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    Category: Language & Words

    This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

    Don’t Read, And Pay The Price

    | Moncton, NB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (Our policy is, and has always been, that 30-days notice is required to cancel any service; this is clearly noted on all customer bills.)

    Customer: “Why am I being charged an extra 30 days for service I didn’t use?”

    Me: “Sir, you called on March 21 and requested that the account be closed on the 30th.”

    Customer: “So?”

    Me: “Well, 30 days’ notice is required to cancel any service. It’s indicated on every bill you receive—”

    Customer: “What? You expect me to read?!”

    Making A Queer Choice

    | NM, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

    (I work in a call center. I am asking a customer to read out a serial number phonetically.)

    Customer: “…Q as in ‘Queer.’”

    (The customer passes for a moment.)

    Customer: “I’m sorry; I don’t know if that was politically correct. It means other things, right?”

    Me: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, sure. I can assure you it means other things.”

    Lost On The Train And In Translation

    | England, UK | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (I work in the ticket office at a train station. One night a customer with very poor English comes up to me.)

    Customer: “Cawidge.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, where are you headed?”

    Customer: “Cawidge.”

    Me: “Cambridge?”

    Customer: “No, I go Cawidge.”

    Me: “Can you write that for me?” *I hand him a piece of paper and a pen.*

    Customer: *shouts something in a foreign language to someone on the other side of the station, who comes running up.*

    Customer’s Friend: “He go Cawidge.”

    Me: “Yes, can you write that for me please?”

    Customer’s Friend: “Uh… Cawidge. Brummum?”

    Me: “Birmingham?”

    Customer’s Friend: *excitedly* “Yeah, yeah! Brummum! Brummum Cawidge!”

    *it suddenly clicks*

    Me: “Oh, University of Birmingham?”

    Customer: “Yeah, cawidge!”

    Me: “Sure, that’ll be [price]. In future though, don’t ask for the College, ask for University of Birmingham. Okay?”

    Customer: “Yew… nee… verse… Brummum!”

    Me: “… Yeah, that’ll do.”

    Charlie Is Barely Barley, Bizarrely

    | Canada | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    (We interact with customers over the phone, and sometimes have to spell things out for them, so for clarity’s sake, we are encouraged to memorize and use the NATO phonetics to spell when needed. A as in Alpha, B as in Bravo…)

    Me: “Okay, please type this in: C for Charlie—”

    Customer: “B for barley?”

    (So much for clarity!)

    Knows Zip About The Code

    | NM, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words

    Me: “Thank you, Ma’am. Now I need your address so we can mail your order out to you.”

    Caller: “I live at [Street, City, State, USA].”

    Me: “OK, ma’am, I have all that. May I have your ZIP code, please?”

    Caller: “My what?”

    Me: “Your ZIP code. It’s part of your address. After your address.”

    Caller: “After my address? No, I don’t have one.”

    Me: “Everyone has a ZIP code. It’s the number that follows your address. If you live in the USA, you have a ZIP code. All addresses have one.”

    Caller: “And I’m telling you I never heard of such a thing, I’ve lived in this house for 15 years and there’s no ZIP code here.”

    Me: “You live in [City], right?”

    Caller “Yes. In [City] in [State].”

    Me: “Then your ZIP code is a five digit number and would probably begin with [number].”

    Caller: “You’re out of your mind! I am looking out my window RIGHT NOW at my house number, on the front porch and there is NO ZIP CODE!”

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