My family gave my grandmother a laptop, and we were teaching her how to use it when she asked how to send an email to her sister in England. They had been sending postal mail to each other for decades, and she had heard that this “Er-Mail” thing was easier.
I pointed to the Outlook Express icon, and told her to put the mouse there. She picked up the computer mouse and placed it on the screen.
It was a long day.
Customer: “I got DSL, but it’s not working.”
Tech Support: “What kind of modem do you have?”
Customer: “Ummm, I dont know. It’s built into my laptop.”
Tech Support: “Ok, did you receive the modem package we sent out?”
Customer: “Modem package??”
Tech Support: “Well, it looks like the modem was shipped to (address), Pennsylvania.”
Customer: “I don’t live in Pennsylvania. I live in New York.”
Tech Support: “Huh. Do you know this Pennsylvania address?”
Customer: “Yes, that’s my Mom’s house.”
Tech Support: “Ok, this DSL phone number you gave me — is that your mother’s number?”
Customer: “Yes, they told me in order for me to have DSL, I need to have your company’s phone service. My mother has it, so I gave them her telephone number.”
We sell routers, some of them equipped with built-in wireless access points.
Customer: “YOUR CRAPPY ACCESS POINT IS A WORTHLESS ****! I CAN’T BELIEVE I BOUGHT IT! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!”
Tech Support: “What seems to be the trouble?”
Customer: “I CAN HARDLY CONNECT TO IT WITH MY LAPTOP! EVEN IF I STAND RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR **** MY LAPTOP STILL SAYS CONNECTION QUALITY BAD. HOW CAN YOU SELL THIS CRAP?”
After about 15 minutes of ranting and trouble hunting, we finally concluded that:
The customer bought the entry-level model of our router.
That model does not have any built-in access point.
When the customer activated his laptop’s wireless client, it did, however, still manage to connect to an access point.
The access point his laptop connected to was found out to be his neighbor’s wireless access point.
His neighbor’s house was a good distance from his, hence the low connection quality.
Even though he bought a router from us and an Internet connection from a provider, he didn’t actually use them.
We doubted his neighbor would appreciate this, if he found out.
And the customer’s reaction to this news?
Customer: “BUT HOW CAN YOU ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! I THOUGHT YOU HAD A FIREWALL IN YOUR CRAP! IT SHOULD HAVE STOPPED MY LAPTOP FROM DOING IT!”