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You couldn’t make IT up: Top 10 funniest and most bizarre IT support calls for 2018

List features everything from a frustrated worker punching his laptop screen, a data centre failure costing thousands due to DIY gaffer tape wiring and an embarrassing blunder involving ‘personal’ photos on a work phone

IT support provider Probrand has revealed some of its most bizarre and intriguing IT ‘issues’ reported to its helpdesk in 2018 and the first month of January as workers arrived back from the Christmas break.

according to the firm, calls in the first week of 2019 were up over 47 per cent on average, with most calls coming from workers who had forgotten their password over the Christmas break and needed help resetting it. This revelation was part of a list compiled by the company which illustrated the somewhat comical ‘best of the best’ calls the helpdesk received in 2018. It featured everything from a frustrated worker punching his laptop screen, a data centre failure costing thousands due to DIY gaffer tape wiring, an embarrassing blunder involving ‘personal’ photos taken on a work phone linked to a company iCloud account, and a user who could not fathom why their printer was not working only to discover it was not plugged in.

Other highlights from the list include a finance team who cancelled their BT line to save £20 a month (which inadvertently cost their company thousands in revenue) and a corporate IT network that was seemingly brought down by an employee simply turning the Wi-Fi offline.

Matt Royle, marketing director at Probrand comments: “After the Christmas shutdown or bank holiday weekends, our IT support helpdesk always observes a spike in calls. Many of these relate to employees forgetting how to do the simplest of things, such as log in, usernames and passwords or how to connect to the wireless network.

“Of course, our helpdesk exists to offer support to customers on all IT issues, from the seemingly minor, to the most catastrophic. Customers are always dealt with professionally, though we do particularly appreciate the ones that put a smile on our engineers faces. Our teams have heard it all, from seemingly simple requests from non-tech-savvy employees, to the downright bizarre.”

The top 10 funniest IT ‘issues’ that were reported to Probrand during 2018:

  • A user who had punched his laptop and wanted the screen replaced before any colleagues found out.
  • One frantic caller got in touch to advise their laptop was unusable and full of viruses – It turns out they’d been using their work laptop to watch X-rated videos at home.
  • An embarrassed user who needed help unlinking their company iCloud from their work phone, as ‘personal’ photographs had got mixed in with work files.
  • One major business client called to report that they’d lost their internet connection. After sending out a team of engineers, it was discovered that the internet was down due to an employee in the business’ finance team cancelling their BT line to save £20 a month. This cost the business thousands in revenue and took almost two weeks to get back online.
  • An entire corporate network had gone down several times, with the servers going offline. Investigation from the Probrand engineers found that someone had cut through then repaired the main power lead supporting the servers, but had repaired it with a part designed for domestic use and gaffer tape… Nobody came forward to take responsibility for this wiring disaster.
  • The IT helpdesk took a call saying an office printer was faulty. After being talked through some basic troubleshooting by the team, it turned out it wasn’t plugged in.
  • One caller reported ‘I can’t view websites as ads keep getting in the way’ –these were just web pop-ups that they needed to close.
  • A recent call about a ‘faulty’ PC went along the lines of ‘My PC won’t work, it just won’t login’. The IT helpdesk tried to talk the user through some basic fixes, though the user couldn’t locate his PC tower unit which was sat under his desk.
  • A user who’d seemingly ‘broken’ their company’s IT network, though had just turned the Wi-Fi network offline.
  • A user who couldn’t see or hear anything that was happening on their laptop. Upon sending out an engineer, it was discovered that the user had inadvertently turned the ‘brightness’ of their screen right down and muted the speakers.

Probrand is a technology services provider that saves people time and money buying IT via its own marketplace, and helps businesses run and transform operations with its award-winning portfolio of IT services and solutions.