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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!

    Totally ‘Tanga’

    | Hastings, NE, USA | Awesome Workers, Crazy Requests, Language & Words, Technology

    Customer: “What do you mean you don’t have the parts on hand to fix my TV?”

    Me: “Well, your TV is 12 years old. I can have the parts in a day or two.”

    (The customer starts every cuss word in the book, yelling at me about my incompetence and lack of skill.)

    Me: *stands there and waits until she pauses for a breath, when she does…* “Ma’am, would you like to learn some Tagalog?”

    Customer: “Huh?…What’s Tagalog?”

    Me: “It’s the language of the Philippines.”

    Customer: “Why would I need to learn that?”

    Me: *in the same, low toned and calm voice I have been using during her entire screaming session* “So you don’t have to use the same seven cuss words over and over.”

    (Right after saying that, I calmly picked up my tools and headed for the door. The customer, red faced and stuttering, tried to yell at me some more, but was at a complete loss for words.)

    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!)

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