Tech Support
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Some obviously 'true' tales from the world of IT support.
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1. Board Game: Computer Rage [Average Rating:4.20 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: What kind of computer do you have?
Customer: A white one.
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2. Board Game: Push [Average Rating:5.24 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my DVD
out !!!
Tech Support: Have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure it's really stuck.
Tech Support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Customer: No, wait a minute, I hadn't inserted it
yet. It's still on my desk . . . sorry. Thank you.
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3. Board Game: Right-Left [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: Click on the 'MY COMPUTER' icon on the
left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?
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4. Board Game: Start Player [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2773]
John Bandettini
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London
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Tech Support: Hello. How may I help you?
Male Customer: Hi . . . I can't print.
Tech Support: Would you click on 'START' for me and . . .
Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on
me. I'm not Bill Gates!!!
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5. Board Game: Hide n' Seek [Average Rating:5.77 Unranked]
 
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Customer: Good afternoon, this is Martha. I can't
print. Every time I try, it says . . . 'CAN'T FIND
PRINTER'. I even lifted the printer and placed it
in front of the monitor, but the computer still
says it can't find it!!!
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6. Board Game: Red November [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1525]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Customer: I have problems printing in red.
Tech Support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah . . . . . . . . . . thank you.
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7. Board Game: The Monitor and the Merrimack [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear that my boyfriend bought for
me at the 7-11 store.
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8. Board Game: Backwords [Average Rating:4.95 Overall Rank:14763]
John Bandettini
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London
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Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech Support: Are you sure your keyboard is plugged
into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech Support: Pick up your keyboard and take ten
steps backwards.
Customer: Okay.
Tech Support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes.
Tech Support: That means the keyboard is not plugged
in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Wait a
moment please. . . . . . . Ah, that one does work.
Thanks.
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9. Board Game: Capital Power [Average Rating:5.42 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: Your password is the small letter 'a' as in
apple, a capital letter 'V' as in Victor, and the number '7'.
Customer: Is that '7' in capital letters?
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10. Board Game: Dots [Average Rating:4.96 Overall Rank:15150]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Customer: I can't get on the internet.
Tech Support: Are you absolutely sure you used the
correct password?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my co-worker do it.
Tech Support: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five dots.
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11. Board Game: Netrunner [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:610]
John Bandettini
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Tech Support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Tech Support: That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry . . . Internet Explorer.
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12. Board Game: Screen Challenge [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Customer: I have a huge problem! My friend has
placed a screen saver on my computer . . . but,
every time I move my mouse, it disappears.
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13. Board Game: Send! [Average Rating:4.76 Unranked]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first email.
Tech Support: OK, and what seems to be the probl em ?
Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address,
but how do I get the little circle around it.
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14. Board Game: Window [Average Rating:4.59 Unranked]
John Bandettini
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London
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A woman customer called the Canon help desk because
she had a problem with her printer.
Tech Support: Are you running it under windows?
Customer: No, my desk is next to the door, but that
is a good point. The man sitting next to me is by
a window, and his printer is working fine!
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15. Board Game: Blockbusters [Average Rating:5.28 Overall Rank:13581]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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Tech Support: Okay Bob, 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 yo u mean ?
Tech Support: 'P' . . . on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT!!!
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16. Board Game: Keeping Up With the Jones' [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Alicia
United States
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"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
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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.”
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17. Board Game: Coffee! [Average Rating:4.66 Unranked]
Paul Harmon
United States
Rochester
New York
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The ultimate in Co-op Gaming.
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Tech Support: What seems to be the problem?
Lady: My cup holder is Jammed.
Tech Support: I'm sorry I don't understand, is this a computer problem.
Lady: YES!, you know, you press the button and the little tray with the hole in the middle that holds your coffee slides out. Mine is stuck.
Tech Support: Ma'am did you spill your coffee in the CD tray?
Lady: No, I don't think so, just in the cup holder.
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18. Board Game: Ferrari F1 [Average Rating:4.38 Unranked]
Paul Harmon
United States
Rochester
New York
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Tech Support: OKay it should now say press F1, so just press F1.
Woman on Phone: I am but nothing is happening. I'm just leaving smudges on the screen.
Tech Support: Press F1 on the keyboard.
Woman on phone: At the same time?
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19. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4352]
Sim Guy
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Probably dating myself...

