Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

Could you put the pig on the phone, please?
Posted 05/01/2005 by Tech24641

Little background info first... I work for the 3rd largest cable/high speed internet provider in the US. Let's just call them Ch@rt3r. Assuming the states of Louisiana and West Virginia aren't broken, the days run fairly smooth. Not to say anything bad about the state of Alabama (heck, I was born there myself), but you can almost always be sure the call is going to be "interesting" when you see that state pop up on your screen. Now, I can't remember the conversation word for word, but imagine having this call your second day on the floor...

(M-Me, C-Customer) You may want to read the part of 'C' with whatever southern drawl you deem appropriate...

M: Thank you for calling xyz tech support, this is *myname*, may I please have your phone number, area code first.

C: Well, I'm not sure if you can help me, I just have a quick question about the warranty on my cable modem.

M: I'd be happy to help you, sir, but I need your phone number to look up your account. (It had already auto-popped on the screen, I just like making them tell me after they've aleady punched it in about 10 times while waiting in queue)

C: Well, ya see, my question is this. My box got damaged and I want to know if it's covered in my warranty.

--I knew that this call would be fun, but I had no idea what was about to unfold.

M: Ok sir, I'll just need you to answer a couple of questions for me. First of all, are you able to connect to the internet at all?

C: No, that's why I'm calling you all.

M: Alright then, could you tell me exactly how the modem was damaged?

C: Well, if you really want to know, my pig peed on the thing.

-- If you've ever worked in a call center, you know how valueable the Mute button is in a case like this. For the next few seconds, I was playing out possible scenarios of how this could have happened while laughing harder than I think I ever have. Was he keeping his modem in the barn, or did the pig have free reign of the house? Regardless, while the simp was prattling on about whatever, I was trying to think of what to say next.

M: And just to verify, you were asking if this is covered by your warranty?

C: Yeah. I don't see why it wouldn't be, but I just wanted to make sure. Is there anyway you could send somebody out here to switch these out?

-- At this point I gave myself carte blanche to say whatever I wanted. I knew I wasn't being monitored on this call, so I figured I'd have a little fun.

M: Actually sir, your warranty expressly excludes against damage caused by the urine of cloven-footed mammals. However, you may purchase another one from our local office for a nominal charge.

C: Now I pay over $xx.xx a month for your all's service and I haven't been able to get online for a week now.

-- Now Cletus (or whatever his name was) starts to get irate, and apparently the pig doesn't like the sound of his voice raising (I could hear it starting to squeal in the background).

M: And am I to understand your service was interrupted after your pig relieved itself on the modem.

C: Yeah. That was was when i couldn't check my e-mail anymore. And I don't know what kind of company you all are who won't stand behind your all's products. Now I'm not going to pay for another modem, because the way I see it I've got a warranty and you all should give me another one for free.

-- I sat there and argued with him for a few more minutes, and that went nowhere fast. I was halfway tempted to ask him to put the pig on the phone...I figured the pig, although the cause of the problem, would probably be more reasonable than he was.

M: Well sir, unfortunately I can't rewrite the conditions of our warranty, but let's run a few tests on the modem to see if you might still be able to use it. There may be a slight chance that the power was interrupted just enough to knock it off-line, in which case we should be able to get you back up and running.

C: Well, I guess I've got time to. What do you need me to do?

-- Insert power cycle, release/renew IP, basic troubleshooting actions here. --

M: Well I do understand your frustration regarding your service, but I'm sorry to say that judging from the signal levels I'm reading, your modem is no longer capable of acquiring a useable signal for transferring data. The good news is, however, from the readings I was able to pull off of it, you'll be happy to know that your pig is pregnant. If you'll just stay on the line for a few more minutes, I'll transfer you to our billing and sales department and they'll be able to negociate a price to replace the modem. Thank you for calling Xyz Tech Support and have a wonderful day.

I hit the transfer button before he could respond and sent him to the lovely people in Tier I. I looked back on the notes later that day, and they had scheduled a work order for a tech to swap the modem for him...hope they told him about the charge associated with it... Another satisfied blithering idiot, I mean customer..

Mobile Dialup
Posted 05/01/2005 by InfectdMushroom

I work for a US based Communications company that offers dialup access all across the country. Today I had a call that started out with the lady asking is she can use her account anywhere to get her email. I said yes we have pop sites all over the country and all she would need is to call us or use our tools to find a number. She then asked what about in my RV. I paused for a moment out of confusion and asked "Do you have phone lines hooked up to your RV?" (Thinking they could be parked in a place that is more than temporary. Heck my dad has a land line run to his, but that is a fishing ground where he leaves it all year round.) She responded no... What does that have to do with me connecting to the internet... (X)

I know how your mail system works!
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a web hosting company that was also known years ago for being a great provider of dialup (we still provide dialup, we just don't market it like we do our hosting).

Before I go further, let me note that the dialup and hosting actually share the same platform, with the same redundancy, clustering, etc. We moved our dialup customers to this platform a couple of years back, and anything from their "old" e-mail address gets forwarded to a newer address (within the same clustered platform, not just on some old server configured to do forwarding) with their own "domain". So, whenever we have to reconfigure computers, we give them the new settings since the old ones are not supported. But, that does not affect the forwarding that occurs.

Anyway, I get a call one Sunday from a man who wanted to know what news server to use (only dialup users get access to our news server). I gave him the address. Afterwards, he launches into a tirade that I won't forget. The call went a little like this...

