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    Be Thankful You Have A Job At All

    | USA | Money

    (I work for a utilities company in collections, meaning I get people who are being shut off, or have been shut off. Our policy is to send several notices, and then shut off an account if no satisfactory arrangements are made. Where we give them a date, we can shut off the account with no one there, provided the meter is outside.)

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

    Customer: “I’m holding a shut off notice here dated for November 10th. When will my services be shut off for non-payment?”

    Me: “As of November 10th, it is subject to termination.”

    Customer: “Oh. Do I have to be there? I’m going on vacation.”

    Me: “No, you don’t need to be there.”

    Customer: “Oh. Can I get a hold on the account? I don’t have any money.”

    Me: “Well, is there a medical condition pertaining to the services?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “How about an infant or an elderly person?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Okay, how about a financial hardship?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Okay, are you unemployed, or was there a loss of income?”

    Customer: “Oh, no, nothing like that! I spent all my money on my vacation!”

    Indecisively Incognito

    | Gainesville, Florida, USA | Uncategorized

    (I am calling a customer, we’ll call him John Smith, to get feedback on a service he registered with. It’s required that they verify their name.)

    Me: “Hello, I’m calling from [organization]. May I speak to John Smith?”

    Customer: “Yeah, who’s calling?”

    Me: “This is [my name]. I’m calling because you recently signed up for one of our services and we’re gathering feedback. Is this a good time to talk?”

    Customer: “Oh, uh…John isn’t here right now.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I’d be happy to call back. When’s a good time?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. What’s this about?”

    Me: “We’re just trying to improve our programs and services. It’s optional, but we’d like to get as much feedback from our customers as possible.”

    Customer: “Okay, go ahead.”

    Me: “I do need to speak to Mr. Smith, though. When will he be available?”

    Customer: “He’s available now.”

    Me: “Oh, may I speak to him then?”

    Customer: “You are speaking to him.”

    Me: “Oh.” *laughing* “You got me. Why didn’t you say this was John Smith at first?”

    Customer: “I didn’t know who you were.”

    Me: “I see. Okay, shall we begin then? I just have a few questions. So to begin, what is your first name?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t give out my name over the phone.”

    Me: “Don’t worry, it doesn’t get attached to your answers, it’s just to confirm–”

    Customer: “You don’t have my name. I’m not giving you my name.”

    Me: “Well, Mr. Smith, I already have your name, but I don’t do anything with it except to have something to call you by–”

    Customer: “This isn’t Mr. Smith.”

    Me: “It’s not? But you said–”

    Customer: “You asked if you were speaking to John Smith, and I said yes. But I’m not telling you who I am. C’mon, I wanna do the survey.”

    Me: “I have to do it with the customer, though. If Mr. Smith is available later, though–”

    Customer: “No, he’s available! I’m available!”

    Me: “So this is John Smith? Again, I can assure you that your feedback is anonymous.”

    Customer: “I don’t give out any information over the phone. I don’t know who you are.”

    (Thinking that maybe the lines have crossed, I ask to verify the phone number to be sure this is actually the customer’s number.)

    Customer: “Maybe that’s the number you called, maybe not. I’ll answer your questions though. And also…”

    (He begins rattling off suggestions for improving our services.)

    Me: “If I can’t verify that I called the right person at the right number, I can’t take down any of this. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “But I’m who you’re looking for!”

    Me: “So, you’re John Smith?”

    Customer: “Maybe! Let’s do the survey.”

    Me: “Okay, I’m sorry, sir, but there’s nothing I can do if you can’t verify your identity. Have a good evening.”

    Customer: “Wait! I’ll do the survey!”

    The Beginning Of The End

    | Illinois, USA | Technology

    (I’ve been helping a caller with programming their phone. We are nearing the end of this lengthy, multi-step process.)

    Me: “Now, you’re going to enter your number with the area code.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me:“After you enter your number, select OK.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me: “At this point, you can keep selecting OK until you see EXIT.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me: “After you press EXIT, the phone is going to power off by itself.”

    Customer: “But it’s been off the whole time.”

    Me: *speechless*

    Out With The Old And In With The Nothing

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | Technology

    (This is the second time this customer has called in today for the same issue, after calling in 3 times about it yesterday.)

    Me: “I can understand how you are frustrated that your email is not working in Outlook. However, it still works in webmail, so why don’t you use that for the time being until we hear back from our hosting technicians about your issue?”

    Caller: “That’s not what I’m paying for! I want you to fix my Outlook right now!”

    Me: “Sir, we do not provide Outlook. We provide the webmail that routes to your email, so you aren’t paying us for something that is unavailable. The webmail still works, so you can still use that for now.”

    Caller: “I don’t want to use that archaic piece of garbage! I want my Outlook! You guys are putting me out of business!”

    Me: “So, you won’t use webmail, even though it still works, because you don’t like the layout?”

    Caller: “I want my Outlook back! You are putting me out of business with this delay!”

    (Note: it has been less than 24 hours since the original complaint was filed.)

    Me: “Sir, our technicians are working on the issue. This issue will take time to fix.”

    Caller: “Well, I’m not seeing any effort! Tell them to work faster! I will be calling back this afternoon to speak with a supervisor! You are putting me out of business!”

    Me: “Sir, there is nothing that can be done except wait and use the webmail service for now.”

    Caller: “But I don’t want to use webmail! I want to use my Outlook! You go tell those guys to stop drinking coffee and fix my email! Don’t you understand how I feel?”

    Me: “Certainly, sir, but the webmail service we provide is still working, so you can use it for the time being to keep in contact with your clients and your business won’t be affected.”

    Caller: “You aren’t listening! Forget it! You’re putting me out of business and I will not use the webmail!” *hangs up*

    Might We Suggest Freedomfox

    | New Brunswick, Canada | Technology

    (I am working at a call center offering tech support for an American cell phone company’s website.)

    Caller: “Your website is broken!”

    Me: “Alright, ma’am, we can do some troubleshooting. First, what browser are you using?”

    Caller: “What’s a browser?”

    Me: “You know, Firefox, Chrome, Safari–”

    Caller: “Oh, no, no, no! I only use the good old American Explorer!”

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