged the cable at the back..." WTF??? Then she asked: "Okay, well I'll call HP help desk... Oh, would it be a good idea to read the users manual first?" ... I bit my lip so hard it bled!!! ... 2002-02-07
    [By: Zentar / 2002-02-07]
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  • Ah yes....RTFM. Which is not to say that I always read the manual on the latest game, but I sure as hell do on new hardware and the software that makes it run. Yeesh. None of my customers do though.... -nikolaibard

  • 37. Mr Frosty Part 1
    End user calls in today to tell me his monitor has gone down. Usual TS finds no power light active. I ask the (L)user to check the mains outlet - it is turned on. I then ask user to try a power cable from a different nearby monitor. He tells me that he is far too busy to do that and demands an engineer onsite within an hour! I politely tell him that is fine but if it turns out to be a blown fuse we will charge 90 call-out. He is unwilling to pay so I thank him for his call and ask him to call back as soon as he gets time to change the cable! Part 2 is coming ...2002-02-07
    [By: Snowman / 2002-02-07]
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    38. Mr Frosty Part 2
    ... (L)user then suddenly decides he has time to change the power cable because he REALLY needs to use that machine quickly!!! He tells me he will call back. he calls back in 5 minutes and explains he has changed the power cable and it works now! Only problem is, the new power cable isn't long enough so he has had to borrow the extension lead from his fridge. He then gets irate and wants to know "What we are going to do about getting his fridge working" !!!!!! I keep my cool (LOL) and ask him if he would like an engineer to call and change the fuse in the plug of the original power lead at a cost of 90!! Needless to say, he changes it himself! What a (L)user.2002-02-07
    [By: Snowman / 2002-02-07]
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  • We get that as well "Can I have an engineer out immediatly to fix our printer" Sure if your manager doesnt mind paying the call out charge which is three times more than a new printer. -nomoretears

    Something you have to understand about me...I like it when the customer gets irrate cause I get stern and it is so much fun. Had this guy call in, he was connected as far as I could tell but could not browse. We at our favorite ISP are not allowed to do any troubleshooting with a firewall enabled so I aske dhim if he had a firewall--he did--Zonealarm--and I asked him to disable it. Part of not supporting firewalls is also not telling them how to use it. The best I could do was give him an idea of what he was looking for in terms of shutting it down, so he looked and kept asking me questions about what he was to do next, my response--"sir, I can't help you, its your software" He implies that I don't know what I'm doing which I then duly inform him that yes I do but I am not allowed to tell him because this is outside of my support boundaries. Well needless to say this older gentleman with a thicker accent gets mad and starts yelling at me. I was more than happy to help him but he wouldn't shut off that firewall...hehe I fought back. It was so much fun. He then tels me to go home and sleep and hopes that I have a restful sleep after I won't help him. Damn skippy I'll sleep well...hehe--I really like it when they get mad!2002-02-07
    [By: CheaTah / 2002-02-07]
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  • I do so love it when a customer blames you for what s/he did, or the fact that Windows is a POS. -Mushroom

  • 40. sad bastards
    im a techy nerd with no life - this one time i had a call, then had to rush to this site to tell all these other nerdy bastards! one day i might get a life, untill then i will know that although im sad - you are all alot sadder!2002-02-07
    [By: dazzle100 / 2002-02-07]
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  • I have no life either! Will you be my friend? Please? -paul
  • You act like being a techie nerd is a bad thing. Quite frankly, I see us ruling the world in about 50 years. -kingofdrivel
  • Then one day you might learn to spell, and get some grammer rules. As well as spell "i" as "I". LOL... I'm a mean nerd!! :P -Zentar
  • My ex-girlfriend used to complain about my techie-nerdness. She complained until I rescued a floppy containing critical information for her. That was the end of the complaints. -Burzmalli
  • Techie nerdboys have bigger dicks and geekgirls are more orgasmic. I can live with that. I hope Dazzle100 can live with his discomfort and insecurity, he only wishes he were one of us. :) -Mushroom
  • Zentar: try spelling GRAMMAR before you criticise others. LMAO ! -StEpHuLAr
  • I would rather be a sad techy nerd than work for a company who's share price is dropping faster than the Talibans morale. ;D -nomoretears
  • Yeah, some of us are so lonely that we've had to get wives/girlfriends, husbands/boyfriends and have children, oh wait did I say get? I meant create, we are to busy to actually go out and get actual women and for the ladies, men. We built our significant other from scratch (hey some people think we are god so what they hell!). However dazzle100 did get what they wanted, attention. -L0B0
  • I really hope this wasn't the Lexmark tech I emailed last night. Just thought I would share a great site with another tech! -CelticSkyhawk
  • steph.. it's GRAMMER in Canada .. yah ;) -Zentar
  • Is that the best troll you could come up with? sad sad sad -liverleef
  • So... You get a user name (like the rest of us) and tell us how much you don't have a life (unlike the rest of us) because we use this site to tell our funny or horible stories as sort of "therapy" so we can move on with what you say, "a life we don't have"? Who is more pathic, I ask? -nutz2bhere

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