Evil Genius helpdesk humour
"We care a lot"

That means you'll have to change your email filters twice as often.
Communication breakdown

Operator: "Okay, I'd like to take a look at some of the settings your computer is using for email. Which email program do you have there?"

Customer: "Unleaded Express."

Baffle 'em with jargon

Operator: "I'm afraid we'll need to know what the error message is to be able to help you there. I'd like you to connect up again as soon as we hang up and write it down --"

Customer: "Now, I'm not a technical genius. How do you want me to write it down?"

Operator: "Uh... with a pencil? On a piece of paper?"

Customer: "Oh? Okay."

Communication breakdown

Customer: "I need some help, because I've just rebooted my computer."

Operator: "Is it not turning on again?"

Customer: "No, that's not it. I mean I've rebuilt it."

Operator: "Is it having some trouble detecting the new hardware?"

Customer: "No! Look, why don't you listen to me? I'm trying to tell you I've deleted all my files!"

Of course! It's so simple! Wait, I mean you're simple.
By any other name

Customer: "I just recently called you to set up the internet on my television here --"

Operator: "Uh, this television -- does that sit on your desk?"

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: "And it has a keyboard in front of it?"

Customer: "Yes. Is that a problem?"

Operator: "Nope, not at all. Carry on."


It's an easy mistake to make, if reading, writing and counting are unknown concepts to you.
Bad translation

Operator: "Okay, I'd just like to bring your account up on my screen here. What's your customer number?"

Customer: "It's 'Mary'."

Foreign import

Operator: "Sounds like it could be a settings issue. What email program are you using there?"

Customer: "That American one."

Communication breakdown

Customer: "Does my son know how to use the Internet?"

Operator: "Sorry?"

Customer: "It's not a difficult question. I just want to know if my son knows how to use the Internet."

Operator: "Um... what does he say?"

Customer: "He's at school."

Operator: "I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that question."

Customer: "Why not?"

Communication breakdown

Operator: "I'd like you to open up Internet Explorer from the desktop icon there."

Customer: "Uh... uh... Outlook Express?"

Operator: "No, Internet Explorer."

Customer: "Windows Explorer?"

Operator: "No, Internet Explorer."

Customer: "Is that the My Computer icon?"

Operator: "No, Internet Explorer."

Customer: "I'm in My Computer, where do I go next?"

Operator: "No, Internet Explorer."

Customer: "Okay, I closed that down. Did you want me to connect up to the internet?"

Operator: "No, Internet Explorer."

Customer: "Do you want me to hang up and call back on my cellphone so I can go online?"

Operator: "...yes."

Why do you call me if you're not going to listen? Do you want some company while you click things at random?
Wrong number

Operator: "[RIP] helpdesk, [Operator] speaking."

Customer: "Are you there?"

Operator: "Yes, I'm here. How can I help you?"

Customer: "Is this the helpdesk?"

Operator: "Yes, you've come through to the [RIP] helpdesk. My name is [Operator]."


Operator: "Would you stop pressing buttons, please."

Customer: "Oh, you're real! I thought you were another recording!"


I know I'm talking, I feel my lips moving. Why is none of what I say sinking in?
As long as you know what you want

Customer: "What's the difference between product X and product Y?"

Operator: "Product X is a highspeed internet connection, product Y is an email service."

Customer: "So which one do you think is best?"

Operator: "There isn't really a comparison to be made. Product X is used to connect to the internet, product Y allows you to send and receive email."

Customer: "I see that product Y is cheaper. Does that mean the quality isn't as good?"

Operator: "They're two different things. X is a connection, which gets you online and using internet services. Y is one of those services."

Customer: "Does that mean that X is faster?"

Operator: "Y isn't a connection. It doesn't get you online, it's just an email service."

Customer: "I think I'll go for X. At least until you make some improvements to Y."

Operator: "...I think that's a good idea."

By any other name

Customer: "Hi, I'm having some trouble with my console."

Operator: "Console? Sorry, I'm not sure I recognise that product. What kind of console is it?"

Customer: "I don't know."

Operator: "What does it look like?"

Customer: "It's black. And it sits on the desk."

Operator: "Does it have a brand or model number on it?"

Customer: "Nortel."

Operator: "Nortel -- is that a phone?"

Customer: "Well, it looks like one, but it's got some extra buttons on it."

