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This is a question Clients Are Stupid

I once had to train a client on how to use their new website. I said, "point the mouse at that button." They looked at me with a quizzical expression, picked up the mouse and held it to the screen. Can you beat this bit of client stupidity?

(, Sun 28 Dec 2003, 22:47)
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You wonder how they survive.....
I work for a large computer company, in order not to give away their identity I'll just give you their initials: IBM. Our dept sells parts to companies and the general public for lap tops etc. My personal favourite:

me: part sales, can i help
her: yes, i need a battery
me: ok, do you have the part number?
her: NO
me: ok, what model or range is it for?
her: a ford fiesta
me: I'm sorry?
me: right, we only sell parts for computers,I think you need the RAC or someone like that.
her: fine, well put me through to the RAC
me: (again) I'm sorry?
her: put me through to th RAC and I'll talk to them
me: we're nothing to do with them, you'd need to find a number for them
her: this is ridiculous!
me: (you're telling me!) perhaps if you try yellow pages
her: well I'll have to now won't I! *click*

I'm still trying to work out how it was my fault!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 14:41, Reply)
This is ripped from my website diary, sorry for the length ;)
Busy at work on my checkout (I used to work at Morrisons before I saw the light and became a web developer ;) ) my supervisor came over to sign my duty record. Whilst doing so she asked me if I'd heard the stories about "666 Lady". When I replied in the negative, she began telling me about this mysterious she-devil.

Apparently, there is this lady that comes shopping every so often who refuses to have anything to do whatsoever with anything related in any way to the number six. She will not buy a product with the number six anywhere in the barcode. She will not buy a product with the number six anywhere in the price. She won't buy a bunch of six bananas.

My supervisor told me that "666 Lady" was in the store at the moment, and that I should be prepared for her (as I was on till 13, one of the few tills that has nothing to do with the number six)

As it turns out, she started to go through till 12. I say started, because half-way through the shop she suddenly realised that 12 divided by 2 is 6, and had to go through another till. Fortunately not mine (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to stop myself laughing) but till 17. This in itself was surprising, as 7 minus 1 is 6. I guess she must have just liked the look of Melanie, who was on till 17 at the time.

Her shopping totalled somewhere in the region of 25, from what Melanie told me, but the amount of pence had a 6 in it - shock horror! She then proceeded to grab something at random from the sweet stand and put that on, just so there wouldn't be a six anywhere in the sub total.

Then, to Melanie's amusement, the change she had to give had a 6 in it, something like 3.62. Obviously this couldn't be tolerated - so "666 Lady" asked Melanie to only give her so much of the change and to keep the rest.

Some people, eh? ;)
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 14:38, Reply)
i spent some time yesterday
patiently expalining to a friend of my parents how to upload files to some webspace i had set up for her. after explaining how to put the ftp address in to explorer and what the username and password should be, and telling her the index.html needed to go in the htdocs folder, she asks:
'so how do i make a web page?'

i should have seen it coming really
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 14:25, Reply)
My ex-client
(wife) used to ring me at work with all life's little problems. In the open-plan office my desk became known as 'the Help desk'.

Exhibit 1:
Her: Help, the kettle is broken.
Me: Is it plugged in?
Her: (small voice) ....oh.

Exhibit 2:
Her: Help, the car is stuck, and I can't get it out of the driveway.
Me: What do you mean, "stuck"?
Her: On the gatepost.
We had a driveway that you could have put the damn car in sideways. She had jammed it against the gatepost whilst reversing out (I left the scar on the car for months). She didn't realise that if she drove forward she could straighten-up and reverse out again. I had to leave work to do it for her.

(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 14:14, Reply)
I used to work in a well-known electrical outlet
otherwise known as Currys. I had one customer come in, effing and blinding all over the place. Apparently he had bought a TV from us that didn't work and he wanted his "fucking money" back.

After ten minutes of listening to his well rehearsed diatribe, I politely informed him that I would be glad to give him his money if he could show me his receipt. He seemed happy with this and toddled off to his car to get it.

After he returned and showed me the all-important headed receipt, I had no alternative but to tell him I couldn't give him a refund.

Cue another ten-minute spield about my lack of customer service.

