Saturday, 12 January 2013

'I am a qualified Apple Mac engineer ...'

Today I had a new variant on an old theme!

Today's caller – 'Gary' – informed me that my Apple Mac laptop (which I DO NOT own!) had sent Apple's 'central and main office' in the USA an error message, and that he was there to help me 'resolve' the problem.

I decided to take the advice given to me earlier this month. Firstly I told 'Gary' that I was in the middle of cooking breakfast and that he would have to hang on for a couple of minutes whilst I finished. (This was NOT true.)

He hung on.

I then asked him if I needed to be sat at my laptop. When he replied in the affirmative, I told him that it was upstairs, and he would have to hang on whilst I went up three flights of stairs. (This was NOT true.)

He hung on.

A couple on minutes later I again spoke to 'Gary' and asked him the nature of the error message. He repeated what he had told me earlier ... so I asked him what the nature of the error was. He replied that all he had was the notification that my laptop had an error and that he would take me through the procedure to remove it.

I then asked him how he knew my contact details ... and he told me that Apple Mac had sent him my name, address, and telephone number along with the error message notification. I asked if he wanted to check them ... but he told me that this was not necessary. I asked why … but all he kept repeating was that he had received the information from Apple Mac.

I asked him if I should sit in front of my (non-existent) Apple Mac laptop. He replied in the affirmative and I wasted more time telling him that it was turned off and needed to be turned on. I then claimed to be having problems with my Internet connection … and this wasted more time. After another couple of minutes I told him that my computer was turned on and the Internet connection was fully functioning ... but before he could begin to tell me what to do I again asked the nature of the error. I again got the scripted reply, at which point I interrupted him to ask whether the error message had a code number. This seemed to nonplus him somewhat ... and then I added that as a computer professional these sorts of technical details interested me ...

... at which he apologised and rang off.

That was some ten minutes ago ... and I have left the 'phone off the hook ever since. It is making funny noises … just as if someone were trying to make ‘phone calls but was finding that their connection was not working.

Will these people never learn?

24 comments:

  1. Har har har... I always like it when the game goes Predator, 0; Intended Lunch, 1. Only this time, it sounds as though Predator going to think 'nil' would have been an improvement...

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  2. Two great ones I've had (the same) friends pull:
    ---
    "Sure, let me put you on to the person who makes the decisions." *hands phone to very talkative 2 1/2 year old*.
    ---
    Them: "Can I talk to you about double glazing?"
    Friends: "Yes, if I can talk to you about God." (Friends are committed Christians, and quite capable of doing this)

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  3. Anibal Invictus,

    It gets better! After I had put the 'phone back on the hook and gone out to post THE NUGGET my wife got a call ... from a 'qualified Microsoft engineer' ... and gave him the run around for fifteen or so minutes!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Archduke Piccolo,

    As you will see from my reply to Anibal Invictus, the score is now 2:0!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Mike Whitaker,

    Nice stories ... and very believable!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Xaltotun of Python,

    I can't wait for the next round of this 'contest'; I am beginning to enjoy it no end!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Pat G,

    Thanks ... and as you will note, my wife has now got in on the act as well!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Why do I feel a set of rules coming on for a Portable Cyberwar Game?

    I think this is a conspiracy going on here; they are sharing information. Perhaps you should ask the FBI to give you a link so they can have their fun, too.

    Regards

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  9. Nice work. Have you seen this website dedicated to scamming the scammers? http://www.419eater.com/

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  10. Arthur,

    I might know a man who would be interested in such a game ... and it might even interest the FBI!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Langobeard,

    Thanks for you comment ... and the link. I may well visit it later today.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. The best thing you can do with these creatures is to hit them in the pocketbook and as time is money, you burn up time like you were a timelord. Ask them to hold and string them along. I suggest you keep a log as to how long you can keep them on the hook and then publish the results. You may have just stumbled on a new RPG: Consumers and Idiots. I got the plus five vorple finger and a cloak of procrastination!

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  13. CoastConFan,

    That sounds like an excellent game to play! At the moment I think that my wife is probably beating as to how much time she managed to get them to waste today.

    Compared to her, when dealing with 'cold calls' and telephone sales people, I am a pussycat and a push-over! She really gives them a hard time.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. I got a call one day that began, "according to our records, you are a homeowner in Cartersville..."

    At that point, I slipped into my best theatrical Russian accent, and said, "Zo, you haff been keeping a dossiere on me, despite vhat the Agency handlers promised," I paused, then shouted to Spike, "Start packing, the KGB are on our trail again." and hung up.

    She is even worse. Once, when someone promised to lower our heating bills, she took everything she learned playing "Twilight 2000" and spun a story about how we were cooking down hay and oak leaves to make our own fuel, and had a truck mounted generator to power the "compound". When they switched gears and tried to sell her 'double paned windows", she replied, "Sorry, steel shutters. This Y2K thing might get out of hand." I married well.
    -Steve

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  15. Steven Page,

    This blog entry seems to have generated a whole load of good ideas as to how to deal with cold callers and 'phone scammers.

    I think that your two examples are amongst the best ... and I am certainly considering using your 'Pack your bags! They've found us!' one next time I am cold called.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. I've had the 'qualified Microsoft engineer' routine a few times. My record for keeping them on the phone is 30 minutes. My usual approach now is to place the phone handset next to the PC/radio speaker...

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  17. Tim Gow,

    Yet another ploy for me to use! I had considered recording one of those infuriating 'Please hold the line; your call is important to us' messages and crap (and badly recorded) classical music that I can play to the next cold caller.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  18. Quality entertainment , Bob :O)

    Regards, Chris

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  19. Chris Kemp,

    I am glad that you enjoyed it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  20. Just got another one myself - from a company calling itself 'World Wide Web Servers'. Seems they were based in London, everything on the web is notified to them, blahblah blah.

    Anyway, I'm going out tonight so I only tied him up for 15 minutes with silly questions.

    Can be fun.

    Rob

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  21. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    This is a new 'variant' on the same old scam!

    Based in London, eh? Would that be 'London' on the Indian sub-continent by any chance?

    Thanks for letting us (me and my regualr blog readers) know about this one. Perhaps we can all ruin their day if they call us as well!

    All the best,

    Bob

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