Customer: I have a few words to say about you forcing us to change my e-mail address.

Me: We never force anyone to change e-mail addresses. If people want to send mail to your address, you'll get it.

Customer: I know! But, the new address works only half the time! I get all my mail when they come from!

Me: It should be the opposite, sir. Because your is forwarded, it takes an extra step within our system and then gets to your address.

Customer: I know how your system works. There's some sort of mechanism that allows all my e-mail to get through but doesn't allow me to get my mail.

At that point, I got mad. I didn't show it with the customer, but to have a customer try to tell me how a mail system that I've been supporting worked. I just continued on...

Me: There is no such mechanism. Because your mail is forwarded, there's more of a chance of it getting lost than your e-mail. If anything, there is a a better reason for that mail to not be delivered. Let me take a look at your junkmail settings.

I went to his junkmail settings... voila! It was turned on, turned almost all the way up in sensitivity, and not emptying from the server after so many days.

I advised him of that. I told him he needed to go to our account manager and use web mail to view what he didn't receive. He felt confident that he could get there himself, and the call ended.

I heard from a fellow rep working with me that he had trouble getting to our account manager, and launched into a similar tirade, and he got the same response.

In the future, when people try to claim that they know how our system works, I am going to tell him where to find that information, because while it's somewhat proprietary (it's configuration is proprietary, not the standards or methods of access, which is all open standards), it's not exactly private like AOL, nor is it really a company secret because you can go to the USPTO and find it. It will also come in useful for when people say our "server" is down (when I can prove it's not unless it's a billing issue).

April Fool's Joke
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

We decided to have some fun with our users one year on April Fool's Day. First thing in the morning we put out an e-mail message telling users that we were going to be blowing out the computer cables overnight. We went on to explain that over the years the cables degrade and that all the dust and debris in the cabling was causing some of the user's slow response times. We asked the users to come to our department to obtain a cover that they needed to place over their workstations so when we blew out the cables the dust and debris would not go all over their desks.

We had five employees come to get the covers. The best was the one department head who came to get his cover and explained his co-worker had explained that it was an April Fool's day joke, but he didn't believe her and knew that he still needed to cover his workstation.

And they wonder why!
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Our office recently acquired a color printer from the office next door - a rather hefty Laserjet with three large toner carts inside. These are supposed to be removed before moving the printer, as any of the IT department could have explained. Unfortunately, not knowing this, the office staff called in the porters to move it - all in one go.

Exactly what the porters did to it I don't know. I can only assume they dropped it from a great height onto their trolley. In any event, the carpet in the other office, our office and the corridor in between was left covered in cyan and magenta toner. No-one even DARED try to switch the printer on at this stage - I just raised a call with IT, who rang me back a day or two later to confirm the details.

"Have you opened it up?"


"So how do you know the toners have broken?"

"Because it was all over the floor."

"Oh, NO!!"

That poor female technician spent two whole days in our office cleaning blue and pink crap out of the printer, followed by another day trying to get the thing to work. At the end of the third day, having finally coaxed a performance out of it, she gave us a lengthy and frazzled lecture about how the toner carts should be taken out first and how people should NEVER attempt to move equipment without the aid of an IT technician. She was very clear on this last point - NOT the porters and NOT yourselves, get a tech in.

At this point her mobile rang, which turned out to be another staff member wanting some computers moved around. She passed her phone to another tech who happened to be in the office on someone else's computer, telling him that as he was logged in, he could book them in for a time.

The guy took the phone and the first thing he said to the caller was:

"Can't you move them yourself?"

Our female tech rose up majestically from the computer and - well, let's just say I've never heard such colorful language outside of a dockyard :)

hardware technician
Posted 05/01/2005 by Todd

I do support for Mad Dog products. One day, this lady called to tell me that her external floppy drive wouldn't eject her disk. Imediatly smelling an idiot, I asked if she had pushed the button. She replied that she had, but the disk still wouldn't come out. A little bit confused that the button didn't work, I started to fill out an RMA request for her when she asked "Now, do you push the button up or down?" It took me a second to realize what she was asking, and I told her to push it in. That fixed the problem. She then spent the next few minutes telling me that we should provide instructions on how to do this.

Hypocritical emails from customer to ISP Help Desk
Posted 05/01/2005 by Freddy Evil

I work for a small Australian ISP. Due to the high customer-to-tech-support-staff ratio, we sometimes have longish queues.

The following was recevied by email. While the customer has a point about the wait, it is hypocrisy which prompted me to post it here.

Email 1:

Subject: Complaints from your customer

Dear ,

I am using your Internet service. Frankly your company service is the worst I ever have seen. Frequent wrong bill. An simple enquiry needs 20 minutes to get answers. I make up my mind. I’ll never use your company Internet service.


Email 2 (7 minutes after the first one, no time to reply):

Subject: Complaints from your customer

Dear ,

By the way your technical support staff’s English is really terrible.


My Computer
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I was working for an accounting software company, in the tech support division. One day I received a call in which the user was having trouble logging into his software. I needed him to go to my computer and then to the drive in which his software was installed and delete a file to be able to log back in. I asked the man, "Can you please go to my computer." The man replies, "No, I'm using a Dell." What a moron!

