Colleague: "I've had an inquiry for maintenance of some PC's but one of them is running XP which in turn is operating a laser cutter."
Me: "We wouldn't support the XP OS but we'll support the hardware."
Colleague: "Well I said we wouldn't support XP but he didn't seem worried about the price. He did want to know how we could support him if he had a problem."
Me: "Such as? What sort of problem? Is he talking about the XP or the hardware?"
Colleague: "Well he said he'd had two other company's out but they couldn't support him."
Me: "More like they wouldn't. So as I said, what is this 'problem' that he's talking about?"
Five minutes of waffle later.
Colleague: "I don't know."
Me: "Thing is you do this a lot. Let me put it into context for you. If you went to the doctor and said "I'm ill" the doctor is hardly likely to just give you a load of drugs are they? They're definitely going to ask you what's wrong with you or at the very least ask you to give them some clues as to what might be wrong."
Colleague: "I Suppose so."
Me: "No suppose about it, so how can I answer your question when you spoke with the guy and yet you didn't ask the question? Send him the maintenance brochure, make sure you restate in the email we do not support XP and follow it up in a few days."