They're All Idiots, Too (from Aaron Salo)
The CFO stormed in my office, with an unmistaken look of frustration on her face. "I just spent half an hour on the phone with T-Mobile," the grumbled, "I can't get my new BlackBerry to check my email!"

"Okay, let's see," I said, "Is it giving you an error?"

She tossed the BlackBerry on my desk, "it says my password is no good!"

Indeed, it was a password error. "Well," I responded, "I can change your email password if you'd like?

"No," she said, throwing her arms up in the air, "I don't want this stupid thing! I hate this stupid thing."

"Well, we can try to get it wor—"

"No, no. I don't want it to get my email! I just wanted a phone."

"Err, okay" I said jokingly, "well, I guess you're all set then?"

"Yah," she complained, "but the phone on this dreaded thing doesn't even work."

I pulled up the call sheet on my screen in front of me and dialed her BlackBerry number. Instantly, her phone started ringing and she snatched it off the desk."

"Look at this stupid thing," she scoffed, "I look like an idiot talking on it!"

"But you ordered the entire department red BlackBerry phones? Everyone else seems to like them..."

"Hmphf," she scoffed, turning to walk out of my office, "then they're all idiots too."


Mobile DSL (from Aaron Salo)
One morning, I received a call from a user stating that she was unable to VPN into the office. She was in a hotel and couldn't connect to the internet using her work laptop.

"Okay," I said, "how exactly you are trying to connect? Via wi-fi, dial-up, etc?"

She explained that she was using "ethernet" and just plugging in. After about twenty minutes of getting nowhere, I advised her to ring the front desk and advise them that her internet was not working.

"Why should I contact them?" she asked, "I bought my DSL modem from home and plugged it in to the phone jack. It should just work. Should I ring my DSL provider to troubleshoot?"

Shocked, I told her that DSL doesn't quite work that way and that she'd need to get Internet access another way. She didn't quite believe me and said she was going to call the DSL company, anyway.


Almost Any Key (from Ralph Dunn)
Sheila was a frustrated manager at a small chain style restaurant that had a contract with our company to maintain their Point-Of-Sale equipment. Things had gone well for a while until Sheila had to do a POS systems upgrade. As she installed the software, the keyboard malfunctioned during the install process. Sheila was on the phone with the software company at the time, and they told her it must be a bad keyboard.

A call was opened and our depot team sent a new keyboard overnight. It failed at the same point again the next day. Tier 2 support got involved, and this time we walked her through the install process with the software company guys in a conference call. Again, there was failure... the keyboard would not allow a keypress to push the system into accepting the software.

A RED TICKET was opened in our system and, as I am in charge of all Logistics and Depot Operations in my company, I personally certified a keyboard and shipped it overnight again. For those keeping count this is keyboard #3. Again there was failure.

After a large butt-chewing by the Operations VP at my company, we had a conference call with the POS software guys, the Tier 2 support manager, and the end user. Sheila insisted we replace the entire POS unit, which weighed about 30lbs and cost somewhere in the vicinity of $4,000.00 complete. This was out last chance to avert a costly mistake.

I instructed Sheila to walk us through what she was doing. She told us about inserting the upgrade CD in the CD ROM and running the program at boot. She told us what she entered in each of the interaction Input Boxes in the program (I began to suspect something at this point -- since it was apparent that they keyboard was working to enter data into the system). Finally, we came to the press ANY key window. All of us on the conference call could hear Sheila punching a button on the keyboard.

"See," Sheila was almost in tears and her voice was wavering in near hysteria, "I am pressing the [SHIFT] button as hard as I can and nothing is happening!!!"

Amazingly at that moment, the software support staff became disconnected from the conference call. I calmly explained to Sheila that the [SHIFT] button was only a control for the keyboard in many cases and what most software referred to when they asked for the ANY key was actually a simple and quick tap on the [SPACE BAR]. The installation proceeded from there with alacrity and no complete unit was called in to cover the job.


