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    Category: Bad Behavior

    Cold Callers Versus Hot Heads

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (It is my first week of cold calling people to try to encourage them to buy a kitchen or windows. I do not want to be there, but I need the money.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #1: “Yes?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think—”

    Customer #1: “DON’T YOU KNOW MY MOTHER HAS JUST DIED?!” *slams down phone*

    Me: “… No?”

    (I put her on to the don’t call back list despite the fact we’re not meant to do that unless they specifically ask us to because I feel sorry for her despite her rudeness, and let the automated dialer tick to the next cold call.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #2: “Yes, you are. Who is this?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think that might be something you’re interested in?”

    Customer #2: “You know, you don’t have to do this. You could go back to college, educate yourself, and get a proper job. You don’t have to waste your life in a call centre.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m studying neurobiology at university.”

    Customer #2: “Oh, well, uh, no. I’m not interested. Sorry. Please remove me from the list. Good luck.”

    (Again, I put him on the no call back list then let the dialer click on…)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer: *sighs* “Yes…”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think you might be interested?”

    Customer: “Actually, maybe. Tell me more. What does it involve?”

    (The customer gets me to answer loads of questions, sounds really interested, and I begin to hope my day might turn round and I might finally check off the measly £1 bonus for getting someone to book a visit for a quote.)

    Customer: “Brilliant, thank you for that. Can you do me one last favour?”

    Me: “Absolutely, sir!”

    Customer: “Good. Can you F*** OFF?!” *slams down the phone*

    (I put him on the urgent call back list, meaning he’ll be called the next day around lunch time, and if he’s still rude to whoever is unfortunate enough to get him they will probably do the exact same thing. If you’re going to be a jerk to cold callers, remember we are human beings, too. Politeness gets you much further and it costs nothing to say nicely ‘I’m not interested; please take me off your lists.’ I started job hunting that night and left three weeks later.)

    A Continuous Sauce Of Stress

    , | Montgomery, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Give me an extra sauce.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, but I have to charge you an additional 28 cents.”

    Customer: “I come here all the time! Just give me the f****** sauce!”

    (I’ve worked there for three years both day and night shift and have never seen this lady.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t give you the extra sauce unless you purchase it.”

    (The lady digs in her purse and pulls out some change. I hand her the sauce.)

    Customer: “Can I have a cup of water?”

    Me: “We charge for our cups as well. It would be 28 cents.”

    (I’m trying to hold back a smile as the customer glares at me.)

    Customer: “Have a good f****** night, b****!”

    (I smile at her politely.)

    Me: “Thank you, ma’am! I hope you have a wonderful evening as well!”

    Tripping About Shipping

    | Monroe, CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Transportation

    (I work in a factory office that sells school supplies around the country. We receive purchase orders via e-mail, regular mail, and fax. Most of the calls we receive tend to be about checking the status of deliveries and orders received.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How many I help you?”

    Caller: “I would like to say that the way you shipped out my order is unacceptable and not according to what I requested in the fax. I demand to be compensated!”

    Me: “Okay, I apologize for the inconvenience. May I have the purchase order number so I can look into it, please?”

    Caller: “Yes, it’s [number].”

    (Her account has several notations, mainly about reps trying to contact the customer about her order which has over $400 worth of goods. She requested in her fax that she wanted her order divided up into four separate shipments, one for each teacher that the goods are to go to. Company policy won’t allow us to do that as doing so will increase shipping costs. The last notation reads that a rep spoke with the school secretary and explained the company policy about shipments. She was advised she could choose to either have everything shipped together or she could fax separate purchase orders with each teacher’s name. The notes showed she chose the former option.)

    Caller: “That’s unacceptable! I did not give permission to do that. You should have asked for me specifically.”

    Me: “According to these notes, the rep did and got the secretary instead.”

    Caller: “Sir! The secretary does not have permission to make changes to purchase orders. You should have asked for me! I should be compensated for this.”

    Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, that’s not company error. The secretary should have told you what happened.”

    Caller: “Don’t you think you should’ve told her to let me know?”

    Me: “Ma’am, she’s your secretary! It should go without saying that if she gets a call about your order, if she makes a change to it she should let you know. It’s not our error if she doesn’t do that. I’m sorry, but according to these notes the rep did ask for you. He did explain the situation to the secretary and he asked her if she had authorization to make changes to the order. She said yes and the changes were made.”

