One of the great annoyances of working in computer and Internet technical support is that a tech will get a number of rude or downright hostile customers in a day's worth of calls.
Novice users aren't too much of a problem- it's the customers who insist that their computers are running fine, and
who refuse to do anything a tech tells them to do to fix the problem. The worst of all, of course, are customers who think they know more than the technician they're speaking to, and insist on arguing about anything the tech says. (Hey, if you're so smart, why do you need tech support?)
Not only will these calls often affect a tech's attitude towards the next caller, but the general negativity of most callers makes tech support one of the most stressful jobs in the world. This means high attrition rates for tech support staff, which necessitates the hiring of less-qualified staff, which leads to a drop in the quality of service to you, the customer. The same applies to most forms of customer support done over the telephone.
In short, hostile, rude and ignorant callers ruin things for everybody.
My solution is a simple one. Add a shock button to the customer support person's telephone. Any time a customer calling tech support decides to be rude or ignorant, hitting this button will deliver a mild shock to the headset of the ignorant customer. According to the principles of operant conditioning, the ignorant caller will eventually associate the shocks with their hostile remarks, and will avoid being rude. This should make for kinder, gentler tech support experiences all around.
Tech: "Okay, sir, would you please open up your Control Panel?"
Ignorant Caller: "No. That's not where the problem is- it's your server."
BZZZT!<sound of frying flesh as tech hits the 'Shock"'button>
Tech: "Again, sir, will you please open up your Control Panel?"
Ignorant Caller: "I'm telling you- it's your $%#@&* server!"
BZZZT! <more frying flesh >
Tech: "One last time, sir. Please open the Control Panel."
Ignorant Caller: "Okay. It's open...."
Other uses for this device could be extended to the home, to discourage unwanted or rude callers. Its use should not, however, be allowed for use by telemarketing companies, although the ability to shock telemarketers might be a bonus.