Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

If Walmart doesn't have it...
Posted 11/02/2015 by jayessell

A customer comes in with his laptop and two AC adapters.

Neither is working.

I say I can't have an adapter for every notebook ever

made but I try to have the popular ones.

Fortunately I had one of the appropriate voltage and tip.

"You can't get these" he says as he pays for it.

"Sure you can. Just go to your local computer shop."

(That would be me.)

"Walmart doesn't carry them."

Well... I guess that settles it. I don't exist.

Computer Brain...
Posted 11/04/2015 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

The title of a ticket that turned up in my system in the past couple of weeks...

"Brain of computer not working"

And the description continued in a similar vein...

"There seems to be an issue with the Video Card and a screw has been detached from the back of the brain."

Actual issue - Computer had a hardware issue and we just swapped out the computer.

There's a bug in Windows
Posted 11/15/2015 by Rich

I got this call about 12 years ago, when I was working developer support at Windows:

Customer: "There's a bug in Windows and I need it fixed now."

Me: "What's the problem?"

Customer: "I'm calling [Windows API] from Borland Delphi, and the fourth through fifth parameters don't work right. It's clearly a bug in Windows."

Me: "Sir, I've used that API many times from Visual C++ and all the parameters work just fine. If there was a bug in Windows, the API would not work properly from C++, either."

Customer: "I called Borland, and they told me there's a Windows bug that keeps that API from working properly with Borland products."

So, I dig out my Borland C++ and compile the same code in Borland C++. It works perfectly. Call back:

Me: "Sir, I've tested the API with Borland C++ and it works just fine. If there's a bug, it's in how Delphi is calling the API."

Customer: "You have to fix it."

Me: "Sir, Delphi is Borland's product, not Microsoft's. If Borland Delphi isn't working iwth that API, then it must be a problem with Delphi."

Customer: "But Borland insists it's a Microsoft bug that keeps it from working with Borland Products."

Me: "Borland C++ is a Borland product, and it calls the API just fine. I'll do some research and get back to you." I sent an e-mail to several related teams and got the answer: The first three parameters were double-word (32-bit) parameters, while the next two were word (16-bit) parameters. C++ handled this correctly, but Delphi assumed all parameters, even 16-bit ones were 32-bit aligned. Some fancy footwork with packing and unpacking binary data worked around the problem. I called the customer and provided him with the code to work around the problem.

Customer: "So it IS a bug in Windows."

Me: "No sir; Windows properly documents the size and alignment of the parameters. Delphi makes an invalid assumption about word parameters. That's not a bug in Windows--Windows is behaving exactly as it was designed. The fact that Delphi doesn't handle it properly is a shortcoming in Delphi."

Customer: "It looks like a bug to me."

Me: "How? Windows is behaving exactly as it is designed and documented."

Customer: "Since it's a problem with Windows, can I get this incident free?"

Me: "No--it's NOT a problem in Windows. It's a problem with Delphi. I have demonstrated that Windows is working as it should, and given you a work-around for Delphi's problem."

Customer: "I demand to talk to you're manager."

Me: "No problem. I'll have him call you back."

[My manager basically echoed back my answer and refused to refund the incident. The customer demanded to talk to HIS manager. My manager politely refused.]

No more free incidents
Posted 11/15/2015 by Rich

When I worked for MS in Developer Support, we had a policy of awarding two free incidents with Visual Studio. If the call involved a legitimate bug, the incident was refunded. A customer called in with a problem, and when I created the incident, there was a pop-up: "Do not refund this incident on close." I created the issue and talked to my manager. It seems this customer had managed to stretch this free support incident out over two years and twelve incidents, and management decided to shut him down. I reviewed all twelve incidents, and verified that every one was a legitimate bug. WE discussed it, and my manager said: "This guy has a beter track record than most of our MVP's (a perr support program)>"

When the time came to close the issue, he asked for the incident to be refunded, because it was a bug. WE had this conversation:

Me: "I'm sorry, but MS management has decided that since the version of Visual Studio you licensed and used for this incident is now deprecated, we won't be honoring the free support policy."

Him: "But this is a bug."

Me: "Yes, but I'm told that MS policy allows us to do this. There is good news, however."

Him: "What's that?"

Me: My manager and I have sponsored you as an MVP. That not only gives you a number of free support incidents, it also gives you a free upgrade to the current Visual Studio version and a free MSDN subscription."

Him: "That's pretty good. I didn't know I qualifed as an MVP. Thanks."

"What's an operating system?"
Posted 11/20/2015 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Recently, one of my friends was asking me why his Skype app wasn't working. He wanted to start using Skype, and with the release of Windows 10 to Insiders, they cut support for the Windows 8 Skype app, so it doesn't work anymore.

I told him that he should upgrade to Windows 10, and that his gaming computer would be able to access more of the gaming features of Windows 10 from the Xbox app, such as game footage recording.

He said, "I'm on Windows 10 right now, though. I think."

I replied, "You're on Windows 8 right now. The original version of Windows 8, which doesn't have as many of the newer patches as the newer versions, such as Windows 8.1." I could tell because the snapping function wasn't able to to a half-and half snap, which was introduced with 8.1.

He asked me how I could tell, I told him I knew all of the visual cues for operating systems. And then, my friend asked, "What's an operating system?"

I had to explain it to him in a simpler way: "Basically, an operating system is kinda like a 'master program', and all of the programs that you're running are 'lower programs' that run inside of the master program, which is the operating system. When the operating system is upgraded, new lower programs are supported, and more features are added."

My friend then said that he would have to ask me to upgrade his computer the next time I visited. I sighed a sigh of relief, as it saved me some hassle for now.

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November 2015
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