RISC World

The RISCWorld Technical Support Dictionary

A essential RISCWorld reference supplement

Have you ever wondered what those strange phrases used by technical support people actually mean? Are you new to technical support and need help translating between "customer" and English? Either way you have come to the right place as Foundation RISCWorld can exclusively reveal the true meanings of all those common phrases. Why don't you see how often these phrases turn up in real life. Once you have revealed their true meaning, using our handy reference, your life will become fuller and more satisfying as you will know what people really mean...

Translating Tech Support to English

In this section you will find a series of standard "Technical Support" phrases along with their English translations. So next time you need to call a company for technical support you will be able understand what the underpaid and under qualified "expert" at the end of the phone really means:

"Have you tried shutting down and re-starting it?"
I don't know what's wrong with it and I don't care, but since I know it will take 3 minutes for it to shut down and re-start I can put you on hold and forget to pick the phone up again. Plus there's a fair chance that when you have re-started it will work again long enough for me to be able to get rid of you.

"We will add that to the suggestions list."
I have thrown the post it note with your phone number on in the bin.

"We haven't any reports of that before."
We have had a number of reports of exactly that only yesterday.

"We have thousands of users who have not had this problem."
We have thousands of users who have had a different problem.

"I can't find the details on the database."
I have been staring out of the window and haven't bothered looking at the database.

"We are investigating that problem at the moment."
No we're not.

"I am sorry I have another call coming through."
I'm 2 minutes late for my lunch break.

"I'll have to put you through to someone else."
I'll be disconnecting your call in 5 seconds time.

"Someone will call you back shortly."
No they won't.

Translating Customer to English

This section is intended for those offering technical support and provides a list of common customer phrases, along with their English translation and true meaning:

"Can you wait while I re-install it?"
It's 4:59 on Friday afternoon just before a bank holiday weekend. Although I won't be using it over the weekend I might as well ring you up now and sort it out in case I do want to use it when I come back from holiday in 2 weeks time.

"I've set it up how I like it."
I've copied stuff from another different machine over the top of everything and broken it all.

"It was fine yesterday."
I broke it three weeks ago.

"It's been wrong for ages."
It was fine yesterday.

"I haven't changed anything."
I've completely rebuilt my PC.

"I've upgraded my computer."
I've bought a new computer.

"I only bought it a few months ago."
I have the receipt here, it's for 3/6d.

"Can you repeat that."
Although I rung you for help I haven't been listening to a word you've said for the last 15 minutes.

"Oh, well it wasn't important..."
I've kept you on the phone for 45 minutes because I was bored and wanted someone to talk to.

"Did you want me to write that down?"
When you asked me to write it down earlier I forgot to get a pen, or paper.


If you have any further suggested entries for this guide then please do forward them to the Editor. We will compile the entries into a future comprehensive expanded reference work.