Evil Genius helpdesk humour
"We care a lot"
Think about it

Customer: "I can't get any email through the new email account you people registered for me. Why not?"

Operator: "Has the new account been set up in your email program?"

Customer: "No."

Step 1: buy PC
Step 2: get address
Step 3: ???
Step 4: email!
Think about it

Operator: "Your message said that you're having some trouble with incoming email, but the example you sent us doesn't seem to have any problem with it?"

Customer: "Yes, my brother sent another copy to my Hotmail address, and I sent that one to you so you could see what it should look like."


If they're all illiterate, what are you?
Seek help

Operator: "I see this is your seventh call to us today."

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: "I also see that in each previous call, the problem has been a mistyped user name or password."

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: "The server appears to be rejecting the password you've entered this time as well. Is there someone else there you could ask to help you enter the details this time?"

Customer: "I can't, they're all illiterate!"

Listen when I talk

Operator: "Okay, I'm bringing up the database on my screen now... what's the account number?"

Customer: "Is it 'starwalker'?"

Operator: "It's a number I'm looking for."

Customer: "Is it 'waterfalls@[RIP]'?""

Operator: "It's a number. No letters."

Customer: "Is it my name?"

Think about it

Operator: "Now you'll need to hit the Enter key --"

Customer: "With my mouse?"

Operator: "Click the mouse pointer on the keyboard? That would be a good trick."

Start from the beginning

Customer: "You'll have to take it slow with me, I'm not very, you know, up with computers."

Operator: "Okay. What are the details of your account?"

Customer: "Now I told you you'll have to take it slow. What's an account?"

Give up. Go home. The internet is useless to someone like you.
Where do you think?

Operator: "Okay, you'll need to hold down your Control and Alt keys and --"

Customer: "Where? On the keyboard?"


Trying to explain something to a manager was his first mistake.
Not exactly helpdesk-related, but still

Designer: "I need to update a couple of fields on the database form specs you've given me... they're not wide enough to hold the customer names."

Manager: "Use a smaller font. Then you'll have all the space you'll need."

Designer: "Uh... it doesn't really make a difference which font I use, I need to add more space in the file to store the characters."

Manager: "Why?"

Designer: "The computer stores each letter as a three-digit code, so at the level the form is working on, they all take up the same amount of space, even if they're narrower on the screen."

Manager: "Oh, I understand. Well, just take all the letters we never use out of Windows. That way, you should be able to squeeze it down to a two-digit code."

Designer: "..."

Unrealistic expectations

Notes taken from a trouble ticket:

20/11/03 18:20 chrisk ticket_open

* michael calling / winxp / conexant hcf 56k modem

* caller has recently taken over a business which included several email accounts, cannot retrieve email from these accounts

* caller has not set up new email accounts in his mail client - doesn't know login ids or passwords - in fact, he hasn't even asked the previous owner what the ADDRESSES are!

* transferred caller to customer service to update account holder details, change authorised contacts, select new security question and get a lesson in basic logic / NFA

Hello, who am I?

Customer: "Why am I signed up with [rival ISP]?"

Operator: "Pardon?"

Customer: "I was looking at my bills and I have an account with [rival ISP]. Can you tell me why?"

Or I'll hold my breath until I turn blue

Operator: "I've just ticketed that through to our specialist, so I'll give you our reference number --"

Customer: "No, just open it under the last reference number."

Operator: "That one was closed off when the issue was resolved. Our call-logging system doesn't allow tickets to be updated once they've been closed."

Customer: "I don't want a new reference number. I can't be writing down numbers every time I call you."

Operator: "Mr [customer], without a reference number, we won't be able to help you."

Customer: "Well, that'll be all your fault!"

So if we don't do it your way, you won't let us help you at all?

That just about reduces me to tears, that does.
Think about it

Customer: "I'm just sick of having these stupid errors come up when I just want to go online and surf some webpages!"

Operator: "...well, I'm afraid you're going to have the same problem every time you turn your router off."


I realise the impressive title was cheaper than giving you a raise, but don't let it go to your head.
Sense of impending doom

Customer: "The little picture isn't opening. How do I open the picture?"

Operator: "You'll need to double-click on it."

Customer: "With the mouse?"

Operator: "Yes."

Customer: "On the left-hand button?"

Operator: "Yes."

Customer: "Okay, it opened. Now the screen is covered with little pictures. What's next?"

Operator: "Next we need to check the DNS and assigned IP settings. Um... could I talk to your company's network manager?"

Customer: "That's me!"

Hello, who am I?

Customer: "I called a couple of hours ago and registered some email addresses. Can you tell me what they were?"

Listen when I talk

Customer: "I can't seem to connect my DSL modem here."

Operator: "That's a DSL modem?"

