Windows Service Center

I just had an interesting phone call from someone at the “Windows Service Center”. Note I spelled “Center” the non-Australian way, because I do not think they were based here. Anyway, I get these calls about once a month so I get to have a bit of fun. The conversation went like this…

Caller: “Hello. Is Mr. Mac-Rae there?” (my name was pronounced with a discernible gap…)
Me: “Yes”
Caller: “(pause…) Are you Mr Mac-Rae?”
Me: “Yes”
Caller: “I am calling from the Windows Service Center.”
Me: “My windows are quite clean from all the rain we had lately and they are showing no leaks.”
Caller: “Um… as in Windows on your computer.”
Me: “Oh, right. That would make lots more sense.”
Caller: “Are you the main user of the computer?”
Me: “Which one?”
Caller: “You have more than one?”
Me: “Yes. Six” (which is technically correct – the best kind of correct – but most of them are broken and serve as door stops)
Caller: “We will start with the one you mainly use.”
Me: “OK then. Yes, I am the main user of the computer I mainly use.”
Caller: “There are lots of viruses on the internet these days and our records indicate that your computer is infected.”
Me: “Which one?”
Caller: “Excuse me?”
Me: “Which computer is infected?”
Caller: “Probably all of them, but I will help you check.”
Me: “How would I know such a thing?”
Caller: “Have you ever seen a ‘This page can not be displayed’ message in Internet Explorer?”
Me: “I can honestly say I have never seen that message from Internet Explorer on my computer.”
Caller: “OK. We better check your computer anyway. Can you go to the Control Panel?”
Me: “I don’t think my computer has one of those.” (XFCE calls it a “Settings Manager”)
Caller: “I will guide you to it. Is your computer on?”
Me: “No. I just turned it off because I was told it might be infected with a virus.”
Caller: “Can you please turn it back on?”
Me: “OK, but it will take a while. It seems to be booting really slowly lately for some reason…”
Caller: “OK, I will wait.”

(a few minutes interlude while I respond to an email)

Me: “OK, my computer is on.”
Caller: “Good. Now click on the button in the lower left corner of the screen.”
Me: “I do not have a button there.” (slight lie… I have a “Show Desktop” button there)
Caller: “What operating system do you use?”
Me:“Plan 9”
Caller: “Sorry, what was that?”
Me:“Plan 9”
Caller: “…” (hung up)

So I probably went a bit overboard with choosing Plan 9 as the operating system I was running, but I was getting bored. One day I really should follow instructions and see what they try to get me to do to my computer.

11 thoughts on “Windows Service Center

  1. Awesome post!

    [quote]My windows are quite clean from all the rain we had lately and they are showing no leaks.[/quote]

    Best part.

  2. Yay, I’m not the only one to get those calls. In the last three months the (supposibly) same ‘lady’ has called me 10 times.

    I’ve tried confusing her, overtechnicating her, saying I don’t have any computers, and telling her I run Arch. Annoyingly I don’t have a windows machiene connected to the net so I have no idea what they want me to download/test/purchase.

    Just yesterday the same person called the house and my mother answered it, she tried to give the phone to me as computers are “my thing”. The ‘lady’ spent the next minute insulting my computer skills as I don’t have any real skills if there is a virus on my computer. I’m not going to try to annoyer her anymore. I’ve finally figured out that it doesn’t work. Next time I’m just going to hang up.

  3. Nice post. Enjoyed it every bit of it!
    I never get any calls like this. I wish I had some.

  4. This has happened to several friends and family here in Canada. The scam gets the user to log onto a LogMeIn site where they control your computer and steal your windows key and use a key changer it to a pirated one. They were successful with one blonde friend…but I don’t know how an OEM key will benefit them.

  5. nice to see i’m not the only one to do this. the local shopping centre always has people trying to push something you don’t need.

    house insurance – go along for a while remarking about the benefits, then ask what house it comes with.
    car breakdown – just say your already a member.
    numerous others – start speaking in german/french.

    i had one call me from india asking about a survey and offering me a film for a camera, despite only having digital for 9 years.