No Title
Posted 05/01/2005 by Phil

I work business tech support for a major OEM, and most of our customers are IT staff, and very knowledgeable. We do get the occasional Employee Purchase Program customer though, and... whoo.

This comes from my neighbor, who was literally trying to reach through the phone and choke the guy...

Co-worker: Okay, read what you see on the screen.

Customer: Blah blah blah... type "exit" to quit the recovery console.

Co-worker: Okay, type "Exit" for me.

Customer: How do I spell that?

Co-worker: (with customer on mute) YOU JUST READ IT OFF THE SCREEN JACK***!!!

That one just stunned me stupid...

The Offended Car
Posted 05/01/2005 by Noah

This one concerns the computer in my father's BMW 7-series sedan. This car has lots of bells and whistles that I personally find distracting, but perhaps the stupidest feature of them all is a special connection between the car and my father's cell phone. This connection enables him to plug the phone into the dashboard and make calls using a microphone hidden in the ceiling and the stereo speakers. The system also has a voice-controlled dialing system, so that he can say "Dial house" and it will call our home number.

Of course, being a primitive voice recognition system, if he doesn't say the words just right, the compuer won't understand him and it will audibly say some stock phrase like "Excuse me?" or "Could you repeat that please?" or "I didn't understand that." So, my father being a man of limited patience sometimes, he tried to call someone this way one time while I was riding shotgun. The computer didn't understand him the first two or three times he tried to dial, so he finally belted out "Call the f&#%ing house, d@&# it!" The car responded, in a tone that could easily be taken for offence, "Excuse me?"

I burst out laughing, but he didn't see the humor in it.

Check Communication
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a fairly large company doing systems support. Unfortunately, like most, we don't have the brightest of users.

Today I got a good laugh from some of our (slower) computer users downstairs.

In our particular situation we do most of our work on-site, which basically means if there's a problem I have to get up, go to where the (l)user is at, and fix it. Most of the times it's something really simple, sometimes it's not.

Today it was one of the simple problems.

(L)user: "Hey, the computer isn't working, it says something about check communications" - Our company uses a in-house made software package for various things. One of its functions is to interact with a Oracle Database. One of our most common errors is a lost TCP/IP connection, with a simple fix of: ipconfig /release, ipconfig /renew.

There is a message when communication is lost that says: "Cannot communicate with server, Check communications" then gives a error code.

Figuring it was one of these situations I headed to where the user was.

(L)user's supervisor: "This is what it's doing: when we turn the monitor on, the light goes green, then it says "Check Signal" then the light goes yellow."

Me: (ROFL inside) "Ok, let me check something real fast."

Kneel on the floor, reach towards the back of the computer, and push the power button - the system comes to life.

(L)user: "What did you do?"

(L)user's supervisor: "Was something unplugged" - you should know, the supervisor loves to mess with things he shouldn t. If something doesn't work, he tries to fix it himself, then calls us once he screws it up worse. (He had already checked to see if it was plugged in.)

Me: "I just turned it on."

(L)user's supervisor: "What!?"

(L)user gets a strange look on his face.

(L)user's supervisor: "Well, who turned it off?"

You should also know, I had just been in that particular office and saw the user shutting down windows not 10 minutes before (as the (L)user was going on break)

(L)user's supervisor - Looking at (L)user: "I guess 'Someone' must have hit it with their knee or foot."

(L)user: "I wonder who could have done that" - He was serious

Me: walk out of the room looking at the ground to avoid more questions.

Seriously, How hard can it be to turn on the computer after YOU shut it off?


USB doesn't fit
Posted 05/01/2005 by Todd

Email to me: The USB cable that was provided does not fit into my computer. I have USB 2.0.

What do you say to this?

Printing animation
Posted 05/01/2005 by John

I had a user that had to do a Power Point presentation and she

wanted to also hand out the printed presentation to the attendees. She had set some animations on the text in the presentation and then came to me to ask why her text wasn't animated when she printed it and asked if she was missing a setting somewhere. She was definitely missing something!!! DOH!!!!

My modem wont sync!
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This is a normal day for me at my work at telia broadband.

People that are born in the wrong century.

Me: Hi and wellcome to tech support

Customer: "Hi my internet wont start"

Me: "Oookej" I start to chek ip I can se any ip negotiation with our dhcp server *nothing*.

"Aight can you look if you'r DSL or LAN lamp is lit?"

Customer: "errrr..." *Loong paus*

Me: "Helllu?"

Customer: "Yeah I don't know what you are talking about"

Me: "Look at your modem as see of the DSL AND LAN BOWL IS LIT"

Customer: "Modem? What are you trying to fool me or something? I have brodband not a modem"

Me: "Okej listen to me now pls when you got your service from us you also got a modem a zyxel or a d-link yes?"


Me. "Okej look at your computer does it go a red cable from it?"

Customer: "Hmm yes"

Me: "To what?"

Customer: "To a box.."

Me: "And what is the box name?"

Customer: "Zzz yyyel"

Me: "Zyxel maybe?"

Customer "Aah yes zyxel!" *happy he just found out he can read when he gets some help on the way*

Me: "Okej then tell me if the DSL or the LAN lamp is lit."

Customer: "The lan lamp is stedy but the DSL is flashing"

Me: "Okej then you have lost the connection to the station, then no probs restart it."

Customer: "Restart?"

Me: "Yes push the button behind the modem."

Customer: "Don't se it."