Once I could finally get a word in edgeways, I showed him his receipt, pointed out that he was in Currys and not Comet which was where he bought the TV from.

(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 13:58, Reply)
Old people in France
Being the young person that I am I keep being asked by the older generation of expat Brits to sort out their various technical problems, being younger than them they assume I know how to work all these newfangled picture boxes and such.

One problem I encountered from an elderly couple who were having problems watching a video on their TV, the picture was always black and white, now France decided years ago they were going to broadcast TV pictures using a SECAM signal whereas other countries use PAL or NTSC, as the TV was bought over here (SECAM) and the video was from the UK(PAL) I presumed it was just a compatability problem.

Turns out when I went to check on it the TV works with both systems (the French are finally converting to PAL), the offending, colourless video however was Schindler's list.

I made them buy a new video anyway as their old one couldn't recieve digital signals from Sky.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 13:43, Reply)
I designed a draft website for a nightclub manager
and burned it onto a floppy disk so I could show it to him at his office.

A lot of makey-uppey text was needed in the early stages, so I had them playing host to Oasis on Friday and Blur on Saturday - with 1 entry and free drinks.

I pop the disk in, open the index page with a browser and leave him to it for a bit. He looks at the draft site and clicks around happily for a bit, then gets to the upcoming gigs page:

Him: Are you mad? You can't print (sic) this! How long has this page been here?
Me: Since I built it. Yesterday.
Him: Can we delete it? If we're lucky, no-one's seen it yet.
Me: Nobody *can* see it. It's not live.
Him: I can see it!
Me: You're viewing it from a disk.
Him: But it's a web page, right?
Me: Well, yes.
Him: So anybody on the web can see it!
Me: No, they can't - not without the disk I gave you.
Him: But you can buy them anywhere!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 13:38, Reply)
school kids
i'm from australia. i live in japan.

here are some things school kids have said / asked me:

"do you have a penis?"
"show us your belly button hairs"
"most boys get a girlfriend, but my brother has a boyfriend. he's weird, isn't he?"
"do you live in japan?"
"how long is your cock?"
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 13:17, Reply)
Long time reader...First time poster...
After seeing this topic i decided to sign up and tell you two of my favorite stories..

I work in a independent Camera Shop in hertfordshire UK, we are a single shop with tie-ins with a internet shop.

Anyway - We do passport photos, 5 for 4 photos quite expensive, but good quality.

I was standing there and the owner who works on the shopfloor with us sometimes, gets a lady who wishs her photo to be taken.

Photo taken...2 mintues later he shows her the picture..and..

Lady: "This is not my face"

i nearly deid..

Owner: "excuse me?"

Stuipd Lady: "These are not my eyes"

Owner: "They are, they are inside your head, who's eyes are they then!"

Stuipd Lady: "Its not me"

She was preety sure it wasn't her, the owner offered to take the photo again, he did and it looked exactly the same, however, she took it.

More recently-

2 days before christmas day a Mum and Dad come in.

"Hi i bought this from you 6 months ago and it doesn't work"

The Model of this camcorder was over a year old - still possible that he did buy it from us if it was the last one or something.

I check the camcorder out - its preety well knacked, tape stuck inside needs a repairer..maybe a new camcorder.

Moi: "Ok, do you have recipt, i can send it back to Sony under the warntry and see what they say"

Customer: "no,..its only been 6 months, is there nothing you can do here for me?"

Moi: "No sorry, we can't do nothing on site, i can tell you whats wrong with but i can't repair it"

Customer: *points to Manager who looks older then me* "Will he beable to fix it"

Moi: "no"

Customer: *Who is getting red and anoyed* "Its my daughters first christmas, can't you lend us one?"

Moi: "no sorry, we can't do that, i can send it back to sony, but still won't be back for christmas"

Customer: "Then i want a replacement its only 6 months old!!"

Moi: *me getting a little nervous this guy was big* "Sorry there is nothing i can do, ineed your recipt"

Customer: "thats not good enough!"

Manager: "Everything ok?"

Customer explains story to him while i go down the camcorder box, i manage to find the recipt.

Moi: "This is dated 2/2/02"

Customer: "er..Thats my father in law camcorder recipt, he bought the same one"

Manager: *picks up camcorder flips it out and shows serial number which is the same...* "This is the same Camcorder, sorry there is nothing we can do, there is a place just off totham court road that may repair it"

Manager was lieing, no place will be open this time, 2 days before christmas day..that will fix a camcorder in 10 mintues.

