Have you plugged it in? The silliest IT support calls of 2018

laptop on fire

Just as the biggest problem with a car is often the nut holding the wheel, many IT support issues are down to the user rather than the equipment.

UK-based support company Probrand has compiled a list of some of the oddest support calls it has received over the past year.


It also reveals that in the first week of January, the volume of support calls was 47 percent higher than an average week, mainly from workers who needed assistance with logging in and resetting their password, having forgotten it over the Christmas break.

"After the Christmas shutdown or bank holiday weekends, our IT support helpdesk always observes a spike in calls," says Matt Royle, marketing director at Probrand. "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."

So, let's have a look at Probrand's top 10 strangest calls of 2018:

  • A user who had punched his laptop and wanted the screen replaced before any colleagues found out.
  • One 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 un-linking 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 a telephone line to save £20 ($26) a month. This cost the business thousands in revenue and took almost two weeks to get back online.
  • A 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.
  • 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 said, '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, but had just turned the Wi-Fi network offline.
  • A user who couldn't see or hear anything that was happening on their laptop. On sending out an engineer, it was found that the user had inadvertently turned the brightness of their screen right down and muted the speakers.

Royle adds, "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."

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