Sorry this is a big one, but it is still fresh and I was mad.
Me: Tech support for a biggish software company
Just as bit of background: Our serialnumbers have a limited numbers of activations, which are connected to hardware fingerprints. If you don’t deinstall the software before trashing your PC or switching important hardware etc, you loose an activation. If you deinstall, you get the activation back and thus can reinstall after switching hardware or moving to another machine. Usually our software has 4 activations by default, as stated in T+C, but we can increase up to 10 if a customer made a mistake, had faulty hardware etc. without any need to investigate it further.
AngryBird: “So I tried to install your software on my machine today after getting rid of the old computers and when I try to enter the serial number it gives me an error that the number of activations has been exceeded. What do I need to do?”
Me: “Alright Sir, let me check this for you. Would you please read out the serial number of the product?
AngryBird: [disgruntled] “Why do I have to give it to you? You should have it in your system?”
Me: [trying to sound extra nice to get this grumpy guy into a better mood] “We probably do, Sir, but I need to find you on the system. You can also give me your email adress or your first and last name, as I would have to confirm these details for data protection reasons anyways.”
AngryBird: [even more disgruntled] “Alright then, my serial number is 1234-5678-1337-BLA and my emailadress is email@example.com and my first and last name is Angry Bird.”
Me: [checking the serial number] “Okay, I can see on here that this serial number has been used for activation…10 times…that is the reason why you cannot activate any more, the limit for this serial number is 10. You would have to deinstall the program on other machines while you have an internet connection, that way a short message will be send to our activation servers and the activation will be freed up again for use on another machine.”
AngryBird: “So you’re telling me I have to deinstall the program so I can use it again?”
Me: “If you put it like that, well…yes. Actually, our serialnumbers for this product may only be used for 4 activations at the same time, but I can see now that we already have increased the number of possible activations in the past several times. May I ask you on how many machines the software is currently installed on, according to your knowledge?”
AngryBird: “I don’t know, probably a few, but I threw away most of my old PCs and how is that important and why do you say: ‘according to my knowledge’ I don’t like your tone of voice!”
Me: “Well, if your serial number has been used by someone else without your consent, for example, we could offer an investigation to help y-“
AngryBird: “Do you think I’m retarded? I don’t give out my serial number. I just try to install the software.”
Me: “And of course that is fine, Sir, I just wanted to doublecheck that these activations are correct and intentional.
AngryBird: “They are, I am not cheating!!!!”
Me: [takes a deep breath] “Okay, I’m sorry Sir if this upset you, but I had to check this. I can increase the activations one last time for you by the number of 2 as I can understand this issue is very inconvenient for you. But please make sure that in the future you uninstall the software from the device before you throw it away or change any important part of the system, as this keeps corrupting the number of possible activations and in the future we will not be allowed to increase your activations any further.”
AngryBird: “So you are saying that the software I bought with real money will be useless after two more installations?”
Me: “No, Sir, this is not what I said. As long as you ensure the software gets deinstalled before you throw your computers away, you get the respecting activation back and can use the serial number again.”
AngryBird: [now really pissed] “I strongly disagree with the way your company and you personally handle my issue, this sounds really dodgy. I probably do not have to mention that this service is also unsatisfactory.”
Me: [silently sighing] “Unfortunately, this is how big companies like OURCOMPANY protect themselves from fraud and misuse of licences. I am not saying – by any means – that you did anything like this, I believe that it might have been due to an easily overread paragraph in our license agreement. But it is, in fact, stated in our Terms and Conditions that you are only allowed to have the software activated on 4 machines at the same time, together with an explanation of how activations and deactivations work. I am sorry that you are not happy with this, but I have increased your activations now as an exception and you should be able to install your software properly now.”
AngryBird: “Is there any supervisor I can talk to?”
Me: [mentally resignating] “No Sir, there is no manager around as they are all in a meeting at this time in the week.”
AngryBird: [now nastily sarcastic] “Oh, how convenient for you. What was your name again?”
Me: “My name is Derpina, Sir.” [just like I introduced myself within the greeting]
AngryBird: “Oh, just ‘Derpina’? Does your company also have a dodgy rule prohibiting the courtesy of giving out your full name?”
Me: [frustrated, but annoyed enough to give this customer the complete rulebook] “Actually, it has, due to our own privacy protection, we will only give our first names. But be assured that I am the only Derpina in our team and regardless of any name duplicates, my supervisors are able to track who has provided service to you, so if you would like to complaint, you are of course free to mention me in your complaint, best send to the following adress: firstname.lastname@example.org“
AngryBird: “Oh I see, so you won’t record my complaint if I’d asked you to?”
Me: “I can write something down, but out of procedure reasons you will be asked to put down a written complaint and send it to this adress as well.”
AngryBird: [starts ranting again about company rules and how I treat him absolutely inappropriate]
Me: [my blood pressure is slowly rising, and I’m now done with this bullshit, interrupting his shitty monologue that by now goes on for about a minute] “Okay Sir, this leads nowhere. I have solved your issue already and you received more activations than it even states in the T+C, all purely out of goodwill of our company and their staff. If you are not happy with that, you have been provided with all the neccessary information to put in a complaint. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
AngryBird: *suddenly silent* “No. Have a nice day, as long as you still can.” *click*