Not Always Right on Facebook Not Always Right on Twitter Not Always Right Unfiltered on Tumblr
Featured Story:
  • Casting The First Stone Cold Glare
    (1,754 thumbs up)
  • August Theme Of The Month: We Are Closed!
    Submit your story today!

    Don’t Discount A Customer’s Inability To Discount

    | UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I work for a catalogue company and I’ve just finished taking an order over the phone. I know that each catalogue comes with a unique discount code that gives substantial savings. The customer hasn’t quoted her discount code. I decide to prompt her, so she doesn’t miss out.)

    Me: “I notice that you’re ordering from the spring catalogue. You should have a discount code on the front page.”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Great. Could you give me the number?”

    Customer: “The what?”

    Me: “The six-digit discount code number?”

    Customer: “The ‘discount’ what?”

    (She doesn’t seem hard of hearing and we both have the same regional accent, but I speak louder and slower, just in case.)

    Me: “Discount NUMBER.”

    Customer: “The what-number?”

    Me: “The DISCOUNT NUMBER.”

    Customer: “Where is it?”

    Me: “On the front of the catalogue.”

    Customer: “I don’t see it.”

    Me: “It’s at the very top of the page.”

    Customer: “Where?”

    Me: “Along the top of the front page, in a white box.”

    Customer: *pause* “15% off.”

    Me: *finally getting somewhere* “Great! Now, if you could give me the six-digit code number at the end of that sentence.”

    Customer: “It says I get ’15% off.’”

    Me: “Okay, no problem. I just need the six-digit discount code so my computer will make the reduction.”

    Customer: “There’s nothing else here.”

    Me: “That’s odd. Can you read to me exactly what it says?”

    Customer: “To get 15% off” *stops*

    Me: “Carry on…”

    Customer: “Please quote… oh! It says here ‘DISCOUNT CODE.’ Is that what you wanted?”

    Me: “Yes please.”

    Customer: “So, have I got my discount?”

    Me: “Sure, if you give me the six-digit discount code.”

    Customer: “I don’t see it.”

    Me: “Could you read the full sentence to me?”

    Customer: “15% off.”

    Me: “Okay, could you read all of it to me? Including the bits before and after the ’15% off.””

    Customer: *huffy* “To get 15% off please quote discount code 123456.”

    Me: *enters in number* “Great, so you’ve got 15% off your order.”

    Customer: “Finally! God, you people make these things so difficult!”

    Related:
    Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount

    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4

    , | USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Language & Words

    (People call us to set up appointments at counseling clinics. One of our affiliated clinics’ entire staff speaks English, Arabic, and Chaldean, so we get a lot of Arabic callers seeking appointments who may need an interpreter. I know a little bit of Arabic, but not enough to have an entire phone conversation.)

    Me: “Good afternoon. [Call Center]. How many I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello, I’d like to set up my father with an appointment to see [Doctor at Arabic facility].”

    Me: “Okay. Do you have legal guardianship over your father?”

    Caller: “No, he is his own man.”

    Me: “Well, since he’s an adult you can’t make the appointment for him, due to HIPAA laws.  Is he there with you?”

    Caller: “He’s next to me, but he only speaks Arabic.”

    Me: “Not a problem! We can do one of two things: I can get an interpreter on the phone, or he can give me permission over the phone for you to make the appointment on his behalf.”

    Caller: “Uh… but he doesn’t speak English…”

    Me: “Oh, I understand! You could explain to him in Arabic that I’m going to ask ‘Is it okay if I speak with your son on your behalf?’, and to say “N’am” or “Yes”, if he wants that service. It’s legal, and we do it all the time since some people are more comfortable with us speaking with a family member.”

    Caller: “Okay, I’ll do that. Here’s my father.”

    (I hear the phone shuffle around, and don’t hear any kind of verbal exchange indicating he’s telling his father what’s happening.)

    Me: *in Arabic* “…Hello?”

    Caller’s Father: “Huh?”

    Me: “… Is it okay if I speak with your son on your behalf?”

    Caller’s Father: “HELLO?!”

    Caller: “See, this is stupid because he doesn’t understand English.”

    Me: “… Did you explain to him what I was going to say?”

    Caller: “Ma’am, you misunderstand me! He does not speak English!”

    Me: “I understand that, sir. What I’m saying is, you could interpret this portion of the phone call, and explain to him, in Arabic, what I am about to ask him, and what he should say back if he wants you to make the appointment. I’m not asking him to understand English. If you want, I’d be more than happy to dial our interpreter line for you?”

    Caller: “NO! He wants ME to do it! He gave me permission before the call!”

    Me: “I need to HEAR the granted permission. If you don’t want an interpreter, please explain to him the Arabic translation of what I’m about to ask him in English.”

