you think you're computer-illiterate? Check out the following
excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton
1. Compaq is considering
changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key"
because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key
2. 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.
3. Another Compaq technician
received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn't
read word processing files from his old diskettes. After
trouble- shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose
the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the
diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the
4. 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
Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
5. A Dell technician advised
his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive
and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold
on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and
crossing the room to close the door to his room.
6. 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.
7. 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
and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the
keys and washing them individually.
8. 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.
9. 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 happens." The "foot pedal" turned
out to be the computer's mouse.
10. 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?"
11. True story from a
Novell NetWire SysOp:
Caller: "Hello, is this
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 part of a promotional, 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 promotional. It just has '24X' on it."
At this point the Tech
Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn't stand it.
The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM
drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off.