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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    Passed The First Test

    | Baltimore, MD, USA | Awesome Customers, School

    (I work at a non-profit agency that runs licensing examinations for a certain profession. When you take our exams, you have a certain amount of time to pass all sections, and if you wait too long to retake a failed section, you end up having to take all parts again. In my time at the job, I’ve had a number of callers who waited too long, and when they find out they have to retake everything, without exception they have gone ballistic. I am taking a call from a young lady with questions about her exams.)

    Caller: “Yes, I have some questions about my exams. I failed one section two years ago and want to see about retaking it.”

    Me: “Well, let me look up your information.”

    (I take her name and look her up in our system.)

    Me: “Well, ma’am, you need to do [module] to reactivate your eligibility for the exams. But I’m sorry to tell you that you’re outside your eligibility period, and need to retake the entire exam, rather than just the portion you didn’t pass.”

    (I am cringing at that point, waiting for the screaming and crying I’ve always experienced when breaking that news.)

    Caller: “Really? Well, that’s annoying, but if I gotta, I gotta, right?”

    Me: “Uh… really?”

    Caller: “Well, yeah. I waited too long; I do it over again, right? It’s a pain, but it’s what I have to do, right?”

    Me: “Ma’am, thank you SO much for being reasonable! I’ve had others in the same position as you and when I’ve broken the news to them, they’ve bitten my head off!”

    Caller: “Why would they? It’s not your fault!”

    Don’t Get Yuppity With Me

    | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Language & Words

    (I worked in a call center for an organization that helped people pay their light and gas bills based on their income. It’s Fall of 2011.)

    Me: “How may I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, I have an application that says 2009-2010. Can I turn that in?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, we’re only accepting ones for this season, so it needs to be one that says 2011-2012. I’ll send you a new one.”

    Caller: “All right. I fill that out and mail it in?”

    Me: “Yup!”

    Caller: “Well, that’s stupid, but I’ll do it. By the way, do you say ‘yup’ a lot?”

    Me: *joking* “I say variations of yes all the time like ‘yup’, ‘you bet’, ‘of course’, and sometimes, even ‘yuppers’!”

    Caller: “Well, [caller's name] taught English for many years, and ‘yup’ is not correct grammar. It annoys [caller's name] very much!”

    Canada, America’s Hat, Part 6

    | Michigan, USA | Canada, Geography

    (Our company is part of a global organization that holds weekend teaching conferences across North America.)

    Caller: “Do you ever have programs in Canada, or just in the States?”

    Me: “Our territory covers North America. We have programs in the US, Canada, and Bermuda.”

    Caller: “Canada isn’t part of North America.”

    Me: “Yes it is. Canada is part of North America.”

    Caller: “Typical American attitude! Canada is its OWN country!”

    Like Father, Like Run

    | Arkansas, USA |

    (A man brings in his father, who didn’t speak a word of English.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, how much are your rooms?”

    Me: “Sir, we don’t have rooms here.”

    Customer: “Oh, not your room, sorry. I mean, how much does it cost for you to take care of my father?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “He has some issues and, frankly, I don’t think I want him around anymore.”

    Me: “Sir, this is not a hotel or a nursing home.”

    Customer: “This isn’t Social Services?”

    Me: “No, this is [non-profit] Social Services, and we don’t offer what you’re looking for.”

    Customer: “Look, how much is it going to cost me to leave here today without my father with me?”

    Mentally Pre(Car)ious

    | Palm Beach, FL, USA |

    Caller: “My boyfriend dumped me and took his car back, so I want to get a car.”

    Me: “Are you looking for financial assistance with a down payment?”

    Caller: “No, I want a car. My friend told me that you people get donated cars and you give them to people who need them. I need one.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am afraid that’s not the case. We don’t have any sort of car or transportation programs at our agency.”

    Caller: “Are you calling my friend a liar?”

    Me: “No, I am simply stating a fact. Our agency does not, nor have we ever had a program where we gave out cars.”

    Caller: “This is ridiculous! Then what exactly is it that you DO do?”

    Me: “We provide psychological counseling and community referrals. I could refer you to another agency that might be able to help you get a car.”

    Caller: “I don’t need counseling! I NEED A FREE CAR! You should be ashamed of yourself!”