Ridiculous Tech Support Calls

In his Circuits column this week, David Pogue shares some of the most absurd calls he listened to when he toured a tech support center.

I learned that when they say, “Your call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes,” that’s only partly true. They also record your calls so they can pass around recordings of the funniest ones.

The agents gave him a CD of their favorite calls, and he transcribes a few of them in his column. We like this one:

A Canadian customer was calling to find out if there was a faster way to trigger menu commands than mousing up to the menus.

Agent: Certainly, sir. There are keyboard shortcuts for many of those commands. For example, suppose you want to trigger the Select All command…

Caller: Yes, I use that one all the time! How do I do it?

Agent: Well, you just press Control-A.

Caller (after a pause): Well, that’s not working for me.

Agent: Do you have a text document open in front of you?

Caller: Yes, I sure do.

Agent: OK, now press Control-A.

Caller: I am, but nothing happens.

Agent: The text isn’t highlighted?

Caller: No, there’s no change at all.

Agent: That’s odd. If you press Control-A, the whole document should be highlighted. Try it again. Press Control-A. Tell me exactly what’s happening.

Caller (nearing his Canadian breaking point): Listen. I’m pressing Control, eh? And nothing’s happening, eh?

“Tech Support Gets a Reprieve While Users Take a Hit “ [New York Times]