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If Buying Computers was Like Buying a Car PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 06 May 1995
General Motors doesn't have a "help line" for people who don't know how to drive, because people don't buy cars like they buy computers.

... but imagine if they did ...

Helpline: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
Customer: "I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!"
Helpline: "Did you put the key in the ignition slot and turn it?"
Customer: "What's an ignition?"
Helpline: "It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine."
Customer: "Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?"
Helpline: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
Customer: "My car ran fine for a week, and now it won't go anywhere!"
Helpline: "Is the gas tank empty?"
Customer: "Huh? How do I know!?"
Helpline: "There's a little gauge on the front panel, with a needle, and markings from 'E' to 'F.' Where is the needle pointing?"
Customer: "It's pointing to 'E.' What does that mean?"
Helpline: "It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor, and purchase some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the vendor to install it for you."
Customer: "What!? I paid $12,000.00 for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!"
Helpline: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
Customer: "Your cars suck!"
Helpline: "What's wrong?"
Customer: "It crashed, that's what went wrong!"
Helpline: "What were you doing?"
Customer: "I wanted to run faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed and now it won't start!"
Helpline: "It's your responsibility if you misuse the product. What do you expect us to do about it?"
Customer: "I want you to send me one of your latest versions that doesn't crash anymore!"
Helpline: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
Customer: "Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, and power door locks."
Helpline: "Thanks for buying our car. How can I help you?"
Customer: "How do I work it?"
Helpline: "Do you know how to drive?"
Customer: "Do I know how to what?"
Helpline: "Do you know how to DRIVE?"
Customer: "I'm not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!"

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