The Hall of Shame:
Comments That Make Us Want to Kill

These are the comments that made us want to strangle our customers. If 
you think we sound a little cranky at the end of the day, here's the 
reasons why..... oh why, oh why.

"It says I've peformed an Illegal Operaion and will be shut down. Have 
I done something wrong?"

Sometimes I feel like saying "Yes and we are reporting you to the 
authorities now." or "RUN! RUN!" or "And just what were you doing?"

"I've been screwed!"

A 14 yrs old kid calls technical support the other day because he had 
a 'modem not responding' error in his dialer. So we start checking, 
'What kind of modem is it?' , "Errr.. I don't know what a modem 
is'..... 'Do you have a plug to a phone jack in the back of your 
computer?' The kid comes back and says " I don't have a plug for a 
phone jack'. Well then you don't have a modem. The kid starts yelling 
to his parents "I've been screewed!", the saleman said there was a 
modem in this computer.

"A White One."

This is the answer I got when I asked her "What type of Computer do 
you have"

"How does The Internet Work?"

The first question the customer asked me. I just dont know whare to 

"Do I have to Install your software? I'm trying to keep my Hard Drive 

Our software is very sanitary ,I swear. Hello!!! Hard Drive Clean? 
This user actually thinks that he needs to keep his hard drive free of 
programs, he needs one of them Clue credit cards you mentioned 

"But I'm Left handed.."

This is the response I got when i said "please right click on the 

"What Modem do I add to make this color?"

Customer question referring to an Apple Powerbook 520....

"I have been in the compter business since the Seventies....I can get 
mainframes and DOS to run like a Lambourghini Countach! But WINDOWS!, 
using Windows95 is like getting into that Lambourghini - in the 
passenger seat - and having your 16 year-old daughter get behind the 
wheel for the first time - EVER!"

no comment Brother...

"Oh yeah I printed that out. But I didn't realize it would be so 

This is the responce I got when I told her she should go through the 
interactive on-line training to learn how to use her new 3-D CAD 

"Can you tell me where the Any Key is"

This is the best thing I have ever heard as a tech suport person..No 
Lie..had it happen 2 times now....

"Now, does it matter if that's an upper or lower case 'forward 

My response as I begin to pull my hair with both hands and say through 
gritted teeth was, 'Well sir, would you be so kind as to tell me what 
an upper case 'forward slash' looks like?'

Customer paused, now unsure of himself. "Oh, well I guess that would 
make it a question mark!' he responded finally in triumphant tone.

Sighing, "Ok sir, just make it a lower case 'forward slash' then.' 
Christ when will these people grow a brain!?!?

Well this one isn't a quote

Its more of a short story I needed to share.

Customer calls in and asks for a supervisor.

Supervisor asks customer "How can I help you?". Customer explains to 
our supervisor that on a previous call to our service center, the tech 
the customer had talked to had been "patronizing".

The customer went on to say that they believed that the Tech had been 
making fun of their ethnic origin. The customer suggested that many of 
the techs comments were out of line and derogatory and that "something 
should be done!".

Our supervisor was shocked. "What was the techs name?" our supervisor 
asks the customer. "(deleted)" says the customer.

No one at our service center was named (deleted). But there are two 
service centers! So our supervisor, hot on the trail of the ethnically 
insensative, calls the supervisor at our other service center.

"Hey you got a tech named (deleted)?"
our supervisor inquires.

"Why yes we do"
the other supervisor replies.

"We have a customer who belives that your tech was making comments 
that insulted the customers ethnic origin."
our supervisor replies.

The other supervisor is shocked,
"Why that tech only recently immigrated to the US!".

The other supervisor then explained that the tech had recently moved 
there from Alabama. The tech had learned english in the south and had 
a southern style accent. Ironically, the tech was originally from the 
same place the customer claimed as their ethnic origin.

Amazingly enough, the two supervisors maintained straight faces while 
explaining all this to the customer.

"Say, you don't think that my problem has something to do with THAT, 
do you?"

