Customer Service Agents Can 'Sneak Peak' Your Live Chat Messages Before You Hit Send

iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic
iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic

In the pre-internet dark ages, talking to a customer service representative meant waiting on hold for the better part of an afternoon. Now, there's live chatting: Instead of pressing the same key several times to reach a human, this option connects you to a real person right away—and their responses are just as quick as what you'd get on the phone, if not quicker. Gizmodo reports that there may be a unsettling explanation for that speedy service: Some customer service agents can see what you're typing into your chat box in real time even before you hit send.

A Gizmodo reader recently discovered this while using a mattress company's live-chat feature. The representative responded to a question that the customer had typed out but hadn't sent. When asked about it, the agent wrote that they "get a preview" and it "Gives us a little bit of extra time to look up information."

Others have reported customer service representatives responding to messages with detailed information in less time than it would take to read them. Some live chat services, like Snap Engage and JivoChat, even advertise this feature on their websites under names like sneak peak. One of the biggest companies to offer this feature, Live Chat, provides the chat platforms for PayPal, McDonalds, and IKEA.

If you think a stranger creeping on your unedited messages is a small price to pay for fast service, proceed with your live chats as usual. Unfortunately there's not much you can do to tell if this feature is enabled if you feel differently. Your best option is to draft your messages in a word processor and copy and paste them into the chat box when you're ready to hit send. Or, if you have time to spare, you can always use the old-fashioned method of giving customer service a call.

[h/t Gizmodo]

7 Top-Rated Portable Air Conditioners You Can Buy Right Now

Black + Decker/Amazon
Black + Decker/Amazon

The warmest months of the year are just around the corner (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), and things are about to get hot. To make indoor life feel a little more bearable, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the top-rated portable air conditioners you can buy online right now.

1. SereneLife 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner; $290

SereneLife air conditioner on Amazon.
SereneLife/Amazon

This device—currently the best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon—is multifunctional, cooling the air while also working as a dehumidifier. Reviewers on Amazon praised this model for how easy it is to set up, but cautioned that it's not meant for large spaces. According to the manufacturer, it's designed to cool down rooms up to 225 square feet, and the most positive reviews came from people using it in their bedroom.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Black + Decker 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Heater; $417

Black + Decker portable air conditioner
Black+Decker/Amazon

Black + Decker estimates that this combination portable air conditioner and heater can accommodate rooms up to 350 square feet, and it even comes with a convenient timer so you never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off before you leave the house. The setup is easy—the attached exhaust hose fits into most standard windows, and everything you need for installation is included. This model sits around four stars on Amazon, and it was also picked by Wirecutter as one of the best values on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mikikin Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $45

Desk air conditioner on Amazon
Mikikin/Amazon

This miniature portable conditioner, which is Amazon's top-selling new portable air conditioner release, is perfect to put on a desk or end table as you work or watch TV during those sweltering dog days. It's currently at a four-star rating on Amazon, and reviewers recommend filling the water tank with a combination of cool water and ice cubes for the best experience.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Juscool Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $56

Juscool portable air conditioner.
Juscool/Amazon

This tiny air conditioner fan, which touts a 4.6-star rating, is unique because it plugs in with a USB cable, so you can hook it up to a laptop or a wall outlet converter to try out any of its three fan speeds. This won't chill a living room, but it does fit on a nightstand or desk to help cool you down in stuffy rooms or makeshift home offices that weren't designed with summer in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

5. SHINCO 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $320

Shinco portable air conditioner
SHINCO/Amazon

This four-star-rated portable air conditioner is meant for rooms of up to 200 square feet, so think of it for a home office or bedroom. It has two fan speeds, and the included air filter can be rinsed out quickly underneath a faucet. There's also a remote control that lets you adjust the temperature from across the room. This is another one where you'll need a window nearby, but the installation kit and instructions are all included so you won't have to sweat too much over setting it up.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Honeywell MN Series Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier; $400

Honeywell air conditioner on Walmart.
Honeywell/Walmart

Like the other units on this list, Honeywell's portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier or a standard fan when you just want some air to circulate. You can cool a 350-square-foot room with this four-star model, and there are four wheels at the bottom that make moving it from place to place even easier. This one is available on Amazon, too, but Walmart has the lowest price right now.

Buy it: Walmart

7. LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $699

LG Portable Air Conditioner.
LG/Home Depot

This one won't come cheap, but it packs the acclaim to back it up. It topped Wirecutter's list of best portable air conditioners and currently has a 4.5-star rating on Home Depot's website, with many of the reviews praising how quiet it is while it's running. It's one of the only models you'll find compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it can cool rooms up to 500 square feet. There's also the built-in timer, so you can program it to go on and off whenever you want.

Buy it: Home Depot

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

New Virtual Tool Lets You Rickroll Your Next Zoom Meeting

YouTube
YouTube

Anyone who says the Rickroll is played out isn't thinking big enough. The classic internet prank—in which web users are tricked into watching the music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley—has been reimagined countless times in a variety of contexts. Now, Rickrolling has entered the Zoom era.

As Gizmodo reports, creative technologist Matt Reed has invented a genius tool that lets you Rickroll your coworkers. After receiving an invitation to a Zoom meeting you're not excited to attend, head to InviteRick.com and submit the invite link.

The tool is still in beta, and Reed has to initiate every Rickroll manually. That means Rick is only available to make surprise Zoom performances on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. Once you've signed up for the service, you'll be added to a queue and updated on when to expect Rick to make his appearance. When the pop icon does eventually crash your Zoom, he'll stick around for approximately 15 seconds before making his exit. Hopefully that's enough time to completely derail the meeting.

InviteRick.com may only be around for a short while (Reed admits it likely violates Zoom's terms of service), so spread that '80s corniness while you still can. In the meantime, check out these epic Rickrolls from a simpler time in history.

[h/t Gizmodo]