Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: "But I Don't Want To Pay For Assistance!"

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment! We've now progressed to the AOL Years

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

This one is a cheap bastard. Too cheap to want to pay AOL's regular price, they switched him to AOL's bastard child, Netscape. Netscape is a connection-only ISP, no connection to AOL services at all...

...but they charge 10$ a call for tech support, instead of AOL's being 'free'. So of course, he doesn't want to pay it, so he calls AOL.

AOL is a totally different program. It has nothing at all to do with Netscape's dialer, which I think was inherited when AOL bought Netscape. I've never seen it. I don't know how it works. I don't even know what its name is.

So Cheap Bastard calls up and doesn't want to give me his username when I ask. I tell him I can't help him without that information, so he grudgingly gives it to me. Surprisingly, my AOL software doesn't find it, and I ask if there are any other screen names on the account. He says it's a Netscape account and that he just has a 'quick question.'

So I try to explain that Netscape is an entirely different company and different program; so I don't have any information on how it works or what might be wrong with it, or how to set it up. So he starts neeping that it's the same company [No, it isn't. The same company owns both, but they are still seperate companies.] and that I'm just being mean because I won't help him and it's just a simple question and all he needs to know is what server to put in.

I interrupt to explain that there's nothing I can do, as I explained above, and if you bought a Schwinn bicycle, would you expect a Ford dealership to repair it?So he gets more aggressive and starts whining about how they want to charge him ten dollars for tech support. TEN DOLLARS! I explained that that was one of the costs of using Netscape, because AOL's 'free' tech support is paid for partly by the monthly expense, and mostly by the things that we're forced to sell you at the end of the call. Not to mention the constant ads everywhere.

He doesn't like that answer. My attitude is that he bought the cheap stuff and is now paying the price for it.

Of course, this is my fault. Personally. I personally am the reason that he can't find his dog and pony pr0n. I miss my mute switch and laugh at him, which goes over really well. [Have I mentioned that I hate New Yorkers? The whiniest and most demanding AOLusers that I have the pleasure of talking to are New York mooks. Second 'best' is New Jersey, which is pretty much the same thing.]

I explain that he's out of luck, as AOL can't help him, so he's going to have to break down and pay the whole TEN DOLLARS that is making him almost cry. I can hear the little warble in his voice as he says it. I explain this several more times, and he finally says "Fuck you and AOL!"

"Sorry. You'd fall in love and I'd fall asleep. Thank you for calling America Online [click]"



Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: High-Maintenance Asshole

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment! We've now progressed to the AOL Years

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

AOLuser the First, and the one who had me drag the corpse of the DoD out of its grave.

This goober called in and whined about how he's been an AOLuser for years and how he's a beta tester and how his DSL isn't working and how he had to buy a new computer because he didn't like the green text on the other one and whaa whaa and whine whine and neep neep.

Stupid fucker fights me every step of the way as I'm trying to help him, refuses to answer my questions, refuses to look at the computer to see if it has an ethernet port, when I finally get him to do it, he says there's no plug to plug into it. Gee, might that be because you don't have the cable?

The phone company told him that an AOL tech would be out there with a new modem in two days. The phone company has no say over what AOL will do.

He neeped about this constantly, and used it as justification for not listening to me when I was trying to connect the modem because he was promised a new one. When I told him that the phone company said that his computer did not meet the requirements for DSL, he said that they didn't know what they were doing because they're not computer techs.

Ok, so when they're telling him what he wants to hear, they're perfect; when they say something he doesn't want to hear, they're idiots. Right. And I'm an idiot all the way around because I'm daring to try and do my job when he's been an AOLuser for all this time and he's a beta tester and his DSL isn't working and he had to buy a new computer because he didn't like the green text and whaa whaa...

Finally, he hung up on me because I wasn't telling him what he wanted to hear after threatening to cancel AOL several times. I think it was because I didn't immediately offer him lots of free time to stay.

Personally, I'd be glad if he left; we don't need high-maintenance assholes like that.