Our help desk supports a modem communications between the user's PC's 
and our PC's, which act as gateway to a host. User calls up, he can't 
connect, he can't hear his modem dial. I have him reset the modem and 
reboot the PC (which sometimes works), still can't connect. I have him 
check the connections, still can't connect. So I ask him to find a 
voice phone and connect it to the phone line and tell me if he gets a 
dial tone. He does so, then tells me there's no dial tone. I tell him 
he has to have his phone line checked. He says "That's easy...the 
phone company is here." "Oh, so someone at your site already knows 
there's a phone line problem?" I inquire courteously.

"No, but we're having a new phone system installed today, and we've 
been having phone problems all day...."

"OH GOD, I was afraid you were gonna ask that. The whole time I was on 
hold the recording said I'd need it, but I didn't think you'd need it 
for this...."

Inconceivable response to, "May I have your Serial Number please"?

"It says Disk One of One, that means there's another one around 

These hurt. Tell me you didn't come up with a nasty response to this 
as soon as you read it.

"But it isn't even made by Gateway!"

This was the comment from one of our callers after he read the message 
on the screen. The one that told him that Netscape was having trouble 
accessing the gateway...

"Ok, press Start, Shut Up and Sit Down!"

So what was this? The Howard Stern version of Win95 commands? I was 
asking a customer to Restart in MS-DOS mode, so I said "Click on 
START, then select SHUT DOWN. Now select RESTART IN MS-DOS MODE". He 
turns to his son who is 15 feet away but in front of the computer and 
spews forth the above quote. The strange part was that I heard his son 
in the background say "OK, I'm at the C: prompt!". Do we really want 
to know what goes on at that house?

"Can I install this on my Word Processor?"

Just because the Disk fits into your electronic device, doesn't imply 
it will work with it. "Sure! and you can use it in your Toaster too! 
When the disk pops out, you're online!

"What's wrong with your system?"

"Uh, they let you in?" What am I supposed to say? If there was a 
system wide problem, we would be literally swamped in calls. If no one 
else is experiencing a problem, the first thing to examine would be 
YOUR system.

"Do I have to be online to download a file?"

"Sir, Do you have to plug in your TV before you watch it?" What are 
we? Magicians? Hey, if I could download files without being online I 
would NEVER pay for an online service again.

"It's a Ziplock brand modem....."

"Are you sure you're looking at the modem Sir?" Yep, thats the name he 
read right off of the modem. What will those crazy plastic companies 
come up with next?

"I can build computers, I just can't make them work."

Isn't this about the same as being a Mechanic who can't drive? Am I 
the only one this confuses? He said this just before he decided to 
"hot swap" his modem. "ooOOOooo Sir, thats gonna leave a mark!"

"I tried and I tried, But it just won't fit....."

This is what the caller said about our install disks. He got through 
the first one, but he was stumped when it asked him to insert the 
second disk. It never occured to him to remove Disk #1 BEFORE trying 
to insert Disk #2.

"Does your printer need to be on for it to work?"

(thinking) No sir! I'm sure your printer is one of those 
extra-dimensional brands that doesn't need any of that pesky 
electrical current going through it and it just "knows" when it should 
start printing by some kind of bio-mechanical telepathy. Uh huh....

"Now how can I click on your computer over the phone?"

This was what she said when I told her to click on the "My Computer" 
icon. The scary part was when I realized we were going to need to Edit 
her System.ini file.

"I have a 386 Pentium."

You know, every time I hear this I wish I could go right to the 
person's home and have them show me this interesting machine.

"It's your fault my son uses the Internet to see naked women! I expect 
you to stop him."

"Uhhhh..should we call every night at 9pm and make sure he's tucked 
in?" I just had to follow up with:"To rectify this problem, we will 
need you to provide a list of all the offending sites your son has 
accessed." Hehehehe....

"How do I get to that there Sinnernet?"

Just call me Pimp Daddy! Oh yeah I just can't wait to help Mr. 
Nubrubber find that just right picture of Cindy Crawford to masturbate 
to. What am I? Support or Procurer? The REALLY scary part was the 
whiskey and cigarettes voice in the background saying "find me a 
gadamn porno", later in the call I found out it was the guys wife. I 
wont be able to close my eyes for days.......of course I helped him 
after I found out that piece of family information.

