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    The Root Of The Problem

    , | Colorado Springs, CO, USA |

    Customer: “Hey there! Do you guys have any bamboo wood flooring?”

    Customer’s Wife: “Not fake bamboo. Real bamboo.”

    Me: “Not in stock, but we can easily special order some for you. Might I ask why you specifically need bamboo?”

    Customer: “Well, you see, we had our basement finished a few years ago with oak floors, but since then it has flooded several times. We keep having to tear up the floor and put down new stuff.”

    Customer’s Wife: “It’s very annoying.”

    Customer: “Very. So we figured that if we had bamboo floors it would be able to soak up the water easily, or be reusable or something like that.”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Do you know if bamboo can do that?”

    Me: “Um…I’ve never thought much about it, but I think the bigger concern here is whatever’s causing your basement to consistently flood.”

    Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. Something with the window wells. I just figured this would be a quick fix.”

    Me: “Sir, you’re in the completely wrong department.”

    My Life Coach Went To Film [Processing] School

    , | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada |

    (A customer was picking up reprints from her film negatives.  I observed this exchange.)

    Customer: “This is the wrong picture!”

    Co-worker: “Which one was it supposed to be?”

    Customer: “Number 18.”

    Co-worker: *looks at negatives* “That is number 18 from these negatives. Did you drop off the wrong ones?”

    Customer: “No! I just gave them to your staff and told him to print this one. *pointing to number 18 on an index print card*

    Co-worker: “Ok…these are the negatives you dropped off?

    Customer: *loudly* “Well, how was I supposed to know they were the wrong ones? I can’t tell you how to do your job! I’m not in the back watching what your staff does!”

    (Upon hearing this, the manager comes over)

    Manager: “Is there a problem?”

    Customer: “Yes! Your staff took the wrong negatives from me and printed the wrong photos! I can’t keep track of all my negatives…that’s your job!”

    Manager: “So you’re saying that it’s our job to organize your negatives?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Manager: “No. We won’t come home with you and organize your negatives. It’s your responsibility to check that you’re dropping off the right negatives–”

    Customer: *interrupting* “This is horrible customer service! I’m never coming back!”

    Manager: *sarcastically* “Yes, it is our job to organize your life for you too.”

    The Great Fish Massacre of 2008

    | Wisconsin, USA |

    Customer: “I bought ten fish and they all DIED.¬†The customer service desk said you would get me new ones. ¬†Here’s my receipt.”

    Me: “It looks like you had ten feeder goldfish?”

    Customer: “Yes, and they all DIED. I want new ones.”

    Me: “That’s unusual. Goldfish are pretty hardy. Did they have any little white spots, or anything like that before they died?”

    Customer: “No, I went to feed them and they were all dead in the bowl!”

    Me: Wait…you had ten goldfish in a bowl? What size?”

    Customer: “Like this!” *points to a small bowl on the shelf*

    Me: “Ma’am, that bowl only holds a gallon of water. The general rule for fish is ‘a gallon of water per inch of fish’. So for these goldfish at the size they’re now, you would need a tank larger then ten gallons to accommodate them.”

    Customer: “I want them in a bowl! Maybe I’ll get smaller fish. How much are these?” *pointing*

    Me: “Those are fancy guppies; they’re two dollars.”

    Customer: “EACH?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “What about those?

    Me: “Those are angelfish; they’re four dollars.”

    Customer: “EACH?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “Just give me the ten fish to replace my other ones! Those are only 39 cents each!”

    Me: “Fine…but if you put them all in the same bowl, they’re all going to die again, and I don’t want to hear about it when they do!”

    Customer: *pause* “Get me my fish!”

    (She got her new fish.  No idea what the death toll was.)

    Invasion Of The Spacey Wedding Guests

    , | Philadelphia, PA, USA |

    (A young woman wanders up to the bridal registry counter, her eyes and mouth wide open in amazement. She is alone – no cell phone or bluetooth headset in sight.)

    Me: “What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “Wow! You know why I’m here?!”

    Me: “…I don’t know why you’re here, ma’am, but what can I help you with?”

    Customer: *aside* “HOLD ON MOM!” *to me* “I need Emily’s registry.”

    Me: “I have more then one Emily in the system…do you know her last name, or the groom’s name?”

    Customer: “More then one Emily? WOW! His name is Rocco!”

    Me: “I don’t have an Emily and a Rocco….”

    (The customer grabs my computer screen so she can see, and points at an e-mail address on the screen.)

    Customer: “Rockinred@***.com – THAT’S HIM!!”

    Me: “That’s his e-mail address, not his name. His name is Richard.”

    Customer: “THAT’S WHAT THEY CALL HIM! HOLD ON, MOM!”

    Me: “Okay, he goes by his e-mail address. That’ll be right up for you.”

    (Customer wanders off, staring at nearby shiny objects.)

    Customer Service, Metaphorically Speaking

    | Florida, USA |

    (A woman comes up to me at the customer service desk with a piece of paper that has [bike brand] and a bunch of numbers written on it.)

    Me: “How can I be of service to you today?”

    Customer: “I need to return my bike.”

    Me: “All right, is there anything wrong with it? And do you have a receipt?”

    Customer: “I don’t have a receipt, but here’s the bike number. And yes, I went to a professional bike repair guy who told me that all the spokes are rusted, and it would cost $50 to replace.”

    Me: “Ok – we don’t return bikes in a ‘used’ state, only ‘new’. But we do repair them.”

    Customer: “What do you mean, you don’t return bikes? The spokes are all rusted!”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, but that’s just how the company policy is.”

    Customer: “Can YOU repair it, right now?”

    Me: “No; we have a handy man come here a couple of times a week to do the repairs.”

    Customer: “Well, I need this bike now!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we only do repairs. The guy will be here Tuesday.”

    (I look around for her bike…)

    Me: “So…where is the bike? So I can put the repair label on it?”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I don’t have it with me now! I can’t ride the bike here! And it doesn’t fit in my car!”

    Me: “Well…I need the bike here to do returns and repairs, accompanied by a receipt.”

    Customer: “I need a receipt too?!”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous!” *storms out*

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