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    Christmas Complaints Have Hit The Roof

    | Kent, England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (The call centre takes calls from tenants of housing associations who need to report repairs. It is Christmas Eve and the night before there had been some extremely high winds and a lot of rainfall resulting in a massive amount of calls regarding roof leaks. Half of the engineers are on holiday, some of the call centre staff have called in sick, and call waiting times are over 45 minutes.)

    Me: “Good morning, [Company]. Sorry for the wait. How may I help you today?”

    Tenant: “I’ve been on hold for ages! I went outside this morning and found lots of broken roof tiles on the ground. My living room is flooding and my fence has fallen over.”

    Me: “Ma’am, is there any room above your living room, another floor, or a loftspace?”

    Tenant: “No, just the roof.”

    Me: “Ma’am is the water coming through the ceiling or down a wall?”

    Tenant: “It’s coming through the roof! So will you have someone out in the next couple of hours? I need to get my Christmas shopping done.”

    Me: “Unfortunately due to the extremely high winds I have been advised that we cannot allow our roofing engineers to go up on roofs as it is too dangerous and they are at risk of falling. I can, however, get someone to you on 27th to resolve the roofing issue. However, your fence will not be repaired until January.”

    Tenant: “WHAT? How dare you say you can’t get anyone to me today! This is ridiculous. My flat is flooding!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there is no way I can get a roofer to come out and repair your roof today. There are 70 mph winds.”

    Tenant: “That is no excuse! I have water coming into my living room and it is going to spoil CHRISTMAS!”

    Me: “The only thing I can advise is to put a large bowl, bucket, or pot under where the leak is coming from until the 27th. There is not much more rain forecast so the leak should stop. I know it is a few days away but we just cannot allow someone up on a roof today.”

    Tenant: “I can’t hold Christmas with a pot in my living room. This is not good enough! I WANT SOMEONE HERE TODAY!”

    Me: “Ma’am, please stop shouting at me. I am trying to help you.”

    Tenant: “SOMEONE. HERE. TODAY.”

    Me: *getting a little exasperated* “Ma’am, I don’t know what else to say. It is just too dangerous for our roofers to go out today. Would you be happy to climb a ladder today?”

    Tenant: “Of course not. It’s windy. Now go type on that little computer of yours and book someone to COME TODAY.”

    Me: “Just a moment, ma’am, and I’ll speak with one of the engineer’s supervisors.”

    (I put the tenant on hold, and explain the situation to a supervisor.)

    Me: “Is there anything we can do?”

    Supervisor: “What does she want us to do? Become omnipotent and turn off the wind? You know what, I live nearby and I was just heading home. I’ll go out and see if there is anything we can do from inside.”

    Me: “Oh, thank you!”

    (Resumes call.)

    Me: “Sorry about keeping you on hold.”

    (I hear the tenant shouting in the background.)

    Tenant: “No, don’t you wipe up that water. Let them do it. It’s what they are paid for! Those little f***s never come out when we need them!”

    Me: “Ma’am, are you there?”

    Tenant: “That was so disrespectful and rude! I can’t believe you put me on hold!

    Me: *trying to hold my tongue* “Ma’am, one of the engineer’s supervisors will be with you today.”

    Tenant: “Well, see what happens when you kick up a fuss?”

    Me: “Have a wonderful Christmas.”

    Tenant: “Yeah, whatever. You should be fired.” *click*

    (Three hours later, the supervisor called in to say that her roof wasn’t leaking. She’d left a tap on in her en-suite bathroom (which, it turned out, was above the living room). Best thing about this? The tenant had to pay for the repair bills and the callout charge.)

    Unhappy Holidays, Part 2

    | Panama | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (We’ve been told not to say Merry Christmas to the customers at work and to say Happy Holidays instead, as someone might get offended. But sometimes, once or twice a day, a Merry Christmas will slip out, and this happens one of those times.)

    Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Customer: “No, that will be all. Thank you!”

    Me: “Thanks to you for calling. Have a nice day and a Merry Christmas.”

    Customer: “What did you just say?”

    Me: “Thanks to you for calling—”

    Customer: “Don’t you dare! You said Merry Christmas! I don’t celebrate Christmas! I’m an atheist! Do you know how offended I am?”

    Me: “I’m really sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to offend you. ”

    Customer: “I want to speak with your supervisor immediately!”

    (I go get a supervisor and I explain him what happen, and as it is something normal to happen, she goes to the phone to apologize to the customer.)

    Supervisor: “Thank you for holding, sir. The agent explained to me what happened and I’m really sorry about this occurrence, and I can assure you it won’t happen again.”

    Customer: “What kind of sick people are y’all hiring? I’m an Atheist, why will you wish me a Merry Christmas?”

    Supervisor: “Again, sir, I’m really sorry about that. But as it happens I don’t celebrate Christmas either and I’m not creating a fuss about people telling me Merry Christmas! So suck it up, get a life, and stop calling for this!”

    (Later on, she explained to me that this guy had been calling several times during the day for the same thing, waiting for someone to wish him a Merry Christmas.)

