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'True' Computer Illiteracy Stories

User: My computer is not working.
Tech: Is it on?
User: Yes, it is on. I am not stupid.
Tech: Ok, did you try to reboot it?
User: You mean turn it off and on? I did but nothing changes.
The screen still looks the same.
User had been turning on and off the monitor for about a half hour thinking it would fix the problem.

Got a call today from a gentleman who was upset because ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley" show had run long, causing the first twenty minutes or so of a sporting event to be pre-empted, and he had seen AOL's blurb at the end of the show.
Tech: "Well, sir, ABC News does have an area on AOL but we're not affiliated with them...I'm not sure I understand, why did you call us instead of ABC?"
Cust: "Well, things like this sure don't make America Online look good!"

Cust: Wait, if there's so much info available on this service, are you sure it'll fit onto this little slot on my computer?
Tech: (Sure just STUFF IT in there!)

I had a customer who had been trying to put his CD in his computer.
He could not figure it out, so he opened his system and was trying to put it in a card slot....I spent 10 minutes explaning what his disk drive was and that he did not, in fact, have a CD-ROM...I sent a disk to him ...explaned how it goes in the system...I mean that literally...when I was finished, I went into the bathroom and laughed for about 5 minutes...
(I mean almost hystrical laughter :)

Cust: When I dial your service, the system asks me some questions and then it kicks me off.
Tech: What were the questions that it asked you?
Cust: I don't remember.
Tech: Well, sir, if you don't remember what they were, I don't know what the problem is and I can't help you.
Cust: So I need to call you and go through this again after seeing the questions again?
Tech: Yes.
Cust: Can't I just keep you on while I call?
Tech: Is your modem on another line?
Cust: No, same line.
Tech: Well, sir, you can't do it.. kinda like someone picking up the phone now and dialing while we are talking.
Cust: Can I at least try?
(He tried...TWICE!!!!!!) :::slamming my head on the desk::::

Tech: No, ma'am, I can not see you in front of your if you could step in front of the TV... ;)

What certain internet service technicians would like to say:
"Actually, ma'am, you're absolutely right! we really *do* keep track of every movement you make. From the moment you tear the plastic wrap off that disk, our intelligence officers in Virginia keep you under surveillance. Hence, we know exactly when you delete our software from your computer and immediately cancel your account for you at that time.
Now *that's* service for you!

Heavy, throaty, not real-educated-or-bright voice from New York asks me if the..."new tape, ya know, the plasticy thingie I got in the mail...does that work even if I don't put it in my compoota??"
Tech: No, ma'am, the software does not work unless it is installed onto your hard drive.
Cust: But this isn't soft...this is a small hard plastic square...
Tech: Yes, ma'am, that's called software, and you need to insert it into the disk drive to use it...
Cust: Look, lady, I'm not stupid...this isn't soft..and I don't appreciate you making fun of me... (hangs up)

Cust: If I want somebody to send a reply to my e-mail...should I include a self-addressed stamped envelope along with it?

Cust: Look, look!!!!! Look what it's doing!!! Can you BELIEVE this?? Why is it doing that??
Tech: (keeps saying: ) Sir, I can't see your computer, what is it doing??
Cust: (keeps saying: ) WHAT??? Can't you figure it out??
LOOK AT MY COMPUTER SCREEN!!!!! You can see it, can't you?!

Cust: Well, I got one of your free disks in the mail, but I don't have a computer... I just wanted to thank you for sending this to me.
Tech: (incredulously) Is that the only reason you're calling, sir?
Cust: Yes, I just thought that was really nice of you people, sending me this disk. I really appreciate it!

Cust: Yes, I just want to know how to return this disk to you people.
Tech: Ma'am, the software is free. You can throw it out, give it to a friend, whatever you want.
Cust: But my nephew recieved this in the mail and I don't want him to be billed for it. Can I get credited for this?
Tech: We don't bill you until you actually install the software and register as a user.
Cust: Can you get me credited for this?
Tech: Ma'am, we have not billed you for anything.
At this point, they insisted on being transferred to someone who could credit her...!

Cust: I got a disk in the mail, and I don't have a computer... What do I do with it?
Tech: Well, you could give it to a friend.
Cust: (apparently annoyed) And how do I do *that*?!
Tech: Just give it to a friend who might want to try our service.
Cust: Can I speak to a supervisor?
Tech: (couldn't help it) Why???
Cust: (exhibiting evidence of PMS now) *Because* I wanna speak to a supervisor.
So she was transferred and the tech listened in a while. The customer said that she didn't like the tech's answer to her question. For some reason known to her and her alone, suggesting that you give a disk to a friend is unprofessional.

Cust: (suddenly seeing the light) "OH!! You mean I need a modem
*and* a computer to get on the internet?!"