Customer left.

If i could kill myself like jesus did to take everyones stuipdity i would be diving on the rocks, i feel for all you people in retail / tech surport. i know what it is like :/

Sorry for long post ;)
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 12:59, Reply)
Me : "click on the "my computer" icon
them : "but... this is my computer..."


I remember seeing 5 1/4 inch disks with holes punched through them (and the little paper envelopes) and put in ring binders.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 12:42, Reply)
Nothing like a bit of nepotism
I used to do a bit of freelance web design. A little while ago my father asked if I could whip up a quick site for his small business, which I did, buying a domain using some spare webspace I had to host it.

Recently his business partner got back to me about updating the site (she had been on a beginners webdesign course and seemed to be feeling ambitious). After some discussion I advised her to get some better hosting to support databases and wotnot.

The next I heard was from my father, very pleased that his partner had "talked to an ISP that can transfer the website for only 100!"

"you're buying 100 of web space?"

"No we already have the space, that's how much it will cost for them to move the site to it"

After some boggling, I went and spent ten mintes on FTP, and called him back to say the job was done for free.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 12:33, Reply)
people are stupid
I was working as an IT guy for an ad agency in Soho in 1991 when nobody understood hwo to use PC's. The MD called me into his office and said (I recall)- "You cranberry. This fucking Mouse has run off the table again. Why the watermelon are your computers so crap?"
- so I had to explain that you could pick up the mouse and return it to the centre of your desk without moving the pointer off the screen.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 12:19, Reply)
Magazine readers are dumb
(and are effectively my clients as I edit the thing). Had this through the other day, following our publication of a picture of a young Elizabeth Taylor from a recent exhibition:

"Although this is not your problem if the National Portrait Gallery claims it is a photo of Elizabeth Taylor; I find it very difficult to accept this as a fact. The bone structure of the little girl in the picture is completely different from photos I have seen of Ms. Taylor as a young pre-teen and teen-ager."

Yes. Your expert knowledge of bone structure is what we'll go on in future, not the Gallery that owns the picture, which - as was stated in the article - was donated by Elizabeth Taylor herself...
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 11:58, Reply)
I work in a music shop
the sheet music kind that is, and some of the stupid questions i get asked.

They:"I want a book"
Me:"which instrument is it for?"
They:"ooh, does it matter, cause its not for me."
Me:"ok, well do you know the title?"
They:"not really, its something music something, im not really sure, but it has the word music in the title"


They:"ya know this music malarky"
Me:"do you mean the sheet music?"
They:"no no, this book with music and stuff in it?"
Me:"that is the sheet music"
They:"oh right, well this bit..."
Me:"the stave?"
They:"no, that bit with the lines"
Me:"that is the stave"
They:"oh anyway, if i want a song do i have to buy the whole book?" random subject change
Me:"no you can buy a single song over there"
They:"but can't you photocopy one for me?"
Me:"No, that would break copyright laws"
They:"whats that then......?"
Me:"err, its there to stop people copying things"
They:"thats a bit silly isnt it?"
it carried on like this until they asked me to write the music out for them and i refused saying it was still in breach of copyright.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 11:40, Reply)
Football (soccer) fans
Working for a Football Club on a match day has its MANY annoyances. Here is a conversation I had with one 'supporter' 15 minutes before kick-off for a high profile game that had been sold out for over a week.

Me : Hi, can I help you
Him: Yeah, I need two tickets for today
Me : Sorry sir, we're sold out
Him: What? Completely?
Me : Yes, sold out last week
Him: Not even two left
Me : No, we're sold out, there are no tickets left
Him: Not even two restricted view seats?
Me : No
Him: Ok, just give me two seats sitting apart from one another
Me : ?? We don't have any, we're sold out
Him: Ok, Just give me two for the ???? stand
Me : Bye now

Or this guy who phoned on a day our computer systems had crashed.

Me : Sorry sir, I can't get access to your file as our computers are down
Him: I just want information on my Season Ticket seat, can you do that
Me : We'll see, where do you sit? whereabouts are you situated (Meaning, where is your seat?)
Him: Oh, eh, Ah'm in a pub doon the gallowgate
Me : ????