    Caller: “Well, I’m telling you now she should not have done that!! That rep should have asked for me specifically because the order is now ruined! It’s four other secretaries and I sorting out over six boxes of products that are scattered everywhere. It’s a complete mess that is taking too much time. I have to deal with all this aggravation because of your incompetence.”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. As I explained before, company policy won’t—”

    Caller: “I DON’T GIVE A F**** ABOUT WHAT YOUR COMPANY POLICY SAYS! I’m pissed the f**** off!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there’s no need to yell and raise your voice like that. Please be advised if you continue to use that language and tone this call will be disconnected.”

    Caller: *scoffs* “This is so aggravating! I’m so upset. I should return everything and make you pay for the return shipment.”

    Me: “Please be advised that we’re not going to do that as you placed this order out of your own volition. At no point in this phone call did you state you received incorrect merchandise. Also, be mindful that it would take more effort on your part to package everything up and return back versus you already going through the process of sorting out the merchandise.”

    Caller: “This is nonsense! I should call the Better Business Bureau on you people and my secretary!”

    Me: “You’re going to complain to the Better Business Bureau that we correctly filled your order, that your secretary did not inform you of our phone call, and the secretary that either you or your school hired didn’t do your job?”

    (The caller let out a huge scream, then hung up. When I checked on the account later on in the day notes were left stating she spoke with a manager who told her the same thing.)

    Sorry Doesn’t Seem To Be The Hardest Word

    | AK, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m ringing up a customer and giving her her bags. I forget to give her the light jacket she bought and don’t notice until she drives off. Hoping she’ll come back, I put it next to myself for safe-keeping and keep checking customers. Twenty minutes later, she returns.)

    Customer: “Where’s my jacket?!”

    Me: “Right here, ma’am.” *I give her back the jacket* “I’m sorry about the inconvenience, I—”

    Customer: “You should be ASHAMED of yourself! This is very poor service!”

    Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am—”

    Customer: “I had to get out of my car, bring in my things, see my jacket missing, get my walker, get BACK in my car, and drive all the way back here, and it was very difficult! What’s your name? I’m calling corporate about you, and they’re gonna write you up!”

    Me: “I’m sorry about—”

    Customer: *wry laughter* “Oh, and of course, you never ONCE said sorry!”

    Me: “But I, just— I’m very sorry, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh, yeah, you apologize NOW, after I TELL you to!”

    (I return to my line, shaken and a little upset, and continue ringing up the customer I was helping earlier, who witnessed the whole thing.)

    Next Customer: “But you said you were sorry FOUR times. I counted!”

    A Slow And Ready Response

    , | Turku, Finland | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (It’s an extremely busy Saturday, as usual, and even though we have all four tills open, there’s a massive queue. Everything goes smoothly however, until a family of five enters the line. The father starts immediately to complain about absolutely everything. I try to be extra nice to smooth things over.)

    Customer: *uses a lot of profanities* “How slow are you people?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, Saturdays are really busy days for us. What would you like to order?”

    (The kids want our most popular meal, which comes from our hamburger kitchen, and the wait for the burgers is minimal. The parents want kebabs from our other, significantly smaller kitchen, which is backed up for at least 15 minutes.)

    Customer: “So, for how long do I have to wait until I get my darn food?!”

    Me: “The hamburgers will take only a couple of minutes, but unfortunately the kebabs will take a while. If you’re in a hurry today, I recommend that you change our order to only hamburgers.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! You’re so f****** slow! We are really in a hurry. We need to be at the cinema in the city center in half an hour! You need to be faster than this!”

    (I’ve done my best to be polite, but now I lose my composure.)

    Me: “Sir, you saw how long our line was when you entered our facility. You had to know that the service would be a tad slower today and frankly, it is not my problem that you are late for your movie, especially since you insist on having kebabs, even though the line is really long and you’ll have to wait. Maybe you shouldn’t have come here at all, if you were so keen on making it to the movies!”

    (The face of the customer was priceless and the rest of the transaction was made in silence. I was chagrined by my outburst and told my manager what I did, in case the family wanted to give feedback, so that he would know that I was the culprit. The manager just shrugged and said that things like that happen, and as long as I don’t do it again I wouldn’t get more than a verbal warning!)

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