All Tied Up In Cables And Toxic Masculinity

, , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

I work the third-level line of an Internet provider that also rents out hardware.

A customer calls because his receiver has stopped working. He is irate because he gets the message “no signal.” Knowing our first- and second-level support and how they deal with escalated customers — pushing them up the levels until there is nowhere else to push — I’m starting my spiel with the routine checks.

Me: “Have you controlled all the cables of your device?”

Customer: “You f****** c***! Do you think I am stupid? Of course I did! First thing! Those d***ed cables are fine!”

He then continues to rant about how our service sucks and how he’s had issues for weeks and called a hundred times with no results. This isn’t true; our systems log every call automatically to the accounts and I can see in his account that it’s the first time he’s called.

I patiently wait until he tires. Honestly, I don’t care about any expletives a stranger rants on the phone since I’m third-level and don’t have a call-handling time to uphold.

When he finally stops ranting, I give him my best super-service “f*** you.”

Me: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please walk the next steps with me for documentation.”

I always smile when saying this to make it sound extra sweet since I know how this aggravates an irate customer without getting bad reviews from quality.

Me: “Just so I can make a special measurement of the signal, please remove the cable from your device first and then from the box at the wall. Hold it a few seconds while I’m testing the signal and then put it back in.”

This is bulls***. I just want to get him to control the cables.

Customer: *While rustling in the background* “What is it with you d***ed women trying to do tech? I’ll do your nonsense, but I’ll have your a** fired if that d—”

He trails off.

Me: “Hello? Hello, Mr. [Customer]? What happened?”

Customer: *In a strained voice* “I guess I found the mistake. We can end this call and—”

Me: *Interrupting* “I’m sorry, but I need something to put in the file. Please, what did you find?”

Customer: *Very subdued and hesitantly after a long pause* “Well, it looks like the dog chewed the cable. I’m sorry.”

I have to restrain myself from laughter at this point. So much for, “I’ve done all the basic steps.”

Me: “Well, I can issue a new one free of charge as a courtesy if you’d like? It’ll usually arrive within the next two days.”

Customer: *Sighs deeply* “I’m really sorry. I could have had that about twenty minutes sooner had I listened, huh?”

Me: “Probably. Stuff happens. Sometimes it’s much easier to fix than you think. Please, in the future, just give us a chance.”

He was quite subdued but very pleasant when we went through the procedure and I got his cable sent to him.

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