Screwed by Dell (from Chris H)

I needed 4 screws to replace the ones the last tech forgot to replace in my laptop during maintenance. Following is the ridiculous conversation between me and the online support rep.

This is an automated email sent from Dell Chat. The following information is a log of your session. Please save the log for your records.
Your session ID for this incident is [EDITED].
Time Details
11/12/2009 02:14:39PM Session Started with Agent (K______)
11/12/2009 02:14:41PM Agent (K______): "Thank you for contacting Dell XPS Hardware Warranty Support. My name is K___ and my rep ID number is [EDITED]. How may I help you today?"
11/12/2009 02:15:38PM Chris H____: "hi. when your tech came around the other day to replace my motherboard on my M1330, he didn't screw the hard drive module back in. I asked for some replacement screws last week, but I was sent the wrong sized screws"
11/12/2009 02:15:50PM Chris H____: "can you please send me the right sized screws?"
11/12/2009 02:16:09PM Agent (K______): "Hey Chris,I apologize for that."
11/12/2009 02:16:15PM Agent (K______): "Please give me a minute to check"
11/12/2009 02:18:38PM Agent (K______): "Chris,did you ask for screws to fix the Hard Drive?"
11/12/2009 02:19:17PM Chris H____: "they are the ones you screw into the laptop case to keep the hard drive in place after you've inserted it in the side"
11/12/2009 02:19:36PM Chris H____: "i can send a picture if you need..."
11/12/2009 02:19:40PM Agent (K______): "Okay,don't the screws fit in?"
11/12/2009 02:19:46PM Chris H____: "no they are too small"
11/12/2009 02:20:15PM Agent (K______): "Okay,could you please mail me a snap with the screws slightly inserted into the sockets?"
11/12/2009 02:20:57PM Chris H____: "no my camera wont show that much detail... I can just show you where the screws need to go..."
11/12/2009 02:22:05PM Agent (K______): "Oh...all right.Not needed.Is the hard drive sliding in staying properly?"
11/12/2009 02:23:01PM Agent (K______): "All right,also please mail me the snap you were talking about"
11/12/2009 02:24:40PM Agent (K______): "You there,Chris?"
11/12/2009 02:25:09PM Chris H____: "what email address?"
11/12/2009 02:25:25PM Agent (K______): "[Edited]"
11/12/2009 02:25:27PM Chris H____: "the hdd is staying put, but I don't want to risk it moving while the unit is on"
11/12/2009 02:25:41PM Agent (K______): "Okay,no problem"
11/12/2009 02:26:14PM Chris H____: "ok I have sent the pics"
11/12/2009 02:26:28PM Agent (K______): "Yep,just got them.Please let me have a look"
11/12/2009 02:28:34PM Agent (K______): "Okay,did you try inserting the screws?"
11/12/2009 02:31:26PM Agent (K______): "You there,Chris?"
11/12/2009 02:31:49PM Chris H____: "hi"
11/12/2009 02:31:49PM Chris H____: "sorry"
11/12/2009 02:31:57PM Agent (K______): "No problem"
11/12/2009 02:32:08PM Agent (K______): "Tried the screws?"
11/12/2009 02:32:09PM Chris H____: "yes the screws go in without needing to be screwed in"
11/12/2009 02:32:13PM Chris H____: "i.e. they are too small"
11/12/2009 02:32:18PM Agent (K______): "Okay"
11/12/2009 02:32:19PM Chris H____: "they'll just fall out again"
11/12/2009 02:33:26PM Agent (K______): "Was the Hard drive replaced?"
11/12/2009 02:34:04PM Chris H____: "no, the tech replaced the motherboard, so pretty much everything was taken out, and he just forgot to screw it back in"
11/12/2009 02:34:20PM Agent (K______): "Do you have any important data on the Hard drive in question?"
11/12/2009 02:34:26PM Chris H____: "well, yes"
11/12/2009 02:34:33PM Chris H____: "why?"
11/12/2009 02:34:36PM Agent (K______): "And is the hard drive getting detected on the system?"
11/12/2009 02:34:41PM Chris H____: "I have backups"
