The following are excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton.

  • Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.
  • 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.
  • Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the sytem wouldn't read word processing files from his old 5.25" diskettes. After trouble shooting for magnets and heat, failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labled the diskettes and then rolled them into a typewriter and typed the label.
  • 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 photocopies of the floppies.
  • A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppies back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was putting down the phone, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.
  • Another dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting the technician discovered the man was trying the fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the screen and hitting the "send" key.
  • Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local 'Egghead' "Yeah I got me a couple of friends," the customer replied. When told 'Egghead' was a softwre store, the man said, "Oh I thought you meant go find a couple of geeks."
  • Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard was no longer working. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removed each key and washed them individually.
  • A Dell tech recived 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 computers "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn't be taken personally.
  • An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer uwas plugged in, the tech asked her what happend when she pushed the power key, her response, "I pushed and pushed on the foot pedal and nothing happens" THe "foot pedal" turned out to be the computers mouse.
  • 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 happend when she hit the power switch, she asked, "what power switch?"

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