Got a call from some old lady today...She wanted to know if she was going to be charged something for getting one of our disks in the mail.
I told her it was a free mailout. Then she says, "We don't even have a computer! You know, it's really not a good idea to be sending people these things in the mail when they didn't ask for them. That's pretty rude." I said, "Well, most people don't seem to mind." She said something else I can't remember and hung up on me.
Obviously this lady never took a marketing class in college......IF she went to college at all. Now I wish I had thought to say to her, "Ma'am, that's called 'advertising'."

Actually had a lady call up today asking if our software would run on a Commodore 64! (Anyone still remember those relics?) She said, "I guess I need to get a more updated computer". I replyed, "Oh, yes." (This lady either believes in being REAL thrifty or she's poor). Then she asked me, "What is Windows?"...I almost broke out laughing. I suggested she go to an electronics store for more info. on getting a computer that wasn't the cyber equivalent of rocks and sticks.

Asked caller for a reason for cancelling.
Told me he just moved and the phone jack in his new house is too far away from the computer.

Cust: You sent me this diskette, are you gonna send me a computer so I can run this?
Tech: Excuse me?

I had a man on the phone who could not install. Now after looking everywhere for this error message I called RST (three times might I add). The gentleman looked and asked "should I put the disk in now?" Hello!! If that is not in the instructions then...

Lady calls claiming to be a new member. Nothing under the screen name she gave, nada under phone num...zilch under her name...I resorted to the credit card num... ZIP... nothing. I asked how long she'd been a member, she said a few days. Finally, I asked her if she's SURE it was AMERICA ONLINE she signed up for...and she said, "yeah...well, it's called E-World on my computer, though."

A guy called me the other day and only had one question...
"What is cybersex?" As if that wasn't a shocker in itself, he wanted to know where he could get cybersex.
Do you think people call AT&T to find out what phone sex is?

Cust: I got one o' these here disks of yours. Is this one a those new home security systems, that all I have to do is put it here in my winda and it'll scare away burgulars?
Tech: No, sir, this is for a computer. Do you own a computer?
Cust: Well, hell, what do I need with a computer? I just got me one o' them 45-inch big screen tv's. I don't need no computer!

Tech: What's your screen name?
Cust: Uh...jai pee gee aie semicolon see arr tee and the tee is underlined.
Tech: HUH????

Cust: I just got your software in the mail....when are you sending the computer?
Tech: You don't have a computer?
Cust: Nope. But I have the software, just send me the computer and you've got a new member.

Cust: I get "receive no carrier from modem".
Tech: Where is that music coming from? Sounds like I am on hold.
Cust: From my phone line.
Tech: There is your problem. You have line noise. You have your radio station coming through your phone line.
Cust: OK...I will try and log on when the station goes off the air.

Can you believe it...someone wanted to know how to get to the internet through a Brothers Word Processor with Windows 95 & a Boca 2400 Modem!!!!!!!
Tech: Does it have a hard drive?
Cust: What's that?

We here at AOL know instantly when, if, and how you erased it from your hard drive so we could stop billing you. Duhhhh, which way did he go, George, which way did he go?

Man: "Uh, I'm trying to send e-mail to my daughter and she's not receiving it..."
Tech: "Okay, sir, what is her e-mail address?"
Man: "I don't know... she doesn't even have a computer...can't I send it to her post office?"

Cust: Yes, does my e-mail go directly to my answering machine when I'm not online?
Can I just check my e-mail from another phone on my answering machine?

Cust: Yes, I just got this disk in the mail for ten hours. Does it give me e-mail?
Tech: Yes, ma'am, it does.
Cust: Well, can I have my answering machine hooked up so that I can just check my e-mail from my answering machine?
Tech: Well, no, ma'am, it does not work that way.
Cust: Now, you listen, young man, there is no reason for you to get smart with me!
Tech: No, ma'am, I understand. I was just trying to explain to you how it works.
Cust: Well, young man, you have to understand in my day this stuff did not even exist.

Man: My account was supposed to be reactivated yesterday and it hasn't been yet.
Tech: Well, sir, we are showing that your account was reactivated yesterday at 12:30.
Man: Well, it wasn't because I re-installed the program and I keep checking, but my old screen names are not showing up on my computer.
Tech: Have you tried to sign on yet?
Man: No, I was waiting for my screen names to show up...

Why is it that customers, and I mean a lot of them, don't understand why you need a modem to get on the internet...??
Cust: Do you really need a modem?
Tech: Yes, ma'am, you do.
Cust: Do you really, really need one?
Tech: Yes, ma'am, I am afraid that you do.
Cust: WELL, THAT'S DUMB!!!! (hangs up)

I got _two_ calls in my first two weeks as a service rep from prospective users who had lost their registration certificates. Not knowing what the heck the computer was asking for, they'd typed in something at random--and happened to hit on actual screen name/password combination of an active account. (The 'stupid customer' story here, I think, is the active members who used their screen name for their password.) They thought their 'free trial' was great . . .

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