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
"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,
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
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
"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
"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?
"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 OK...now 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?"
"HEY,THAT WAS A NO-GO ON THAT FIX....."
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.
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.
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