Conversations with Customers

CodeNinja: “Hello!”

Customer: “Hi, I am on holiday…..”

CN: *interrupting* “You phoned up to tell us you’re on holiday? that’s a bit of a Dick move isn’t it?”

C: “What?? No I’m on Holiday at the minute……”

CN: *Interrupting again* “So you thought you would phone us to rub it in, thanks…”

C: “but…”

CN: *Interrupting and speaking to DemonPengu who was in the room* “Hey, this is great, he’s phoned up just to boast he is on holiday the git!!”

C: “No i didn’t….”

DP: “Who is it?”

CN: *To DP* “X from X”

C: “hello???? I’m still here”

DP: *speaking loudly at the phone* “GIT!!!”

C: “hey, I’m on holiday but customers keep phoning”

CN: “They do that.”

C: “Yes, it’s annoying”

CN: “Yes it is, you are trying to do something and they keep phoning you, and they are always whining about some trivial thing or another”

C: “exactly. it’s very annoying…….” *Pauses as he realises in this conversation he is the whining customer* “err, anyway they have broke their emails, can you disable SPF checks for them for now”

CN: “Not a problem, just drop the request to us on an email, we need a paper trail”

C:But I’m on holiday? everything’s shut down for xmas, can’t you just do it.”

CN: “Yes, as soon as I get an email request I can do it.”

C: “Come on, don’t be an arse”

CN: “says the guy who phoned us to boast he was on holiday”

*INSERT 10 minutes general grumbling as he goes to turn on his home computer, logs into his work account to send the request all the time insulting me*

C: “Right, I sent the bloody request, when will you be able to do the change?”

CN: “Oh that, I did it 15 minutes ago when you first asked.”


CN: “Happy Holidays!”

Dear Constant Reader I should point out that the customer in this conversation is one who often laughs and jokes around with us here, and often phones me for advice/help with his personal engineering/electronic/computing projects.

Customers are Special

So the other day the Support Guys were a bit confused over a request in the Ticketing system.

Subject: Website URL’s

Please could you set the following websites to point to IP


******= to protect identity.

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that is a Local IP address, and if Websites are pointed at it they will not work for anyone else in the world. So We queried the IP, and asked them to double check.

Imagine our surprise when they responded telling us that was what their IT company was saying needed to be done, or they would not be able to create email accounts on the exchange server.

Yes. Apparently an IT form needed websites pointing to a 192.168. Local address before they could create new accounts on an Exchange server on a different IP range/network.

This leads us to a conflict of interest.

Professionalism V “The Customer is always Right”

Vote in comments to help us decide!!

Funny Support Emails

Dear Constant Reader,

I got into the Insane Asylum this morning to find the following email on your support system, and it was too amusing not to share 😉


F*cking iPhones. His iPad has exactly the same settings as his iPhone. iPad connects and retrieves email. iPhone does not. Have advised him to test it against a brick wall.

iShit really is the spawn of the Devil. You would NOT believe the problems I have with them (or perhaps you might). Wi-fi connection seems a favourite one. Happy to connect to one AP but not another (same manuf, same encrypt etc…).

They are as shi**y as a very shi**y thing.

You can tell I’m not happy.

Ps. Until a few months ago I had a mac. Just for testing purposes. I need blood pressure medication and I had to get rid of it for medical reasons. The day some dork won the eBay bid was one of the happiest of my life…

Customer Rant

Because its healthy to vent the spleen!

Now I’m sure I have Blogged about this customer before, but for the life of me I can not remember what name I gave him (Maybe I should keep track of the names I assign people). Anyway today we shall refer to the Customer/Company/Person as Gillid*

Heres an extract of a Phone conversation that just happened.

Gillid: “Hi, I was told that since TheArchivist* no longer works there you may be able to help me!

CN: “I may be able to, whats your problem?”

Gillid: “I have a website where I upload loads of data to it every few months, and our CMS that RedBack* made does not work so TheArchivist normally does it for me!

CN: “No problem. If you email me the data, and let me know what is what in it, I’m sure I can sort it out for you but getting your CMS fixed may be a good idea. Now I’m not sure what you’ve been charged for the data entry in past…….”

Gillid: “Oh TheArchivist did it all for free!

CN: “Well we won’t be doing that, you’ll have to pay for our time doing it

Gillid: “OH. can you give me TheArchivist’s personal email address or phone number?

CN: “No. I’m not giving out peoples personal info!

Gillid: “ok. I’ll upload it myself!!!!” *Hangs UP*

Thirty minutes after that phone conversation the Support Department get a ticket from Gillid asking for TheArchivists contact details. They guy is seriously trying to get hold of one of our x-employees in the hope that the guy will do work for him for free while no longer being associated to the Asylum?

And after all that If it was just a quick data import into a mySQL DB I’d have probably only charged him £15 or some nominal price.