Threatening an AOL tech with "I'll cancel!" is stupid. We don't care. You leave, that leaves 49,999,999 other people. At least some of which are not going to be as big assholes as you are.

By the way... the green text he was whining about, I fixed, because the same thing happened on his new computer, "And it only happened when I installed AOL!". It seems he had set the color scheme on the computer to 'high contrast', which is yellow or green text on a black background...but I'm the idiot.



Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: Types Of Tech Support Custys

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment!

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

Types of custys:

The Reader

This one reads everything on the screen, whether or not you actually need it, and in the face of pleading to stop. Usually speaks at about 300 baud, and if you do manage to interrupt, and ask for just what the error message says, you usually get a testy "I'm trying to tell you!". Then it loses its place and starts over back at the beginning. By the end of the call, you're nearly crying with frustration, waiting for the droning voice to give you the one tiny piece of information you actually needed.

The 'Computer Literate.'

This one thinks it knows something about computers. It attempts to impress the support tech by using buzzwords, and sometimes even actual computer terms. Of course, it always uses them incorrectly. I had one monkey start a call with "I'm an MCSE", then he paused as if waiting for me to fall down in a faint.

Yeah, right. I obviously know more than he does, because he called me. And why did he call? He couldn't figure out how to create a shortcut on his desktop. And he's an MCSE. Do not try and impress us like this, we will laugh you out of the room and heckle you to death. Certifications don't impress me. I don't have any, but I know more than MCSE's and A+'s.

The 'Important.'

This one thinks that it is the most important person in the world and that everything and everyone is subordinate to it. As an example of this one, I once had someone call in, having lost an Excel sheet. They opened the sheet, saved it and gave it a name, worked on it for several hours, then closed Excel and answered 'no' to 'do you want to save your changes'.

The program performed its function and her work disappeared. She opens the file, and it is, for some strange reason, blank, and I WILL retrieve it for her, because she is $IMPORTANT_PERSON.

I explain that she has hosed herself and it is lost.

Custy phone 2The Important: "No, that's not acceptable. There is a way to retrieve this file, and you will do it. NOW."

Techtyger: "No, ma'am, there is no way to recover data that you told it to delete. If it had crashed, there is a possibility, but if you told it to delete, there is not."

She starts screeching, and [after other imprecations] says, 'I'll have your job!'

"You wouldn't want my job. It means I have to talk to people like you. [click]"

The Parrot

This one repeats everything you say. Every direction, it asks if it's supposed to do that, then fucks it up anyway.

Techtyger: "Ok, click on start, then find, then 'files and folders'."

The Parrot: 'Ok, I've clicked on start. Now what?'

Techtyger: "Now click on find, then 'files or folders'."

The Parrot: 'Ok, I've clicked on Programs. I see a bunch of files and folders. Should I click on them?'

The Jumper

This one doesn't wait for the instructions, it just goes ahead and does what it thinks you wanted it to do. Tell it 'click on the icon', and wait for confirmation, and you hear 'click... clickclick... typetypetype... click... type...'

"What are you doing?"

'Well, I thought I knew what you wanted me to do, but it doesn't work at all, now...'

The Know-it-all

This one already did that. It doesn't matter what you say, it always says 'I already did that'. If you repeat yourself patiently and repeatedly, eventually it will do what you tell it to, singing its song the whole way. Once you manage to get it to do the correct procedure, it will be utterly astonished that doing it correctly worked.

Surprise. If you LISTEN to the tech, the problem goes away. Imagine that.

Jason bored 1The Lonely

This one is lonely and the tech is its only contact with humanity. It wants to talk about sports or weather or how bad the programs are, it wants you to hold its hand while it does the most mundane tasks. One can often hear an annoyed 'User needs friend!' after a call...

The Minimalist

This one thinks that the name of the operating system is 'Window', and every time you tell it to open another window, it's got to close the first one, despite having been explicitly told 'leave that window open and...'.

