Monday, March 30, 2009

Favorate Customer Service Story

I first came across this story around '93 or '94. And it's stuck in the back of my mind ever since. I stumbled upon The Princess and Professor. The CPU switch. on Friendfeed and it brought it back to mind. After a quick search I found the transcript of this service call.

This is a true story from the Word Perfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department. Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he filed for ‘Termination without Cause’. The following is the actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee. (Now I know why they record these conversations!)

Operator: ‘Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?’

Caller: ‘Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.’

Operator: ‘What sort of trouble?’

Caller: ‘Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.’

Operator: ‘Went away?’

Caller:’They disappeared.’

Operator: ‘Hmm So what does your screen look like now?’

Caller: ‘Nothing.’

Operator: ‘Nothing?’

Caller: ‘It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.’

Operator: ‘Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?’

Caller: ‘How do I tell?’

Operator: ‘Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?’

Caller: ‘What’s a sea-prompt?’

Operator: ‘Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?’

Caller: ‘There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.’

Operator: ‘Does your monitor have a power indicator??’

Caller:’What’s a monitor?’

Operator: ‘It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?’

Caller: ‘I don’t know.’

Operator: ‘Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?’

Caller: ‘Yes, I think so.’

Operator: ‘Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.

Caller: ‘Yes, it is.’

Operator: ‘When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?’

Caller: ‘No.’

Operator: ‘Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.’

Caller: ‘Okay, here it is.’

Operator: ‘Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.’

Caller: ‘I can’t reach.’

Operator: ‘Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?’

Caller: ‘No.’

Operator: ‘Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?’

Caller: ‘Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle - it’s because it’s dark.’

Operator: ‘Dark??’

Caller: ‘Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window. ‘

Operator: ‘Well, turn on the office light then.’

Caller: ‘I can’t.’

Operator: ‘No? Why not?’

Caller: ‘Because there’s a power failure.’

Operator: ‘A power…. A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?’

Caller: ‘Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.’

Operator: ‘Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.’

Caller: ‘Really? Is it that bad?’

Operator: ‘Yes, I’m afraid it is.’

Caller: ‘Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?’

Operator: ‘Tell them you’re too f — ing stupid to own a computer!!!!!’.

Monday, March 09, 2009