Computers will never be completely “Idiot Proof” because Idiots continue to be so resourceful.
The following is an excerpt taken from a Wall Street journal article:
- Compaq is considering changing the command “Press Any Key” to “Return Key” because of the flood of calls asking where the “Any” key is.
- AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
- Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old (5.1/4″) diskettes. After trouble shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer had labelled the diskettes, then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.
- Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with photocopies of the floppies.
- A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. Th customer asked the tech “hold on”, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.
- Another Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the “send” key.
- Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water soaked the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.
- A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was “bad and an invalid”. The tech explained that the computer’s “bad command” and “invalid” responses shouldn’t be taken personally.
- A confused caller to IBM was having troubles printing documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it “couldn’t find printer”. The user had even tried turning the computer screen to face the printer – but his computer still couldn’t “see” the printer.
- An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn’t get her new Dell computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, “I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happened”. The “foot pedal” turned out to be the computer’s mouse.
- Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked “What power switch?”
- True story from a Novell Netwire SysOp:
Caller : “Hello, is this Tech Support?”
Tech: “Yes, it is. How may I help you?”
Caller: “The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?”
Tech: “I’m sorry, but did you say a cup holder?”
Caller: “Yes, it’s attached to the front of my computer.”
Tech : “Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, it’s because I am. Did you receive this as a part of a promotion, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?”
Caller : “It came with my computer, I don’t know anything about a promotion. It just has “4X” on it.”
At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn’t stand it. He was laughing too hard. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off in the drive.
- Another IBM customer had trouble installing software and rang for support. “I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to put in the second disk, and I had some problems with the disk. When it said to put in the third disk – I couldn’t even fit it in …” The user hadn’t realised that “Insert Disk 2” meant to remove Disk 1 first.
- In a similar incident, a customer had followed the instructions for installing software. The instructions said to remove the disk from its cover and insert it into the drive. The user had physically removed the casing of the disk and wondered why there were problems. Say no more…