Me: *jeesus never argue about this with the customer, they tend to go more stupid then* "Okej just pull the power cord."

Customer: "Errr.. there is no power cord here."

Me: "Errr.. yes there is, do you think it whuld work whitout power?"

Customer: "No im not stupid you know, but there is no power cord! There is only three cables here one to the thelephon and on to the computer."

Me: "You said three that was two? Where does the third go?"

Customer: "Arr dunno?"

Me: "plz look then it's not my internet that isent working you need to work with me here mate or you can stay without internet.."

Customer: "No im sorry.."

Me: "Okej...."

After about 10min I got the customer to pull one of the power plugs in the house! Cinda radical but it got the desierd resolts he got his connection back.

Backing up the server
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I was working a computer help desk for a software company. One day, a man called frantic, "My server is on fire!!! What should I do?!!?!?"

I answered, "I would grab a fire extinguisher and put it out. Failing that, I would call the fire department and ask for them to help."

"What about a backup??? I haven't done one for two months!!!" he screamed frantically into the phone.

Astonished, I just answered calmly, "It's a little late now."

He hung up on me. He spent the next two weeks restoring the data. He was then fired.

Family eh?!
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I am not a tech but I am studying information sytems and know more about computers than most, so I have become the family and frends tech. Here are just a few of the things I have had to put up with.

1. I had recently told my brother to delete old files that he didn't need anymore and zip any large files to save disk space. He was a little over zealous as I found out. My brother asked me to help him as he could not get a program to run. I double clicked the icon, went through the start menu and then used "Run" on the start menu, btu kept being told that the application could not be found. After scratching my head, I went to the folder on the C:\ drive and opened it. I found he had deleted every file except for the icons! Apparently, he thought that if the icons WERE the program as it is what you double click to start it.

2. I friend got a new computer and asked me to set it up for him. So i went round and found the boxes of hardware and his new desk in the dining room. I asked where he wanted it setting up and he said in the corner would be fine. So I put the desk together and set the comptuer up in the corner like he said. After getting the computer together, running all the programs and testing the scanner, printer, speakers etc, I was satisfied with a job well done and told him he was good to go. He THEN said, "So, I can take this up to my room now?". I spent another 2 hours taking it apart and putting it together in his room!

3. A short one,but I spent an hour once explaining and demonstrating to my mum how to use a mouse as she ha never used one before! The next day I found her lifting the moue into the air and moving it around that way, scratching her head and mumbling about it being broken.

Original goes where???
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This story is somewhat OT, but is very much in keeping with the spirit of this excellent site.

Copiers have been our offices for what? 30yrs?

Still, one woman called saying that the office copier "ate" her very important original. Needless to say, my co-workers and I where somewhat mystified. Did the Docfeeder jam? no.

So that leaves only the platen glass which, of course, doesn't move on modern copiers.

Seems she put her "very important" document into the manual feed tray... with the top, docfeeder open of course, and out the otherside comes a sheet with a solid black image where her document used to be.

We still laugh about this today.

The Find option
Posted 05/01/2005 by Mike

So i work for an inter net provider and this guy phones in and i ask him to go to start and choose find. The guy says that there is know find option and he is running off of Win 98 so i tell him to push the windows button on his key board and then he asks where he would find the key board on the computer. so after he realizes wut a key board is he pushes the win button so i then tell him to press the "F" key and now he can't find that. so needless to say no matter wut or where i told this guy to find something he could never find it. people like that should not have computers

Battery Powered Stupidity
Posted 05/01/2005 by Abdiel

It isn't always dumb users folks, I can prove it!

I've been setting up systems and teching problems for probably 10 years plus now in California on a fairly amateur basis, word of mouth business and such.. in any case I ought to be able use my head with a simple battery installation right? Right?? Hmm..

Parents ordered a battery powered pet grooming brush in the mail, it arrived, I pop it out of the box and go get batteries to make the thing work. Put in a couple double A cells, flip the switch.. nothing. Ok I figure perhaps I've put the batteries in backwards or some such - I have a look, no the battery orientation to the terminals is correct. Pull them out and reseat them, check to make sure we have terminal contact too. Try to power it on again - nothing.

"Ok, you've got a dead pet brush here." I tell the parents, you need to return it. They call the company, send it back, after some dickering the company sends out a new one. I was a bit busy at that time, so my mother opens it up and goes and gets 2 double A batteries, and starts to put them in. "Hey wait a minute.." she says.. "This thing says it needs a 9 volt battery." I blink and wander over there and have a look. Sure enough, I'd been trying to put 2 double A's into a 9 volt socket on a simple damn pet brush, perhaps it would have helped to read the directions eh? Meh. She dropped a 9 volt in and it worked fine - I walked off to bang my head on the wall.

Now when customers make dumb mistakes, I stop and think about that damn pet brush, and I'm much nicer to them

"Tales of the new Relatives PC" follow up
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Further to "Tale of the new Relatives PC" in February 2005:

3 weeks after I did that, I was in touch with said relatives, and they happenned to mention that the internet was no longer working.

"Pardon," I said, "what happenned?"

After much toing and froing and trying to understand their non tech speak, it appeared that they had managed to set the start bar to a height of zero and so weren't

able to easily choose options from there, specifically the one to shut down the system.

They took it upon themselves to call tech support from this company, who guided them through using System Restore in XP to take it back to the previous restore point. Big mistake on my part not manually creating one after I had finished setting it all up.