"The Computer Version..."

this was the answer when a customer was asked "What version of that 
software are you using?" No further comment needed.....

"It says The carrier couldn't carry me"

I suggest you get a stronger computer sir. Have a nice day.

"If I hook up 2 of these 9600 baud modems, will I get 19200?"

Sure you will. And if you hook up those 2 Mac LC's, you will have 
multi-processing - just like what the CRAY supercomputer uses! Instead 
of buying a second 9600 baud modem, these members should use that 
money to buy a clue.(Pre-NT retort)

"a stuffed animal that my boyfriend got me at the grocery store"

This is the usual response to "Whats on your screen right now?" The 
proper response to their answer is "For god sakes!! Get that off of 

"Can we just pretend we're on that screen?"

"Sure! and I'm pretending that you are able to sign on with no 
problems, have a nice day!"Can we pretend you have a brain too? What 
are these people thinking? Are they thinking? ................

"My mouse doesn't work with AOL."

"I did just what the tech told me. I installed it INSIDE my computer 
...". Here, now this is a goody. I muted that baby and FELL on the 
floor laughing. I mean sheesh doesn't it seem OBVIOUS that your mouse 
isn't going to work if its INSIDE your computer and you can't move it! 
What you going to do, send a message to your mouse by telepathy?

"Hayes Auto-Erotica"

"Sorry Ma'am, i won't be able to help you unless you put BOTH your 
hands back onto the keyboard!" This was the response a woman gave when 
she was asked what modem the software was set up for. We don't even 
want to go there....what was she thinking about just before she 
called? Better that we never know........

"Is that your left or my left?"

"Uhhh...we're on the phone so i guess that would be YOUR left...." I'm 
sorry, but i do not have a non-sarcastic answer to this question. 
Which side would they select if i said MY left?

"Can you see what I'm doing?"

"Yes sir and thats a lovely frock your wife is wearing...Oh thats 
you?"People always ask if we can see whats on their screen. I guess 
its because we seem to know what is there even though I'm probably 
looking at nude pictures of celebrities or reading newsgroups while 
directing you step-by-step through typing in your name.

"It just comes up with a message and says click what?"

When its late and the caller gives me this line for the sixty-third 
time in one call. I've been known to dream of high-powered rifles and 
clips full of ammo. A dark night. A large tree to climb. A well lit 
trail to watch over.

"Oh, the Apple key on the keyboard...not the one on the screen?"

Yeah, the one on the keyboard. Actually you'll find a whole lot more 
keys down there than up on the screen....

"Yes ,is this the computer department?"

As soon as I answer the phone and say Computer Department they ask is 
this computers. Gee Hmm, let me think "Why yes it is." This comes from 
the same person who after they find out this is the computer dept ask 
"well do you knw anything about them?" No I say they just stick me 
back here to look like a fool.

"But can I use that number? I'm not a member of Sprint!"

I got this call from a person who was wondering about local numbers in 
their area. Good thing that Sprint doesn't charge me every time I call 
my friends who use Sprint. I guess that that is one way to create 
large Friends and Family circles though.

"Is it okay to clean my MAC in the tub as long as the power is off?"

This is almost begging for a response such as "Sure, but don't expect 
it to work afterwards!" but yes, this is an actual question asked. 
"Hey, why not? Soap and water cleans anything, right?"


This is the person who calls back 3 hours later and asks for the same 
tech support guy. These are the first words out of his or her mouth. 
Ya, like I'm supposed to remember who this guy is and what I told him 
after the last 35 calls....

"Can I use this on my Mac?"

This comment was made by a caller right after he said "I just received 
a copy of your software. On the front it says 'For Windows.' On the 
back it says, 'For Windows3.1, Windows for Workgroups and Windows95". 
May I call you Lou, sir? "Sure you can, just replace your motherboard 
with a 486 and put your head in an oven for about 30 minutes at 400 
degrees". One day I'm just gonna snap...

"I know what I am doing! I'm a Certified Microsnot Engineer"

These people always say things like this with pride. If they were, 
then the chances are he would not be calling me for instructions on 
how to find a file he downloaded. We will heckle you to death if you 
call in and say something like this quote. We love to tease people by 
using fake computer terms.

