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    All’s Well That Spends Well

    | England, UK | Technology, Top

    (I sell phones for a specific provider in the UK. Part of my job includes providing basic tech support to customers and sending their phones to repair if they’re broken beyond my means to fix. A guy walks in with a smartphone that clearly isn’t working right; The display is flickering and changing randomly.)

    Customer: *slams phone down hard on my desk* “My phone’s broken!”

    Me: “Let me have a quick look…”

    (I try the basics: restarting the phone, looking for any obvious signs of physical damage, etc. When I take the battery out to look at the liquid damage indicators, I can see they’ve clearly been activated.)

    Me: “Ooh, yikes! Your phone’s water damaged sir, and badly so by the looks of it. I’m afraid it won’t be repairable, by me or our repair centre.”

    Customer: “But I’ve never got it wet.”

    Me: “Maybe you haven’t sir, but something has. These indicators…” *pointing them out* “…only change colour when they get wet. These are bright red, meaning the phone got very wet at some point, and the warranty doesn’t cover that kind of damage.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** not? I pay good money for this service. I want my phone fixed!”

    Me: “And normally I’d happily send it to repair for you, but if I do that now, all they will do is send it back unrepaired with a £20 admin charge for running a diagnostic on it.”

    Customer: “So, what do I do? I need my phone!”

    Me: “I understand it’s frustrating when this happens, sir, but the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage. The repair team won’t repair it either, as it’s beyond economical repair. You’ll need to buy a new phone or claim this one on your insurance.”

    Customer: “There it is! I knew you just wanted to get me to buy something! Well, I’m not buying anything! Send my phone in, and get it fixed—right now!”

    Me: “Very well, sir. I was just trying to save you some grief.”

    (I book his phone in for repair, and it goes out the next day. Sure enough, a few days later, it returns unrepaired and with an admin charge for £20 due to liquid damage rendering it unrepairable. The customer comes back to collect it and flips out when he sees it hasn’t been repaired.)

    Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with you people?! I didn’t get my f***ing phone wet! It’s not my f***ing fault! Fix my motherf***ing godd*** phone right now or I’m canceling my f***ing contract!”

    Me: “Please stop swearing, sir. I did say this would happen, but you refused to believe me. Also, you can’t cancel your contract because you caused irreparable damage to your handset. The SIM card and services are still fully functional, so no part of the contract has been broken by us.”

    Customer: “THIS IS A F***ING SCAM! YOU’RE ALL F***ING THIEVES!” *starts shouting at other customers in the store* “DON’T BUY ANYTHING FROM HERE! THEY’RE ALL A BUNCH OF F***ING IDIOTS AND THIEVES!” *storms out*

    (After the angry customer leaves, the next customer in line comes up to my desk.)

    Next Customer: “Do you get that a lot?”

    Me: “Far, far more often than logic dictates I should.”

    Next Customer: “You’ve got the patience of a saint, mate. Would selling me a new contract on [our most popular phone and plan] help?”

    Me: “A lot, actually!”

    Next Customer: “Sweet! Here’s my card and ID. GIMME!” *smiles*

    (The rest of the day was a lot better, but I still get people like the angry customer every few days. Last I checked, his contract was being chased up by debt collectors for non-payment of bills.)