IJMC Sad, But True

                         IJMC - Sad, But True

I have little to say about this one, so that's all I'll say for now. -dave

     Listed below are (sad, but true) excerpts from a Wall Street Journal
     article by Jim Carlton (Austin, Texas):
     An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her 
     new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged 
     in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power 
     button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and 
     nothing happens."
     The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.
     Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new 
     computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, 
     and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen.
     When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked 
     "What power switch?"
     Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press 
     Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where "Any" key is.
     AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard 
     to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the 
     plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
     Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that 
     the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old diskettes. 
     After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat, and still failing to 
     diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the 
     diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.
     Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective 
     diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along 
     with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
     A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back 
     in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold 
     on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up, and crossing the 
     room to close the door to his room.
     Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to 
     fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician 
     discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in 
     front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
     Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell 
     tech referred him to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of 
     friends," the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software 
     store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple 
     of geeks."
     Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no 
     longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and 
     water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys 
     and washing them individually.
     A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged 
     because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The 
     tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" 
     responses shouldn't be taken personally.
     My favourite was a secretary who called out a service engineer I know 
     (at some expense) to inspect a computer because she said there was 
     nothing on the screen. When he got there he turned the computer on and 
     removed a "Post-It" note from the top left corner of the screen, where 
     it had been obscuring the flashing cursor. Another time, he was told 
     "Oh, yes, we have back-ups", and was shown floppy disks pinned to a 
     notice board.
     Only two years ago, most calls came from technologists seeking answers 
     to complex problems, but now most questions are so basic that they 
     could be answered by opening the manual. One person called Dell's 
     toll-free line to ask how to install batteries in her laptop. When 
     told that the directions were on the front page of the manual. The 
     woman replied angrily, "I just paid $2000 for this damm thing, and I'm 
     not going to read a book."
     It seem that if there is a manual and a phone side by side the phone 
     wins every time. One frustrated customer called Compaq they had 
     unpacked their new Contura plugged it in and nothing had happened for 
     20 minutes. When asked what happened when they pressed the power 
     switch, they asked "What power switch."
     There are also the lonely hearts who seek out human contact, even if 
     it is a computer techie. One man from New Hampshire calls Dell every 
     time he experiences a life crisis. He gets a technician to walk him 
     through some contrived problem with his computer, apparently feeling 
     uplifted by the process.
     Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
     Tech Rep: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
     Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty 
     period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"
     Tech Rep: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
     Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."
     Tech Rep: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, it's because I 
     am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? 
     How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"
     Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a 
     promotional. It just has '4X' on it."
     At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he could 
     not stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM 
     drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive.

IJMC February 1997 Archives