There are too many more too mention
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 11:20, Reply)
I was doing
an intranet site for people at work and I needed to find out what the majority of people had their resolution set to (800x600, 1024x768 etc) so I asked the person in charge and they came back with "14 inch".

Also had instruction to ISDN some files to an email address.

Currently doing some private work on a website where they want to update a page themselves with job listings. They've only got a small budget so I set them up with a basic web editing program and FTP. I set it all up for them and gave them instructions and its a piece of piss to do but its like pulling teeth it really is.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 11:17, Reply)
Seen it all.
We had just opened a gas station and the people just came in and out in a non-stop flow.  About the time I was to out of change a young fool came in and asked for Ten on pump number five.  I said, "I don't have any change!  I can't break that..."  He said, "Then let me have five on five!"  I said, "Man you got to be kidding!"  He looked at me seriously and said, "What?  You don't have three fives?"
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 10:18, Reply)
Yet more IT problems
Strange how a lot of these are IT-related...

I'd set up a PC connected to a laser particle sizing machine for some people. A little later, one of them complained that the keyboard wasn't working. A couple of the keys appeared to be stuck. After checking the connections on the back of the PC, I picked up the keyboard and turned it upside-down. I was anticipating a few crumbs and bits of fluff. What I got was about half a mugful of water pouring out of the bloody thing.

"Oh, I spilt my water on it. Is that a problem?"
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 9:51, Reply)
One word:
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 9:36, Reply)
We used to train foreign pilots how to be Test Pilots on simulators. Part of this involved flying a plane through some waypoints. Every nationality performed perfectly. There was one group who amused us though. Upon completing their 'mission', the US pilots shouted 'Boom!' and ran around the room whooping and shouting 'Yee haa'. The next day one of them crashed a real helicopter.....
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 9:17, Reply)
How about
the client of ours who asked us if we could get a webpage to print in landscape...

or the people who still ask for a spinning logo? =)
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 8:38, Reply)
IT zeppelin
I'm trying to get some tit to follow some instructions on his PC over the phone so I don't have to get off my lazy arse and go see him.
I say to him "Right click on the 'my computer' icon"
he says "What's right click?"
Later on I say "Press the 'Q' key"
He replies "What's the 'Q' key"
whilst banging my head on the desk I say "the one next to the letter 'W'"
and he then makes out that I'm not giving him the right info!!!!!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 8:14, Reply)
electricity switches
last week, some guy called me so i went over.
me:ok so whats the problem then?
customer:there seems to be no electricity on.
me:ok, well lets have a look.
so i go to the main switchboard for the building and to my suprise, all the switches are off. it seems that some vandelisers came an turned his electricity off!
i got several other calls that day....
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 8:02, Reply)
I'm new here
I work at a tattoo parlor, you want stupid clients try 75% of the folks that walk in the door, those folks that want shit off the wall or something they saw on a movie star or pop idol. But hands down are the people that put weird shit on their healing work, my favorite is that gal that put hemoroid cream on her healing tattoo and bitched cause' the color faded. People are just retarded.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 6:45, Reply)
Ooh, haven't posted on b3ta for ages
I was working for a company which made healthcare equipment when the phone went. I answered it.

"Hello?" they said. "Can I speak to the person in charge of assembly?"

"That would be me, how can I help you?"

"Well, I need to speak to someone who knows things about how your products are made."

"I'm in charge of that area; what do you need to know?"

"No, I really need to speak to someone..." etc.

They flatly refused to believe that anyone other than a secretary could have picked up the phone. Shame our company only employed about 7 people and I reported straight to the MD/CEO/owner, really.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 4:51, Reply)
This was only a few days ago... (It may be a little long too..)
A little background info: I work in the support/installation department for a software company that provides specialised software for running hotels, restaurants etc. We provide support 24/7 for our PMS (Hotel) software, but not for the POS (Restaurant) - that's just how it is, ok?

Anyway it's 8pm Christmas Eve, I'm not on call and yet I get a call from a client on my personal mobile number (I recognised their number as a result of numerous calls....) It's the restaurant manager of an installation I did about 3 months back telling me that the software has totally crashed.