Customer: "That's right."

Operator: "Our records show you're using a cable connection."

Customer: "I want to switch to DSL."

Operator: "Have you had your line converted for DSL?"

Customer: "I've already got a cable here. It's pretty much the same, isn't it?"

Operator: "Not at all. A cable modem uses co-axial cable, DSL uses a copper phone line with a frequency filter."

Customer: "Well, six of one, half a dozen of the other..."

Trying to connect a DSL modem when you haven't registered a DSL account is like buying tyres when you don't have a car.

And getting a DSL modem when you haven't checked if DSL is available in your area is like getting tractor tyres when you plan to buy a Honda.
Unrealistic expectations

Notes taken from a trouble ticket:

07/11/03 14:02 chrisk ticket_open

* jeremy calling / win2k / d-link 604 adsl router / dynamic ip

* caller has no connection - checked radius log, no authentication attempts from his router

* advised we do not support this router - caller to have his contractor check config / closed pending customer input

07/11/03 15:10 chrisk ticket_update

* jeremy calling

* same problem, no connection, router not attempting to authenticate

* caller's contactor has said no change to config, all details correct

* advised caller there's no way the contractor could know that without checking - advised to have contractor visit site to check router config / closed pending customer input

07/11/03 14:06 chrisk ticket_update

* jeremy calling - how does he do it? how does he pinpoint the exact moment i become available?

* same problem

* advised him that we absolutely, positively DO NOT SUPPORT the problem or equipment he has! ever! i really mean it! stop calling me!

* just to make this the perfect series of calls, customer advises me that i'm the third support agent he's spoken to today, and the other two were a lot more helpful than i am. / NFA

Oops, I seem to have had a sudden muscle spasm and hit the release button.
This is what I have to put up with

Operator: "Can you put your food aside for the moment, please?"

Customer: (munch munch) "What?"

Operator: "I'm just asking you not to eat while you're speaking on the phone."

Customer: (munch munch) "What?"

Operator: "Please stop chewing potato chips because you have a microphone right in front of your mouth!"

Customer: (munch) "No I don't. I'm in the living room."

Think about it

Even after all this time, I'm still mildly surprised when the helpdesk gets a fax or email saying something along the lines of "I called your support line but couldn't get through, please call me on ##-###-####".

If there was no-one free when you rang, who exactly do you think is going to call you?

Good guess

Customer: "My computer keeps telling me there's no dialtone. Should I plug it into the phone socket?"

What not to do

If you want to keep my respect and good will, don't ever complain that looking through the start menu for the option you need is too much work.

Despite what it says on our promotional flyers, you're not special.
Enthusiastic but misguided

Customer: "I've set up three different mail profiles in my email program. Between the three of them, I'm sure all the right details must be in there."


I'm sure he was happy to receive that kind of email, too...
Thinking ahead

Customer: "I emailed all my programs to my son because I wanted to get a new Windows and I thought that would delete them. Now the shop have put the new version on, but I can't get my email to get my Internet back. Can you help me?"

Think about it

Customer: "I hope you can help me, I'm getting a terrible dial-up connection out here on my farm. Sometimes it takes half an hour to bring up just a little website."

Operator: "Okay, I'd like to look at some of the settings your modem is using --"

Customer: "Can't do that. We're way out in the back country on a radio phone and I've had to walk about a mile from the house to a spot where I can get a signal."

People unluckier than us

Recently I had the unique experience of assisting a customer who had both Tourette's Syndrome and a bad stutter. So not only did he have trouble forcing words out, he occasionally broke off halfway through them to shout the word 'AND' before continuing from where he'd left off, as though nothing had happened.

Tech support would get boring without these little adventures.

Living in a dream world

Customer: "Look, if MSN can work perfectly well when I'm entering the wrong details, your service can too!"

If this is true, Microsoft deserves to win the browser war.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "Look, in order for me to fix it, I need to know what's gone wrong. Can someone please tell me what the problem is?"

Customer: "Oh, just forget it. This is too hard." click


Why do I have to tell people to do these things? Why?
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "Can you read out that error message to me?"

Customer: "It says... uh... unable to collect the server... cannot collect..."

Operator: "What?"

Customer: "Error number... something... uh... three three three..."

Operator: "Can you actually see the error message?"

Customer: "No, because I don't have my glasses on."

Operator: "Do you have your glasses with you?"

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: "Can you put them on, please?"

Customer: "Alright... oh, that's much better."

Beginner's luck

Customer: (proudly) "I just followed the instructions on your setup disk, and I didn't make a single mistake!"

Operator: "Okay, how can I help you?"

Customer: "Well, I need you to find out why it's not working."

Needless to say, the customer's assessment of zero mistakes turned out to be a wee bit optimistic.


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