|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM|
Customer: Hi, this is Mr. X. Do you remember me?
Me: Umm, I think so… We did a job for you quite a few years ago, right?
Customer: Yeah. You put in a system for me in my new house about 5 years ago. And now my remote isn’t working. I need a service call.
Me: OK. Well, can you tell me a little about your system?
Customer: You should know. You’re the one that put it in.
Me: Yes, sir, but as you said, that was 5 years ago. And as I look at your file I see it was actually 8 years ago. And I’ve probably installed hundreds of other systems since then. Tell me about the remote you’re using. What kind is it?
Customer: I don’t know. You should know; you put it in.
Me: I truly wish I had total recall for every single one of the systems and every single component that I’ve installed over the past 16 years, but I’m afraid I don’t. Let me just look through your file for a bit to see what we installed…OK. I’ve got it. So, what’s going on?
Customer: The remote isn’t working.
Me: What makes you think the remote isn’t working?
Customer: I don’t have any TV.
Me: OK. When is the last time you changed the batteries?
Customer: I just changed them.
Me: ’Just’ like right before you called me?
Customer: No. Like, I don’t know, six months ago maybe. But it’s not the batteries. They’re fine.
Me: OK. Can you try putting in new batteries now? I’ve found that often solves many remote control related problems.
Customer: No. I don’t have any. You can bring some when you come for the service call.
Me: OK. First let’s see if we can’t figure this out. So you don’t have any TV?
Customer: That’s right.
Me: Is the TV powered on?
Customer: No. There’s no picture.
Me: OK, but is it physically powered on?
Customer: I told you there’s no picture.
Me: Yes but there is a difference between it physically not being powered on and being powered on with no picture. Does the set have power to it and is it turned on?
Customer: I don’t know.
Me: There’s a little light on the front of the set…is it red or green?
Me: OK. That means that it is on. So that’s good. Is the receiver on?
Customer: What receiver? I don’t have a receiver.
Me: Umm, yes you do. It is the large box that has a big volume knob on it.
Customer: No. There’s no sound.
Me: OK, but is the receiver on…?
Customer: Can’t tell.
Me: Are there lights on it?
Customer: Yes. It says TV.
Me: What else does it say?
Customer: TV. That’s it.
Me: Well, I know that it will say other things. Like maybe ‘Dolby’ or the word ‘analog’ or ‘digital’ and there will be a number like -25 that indicates the volume.
Customer: OK. I turned it all the way up. It is now is flashing +15.
Me: Wait. Why did you do that? No. Turn it down to like -10. So when the TV comes on it won’t blow out a speaker or something.
Customer: (SOUNDS OF MASSIVE STATIC) OK. Wait. I was jabbing some buttons and now something is happening. There is really loud static coming out of the speakers.
Me: Why were you jabbing buttons? Wait. Stop. What does it say now?
Customer: OK. I jabbed some more buttons now it says Tuner 88.70 and is flashing the word 'MUTE.'
Me: Wait. What? No. You turned it to the tuner? OK. Please press the button that says 'TV' and then just turn the volume know till it says like -20 or -10 or something. Then don't touch anything else.
Customer: OK. It says TV again. and -30. Remote is still broken.
Me: You're not even using the remote right now... OK. So, the TV and receiver are on, but you’ve still got no picture or sound?
Customer: No. The remote is busted just like I said. I need a service call. I can be here this afternoon after 6PM.
Me: I’m pretty sure it isn’t a remote control issue and I’m afraid I can’t do a service call tonight.
Customer: Well, I don’t have any TV. I need you to come out. Today. World Cup is on.
Me: Have you checked the cable box? Is it on?
Me: How do you know it is on?
Customer: It is showing the time.
Me: Well, it always shows the time. Can you press the channel up button on the remote for me?
Me: Yes, I understand that, but I want to see if the cable box is on and responding to commands.
Customer: OK. Whatever. I am now pressing the channel up button on your remote. Press!
Customer: The channel number came up on the box. Then it went back to the time. Still no TV.
Me: And there is still nothing on the TV screen?
Customer: No. Nothing.
Me: Like, it is just a big, black, empty screen?
Customer: No. There is a box with a message.
Me: Like HDMI1 or something?
Customer: No. It says, ‘This box is not authorized.’ Then there is a phone number to call the cable company. Your system is busted.
Customer: Are you there?
Me: …(small pop of aneurysm bursting)…
Me: You need to call the cable company. Just like the box says.
Customer: OK. But I probably still need a service call for this remote...