Doing this removed the dial up internet connection, all the data I had transferred across (works docs, email folders

installed printers, etc), printer drivers etc so I went back there and redid everything I had previously done.

I then manually created a new system restore point and left them to it.

They then kindly offered me back the old PC, which they no longer had any use for. I took it, copied the data off to

another PC and burned it to CD just in case, then wiped it down, did a fresh reinstall and gave it to charity who was

very glad of it.


Have a listen to and enjoy...

Dog gone phone
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a cell phone company in the tech department. One day, I received a call from a woman who was slightly hysterical.

Me: Hello, thank you for calling...

Woman: My dog ate my phone. What should I do?!

Me: Ummm, take the dog to the vet?

Woman (in a wail by this point): But I can hear it ringing.

Me: What ringing? (I really didn't think the phone would work after being eaten by a Great Dane.)

Woman: The phone! I can hear it ringing in my dog when I call it.

Me: (That is one tough little phone.) Ummm, I'm sorry to hear that. I really think you should take the dog to the vet.

Woman: Will the phone still work?

Me: Probably not.

When techs go bad
Posted 05/01/2005 by J. Weintraub

I'm usually a pretty good tech -- I solve about 95-98% of the problems I ever deal with. But even a good tech can go bad sometimes. I got a relatively new fax/scanner/printer from a customer in return for several hours' free tech support. Get it home, plug in the power, no problem. I plug in the USB cable to the computer, then to the back of the printer. No response from the comp. So I disconnect and reconnect the USB cable from the comp (easier to reach). Still no response from the computer. So I reboot the printer. No response. I figure "what the heck, I should reboot the PC" (Runs WinXP so it's really not necessary, but you never know). No response. So I unplug the USB calbe from the back of the printer. Funny, there seems to be two USB connetors ("B" type) right next to each other. SO I try the other one. Still, no response.

I sit down and think, and then it hits me. I remove the USB B connector from the back of the prirner/fax/scanner, and take a REALLY careful look at the USB connectors.

They weren't.

Those were the modem connectors.

The USB Conenctor was two inches lower.

Ah me. time for new glasses, I guess.

Build your own Mobo
Posted 05/01/2005 by Nathan

I had cable internet from a major company for about a month then one day it went down. I decided to call tech support to find out if it is on their end.

Me: Hi, my pc is telling me the network cable is not plugged in.

TS: Can you make sure the the cable is in fact plugged in.

Me: Yes it is plugged in.

TS: Can you unplug it and plug it back in.

Me: It is plugged in, i've tried a few different cables and nothing works.

TS: Sir it is not plugged in.

Me: uhh, YES it is.

TS: Ok did your network card come factory installed or did you add it yourself.

Me: It is on the motherboard.

TS: I know that but did you install it or did it come like that.

Me:.......It is built into the motherboard.

TS: Sir, they don't do that.

Me:...........uh ya they do you know how usb ports are built onto the motherboard, and sometimes sound and video is built into the motherboard, well this network adapter is built onto the motherboard. So ya I guess it was factory installed since I do not produce my own Motherboards. You know what I'll just figure it out, bye.

The next morning it was magically back on.

Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work on a helpdesk for Teliasonera in Sweden. Im a specialist on Centrex and a PC-program called PCTel.

One day a customer called in and said that he had bought a new PC and that he couldnt get the old ISA card that PCTel used into the new machine. He wondered if I could help him.

I kindly told him that PCTel nowdays uses an external Telebox that connects with an USB cable. The old ISA card system wherent standard in PC's anymore so the only way was to buy an USB connected box instead.

The guy went silent alittle while. Then he said " naaaaah I dont want to buy new hardware. Cant I use winzip to get the card to fit? "

/ Mikke

Missing drives
Posted 05/01/2005 by Suzan Lee

Customer claims he opened the system and noticed he only got one hard drive. Checked with one of our specialty queues who have a way of checking what was shipped on the system and they were able to verify that he had three hard drives. Had him check BIOS to verify tag. He asked where the BIOS was. Was it on the outside of the system? Or in the software? Were able to verify the serial number. Customer is running a RAID5. Said he had a 12 GB C: partition and a 124 GB D: partition. Told him the hard drives were all there because you couldn't get 146 GB out of a single 73 GB hard drive. He then asked me where they were. Explained to him that he had a RAID 5 and because of this all three drives were seen as one drive. He asked if that backed up the data to the D: partition. Said no. Asked if it mirrored the C: partition. Said no. And he asked me if drive D: was an image of drive C: or a backup for drive C: and wanted to know if it wrote the same data to C: & D:. Explained RAID 5. He said he didn't understand. Explained it again. Still didn't understand. Asked what was parity? Explained it a third time. I think he finally got it. Did the math for him on the RAID 5. 73*3=219-73 (for parity stripe)= 146-12 (for C:drive) =124 which is the size of the D: partition. Then he said he ordered a Broadcom NIC and was complaining that he had gotten Intel. Told him the NIC was integrated on the system board, and it was ALWAYS going to be an Intel. I'm still not sure how completely he understood.

