Archive for June, 2009

How not to ask for online help

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Big Dell ButtonI get a lot of email that isn’t for me.  You may be thinking, “Yes, that’s called spam, Joanna.” But, it’s not. It’s just misdirected.  A lot of people seem to “try” my email address or throw in my email address into sign up forms to avoid spam.

A typical misdirected email usually looks something like:

I am drunk.  Hit the chardonnay bottle, and cannot type.  Was a good day.  No reason to do this.
Hope all went well for you. 

But, I’ve received medical records, scanned passports for billionaires (I’m not exaggerating, I Googled), travel reservations, wedding photos, college class study group times. I’ve been signed up for Facebook, MySpace, classes at a Baptist college, Classmates, and even CBS Fantasy Football.

A major general in the US Air Force sent me an email asking me if I was “up North.”  I suppose I am.

A few times, I’ve emailed the people back to tell them that they have the wrong person.  The email has to be a fairly extreme privacy violation for me to put any effort into this.

Today, I received a gem. “Joe” tried to get help with his wifi from Dell.  I’ve changed the name of the customer service agent to “Rich” below to protect his identity – and because I think “Rich” is awesome.

This is an automated email sent from Dell Chat. The following information is a log of your session. Please save the log for your records.
Your session ID for this incident is 2828XXXX.
Time Details
06/17/2009 10:36:54PM System: “Thank you for choosing Chat for your technical support needs. A chat agent should be with you shortly. Have you tried our self support options yet?”
06/17/2009 10:36:56PM URL Shown: “
06/17/2009 10:36:56PM System: “The support website at: is loaded with FAQs, step-by-step instructions, downloads and drivers and much more. Answers are waiting at!””
06/17/2009 10:37:24PM System: “For help from other knowledgeable Dell users, visit the Community Forum at:
06/17/2009 10:37:26PM URL Shown: “
06/17/2009 10:38:54PM System: “We appreciate your patience. Chat agents are eager to help you with your troubleshooting needs, so please stay on line and the next available representative will assist you”
06/17/2009 10:39:52PM Session Started with Agent (Rich)
06/17/2009 10:40:00PM Agent (Rich): “Thank you for contacting Dell Chat Support. My name is Rich, How may I help you today?”
06/17/2009 10:40:15PM Joe Briggs: “my laptop wireless is not working”
06/17/2009 10:40:34PM Agent (Rich): “Can I have the service tag of the laptop?”
06/17/2009 10:40:43PM Joe Briggs: “i dont have it”
06/17/2009 10:41:22PM Agent (Rich): “How about the express service code? The laptop is not with you?”
06/17/2009 10:41:33PM Joe Briggs: “it is with me”
06/17/2009 10:41:38PM Joe Briggs: “it is so damn slow”
06/17/2009 10:41:49PM Joe Briggs: “its not connecting to my internet”
06/17/2009 10:42:11PM Agent (Rich): “You can check the service tag at the bottom of the laptop,”
06/17/2009 10:42:23PM Joe Briggs: “i said i dont have it”
06/17/2009 10:42:45PM Agent (Rich): “I apologize but without the tag I cannot pull up any records.”
06/17/2009 10:42:57PM Joe Briggs: “so you cant help me?”
06/17/2009 10:43:04PM Agent (Rich): “You may need to check the tag in bios and give it to us.”
06/17/2009 10:43:12PM Joe Briggs: “what bios”
06/17/2009 10:43:15PMJoe Briggs: “what are you talking about”
06/17/2009 10:44:53PM Agent (Rich): “Since you cant find the service tag, you can find it inside bios, to access bios you will need to restart the computer keep on tapping F2 and you will get the service tag there, once you have it, kindly contact 1800 822 8965 asked to be transfered to the”
 wireless department.
06/17/2009 10:46:09PM Agent (Rich): “ok?”
06/17/2009 10:46:16PM Joe Briggs: “shut up”
06/17/2009 10:46:29PM Joe Briggs: “help me with this”
06/17/2009 10:46:48PM Agent (Rich): “I won’t tolerate any unprofessionalism.”
06/17/2009 10:47:05PM Joe Briggs: “where is your supervisor”
06/17/2009 10:47:25PM Agent (Rich): “I would gladly help you if remain professional and provide me with your service tag.”
06/17/2009 10:47:38PM Joe Briggs: “i am you are not fucking retard”
06/17/2009 10:47:49PM Agent (Rich): “Thank you for contacting Dell. Have a great night.”
06/17/2009 10:47:49PM Session Ended
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