Communication breakdown

Customer: "You know, I only have connection trouble like this when the phone upstairs is off the hook. Do you think that could be the problem now?"

Operator: (Gritting teeth) "Mr [Customer], twenty minutes ago you told me there weren't any other devices using this line."

Customer: "It's not a device, it's a phone."

It's not a hangup, I'm transfering you to Dr Dialtone.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other

Operator: "I'm writing up a trouble ticket for one of our specialists to take a look at that, so I'll just quote you your ticket number --"

Customer: "I don't want that, just give me a reference number I can use."

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "That recorded message you heard, was it in a man's voice or a woman's?"

Customer: "I think so."

Operator: "Was it a man's or a woman's voice?"

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: [trying a different tack] "Was it a man's voice?"

Customer: "I don't remember!"


I know how she feels; I have trouble reading maps, too.
Netscape Navigator brain drain

Operator:"What seems to be the problem?"

Customer: "I'm having a dreadful time trying to run my Landscape Navigator."

Emergency call

Customer: "Put me through to your supervisor right now."

Operator: "I'll have to ask why you need to speak with the supervisor?"

Customer: "I want to complain. You people give shocking service. I dialed the case number you gave me, and it put me through to the emergency services line."

A little bit of background info: when customers call us, we give them 7-digit numbers which relate to case notes saved in our call logging system. Unfortunately, phone numbers in this country are also 7 digits long, and our customers ain't too bright. This old lady was unlucky enough to be given a case number in which the first three digits are the same as for the emergency services hotline, so when she called us back, she got a voice asking whether she wanted police, paramedics or fire service...

Click in the thing on the place with the stuff

Customer: "I click on the thing and the little flower comes up, and it doesn't go. It said 'one of six'."

Operator: "Are you sure you don't want a garden supply centre?"

Fun with email

Customer: "What I want is one of those email programs from the movie You've Got Mail. The kind that don't need to log in to the internet to check for mail."

Operator: "Um... I don't think we have any of those."

I know it's hard to accept. You trusted Hollywood... and they lied to you.
Fun with email

Customer: "I'm trying to change my pricing plan, but it's not working."

Operator: "You're using the homepage billing system to do that?"

Customer: "Yes. I'm sending mail to 'www.[RIP].com/billing.htm', but it just keeps saying 'no such address'."

Note for non-geeks: sending email to a website address is like posting an envelope to a phone number. It goes nowhere fast.

One day, if I live right, maybe I'll get a chance to compete with this guy on a TV gameshow for big prizes.
Sign right here

Customer: "I'm trying to sign up with [RIP]."

Operator: "Okay."

Customer: "I'm running the registration program."

Operator: "Yes."

Customer: "It said it would start installing the software and protocols I need on my computer."

Operator: "Yes."

Customer: "And now it's showing a little box with two buttons, one labelled 'continue', the other labelled 'cancel'. The message says clicking 'continue' will set up the software on my hard drive."

Operator: "Okay. What's the problem?"

Customer: "Well, which button do I click?"

I'm saying left but he's hearing right

Customer: "I can't get any email."

Operator: "What process do you go through to receive email?"

Customer: "I open Outlook Express and click on 'send and receive'."

Operator: "Yep."

Customer: "And then the stop button goes red to tell me there's a problem, so I click that."

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "What icon do you click on to make a connection?"

Customer: "I dunno."

Operator: "Okay, maybe you could tell me what process you go through to connect?"

Customer: "I dunno."

Operator: [very slowly] "Mr [customer], when you want to use the internet, what do you do?"

Customer: "There's a button on they keyboard labelled 'internet'..."

Operator: "So you start the connection by pressing the button?"

Customer: "I dunno."

Forget the internet. Get yourself a Gameboy.
'A' is for...

Operator: [asking for a user name] "Okay, I'll just need to look that up here...could you spell that to me please?"

Customer: "That's an 'R'. R for 'Maria'."


Why not check the label your mother sewed on on your shirt for you?
The customer with no name

Operator: [bringing up account on screen] "Okay, I have the details in front of me now... who am I speaking with?"

Customer: "Me."

Operator: "I mean, what should I call you?"

Customer: "I don't know what you mean."

Operator: [trying to believe he's hearing this] "What's your name?"

Customer: [long pause] "Can I find it somewhere on the screen?"


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