11/12/2009 02:34:45PM Chris H____: "the HDD is fine"
11/12/2009 02:35:25PM Chris H____: "but it needs to be screwed in"
11/12/2009 02:35:31PM Chris H____: "and I don't have any screws for it"
11/12/2009 02:35:52PM Agent (K______): "Yes,I understand that the HDD is fine but the screws that were sent to you are supposed to fit in the HDD,if they don't,then the HDD itself might not be compatible with any screws"
11/12/2009 02:36:36PM Chris H____: "I'm sure that's not the case. It was screwed in just fine before"
11/12/2009 02:36:38PM Agent (K______): "When the screws fall into the sockets...."
11/12/2009 02:36:51PM Agent (K______): "When the screws fall into the sockets...."
11/12/2009 02:37:04PM Agent (K______): "Are you able to tighten them using a screw driver?"
11/12/2009 02:37:04PM Chris H____: "it's not stripped man, the screws are the wrong size"
11/12/2009 02:37:07PM Chris H____: "no"
11/12/2009 02:38:12PM Agent (K______): "Okay,The stripped screws have to be replaced by a machine available only at our service depots"
11/12/2009 02:38:49PM Agent (K______): "Would it be all right if you send us the system along with the lose HDD and we fix and send it back?"
11/12/2009 02:38:56PM Chris H____: "they're not stripped the threading looks fine"
11/12/2009 02:39:12PM Chris H____: "why would all four of them be stripped??"
11/12/2009 02:39:39PM Agent (K______): "I am sorry.I got that wrong the first time"
11/12/2009 02:39:43PM Agent (K______): "One minute please"
11/12/2009 02:41:54PM Agent (K______): "Okay"
11/12/2009 02:42:13PM Agent (K______): "It would be best if you could send us the system so that we can fix the HDD"
11/12/2009 02:42:39PM Agent (K______): "Would you be all right with that?"
11/12/2009 02:43:56PM Chris H____: "no"
11/12/2009 02:44:16PM Agent (K______): "Okay,let me look for the best possible alternative"
11/12/2009 02:45:25PM Chris H____: "they are 4 standard 2.5" HDD screws"
11/12/2009 02:45:42PM Chris H____: "how hard can this be???"
11/12/2009 02:45:51PM Agent (K______): "Okay,the thing is"
11/12/2009 02:46:37PM Agent (K______): "According to our specs,the right screws were sent.Now,I could send you all possible screws for the system,but if it does not solve the problem...."
11/12/2009 02:47:31PM Chris H____: "well, just possibly, someone made a mistake and sent the wrong screws"
11/12/2009 02:48:49PM Agent (K______): "I checked and the screws sent were the right specs.Would you like me to send you all the screws for the system?"
11/12/2009 02:51:06PM Chris H____: "sure. I'm telling you that the screws I was sent are way to small. Look, I'll show you one more pic so you'll believe me... the screws that attach the facade are the right size and are way bigger than the ones you sent me"
11/12/2009 02:51:40PM Agent (K______): "No problem.I will send out the screws again.Could I have an Alternate phone number and a good time to reach you ?"
11/12/2009 02:51:54PM Agent (K______): "And the address where you would like them shipped?"
11/12/2009 02:52:26PM Chris H____: "[EDITED]"
11/12/2009 02:53:31PM Agent (K______): "Thank you.You should receive the screws in 2-3 business days:-)"
11/12/2009 02:53:40PM Agent (K______): "Anything else I might help you with?"
11/12/2009 02:53:41PM Chris H____: "you can reach me during the day"
11/12/2009 02:54:05PM Chris H____: "that's all thanks"
11/12/2009 02:54:18PM Agent (K______): "Thank you for choosing DELL.Have a nice day"
11/12/2009 02:58:06PM Agent (K______): "You may Now close this window"
11/12/2009 02:59:48PM Agent (K______): "You there,Chris?"
11/12/2009 03:00:12PM Session Suspended
11/12/2009 03:00:18PM Session Suspension Ended - Forced Termination
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