Rebate = My Money to the customer
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Yes this is a customer service topic yet it is funny to be laugh at. A customer called up about her rebate. She said she sent the form with the invoice. And got a reply back about the UPC code was missing. She freak out, and called us. If you guess it, she was demanding for us to send her a 100 dollar check in mail. Well I was able to get her to answer some basic questions. "Do you still have the box that the product came in." And the she bitch answered "No, nobody keeps the %$#!ing box. What are you, Stupid". I informed the she bitch that before you sent a rebate in, you must see what is required to get your rebate. She flustered on an on about how I was this and that. ANd that she does not need to do any of thoese things. My response "I am sorry to hear that, yet since you have tossed the box out." She was pissed and continued with this for minutes. (seemed like hours at the time) She was a persistant bitch. There is nothing that anyone could do. She tried the sorry company complex syndrome (Well if you aren't going to do this, I am going to tell all my friends and family and the newsmedia on how company X ripped me off.) which does not work. So I did the, Your a %$^#ing IDiot Syndrome one her. "Did you read the terms and conditions on the rebate form before you sent it." and she said "No....WHY!!" I go "Please tell me what is required to be sent in" she goes blasitic again, and rants names at me then disconnect. I check her profile later on and it appeared she made 4 more attempts to get a rebate while it each attempt failed. On the fifth attempt her profile was mark as fraud.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Not really a Tech Tale as such, but a few examples of the REALLY detailed, helpful information us 2nd & 3rd line engineers get from our 1st line helpdesk.

1) "User has lost a file." Now this is REALLY helpful as we support 70 servers. Providing us with at least a filename and a server name might aid us in trying to solve the problem.

2) "Server XYZ is down". No, I'm sorry, if server XYZ was really down then I think the other 1,200 people that connect to it would be on the phone too.

3) "User entered her password twice but system wouldn't let her log in. Was OK on third attempt". And you'd like us to do what about that exactly ?

4) "User has lost file XYZ. Please restore from tonights backup." Huh ??

5) "User reports printer is sending messages saying it is out of paper." I'm 700 miles away, YOU put some more paper in !

How do I get to this website?
Posted 05/01/2005 by Todd

I was working on emails, when I recieved one that really confused me. First, you need to know some background. In order to send us an email, you have to go to our site, and use your reg number. That is the only time it asks you for information--there is no sign in page, or account. The email said (spelling errors and all)

I registerd but when I try to make an acount at the sing in page it ses your E-mail is all redy in use.

How did this person submit this email if they couldn't get on our page? Very confusing...

Tech 101
Posted 05/01/2005 by Tech 101

I was a fresh computer Lab assistant at LMU some 12+ years ago. My lab had 38 computers where college students used WP & Lotus 123 v2.2 and stored their files on 5 or 3 (the computers all towers). One of the students came over my desk and stated the computer ate his floppy. Ok, so in my mind he means that he couldn't store something on the floppy (being unreadable) or the drive door is stuck & the disk wont exit. To clarify I ask "Were you trying to store your work?" and he just repeated 'It ate my disk, twice!' So i grap my trusty paperclip to see if i can work the diskette loose. He leads me back to the computer he was using and i take a seat. Hmmmm.... the drive door lock on the 5" is open, and i don't see a diskette. I flip open the door on the 3 & peer in for a closer look... nothing there. I step back and ask the student show me what he did... He sits down grabs a third floppy and puts it into the computer & it disappears inside! The student had been putting the 5 floppy in the gap of space right between the 2 disk drives and it had fallen right into the chasis. That's not the funny part... when i took off the case and searched for the disks, i found five 5 & a 3 inside. Apparently this wasn't the only student who had done this... the others just hadn't bothered to ask for their floppies back. Well, that's higher education for you.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2005 by PokerTech

Can t See the Forest

First of all, a little history ..I have been a self-proclaimed computer geek since the days of the Commodore Vic20, and have not been without a computer since 1990. I have never been afraid to crack the case, do hardware upgrades, or play with system settings. If I messed something up and my system no longer worked, I found a book that would help me figure it out. Best way to learn how computers work is mess something up and be too cheap to take it to a shop and have someone else fix it. Needless to say, in my infinite curiosity, I learned a lot.

I have finally figured out that I could actually make money on this hobby that has consumed so much of my life for the last 15 years, so I am also working on my degree in computer networking and its associated certifications. While working on this degree, I worked at a multinational company s helpdesk until I got laid off during the 2001-2002 tech bust. Finally, after 14 months, I got hired as a DSL Technician at a major telecom handling 14 western states. May not be the best job in the world, but the pay and bennies (like paying for school) are great since it is union.

Now on to the good stuff I have had tons of instances that will qualify for submission here, and will try to share them as they come to mind. For the moment, the one that first comes to mind happened about 4 months after I started at the telecom. I got a call from a lady that was at her wits end and ready to cancel her DSL. She starts her tirade by informing me that she has spoken with 4 of our DSL techs, 2 outside technicians had been sent to check the lines, and 2 of her work PC Techs had also been out to make sure everything was OK on her PC. She was still not able to get a DSL signal on her modem. A quick check on her account notes verified the calls to us, the technicians that had been sent out, and the fact that her modem was not trained. Figuring this poor woman had been through all the usual troubleshooting steps, I ask her to bear with me as we check a couple of things. First and foremost, I asked about the cable she was using between the wall jack and the modem (you would not believe the number of people I talk to that try to run a 50 ft or more cable) that was fine she was using the one we sent with the modem. Then I asked her if there were anything else on that line (thinking she may have a filter on there), which she replied no filters, just goes into the power strip. ??????????? I asked her to repeat herself, and unbelievably, I had heard correctly. She had her DSL line plugged into the phone jack on a surge protector which was then plugged into the wall jack. A total of 8 technicians over 3 weeks had not determined this could be a problem. I had her plug the modem directly into the wall jack, and in a matter of 15 seconds her modem was trained and she was surfing. At that point, she was convinced that I walked on water and insisted I transfer her to my supervisor.