The Whiner

This one complains because it's got all [three of] those passwords to remember, and isn't there some way to make it easier? It's so HARD to have to open the file when all it wants to do is read it...WHY is my computer so SLOW? The bastard child of Jerry Lewis and Urkel.

The Traditionalist

Whatever random dumb things they've been doing to the computer, now it's not working.

"But it worked like that before!"

No, it didn't. You can't plug a printer cable into the computer, print, unplug the printer cable, carry it across the room [making sure to hold the ends up, so the data doesn't spill out], plug it into the printer and have it print. And it didn't work like that yesterday.

The Unbeliever

"I work for the company..."

Yes, I know that. The person you talked to not five seconds ago took that information and it's in the record that I have here in front of me.

"And I have a "

Yes, I know that, too.

Carolanne call center"And I'm working in one of our custom programs, called..."

Yes, I know that as well. It's all right here.

"Are you familiar with that?"

No, I'm a janitor and happened to be wandering past when the phone rang. Why would a support tech answer the tech support line?

The Blatant Liar

This one is a combination of a couple of different types, but the overwhelming characteristic is that it exaggerates all out of proportion.

"Every time I call it takes four or five calls to get the problem fixed!"

[Checking its history of the last nine months, one single call has taken one callback to fix.]

"Last time this happened, you fixed it while I was on the phone!"

[No, we didn't. If Windows says it's missing a DLL file, either it's corrupted, or, more likely, YOU deleted it; in either case it can't be fixed over the phone, and nobody did it for you before, either.]

The Horrified Mother

This one is actually funny. Mom's kid uses the computer sometimes when she's not home.

"I have all these files named things like 'horseluv.mpg' on my desktop. How do I get rid of them?"

"Ok, I can help you delete them, but don't doublecl--"

Freddy custy[Sound effect: Whinny Whinny Moan Moan]

"Oh my GOD, that's DISGUSTING! I'm going to KILL that kid!"

The Inconsiderate

It's eating while it calls, usually something sticky or crunchy, with lots of smacking; or it has one of its maggots on its lap, indulgently letting it howl in my ears; or its yap-dog has seen a speck of dust land and is stridently announcing the fact; or the TV/radio is on at the top of its electronic lungs, or something similar, or any combination of the above.

I tend to get 'accidentally' disconnected from these people, or talk really softly so they can't hear me, suggesting they turn down the TV / muzzle the dog / strangle the brat / put down the Ho-Ho when they ask why.

The Cheap Phone

This one has either a cheap cellphone, or a bad speakerphone that sounds like they're shouting into a tin bucket at the bottom of an echo canyon far away.

[Not far enough...] "I'm [garble static warble noise]."

"What? You broke up."

"I said, I'm [garble static warble noise]!"

"You broke up again. Can you pick up the phone?"

"What, are you fucking deaf!?"

Regan hmph[Strangely, insults always come through.]

I generally start flipping my mute switch on and off randomly while I'm talking so he hears me breaking up and eventually picks up the handset like I asked, or hangs up and is off my phone, which is, after all, the point.

The Ventriloquist

Either the caller is not the one who actually owns the computer, or they do, but they can't afford a phone cord long enough to reach to where the computer is. So instead, we get to play 'Telegraph'. Say something to this person, they pass it to that person, garbling it completely in transition, then back again with the results.

I once told one "Click on Start" and heard...

"He said 'thickest part'!"

Then from the one at the computer, "Flicker dart? What the hell does that mean?"

The Deaf-And-Dumb

Despite being told precisely where the feature you're trying to get them to activate is, they can't find it and they argue with you over whether it's actually there or not.

"I do not have a start button on my computer except for the one on the bottom left corner..."

[Waits for light to dawn...




Thomas Edison lived in vain.]

The Forgetful

Can't remember anything for 30 seconds together. When given the problem number and explicitly told to write it down, it forgets in 10 seconds or less. After being told your name four freakin' times in a row it can't remember it for the duration of a two minute call.

