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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

AV Phone Call Nightmares

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?


Customer: 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?


Customer: Yes.


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?


Customer: The...TV…is…not…on.


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!


Me: …and…?


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.


Me: ….


Customer: Are you there?


Me: …(small pop of aneurysm bursting)…


Customer: Hello?


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...

Categories: July 2014, CTA, Rants

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