More to come


No Title
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I m not officially a tech but I do most of the tech work for my family and friends, I don't mind it but when you get a call from your dad at 2AM saying that he broke the TV and DVD recorder it's plays on you a-bit. Anyways, we had just installed our cable and i set it so that he could view it in his bedroom as well. Not hard at all just need 2 splitters.

Now on this night he said the picture didn't work on the TV in his bedroom or the lounge room, and that he pulled out all the leads from the DVD and Cable consoles. I just shook my head and knew it was going to be awhile before I got back to sleep. So I walked him thru the process of connecting it all up again and setting all the DVD and Cable channels, not an easy thing to do when your on the mobile with drop-offs every 5 minutes, took about 40 minutes total.

With everything plugged in and set up I though it should be fixed but still nothing but a blank screen after 20 minutes more of thinking and telling dad too fiddle with this, tell me are the colours matched up... It dawned on me, was the cable box on? The cable box is temper mental, any little move and it goes into stand-by mode. So i asked dad, "On the cable box, on the little screen in front do you see 2 lines or 2 numbers?" He said 2 lines, I felt like suffocating myself with the pillow my head was lying on. I told him to turn it on... Nothing but a white screen and inference. Now after all of this you know what the problem was... The cable was out, A tree and fallen on the lines...

I now know why when you call up a tech company they always ask to check if your machine is on first.


You want me to what ??
Posted 05/01/2005 by Judderman

I work for a large technical support centre.

We also support out of warranty at premium call rate.

One call in particular on this line about a Win ME notebook made me smile.... but not until a few days afterward.

You also have to bear in mind the caller had owned the laptop for several years at this point.

ME: "I'd like you to click Start"

CALLER: "What do you mean ?"

ME: *THUMP* "When you move your finger on the square below the keyboard a small white arrow move on screen - can you see it ? - now hover the arrow over the small grey box in the bottom left hand corner of the screen called, surprisingly, "start" and press the left of the two touchpad buttons"

He was a little snippy with me after that.

Another classic on premium call numbers would be :

CALLER: " X amount per minute, I'm not paying that, I have warranty"

ME: " Then I suggest you hang up as it's charged through your phone line"


Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Hello peeps,

I'm not a tech man or something but this is just something I couldn't keep from you :P

I live in Holland and we have some nice music here. So we took some CD's with us to family in Thailand so that they could listen to that music too.

There my dad decided to make an illegal copy of the CD wich first went wrong 3 times before I pushed the right "burn" button.

So it was copyed and my dad thought, hey, why not put the name of the artist in the CD? So he took a ballpoint and actually CARVED the name in the CD, making it unreadable ofcourse.

Dude, I had never expected that from my dad :P

Strange buzzing sound
Posted 05/01/2005 by Mark

A user placed a call to our helpdesk reporting a strange buzzing sound coming from the computer. As they could not fix this over the phone I was dispatched to take a look.

When I arrived she stated that every couple of minutes the PC will start to buzz for a few seconds, and that is has been happening for about 4 days.

Standing away from the PC while hearing her relay the story I heard a strange buzzing sound that I have never heard before coming from the PC area. I go around her desk, open up the PC and wait for the noise again. Sure enough it happened, but not from the PC. I go back around and sit right in front of her desk and wait. Sure enough the sound happens again, but this time I hear that it is coming from her desk drawers.

I ask her if it is OK to open them up, and as soon as I ask her this she says "Oh no!". I open the drawer and remove her pager, which is set to vibrate and has been going off for 4 days.

Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I have been reading the archives and noted several posts from Tiny UK. I used to work for Tiny US before they moved to Vegas and went tits-up.

Much funness from that shop i'll tell you.

At one point we were selling a "Synchro PC" 2 monitors 2 keyboards 2 mice 1 cpu. as you can tell this sucked to work on since the brits wouldn't let us have one so we could play with it. most of the problems stemmed from one of the video cards burning out. or my favorite 2 people trying to work on the computer at the same time. you'd think since the system was designed for this it would actually work that way, right? well these were extremely cheap pcs and i mean that in every sence of the word. integrated intel video and like 64mb memory. so when anyopne tried to type in word and play a game, check their email, burn a cd (that's right a cd burner along with all the other *quality* equipment) access a floppy, exist at all, the sytem would promptly crash and then the customer would call us and we would have to tell them they were stupid for buying such a cheap piece of crap and expecting good performance, nicely of course.

Another memorable event was our "poison lady." On a regular basis we would have to retrain this customer because she had bought a computer for workers comp and kept forgetting how to use it. she claims she was poisoned at her last job and lost her short term memory. I had the pleasure of being the lucky guy who had to go to her house to set up her isp because apparently her short term memory doen't allow her to follow instructions.

Ah the joys of tech work.

Windows messenger doesn't use the internet...
Posted 05/01/2005 by Jason

I have just taken one of the most ridiculous calls ever from one of my clients...