    (The caller grumbles and again hands the phone over without saying anything to his father. His father keeps yelling ‘No English’ and ‘Hello.’ The caller takes the phone again and starts screaming.)

    Caller: “HE DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH! You are completely incompetent! How am I supposed to interpret if he doesn’t speak English!”

    Me: “Here is how interpreting works. You tell him, in ARABIC, what I am going to ask him. So you are explaining that I will say the ENGLISH EQUIVALENT of what you are saying to him IN ARABIC.”

    Caller: “Don’t tell me how my language works!”

    (Suddenly, I hear a door slam and a confused female voice in the background. The caller is yelling with the female voice in Arabic and English, and the female voice suddenly says, ‘hold on, let me speak with her.’ She takes the phone.)

    Caller’s Sister: *calmly* “Hi. I just came home from work, but I believe you were speaking with my brother. I thought I could help. What is it that he’s not understanding?”

    (I explain the scenario exactly as I’ve been explaining it to her brother.)

    Caller’s Sister: “Oh, okay. So I can just tell my father, in Arabic, what it is that you’re about to ask him in English?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    (The caller’s sister speaks with her father.)

    Caller’s Father: “Oh! N’am! Yes! You… speak with… my… DAUGHTER.”

    Caller’s Son: *in background* “What?! That’s bulls***! I know what I’m doing! She’s just an idiot who thinks I can’t speak Arabic!”

    Caller’s Sister: “I think you’ll be hearing from me more often than my brother. He’s spoken English his whole life, but I swear, he’s dumber than a box of rocks when people give him instructions. So sorry about that. Well, now, what else do you need to know, love?”

    Related:
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 3
    This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 2
    This Round He Lost (In Translation)

    Shouting Out Hot Gas

    | North Rhine Westphalia, Germany | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Home Improvement

    (Our call centre deals with emergency calls from people who smell gas in their homes.)

    Me: “This is [Company]. My name is [My Name]. What seems to be the problem?”

    Caller: “Uhm, yes. I just wanted you to know that it smells strange in my basement. I think it may be gas.”

    Me: “Okay. Please give me your address, open all windows, and avoid plugging or unplugging any electronic devices. Our on-call service will be with you within 30 minutes.”

    Caller: *gives address* “… Wait, did you said that you will be here in half an hour?”

    Me: “Yes, as requested by law.”

    Caller: “Wait, no! I can’t stay at home. You need to come later! Can’t I make an appointment?”

    Me: “This is an emergency line. Once you reported the incident, we have to act. You can’t leave your house now.”

    Caller: “But my son needs to see his music teacher! He’s going to be the next Mozart. You’ll see!”

    Me: “Still, you are not allowed to leave. In case you won’t be there, we have to cut your gas line due to secur—”

    Caller: “NO! You won’t come NOW! This is your customer’s service?! I will tell all my friends and no one will ever call you again!”

    (After that she hung up. Fortunately, the mechanic met her at the door and could check her installation. It was leaky. She still refused to stay, so we shut her down. She wasn’t pleased.)

    It’s Time To End The Shift On A High

    | Huntsville, AL, USA | Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Family & Kids

    (I’m just finishing up a call with a pleasant customer, my last call for the day. Because of mandatory overtime, I’ve been at work for almost 12 hours straight and can’t wait to leave.)

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

    Customer: “Hang on. My daughter wants to ask you a question.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I hear the customer hand the phone to his daughter. She sounds very young: probably three or four.)

    Girl: “Hi!”

    Me: “Hi, there! How are you?”

    Girl: “Good. Hey, do you know what time it is?”

    Me: *playing along* “No, sweetie. What time is it?”

    Girl: “It’s peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly! Peanut butter jelly! Peanut butter jelly and a baseball bat!”

    Customer: “Sorry about that. She just HAS to sing it every time I’m on the phone.”

    Me: *laughing really hard* “It’s perfectly fine, sir. I can’t think of a better way to end my shift!”

    You Can Hear The Irony From Here

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Bizarre, Health & Body

    (I work in the call centre for an insurance company. The caller I am speaking to is an elderly gentleman who has called to make sure his new hearing aids are covered under his policy.)

    Me: “Yes, hearing aids are fully covered under your contents policy. And the good news is that if you have to make a claim, you won’t have to pay an excess.”

    Caller: “What was that, dear?”

    Me: “If you need to make a claim for your hearing aids you won’t have to pay any excess.”

    Caller: “No, I still didn’t get that.”

    Me: *nearly shouting* “IF YOU NEED TO CLAIM FOR YOUR HEARING AIDS IT WON’T COST YOU ANYTHING! WE’LL REPLACE THEM FOR FREE!”

    Caller: *cheerfully* “You must be thinking; ‘why hasn’t he got the f****** things in?’”


    Page 8/135First...678910...Last