Should Have Googled It  

, , , | Right | December 16, 2019

(Our company makes a laptop computer that runs on the Chrome operating system and is not compatible with most Windows programs and drivers.)

Customer: “I got this DVD player to use with my [Computer], but it’s not working.”

Me: “You said you have a [Computer]? I’m sorry, sir, but that machine runs on the Chrome operating system and is not compatible with external DVD players because the drivers are made for Windows and cannot run on it.”

Customer: “Wait, so I can’t put a DVD player on this computer? Then how do I load my MS Office on it?”

Me: “That program will not run on the [Computer], either. Microsoft has released it for the Windows operating system and Mac, but not for Chrome, so it is not compatible.”

Customer: “Why didn’t anyone tell me this computer wouldn’t work with those? I bought this so I could put Office on it and watch DVDs! I was under the impression that it was compatible with all that! I wouldn’t have purchased the unit if I’d known it was useless!”

Me: “The [Computer] is useful as a browser, but is not designed to be used as a DVD player or word processor. It’s designed for people who just want to get onto the Internet and not much else. Did someone at the retailer tell you it was compatible with these things?”

(We’ve had issues with employees at a particular retailer telling people that the computer is compatible with many things that it doesn’t actually work with to sell more electronics and programs, so this isn’t a surprise.)

Customer: “No, I bought it from [Online Retailer]. I did all the research myself, and I never saw anything that said it wasn’t compatible.”

Me: “Did you see anything that said it was compatible or anything in the system requirements of the programs and accessories that they would work on that operating system?”

Customer: “No! But you should put on the advertisements what it’s not compatible with so I don’t buy s*** that won’t do what I want it to!”

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If Google Was A Phone Number

, , , | Right | March 27, 2019

(My department’s extension is number one on our line, and a lot of customers just hit one at random and I have to deal with them.)

Customer #1: “Is this [Customer Service Personnel]?”

Me: “I’m afraid she’s on the line at the moment.”

Customer #1: “Can you get her to take this call? I forgot to tell her something when I called just now.”

Me: “Sorry, she’s on the phone at the moment. Can I get your name and number, and I’ll ask her to call you back?”

Customer #1: “No, you transfer this call to her. I need to tell her what colour item I want. I’ll be going out in a few minutes and she won’t be able to call me back.”

Me: “But she’s on the line.”

Customer #1: “I know, but you get her to take my call!”

Me: *giving up* “Please hold.”

(I put her on hold to let her wait while [Customer Service Personnel] finishes her call.)

Customer #2: “Hi, do you sell curtains?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid we don’t.”

Customer #2: “Well, do you know where I can buy them?”

Me: “You could try [Store]?”

Customer #2: “Are they open at this time?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know their operating hours.”

Customer #2: “Well, can you check?”

Me: *noticing that my head is listening in* “I’m sorry, I don’t know.”

Customer #2: “Well, you can look it up on the Internet, right?”

Me: “Yes, but…”

Customer #2: “Can you help me check it? You can just search it online, right? And can you help me check what their telephone number is?”

(After several minutes of this, I give up and run a quick Google search. I give her the info.)

Customer #2: “Okay, thank you. And can you give me the number for [Other Store], as well?”

Me: “…”

(I Googled this for her, as well, just to get rid of her.)

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America And Canada Return To War

, , , , , , | Working | January 7, 2019

(I recently purchased a number of items online from a women’s garment store. Normally I physically go to the store but in this case, I felt like buying online. When I receive my items, one has a defect with a strap. On the back of the packing slip, there are instructions for return or exchange, including information about returning the item in the store. My husband and I happen to be going to a mall with this store in it within the next day or two, so I decide to exchange the item in store rather than mail it back. This is my experience at the store. I walk up to the cash registers.)

Me: “Hi there. I ordered this bra online recently, tried it on, liked it, removed the tags, but on the one and only time I wore it, I noticed there is a defect with the strap.” *pulls the bra out of the bag I’ve brought it in to show her* “The strap wasn’t threaded through both bits of the slide, so it won’t stay up. I don’t need a refund — I actually really like it — I was just hoping to exchange it for one exactly the same but without a defect.”

(The cashier is very nice and finds me a sales associate to help find the specific style of bra in store.)

Sales Associate: “Hmm, so, it appears that we don’t carry that specific style or size in the store. I’m really sorry.”

Me: “Okay, that’s not a big problem. I’m fine with exchanging for something similar for the same value.”

