Funny and Wierd Tech Support


Senior Associate Editor of PC Magazine, Lance Ulanoff, reports this recent telephone encounter:

Caller: Hi. I wrote a program and I want to find a distributor for it.

PCM: Well, why don't you get on the Internet and--

Caller: Oh, I don't have a PC.

PCM: You wrote a program, and you don't have a PC?

Caller: Well, I didn't write it. I had a program applicator [sic] write it just the way I wanted it.

PCM: Uh-huh.


Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "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 failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled his 5 1/2 inch diskettes then rolled them into his 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 Xeroxes 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.


A 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 suggested he go to the local "Egghead". "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends", the customer replied. When told that 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 his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually. (Note: PC Magazine once suggested this as a solution to fixing keyboards that had keys which weren't working or which were getting stuck. Which leads me to wonder whyI renewed my subscription...)


A Dell tech 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 computers "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn't be taken so personally.


An exasperated caller to Dell Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the tech 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 couldn'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?"


From a Novell Netwire SysOp.

Caller: "Hello is this tech. Support?

Tech: "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 it fixed?"

Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say cup holder?"

Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."

Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, it's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotion, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have a trademark on it?

Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a promotion; as far as a trademark it just has a 4X on it."

At this point the tech rep had to mute the phone because he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder and had snapped it off the drive.


A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman then responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."


Tech Support: "How much free space do you have on your hard drive?"

Customer: "Well, my wife likes to get up there on that Internet, and she downloaded ten hours of free space. Is that enough?"


Tech Support: "Ok Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager."

Customer: "I don't have a 'P'."

Tech Support: "On your keyboard, Bob."

Customer: "What do you mean?"

Tech Support: "'P' on your keyboard, Bob."

Customer: "I'm not going to do that!"


In a computer shop:

Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."

Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."

Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"


Customer: "Can you copy the Internet for me on this diskette?"


I work for a local ISP. Frequently we receive phone calls that go

something like this:

"Hi. Is this the Internet?"


Some people pay for their on-line services with checks made payable to "The Internet."


Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"

Tech Support: "Yeah."

Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"

Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."


Tech Support: "All double-click on the File Manager icon."

Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows -- because of the icons --

I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."

Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to --

"Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons."


Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of a file 'little picture' ok?"

Customer: (hangs up phone)


Customer: "My computer crashed!"

Tech Support: "It crashed?"

Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game."

Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot."

Customer: "No, it didn't crash -- it crashed."

Tech Support: "Huh?"

Customer: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. Now it doesn't work."

Turned out, the user was playing Lunar Lander and crashed his spaceship.

Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'"

Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"