First things first. Me: You need to call us on the tech support number, this is actually my personal number so I'm not able to help you. (I found out later he got my number off I girl I have stayed in contact with from the hotel)
Him: I did that, and there's no one in the office. I left a message, but no one has called me back yet.
Me: Did you listen to the full message? It explains our office hours and gives you the number to call for after hours support.
Him: Oh.
Me: Anyway, what do you mean by the software has crashed?
Him: We've just run out of thermal paper for the receipt printers and we keep getting an error message (from windows) that the document failed to print.
Me: So the software is working correctly you just can't print cause you have no paper?
Him: Uh, yeah.
Me: Right, well for a start we don't do after hours support for POS software, it's stated in your contract.
Him: But we need paper, it's christmas eve and we can't print receipts.
Me: Did you order more paper through us?
Him: I don't know.
Me: Do you know if an order was placed for more paper at all?
Him: No.
Me: Would anyone else there know if more paper was ordered?
Him: I don't know. Do you know where we can get some more from?
Me: Like you said it's christmas eve, nothing is open, and won't be for 2 days. I'm not even familiar with suppliers in your area as I'm on the other side of the state. If you did order the paper through us (which they didn't) there's nothing I can do about it as you haven't followed it up soon enough.
Him: So what can I do?
Me: Nothing basically, do your ordering on time in future and for now, manually write your dockets. Bye.

He had almost the exact same conversation with the guy who was actually on call 5 mins later and is being charged for both calls. zeppelin.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 3:28, Reply)
bookshop blues
Of all the many, many ridiculous queries I had as a bookseller, my favourite one was the customer who came in one morning and explained that they had seen someone on the train that morning reading what looked like a really interesting book.

Me: Did you see what the book was called?

Customer: No.

Me: Did you catch the name of the author?

Customer: No

Me: Publisher?

Customer: No

Me: Is there anything you can remember that might help us identify the book you want?

Customer: Yes. The cover. It was blue.

Needless to say that was one customer who went away quite unsatified.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 3:23, Reply)
I was temporarily working for my uncle's financial advisory company (I left after a week because I had never been so bored in my life)
They put me on the phones (it was basically being a telemarketer trying to sell financial advice to people with ccj's for not paying bills etc which made no sense as I'd had absolutely no experience or training in this field at all)
I had to call these people up and go through a scripted spiel.. one gem of a conversation went:
Me: hallo my names. blah.. im calling.. blah.. would you mind if i asked you how you are doing financially at the moment?
Him: yes i bloody well do mind. where are you calling from? (i had just told him) How do I know you arent a theif who's calling up to find out if im worth robbing?
Me: Sir..
Him: well im telling you im calling the police the second i hang this phone up..
Me: Sir, if you would wait a minute I'll get my supervisor
Him: I dont want to speak to a bloody supervisor i want the police. You're going to be in big trouble.
I apologised for wasting his time and hung up the phone. what an ass. was just doing my job..
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 2:38, Reply)
Not strictly a client story
but it gives me a chance to feel superior for a brief moment, so that's all right.

I was freelancing on the TV supplement of a famously reflective daily tabloid for a couple of weeks in August. One afternoon my monitor started flicking on and off. Hmm, I thought, and started trying to fiddle with the various settings buttons on the front. I started looking at some of the control panels on the G4 tower I was working on to see if anything odd was going on, when suddenly the machine shut down. I went to check the power cables, and found one of the women from the picture desk on her knees under my desk. Her iMac had crashed, and unable to grasp that the huge white lump with "iMac" written on the front of it that her display was attached to and her keyboard was connected to was, in fact, her iMac, she had instead crawled five feet to my machine, and started pulling out cables pretty much at random.

Also, over xmas, I had the following conversation with my dad:
Dad: I've been thinking of getting one of those DVD players.
Me: Might not be a bad idea, you can get them fairly cheap these days but...
Dad: Would I have to get DVDs?
Me: Er, yes.
Dad: Ach, there's not much point then.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 2:22, Reply)
i had a client who once
asked whether we could "do reflective pixels?"

"sorry?" i said.

"well, you know, just kind of turn the screen into a mirror? make every pixel reflective."

"erm. no." i said. "i think that's something they have planned for the future.."
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 1:40, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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