Stephanie writes, “I’m guessing I’m not the only Consumerist reader to ever get a sewing machine hand-me-down or buy one from a garage sale sans operating manual.” In fact, there are all sorts of devices that require some level of instruction before you can get the maximal use out of them. The problem is, people lose manuals, and companies don’t always make them available for download once they’ve been pulled off the market. Stephanie almost paid $35 for a digital copy when she decided she’d try asking the company directly.
A testament to the “Series of Tubes” meme’s pervasiveness is its inclusion in an AT&T FastAccess business DSL tech support manual. According to a former employee, her bosses who made the manual were big nerds and read BoingBoing, Gizmodo, and The Consumerist. She also says in one of the the tech support training videos for the new customer Yahoo portal that’s rolling out later this month, it shows how to create a feed for The Consumerist. Note too that the internet is depicted as a giant fluffy cloud.
Reader Sarah expected to receive a manual and software with the Creative Zen Micro she ordered from Geeks.com, but received neither. When she called to complain, a CSR told her the following:
“Oh, don’t even worry about that. These are SO easy to use, you won’t need a manual! I mean, if you had bought some cheap piece of Chinese crap, we would have had to supply a manual. But the Creative players are GREAT. You won’t need one.”
Sarah’s full email, after the jump.
Here’s a direct port from the AT&T/Cingular internal database on how to handle complaining customers. These are the document every customer service rep in their call centers uses to deal with you when you kvetch. If you have an issue with AT&T, you can use this as a guide to see how they’re going to react to your various thrusts and parries, from simple billing and service issues to requests for cancellation and escalations to the Office of the President (gamely referred to by the acronym “OOP”)…
Bulletin Boards came into being back in 1978 as a way for local computer club members to exchange messages with each other and to share programs by phone. Today there are over 300 computerized bulletin boards in the United States, and you don’t have to belong to a computer club to use one.”
Wow, really? Hey look, someone just typed letters so that it looks like a naked person!—MEGHANN MARCO