I should have saved the log from messenger but the conversation was roughly as follows:

Our internet is down

No it isn't

Yes it is

It can't be, you're using it to send me messages

No i'm not

How else are we having this conversation?

I don't know how it works

OK, just tell me what the problem is

I can't see (some obscure website)

Can you see any other websites, try your own

Yes, I can see everything else

Then their website is down, it's nothing to do with you

Can you fix it?

No, we don't host their site. You'll have to wait until they fix the problem.

Is there anything I can do?

(resisting the obvious temptation...) No

What if I phone them?

It's worth a try, they might not know their site is down.

I haven't got their phone number, it's on the website.

(Refusing to succumb to an overwhleming urge to drive over there and smack her with a hammer) Have you got their email address - although this might be down as well.


Good, try that. speak to you later.

When this girl was hired my clients told me: "you'll get on with her, she's very computer literate".....

Backup Monitor
Posted 05/01/2005 by Dave

The monitor at my workstation recently left the land of the living. I told my boss, who was on his way out the door for lunch. He stepped back into his office and grabbed the petty cash bag to head to the local computer emporium so he could buy me a new monitor.

Before he left, he told me, "Until I get back you'll have to use a manual graphite display generator as a backup to your monitor.

A what????

Then, after a few seconds it hit me.

Oh, yeah! A pencil!

Posted 05/01/2005 by C. Thomas

About six months ago I quit a tech support position for Dish Network. I was working part time and fixing customer's satellite TV woes. One December's eve, this call came in (M: Me, C: Customer)

M: Thank you for calling Dish Network, this is *********. How can I help you today.

C: My TV won't display anything in color.

M: Ok, we can probably fix that. First - are you having this problem on more than one channel?

C: Yes

M: Lets go ahead and check the cables on the back of your tv. Make sure they're tightly connected and not damaged in any obvious way.

C: (after much rumaging about) They're fine. Everything's tight.

M: Great, lets reset the box (instructions for resetting the box)

C: Ok, it says "015 - Aquiring Satellite Signal"

M: That's normal, give it a bit.... Ok, now what do you see?

C: The image is still black and white.

M: I see, well lets try a more direct reset. Unplug your box.

[At this time the customer brings the phone with her to find the power cable. She puts it down, apparently right next to the TV speaker. Just before I hear the snow I catch the following sound.]

"Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings"

M: Maham? Are you watching "It's a Wonderfull Life?"

C: Yes. It's a lovely movie.

M: Maham, you're aware that that movie was FILMED in black and white?

C: Yes...

When the box booted back up the "Aquiring Satellite Signal" message was in blue (I really should have asked that earlier) -- so color worked. Apparently she's changed channels at just the wrong time and saw one of those Diamond commercials with the black and white photography. I had to convince her that most old movies really were done in black and white. Damn Ted Turner.

Oh ya, regular.
Posted 05/01/2005 by Todd

This is the entire contents of an email I recieved:

i want to know how to change my mp3 to regular

thank you

Okay, I'll get on that.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2005 by dennis

I did tech support for a major broadband provider. I had a customer call up saying he couldn't connect. i ping the modem fine.

me: Do you have a router(which we didn't support)

him:yes but i took it off because i know you dont support it.

me: ok, good, when you had it connected, was it just one pc not connecting or all of them?

him: i dont have the router connected

me: yes i know, but when you did was it one computer that couldn't connect or all of them?

Him: the router's not connected

Me: i uderstand it's not connected now, but when it was connected, was it one computer that couldn't connect or all of them

him:the router's not connected

i must have went through this atleast three more times, talking slower and louder.until

me: WHEN...IT...WAS...


i probably should have tried something else but it really bothered me that he wasn't listening to my question.

Faster processing
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

My roommate often uses MATLAB to run his scientific experiments which can take hours to complete. One day, the computer gave him an estimate of 4 hours to finish the processing. So he decided to turn off all the other programs using up CPU power. While trying to get the maximum performance out of his machine, his girlfriend walked into the room and saw what he was upto. Her suggestion was to turn off the monitor to speed things up.


Language Barriers
Posted 05/01/2005 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Working in the IT industry has its moments. Many of us have delt with language barriers before, but this copled with a lack of common sense - truly, just made me sit back and laugh.

Me: Good afternoon, ____________ technical support, (me) speaking, how may I help you?

Customer: Is the Internet down?

Me: No the Internet is working just fine. Can you tell me the lights on your modem are doing?

Customer: Whats a modem?

Me: The device you received in your kit, that enables you to connect to the Internet.

Customer: (Speaking in an angry tone) I tell you, I have no modem

Me: So you have had high-speed for well over 2 years and you don't have a modem?

Customer: Your not listening to me, I don't have a modem

Me: (sigh) ok do you have a black box with lights flashing on it?

Customer: No I don't.....ah wait, yes I see a black box.

Me: What are the lights doing?

Customer: They are "bwinking twelve"

Me: (sigh)

Customer: Yes, my modem is blinking 12!

Me: What's the name on your modem sir?

Customer: Toshiba! DVD

Me: (press Mute immediately, so the customer could not hear me laugh) Alright sir, do you see a smaller box near it with blinking lights?

Customer: Ah....yes...there it says (the real modem)

Afterwards, we fix the problem and resolve it. However, having him mistake his DVD player for his modem, made my day.

Tales From Technical Support Index