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10 Cringe-worthy User Errors

If you’ve worked in IT, you’ve likely encountered a lot of user errors, some more funny or ridiculous than others. We reached out to our fans for some of the “best” user errors they’ve responded to in their careers. Get ready to laugh, bang your head against the wall, and even cry…user_error_EMAIL

Wrong end, dude. “I had an older guy complaining about not being able to hear me when he called for tech support. He called his wife over to bring him another phone. She walked into the room and told him the reason he couldn’t hear me very well is because he was holding the phone upside down.”

Things aren’t what they seem. “The user that had a B&W printer wondering why it wasn’t printing in color because what was on her screen was in color!”

Happens to the best of us. One fan shared a story about the time he was contacted by a woman frantically screaming about the number 1 appearing over and over on her computer screen, only to realize several minutes later that she had set her headphones down on the “1” key. She laughed and hung up.

Write it down next time… or, not. “A girl complained to me that her account was hacked. When I asked what her old password was, she said, “Well, it’s my name and surname.”

Silly floppy disks. “When the 3.5-inch floppy disks came out, I had a very upset client calling for onsite support because none of his disks worked. When I got there, the secretary had applied the labels flat on surface of the disks, covering the media protection shutter.”

The simplest solution is the best. “A user called me complaining he was not able to change his password on his Windows 7 client PC. I got to his office and started laughing. He asked why and I told him, ‘Your network cable is not plugged in.’ He shook his head and laughed.”

Reading between the lines. “I was sent an email that said (along the lines of), ‘Could you find out why this error is coming up?’ I looked at the screen, and it said: Can’t copy there is not enough space on the disk. It took me two days to reply.”

Who needs batteries? A fan recalled a complaint about a non-working laptop. When he visited the woman with the laptop, she kept pressing the power button to no avail. The laptop clearly was dead. So he took the laptop and flipped it over: there was no battery! The following conversation ensued:

IT pro: “Where’s your battery?”

Her: “I keep it in the desk drawer.”

IT pro: “How do you expect this device to work without power and/or the battery?”

Her: “Uuuummm…. Dunno”

Missing 8-track players. Several fans shared stories about not-so-tech-savvy people struggling to use CD-ROM drives (hopefully, back when they first came out). Here’s our favorite: “I had a user complain about his CD-ROM not working. I went over there and his computer didn’t even have one. He was pushing them through the drive bay cover. His computer had three CDs in it.”

Oh, the irony… “Windows POST Error, Keyboard not detected, Press F2 to continue.” Is it possible to press a key without a keyboard?

Can you top these user errors?


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