Customer: My computer was just delivered and I need help setting up MKS.
Tech: We don't handle anything but OS support. You might try Egghead.
Customer: Yeah, I Guess, I've got a couple of friends.
Tech: Uh, I meant Egghead, the software store.
Customer: Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks.
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20. Board Game: Keydom [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:7025]
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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Customer: I've got a bad keyboard.
IT: What seems to be the issue?
Customer: My computer says to press any key, but I don't have an "any" key!
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21. Board Game: Connections [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10772]
    Conserve energy:     Play Board Games!
United States
California
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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Shake your business up and pour it. I don't have all day.
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An actual call I took while working in tech support in 1996:

Me: "Hello, thank you for calling Western Digital technical support. How may I help you?"

Customer: "I just installed one of your hard drives in my computer, and now my refrigerator isn't working."

Me: "Ma'am...there isn't a connection between your computer and your refrigerator."

Customer: "No, the only thing I changed in my house was installing your hard dive. I'm sure it caused the problem!"

(What followed was 30 minutes of refrigerator troubleshooting, with the end result being a reluctant acceptance that the hard drive was indeed not responsible for the refrigerator's failing.)
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22. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1682]
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
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Whoever: "What sort of computer should I buy?"
Me: "The same one as your friends. They're the ones you're going to ask for help when you have a problem with your computer, right?"
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23. Board Game: Amazing Space Venture [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:12218]
Dean
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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It's not just customers. Real world experience. Here's a condensed call I had to handle when first level support from one of our OEMs called about a problem with our software. It started with a phone call right at the end of our normal support hours and continued on e-mail for longer than should have been necessary.

First level support: A customer is having a problem transferring a bunch of files. What can it be?

(I'm not kidding -- that's the level of detail for the problem he gave me.)

Me: Look at the logs and check for any error messages. If it's not obvious drop me a line.

FLS: Here's the log. What can be the problem?

Me: Well, the line that says "unable to write file 'foo' on target system: No space left on device", along with the THIRTY THOUSAND OTHER LINES JUST LIKE IT tells me (and should have told YOU, if you bothered to spark up a neuron or two) that the target system has run out of disk space. They should clear up some space and run the transfer again.
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24. Board Game: Go Round [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Dean
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Some customers NEVER like the answer they get. Small support organization -- three blokes, actually, all located right next to each other in the office. Important customers had our direct numbers. This scene played out MANY times with a particular customer when the correct answer to a question or problem wasn't exactly what he wanted to hear.

Joe's phone rings: Hey, how you doing Customer X? Nope, that won't work. Nope, you need to do it this way. Yeah, I'm sure. Any more questions? OK, call back if we can help.

30 seconds pass...

Hank's phone rings: Hey, Customer X! How are you? Nah, it doesn't work like that. Right, you need to do it this way. Yup. Anything else I can help with? OK, sounds good. Let us know if there's anything we can do.

30 seconds pass...

My phone rings: Customer X, good to hear from you. No, that way won't work, it has to be done this way. Yep. That will get you what you want. Anything else? OK, give us a shout if you need any more help.
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25. Board Game: Where's Bob's Hat? [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4490]
Chris Miller
United States
Katy
Texas
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My heart cringes at many of these because I spent 9 years in computer tech support.

One of the few bad enough to remember was a customer who called in not being able to access the internet. I was trying to figure out the basics and if this machine was supposed to be on an internal network, modem, dsl,whatever. After realizing that talking this person into system preferences would have taken several hours, I decided to start with the physical approach and have them just look at the back of the computer to tell me if there was a "phone cable with a wide connector on the back of your hard drive.". (Free trivia - 80% of office workers in the 90s referred to the body of their computer as the "hard drive.")

Me: Is it possible to see behind your computer?
Them: uh... I'm not sure.
Me: ah is it hard to get to?
Them: no I'm not sure where it is.
Me: Typically they are beige or black towers do you see anything like that.
Them: no...
(10+ minutes of searching commences)
Me: Do you see a monitor and keyboard?
Them: Yes!
Me: ok one of those should have a wire on it leading to the computer.
Them: hmmm maybe I should just ask my supervisor what to do - it's my first day...


The other thing that sticks out is the customers who would call at the drop of a hat for so much as a hiccup in internet connectivity claiming they were losing "a thousand dollars a minute" during said downtime. Of course they would balk at the suggestion of upgrading their 19.99 residential low end dsl to a a dedicated line.
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