 As normal Names changed to protect me from lawsuits… err I mean to protect the innocent.


People are Stupid.

Well technically I guess that should be “Customers are Stupid“. You do not believe me? Well here are two examples that happened this week.

Example 1:

I was being nice and answered the phone to help out the support guys, and the conversation went a bit like this :-

CN:Good afternoon How may I help you?

Customer: “Hi, Yes. I can’t send or receive any emails. its broke!

CN: “OK. What error are you actually getting?

Customer:can not connect to server

CN:Ok, are you actually on the Internet?

Customer:YES. I am on the Internet doing things, the Internet is fine, it’s just my emails that is broken

Customer: *noise of many people talking in background*Yes. I’m on the phone to them now. Yes I have email issues. Ok I’ll pass them over to you when my mails sorted

CN: “You got other issues there?

Customer:Yes, they say we have lost the Internet. So Whats the issue with my emails?

She honestly thought the fact they were not connected to the Internet had no connection with her problems in sending and receiving emails.

Example 2:

Now this was a ticket the Systems department had. A Customer had not been receiving any email conformation from their website for the last 3 months. And they knew from the orders that they should have had a fair few.

We had been looking into it on and off for a while since a grep of the site showed that it was not set up to actually send emails to the address they insisted received them.

So after many attempts I finally got them to check the header of an old email and give me the actual email address that the emails go to before being forwarded or downloaded to the end account.

So I have the real email address and decide to test it simply to start with. So I log into the account, and there sat in the INBOX are 50+ unread emails from the website.

Turns out they had forgotten to actually download the emails for the last few months.

Seriously, people get an IQ=IQ-100 as soon as they decide to contact our support department.


Battle to be The King of Idiots

This week at the Asylum has been a bit weird (And I mean weirder than normal) We’ve had two customers fighting to be crowned “The King of Idiots.” Now you would not think that was a title anyone would actively seek out, but I swear the two nominated contestants must have been. There is no other explanation for the level of stupidity involved.

Contestant 1: (We shall call them Santa & the Elves)

For several weeks now Santa has been emailing our Support department asking for some DNS changes to be made for their domain name. And every week they have been informed the changes were done weeks ago.  This finally got escalated to me to look at, and I inform them that the changes have all be done.

I get an email from Santa saying that where www is working and pointing at the correct IP, the domain name by itself is not pointing at the right IP so could an A record be created. So I point out www is a CNAME that points at the domain. so whatever IP www goes to is the one the domain name by itself goes too. *Repeat four Times*.  Since Santa is getting nowhere with emails, he decided to phone me up and explain again how www goes to the right place, and can we point the domain to the same place as www. This time as well as explaining it all to him, I logged onto our primary NameServer and emailed him the actual zonefile for his domain to show him where things went.

Santa then asked would I mind talking to his head IT elf, I agreed so the IT elf phoned and used the same words as Santa. I explained again, and the elf came up with this solution. “If we change the www from a cname to an a record it may work?” I had to check I had heard him right and that his plan was for me to change the one he claimed worked, and set it up exactly as the one he claimed did not work?

Santa then decided we need a conference call with all the elves, and some clever dwarfs who were walking past at the time. In this call they suggested that since www worked when it was just an alias for the domain, that couldn’t we leave it pointing to the domain, and change the domain to point to the www? I believe they could tell by the sound of *BANG* *BANG* as my head banged against my desk, that maybe that would not work.

It was during this conference call while their head IT Elf was muttering that the DNS was all wrong, and his load balancer was not working because of it, which in turn stopped their certificate from working. As soon as I heard cert, I stopped them to ask was this about a SSL cert? (Which it was). They had got one www.domain, only when they went to domain it was giving warnings. And they believed if they could just get the DNS & load balancer working right, this problem would be resolved.

I had to explain what DNS and URL’s were, to several people who were IT professionals, with claimed experience in hosting, networks, dns, etc..

Contestant 2: (We shall call the Seaman)

I was asked in my role of Linux Sys.Admin to help the Seaman with any problems he had moving the hosting of a website over too us. Now there should have been no problems really since the Seaman is a professional web developer.

Now, His entry was a late one, and only lasted one day, as opposed to Contestants 1’s weeks. Yet on that one day he managed to phone up for help over a dozen times, heres a few of the problems he had.

P: FTP will not let me connect to the server.

S: Spell FTP correctly, and it will work

P: It says it can not load the file, but the files there

S: You realise Linux is case sensitive right?

P: I can not write collected email addresses to a file

S: Make the file writable and not read only.

S2: Errr why are you using a flat file, you have a MySQL DB with that account?

I’ve not decided on the winner YET. I’m leaning towards Contestant 2. Mainly because “How do you spell FTP wrong?” come on, its three letters, and you say the three letters when saying the word F T P?