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  • De-Engineering Stereotypes
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    Internet Disaster Preparedness

    , | England, UK | Technology

    (Line activations for Internet service can take up until midnight of the activation date. I am explaining this to the customer and helping him get the software installed on his PC in the meantime.)

    Customer: “So, what kind of things can go wrong?”

    Me: “Well, a number of things. Most of them are relatively simple to sort out and we should be able to talk it through.”

    Customer: “If it doesn’t work after midnight, if something goes wrong, what would I need to do?”

    Me: “Okay, well, we’re open 24 hours, so even if its one minute past midnight, give us a call back and we can do some troubleshooting.”

    Customer: “Send out an engineer. I don’t want some f***ing technically untrained idiot in call center messing around. I want an actual technician sent out.”

    Me: “I assure you, our call center staff are the first line of troubleshooting and can resolve the problem over the phone most of the time.”

    Customer: “Just send me out a f***ing engineer now. I know someone in a call centre wont be able to resolve my fault.”

    Me: “So, what exactly is the problem?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet!”

    Close Encounters Of The Dumb Kind, Part 2

    | Kamloops, BC, Canada | Bizarre

    (A man calls me asking about his balance. The call starts out normal enough. In order get inform on account we need to get ID.)

    Me: “Okay, in order to help you, I need your full name and the last four digits of your social security number.”

    Customer: “NO!”

    Me: “Sir, if you want this information, I need to get your information.”

    Customer: “I don’t care! I’m not giving you my info!”

    Me: “Why not?”

    Customer: “You’re just going to give it to your alien overlords!!!”

    Me: “Well, sir, we already have your information here. We just need you to provide it so that we can verify–”

    Customer: *screams and hangs up*

    Close Encounters Of The Dumb Kind

    What The 7734 Is Going On

    | Utah, USA |

    Customer: “I need the status of a package.”

    Me: “Okay. May I have the tracking number?”

    Customer: “My tracking number is 1E8L00L25–”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, are you sure that’s one of our tracking numbers? Generally, our numbers won’t have any letters in the middle.”

    Customer: “Yes, I’m sure those are the numbers.”

    Me: “Are you sure this package wasn’t sent with another service?”

    Customer: “Yes, I’m absolutely positive that I sent it with you! It’s the right number, unless–”

    (He pauses for a moment as he tries to figure out what’s going on.)

    Customer: “Oh. I’m looking at it upside down. It’s 257007831.”

    The Identity Thief’s Dream Caller

    | Tampa Bay, FL, USA |

    Me: “Thank you for calling [bank]. May I please have your card number?”

    Caller: “No.”

    Me: “I can help look up your account if you don’t have your card with you. May I please have your phone number on file?”

    Caller: “I’m not giving you that. You will steal my information.”

    Me: “I assure you, ma’am, we keep our security procedures to ensure that your information remains safe. Can I look you up by your name?”

    Caller: “I’m not giving you my name or my phone number. You’re going to use it to steal my information. I just want to know what my balance is.”

    Me: “Without your card number or another way to look you up, I’m unable to provide your balance information.”

    Caller: “Can’t you just look me up by my social?”

    Through Joy And Sorrow, Sickness And Health Insurance

    | Madison, WI, USA |

    (I work for a call center for the state’s health insurance.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

    Member: “Hi, I’m calling to make sure my husband’s heath insurance is active.”

    Me: “Okay, do you have his ID number or social?”

    Member: “Well, no. I’m not sure where his card is and I don’t know his social by heart.”

    Me: “Well, is he there with you? I could get it from him.”

    Member: “He is, but he can’t really talk right now. He’s having a heart attack.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you need to call 911 right now, not us.”

    Member: “I will. I just want to make sure he’ll be covered when they take him to the hospital!”

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