(I show the associate all the paperwork I’ve brought to confirm the price.)

Sale Associate: “Okay, that is probably fine; let me just check with the manager. Since you bought it online, I just need to double check.”

Me: “No problem. I’ll just browse until you are done.”

(Everyone has been very pleasant and helpful. I’ve made it clear now to two people I am not looking for cash; I just want to exchange the item directly. It’s also worth noting that when I purchased the items on the website, they were purchased via a Canadian source, so I paid in Canadian dollars, and the items were shipped from Eastern Canada. The manager and sales associate approach me.)

Manager: *already sighing* “Yeah, hi. So. You bought that online.”

Me: “Yes, that’s right.”

Manager: “So… we don’t do returns for online purchases. I could maybe give you a credit, but that’s it.”

Me: “Sorry, I wasn’t looking to return it; I’d just like to exchange it for something of equal value if I can’t get the exact same one.”

Manager: “No, I don’t think you understand. You bought it online. We don’t return things from an online purchase.”

Me: *still calm but frustrated* “That’s confusing, because—“ *showing her* “—on the packing slip, on the back here, it says you can return or exchange in store.”

Manager: *not even looking at the paper, in a condescending voice* “You purchased that from an American website, so you can’t return it to a Canadian store.”

Me: “Really? I am certain that I purchased it from a Canadian—“

Manager: *even more condescending* “No, I understand. You paid Canadian dollars, but you purchased it from an American website. We don’t even have a ‘.ca’ website.”

Me: *pause* “Ah, okay. Um… So. What do you suggest?”

Manager: “Call the number for the website. They’ll have to tell you what to do.”

Me: “Right. So, I guess I have to mail it.”

Manager: “Yep. Thanks.” *walks away*

Sales Associate: “I am… really sorry.”

Me: “It’s all right. I guess I didn’t read the fine print. Thanks for your help.”

(Later I relayed the interaction to my husband, who insisted I submit a complaint about the manager’s behavior. We also did a quick Google search for the company, and lo and behold, the first result was a sponsored advertisement — for a “.ca” website. I checked the return label; yep, Canadian. I guess that manager needed a bit of education on her policies.)

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Misunderstood Who The Google Assistant Is Meant To Be

, , , , , | Right | July 23, 2018

(It’s a very busy Sunday. We are desperately understaffed, and I’m currently the only person in my entire department. The phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store] at [Location]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. I’m looking to buy a pair of shoes. I live in [Town about 45 minutes away]. How do I get to your store?”

Me: “Oh, well, I’m actually not too sure. Sorry! No one who works here is from that area, so I’m not exactly sure which roads to take. I would suggest using Google Maps?”

Caller: “No. No, that’s not good enough. Go and find someone who can give me directions.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but I’m currently the only person working in my department. I do know for certain that Google Maps would show you the fastest way, however.”

Caller: “Well, then, go to your computer, look up the directions, and read them to me.”

Me: *shocked* “Um… I’m sorry? I’m not sure I quite understand.”

Caller: “Go look up the directions. I’ll get in my car now and you can direct me.”

Me: “You want me to leave my department and direct you for 45 minutes, instead of you looking up the directions yourself?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Um… No.”

Caller: “But what if I don’t have the Internet?! You have to do this! This is terrible customer service!”

Me: “Sir, do you mind me asking how you found our store’s number?”

Caller: “I looked it up on Google.”

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Hey, Google, What Kind Of Cancer Do I Have?

, , , | Healthy | January 18, 2018

(I stop in a pharmacy to pick up some medication. I hear the following from a lady next to me.)

Woman: “I want to buy this!”

(She points at medicine on the shelf behind the pharmacist.)

Pharmacist: “That’s prescription medication. You can’t buy that. I’m sorry.”

Woman: “I NEED IT!”

Pharmacist: “Okay, well, we still can’t give you the medication. You need a prescription.”


Pharmacist: “Ma’am, I recommend you see your doctor before you get a self-diagnosis off of the Internet.”

Woman: “You’re a doctor! And I KNOW I HAVE CANCER!”

Pharmacist: “Actually, I’m not a—”


(She then proceeds to run out of the store, knocking down several displays and screaming “I NEED PENICILLIN! I HAVE CANCER!”)

Me: *mumbling* “How does she think penicillin will cure cancer, anyway?”

Pharmacist: “That’s not even penicillin.”

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