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    Your Nameless Days Are Numbered

    | IL, USA | Extra Stupid

    (We always ask for the name first for several reasons. We need to give the system time to populate their information and we need to make sure that we’re allowed to speak to the caller before we get in too deep.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. May I have your name, please?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’m calling about my claim for date of service [date] with [Doctor] and you guys say I owe [amount].”

    (I head-desk, and pause longer than company standard, as I furiously try to note the information I was given because we get dinged for making callers repeat information.)

    Me: “Okay, I can look at that claim for you. May I have your name, please?”

    Customer: *gives first, middle, and last name, spelling all three*

    Me: “Thank you. And may I have your phone number so I can document that we spoke today?”

    Customer: “What number?”

    Me: *reaches for more headache meds and coffee*

    Remotely Stupid

    , | Canada | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Cellphone Carrier]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Hi! I would like to update my cellphone.”

    Me: “Sure! I can help you. I see you have an iPhone. Can you please go into your settings?”

    Customer: “Oh! Do I have to do it? I thought you had to press a button from your computer and work your magic.”

    Taxing Faxing, Part 13

    , | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

    (Customers will call to purchase service contracts for their mobile phones.)

    Me: “Sorry, sir, but after your credit check, I am afraid that you will have to pay a deposit.”

    Customer: “How?”

    Me: “We can take payment usually over the phone. Or there is also a payment form that can be downloaded, printed, and either faxed or mailed to us.”

    Customer: “Okay, I’ll fax it!”

    (The customer ended up faxing cash. That’s right, cash. He FAXED us four $100 bills! And then just couldn’t understand when we told him it wasn’t a valid method of payment…)

    Related:
    Taxing Faxing, Part 12
    Taxing Faxing, Part 11
    Taxing Faxing, Part 10

    This Method Of Customer Service Should Go Viral

    | Reno, NV, USA | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am working at the call center of a major bank. Usually we only handle questions regarding savings or checking accounts, but, in order to save customers time and aggravation, we are ‘encouraged’ to try to answer questions that more properly should be answered by a different department.)

    Customer: “I’m trying to log onto my account, but it just keeps asking for my username and password.”

    (I mute the call and turn to a co-worker who is monitoring the call queue.)

    Me: “How bad is the wait for online customer care?”

    Coworker: “35 minutes; it’s been climbing all night.”

    (I take the customer off mute.)

    Me: “Normally I would transfer you to online customer care, but let’s see if we can figure this out without you being on hold longer. Is your caps lock light on?”

    Customer: “No.”

    (I go through all of the steps, and none of the usual errors seem to be a problem. I then recall an email that had gone around the company a few weeks before, about some malware and phishing attempts going on, and our bank is one of the targets.)

    Me: “Sir, do you know what the address bar is on your browser?”

    Customer: “What’s that?”

    Me: “Up near the top of the screen, a long thin white rectangle, with letters inside? The letters should start with ‘http’?”

    Customer: *pause* “Yes, I see it.”

    (By this time my supervisor has noticed how long the call is taking and has come over to listen in.)

    Me: “Can you read off the letters after the two slash marks?”

    (As the customer begins to read the letters, I figure out the problem.)

    Me: “Sir, that’s not our website.”

    Customer: “But it’s got your logo on it.”

    Me: “Yes, sir. It’s a website that is supposed to look like our website, in order to steal your information.”

    Customer: “But it’s your logo.”

    (This continues for several minutes until the customer finally gets it.)

    Customer: “So what can I do?”

    Me: “You need to run antivirus software to make sure it isn’t a virus or malware. If you don’t know how to do that, I would recommend you get a professional to check out your computer.”

    Customer: “Can’t you recommend the software I could use?”

    Me: “Sir, we are a bank; I can’t give you advice about which software to use.”

    Supervisor: “Send him over to online customer care.”

    Coworker: “The wait’s gone up to 75 minutes.”

    Me: “Sir, can I place you on hold for a moment?”

    (I place him on hold and turn to my supervisor.)

    Me: “You want me to get him off the line right?”

    Supervisor: “The call’s already too long.”

    Me: “You want me to do whatever it takes to get him off the line?”

    Supervisor: “Yes! Just don’t hang up on him!”

    Me: *takes the customer off hold* “Sir, I’ve just asked our technicians, and they tell me that if you don’t take the computer in to a professional, the virus could infect any children in the house, and they could wind up paralyzed for life.”

    Customer: “Oh, my god! Can I take it into [Big Name Electronics Retailer]?”

    Me: “Yes, their computer department can scan and fix your computer. They do it all the time.”

    Customer: “Oh, my god. Thank you so much! You’re the best customer service guy I’ve ever talked to!”

    Me: “I’m glad I was able to help.” *turn to my supervisor as he stares at me in horror* “Happy?”

    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.”

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