On the other hand, this isn't necessarily bad...



Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period: No Paper! It's A Security Risk!

TechTyger had a website (known as The Doofus of the Unspecified Time Period) where he posted stories from Call Center Hell. At our encouragement, he's submitting his stories for RHU's enjoyment!

TECHTYGERFrom: TechTyger

A new high. I don't even really know exactly how to explain this one. As with number one of the previous stories, this is not a single user...

It's the whole bloody company.

Some terminally butt-clenched little beancounter, in a desperate attempt to justify its job, has decided that everything has to have a power-on password on it and be locked up. And, and all the stupid passwords were the same! Apparently someone realized the stupidity of this, and went around and changed all the passwords...without telling anyone. So, I come in one night, and I can't get into my computer.

What this means, is that if I have a problem with one of my computers, I might as well just go home; there's no hope of using someone else's. The customer machines that had been left out for people to do their job now have to be locked in desks. I won't be able to see what the customer is seeing, which is the entire point of having a copy of the company's computers.

The computers we have from the companies have either no data at all, or phony data. There is nothing on any of these machines that would be worth more than the machine itself.

It gets better. We are not allowed to have any paper on the desk. At all. Another 'security breach'.

We're in a secured building. To get to any of my computers, someone would have to go past at least three cameras and two badge readers. But after having cleverly infiltrated the building in this way, they are going to be stymied by the lack of a pad of sticky notes.

And all of this utterly and completely ignores the fact that if there was anything worth stealing, it would be trivial to email it. If it was too big for that, one could set up an FTP server and FTP it. Or, in the most devious way possible, one could put it on a goddamn floppy disk and stick it in your pocket.

Dumbass story timeI don't know how it's managed to get past them all four and a half years that I've been here, but nobody wants any of this crap. Aventis's handheld computers have been sitting quietly on their docks, totally unsecured, for four and a half bloody years and not once has one of them disappeared for more than a couple of days, when someone forgetfully left it on his desk instead of putting it back where it belonged. The most information one could get from one of the Roche machines is that they sell pharmaceutical supplies. They might even be able to find out what kind of pharmaceutical supplies.

And there isn't a damn thing on them that you couldn't find out right now with ten minutes of searching on the internet. Or five minutes of asking your pharmacist, or doctor.

I just went to their website. They actually have more information easily available to the public than we do on these computers.

The only effect of this is to make it harder to do our jobs. We won't be able to get to half of the things we need, since I now work the night shift and everyone else will be gone, locking their systems up as they go; if there's a problem with our computers [And believe it or not, sometimes a Windows system just stops working...] we're helpless, we won't be able to do anything; we have to make sure that our desks are locked on pain of being fired, as if the fact that someone can get to the paper plates or cough drops in my desk will bring the company down. [If it was that easy, I'd have done it years ago.]

This is just blatantly fucking stupid. There's really no other way to put it. Bloody IBM has lost it's fucking mind. I'm waiting for them to start wanting to search us as we come in.



Techtyger's Crazy Custy Who Refused To Reboot Their Computer




When I worked for HAL, there was a problem going around that had a simple fix, just reboot the computer. This guy refused to, and was proud of the fact that he never rebooted. (Windows 98 got very unhappy if it ran for more than 90 days without a reboot, a problem carried into XP as well) The reboot was the only way to fix it. 

So I told him that sometimes the power supply would cause problems, and to disconnect that. The battery will keep it going. Some other random BS to distract him, then "Ok, it looks like you might have a hardware problem with the battery. I can replace it but I need the serial number to see if it's under warranty or not. If you take it out, it's on the top." 

(computer goes 'Pyoo') 

"You just tricked me into rebooting my laptop, didn't you?" 

"Yup." (cheerfully) 

Put it back together, and it boots up and not only is the original problem fixed, but it's running faster than it had before, because it'd been able to clean up a fair amount of crap. 

The main problem was an india delta one zero tango error caused by a loose nut at the keyboard.