"I didn't know it had a reverse."

This was the response to a Tech's question about whether the Caller 
had made a backup of his software and data. "Sure it does Sir,but it 
may be a column shifter on an older computer". I can imagine this guy 
looking all over the computer for the gear shifter. He's now wondering 
if he needs to check the oil and water levels on a regular basis and 
does he need to adjust the timing every 10k miles?

"Do I need a computer to use your software?"

Obviously these people could not get a clue if they had unlimited 
credit at the Clue Store. This is a popular comment from people 
recieving software in the mail. I believe there is a special section 
in Hell for these people. May they burn there forever. And maybe 
another day too.

"It's not moving, it's just sitting there."

That was the answer a 78 year old man gave when asked how fast his 
modem was. Do they let these people breed? I just hope he isn't 
allowed to drive or vote. Makes you want to go out and buy a gun.

"Is the internet down?"

Yes. The internet went down about 5 minutes ago when I went out for a 
cigarette and tripped on the cord that plugged the internet in...just 
give me 3 minutes and I'll have it right back up. Sheesh.

"I just got your internet in the mail today..."

This person has no clue in life. They have missed everything the Media 
has shoved down their throat about the internet and there is no hope 
for them. Tell them they have to set up their own internet on their 
computer before they can hook up to *ours*.

"I just got your thingee in the mail....."

First words out of a callers mouth when I asked what was happening. I 
have no idea what it means but it certainly made me laugh. Lucky for 
me, we have mute buttons on the phone.

"Is that the letter zero or the number zero?"

This happens when we are dictating a configuration to a caller. What 
universe do these people come from that has a LETTER zero? I like to 
ask "....and what letter comes before zero please?" The other 
variation on this is "Is that a lower case or upper case zero?"


When tech's such as I answer the phone. We usually start off by saying 
"Thank you for calling  this is me, may I have your area 
code and phone number please?" Probably 3 times out of 10 I get a zip 
code. I say "That's your zip code I need your area code." Most of the 
time they respond with the zip code again. Doesn't anyone know their 
area code from their zip code?

"You want me to try again?"

A question in response to the statement "Now I would like you try it 
again." I sometimes wonder what language I'm actually speaking. 
Hamstarian? Narn? Klingon? "Actually sir, I'm kidding. I really don't 
want you to try again. I really want you to stick your head in a 
blender." Some people will answer EVERY question by repeating the 
question. These people are probally still wondering why we seemed so 
nice when we told them to exit to DOS and type in "FORMAT C: /Y".

"I dont know. I just bought it."

This is the most common answer we get when asking people what type of 
computer they own. This is strange considering that most people DO 
know what type of car they purchased and what type of stereo is in it. 
Good comparison, considering that most computers cost about as much as 
a car these days.

"Hayes compatible"

When asking what kind of modem someone has, this quote is the most 
common answer. Hayes compatible modem is like saying you have a car 
with four tires. Try telling the mechanic you call about your car that 
"its a Highway compatible". Please, please, please know something 
about your computer setup BEFORE calling us.

"I Just Downloaded the Internet. How do I use it?"

Hey! So that's where it went. You better put it back, the other users 
are calling in and asking where it is! If you return it now we won't 
have to send your name and address to the FCC.

"No I'm using a 3.5 thingee on a disk"

This was the response when a tech asked "Are you installing on a Mac?" 
Do they have rocks in their heads?

"Well I just turn it off when I don't like where I am"

This is after trying to get this guy to click on something in Windows 
and it routes to some other program. Like he clicks on Windows Setup 
and it goes to Word Perfect instead. So he shuts off the computer. I 
asked him if he does that very often, just shutting off the computer 
while he is in Windows. He says he does, so we try running Scandisk 
and amazingly enough it finds lost allocation units and bad sectors! 
Will wonders never cease.

"Is this a LIVE person?"

Well depending on what time of the day you call and how many stupid 
people I converse with today. Actually I always find this response 
amusing. It goes along with the caller who pushes the buttons on his 
touch tone phone when we ask for the telephone number and area code. 
Those sillies.

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