True Life Stories of Tech Support

Working in the field of in-home and in-store computer technical support, I get a number of people looking for free tech support on any number of programs. While management frowns on giving out what can often be a rather involved service for free over the telephone, they’ve never really stopped us from answering simple questions to keep potential customers happy.

However, there are times when you have to tell a customer “no”. One such example would be the following 100% true telephone conversation that occurred over the weekend:

Me: Hello, my name is Derek, how may I help you?

Lady: I bought a computer at Walmart.

Me: Oh? Is there something I can help you with?

Lady: I don’t know how to use Word.

Me: Was there something in particular you were trying to do? Normally, technical support for a particular product is provided by the company that produces it. In this case that would be Micro …

Lady: No, I need you to tell me how to use it. This is my first computer.

Me: Ma’am, I’m afraid we’re not allowed to provide technical training of that nature over the telephone. However, we can have someone come to your home.

Lady: For free?

Me: I’m afraid there is a charge involved with all in-home training, Ma’am. You might also consider calling Microsoft, as they’re the developer of …

Lady: What?! Aren’t you supposed to give me support for free? Isn’t that what you do?

Me: Ma’am, we’d be very happy to provide support and training, but there is a cost involved with …

Lady: I am never buying another computer from you again.


Needless to say, the thought of someone no longer buying Walmart computers from a company that has nothing to do with Walmart didn’t exactly trouble me.

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