    Related:

    Unhappy Holidays

    Putting The Grin In Grinch

    | WI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I do chat support for a major mobile device manufacturer. A customer comes in to chat all upset:)

    Customer: “Christmas is ruined! I spent $180 on a cell phone and it isn’t going to be delivered in time.”

    Me: “That is unfortunate, sir. I see we shipped it on time, and it is in the shipping company’s possession. But for some reason the tracking shows that the package had been diverted, causing a delay in delivery. I apologize.”

    (I try to explain that it is not something I have any control over, but he isn’t having any of it. Finally, there is a pause, and then he tells me:)

    Customer: “Okay, I just called my son over to the computer. He is here now. Go on… explain it to him. Tell my 12-year-old why you ruined his Christmas.”

    (I was stunned. There were a few false starts where I started typing a reply, then deleted it and tried to gather my thoughts. I was SO glad this was a chat and not a call, or things would have probably gone downhill very fast.)

    Me: “I am very, very sorry that the package did not arrive on time. I promise you, it is on its way and you will receive it soon. In the meantime, I want to ask you to please be patient, and to be grateful that you have a dad that would buy a cool phone like this for you, because there are a lot of children who have to make do with much less. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a good night.”

    (The chat suddenly terminated a few minutes later, when he disconnected without a word.)

    Thank You For Calling The North Pole

    | Dublin, Ireland | Family & Kids, Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    Me: “Good evening. You’re through to [My Name]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I mean it. It’s really him!”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “It’s really Santa Claus!”

    (I now realize the customer is speaking to someone on his end. I hear gasping on his end.)

    Me: “Sir, did you redial this number by accident?”

    Customer: *still talking to his child* “Yes, yes, Santa. Jack is being naughty.”

    Me: “Put me on speaker.”

    Customer: “Jack, Santa wants to talk to you.”

    (Puts me on speaker.)

    Me: *in my best Santa voice* “Ho ho ho, Jack, you be good now so your Dad will let me bring lots of presents to you this year.”

    Tiny Voice: “Yes, Santa, I promise.”

    (Clicks off speaker.)

    Customer: “Thanks for that. Couldn’t get him to go to bed.”

    Me: “No problem. Merry Christmas.”

    Don’t Hate All Men, Just You

    | USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry

    (I answer the phone and the most misogynistic guy I’ve ever talked to states he is on hold for a supervisor. I apologize and say he was misinformed he was holding for one, ask for his account number, and offer to help him.)

    Me: *after a few seconds of silence and no response* “Sir?”

    Caller: “Yes, I’m holding for a supervisor. Are you one?”

    Me: “No… This is the same operator you were speaking to. As I explained, I can’t transfer you to a supervisor. If you’d like to speak to one, I’ll need your account number so I can—”

    Caller: “—I’m not giving you my account number. That’s private information. Now, put an adult on the phone.”

    Me: *thinking its going to be one of THOSE calls* “I am an adult, sir. I’m 38.”

    Caller: “Sure you are.” *talking to someone in the background* “I’ve got some man-hating idiot lesbian on the phone who won’t help me. She talks like an ignorant d***.”

    Me: *mouth open in shock* “Sir, if you can’t be professional—”

    Caller: “—Look, I want to speak to a supervisor. I know you must hate men, and I don’t need to take your abuse. If you want to abuse someone go home and abuse your girlfriend.”

    Me: “Sir, there is no need for how you are talking to me. I am trying to assist you. May I please have your account number?” *dead air for about 10 seconds on the line* “Sir?”

    Caller: “Yes, I am holding for a supervisor. May I please speak to one?”

    Me: *wishing I could reach through the phone to slap him* “I heard you the first few times you said that, sir, and I still can’t transfer you to—”

    Caller: “—Look, I know you are an ignorant d*** who isn’t capable of doing this job. Be a good girl and transfer me to someone who is an adult and know what they are doing so you can go home, abuse your girlfriend, and look for a job at McDonald’s where you might actually be qualified to work.”

    Me: *struggling hard to remain professional myself* “Sir, if you can’t be professional I will have to end the call. I am trying to assist you. If you want to speak to a supervisor, I need to have your account number so I can issue a call back.” *silence on the line again* “Sir?”

    Caller: “Yes, I’m holding for a supervisor. Did that d*** finally transfer me to one?”

    Me: *finally had it* “Sir, it’s still me and I heard you the first few times you said that. I am not transferring you to a supervisor. If you won’t give me your account number and speak to me politely, I will have to end this call.”

    Caller: “Don’t you talk to me like that, you d*** b****. I’m not giving you my account number so you can steal my info! Put a f****** adult on the phone like a good little lesbian. Don’t know why they hired a r***** like you. You probably are too dumb to work at McDonald’s, too. I want a supervisor. NOW.”

    Me: “I’ve warned you multiple times about how you’re talking to me. You are refusing any assistance I can give you and you are being vulgar. Thank you for calling. Have a nice day. I am disconnecting the call.”

    Caller: “Don’t you dare—”

    Me: *doesn’t let him finish and hits the release button*

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