Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!


(Air) Conditioned To Be Cheap

| MN, USA | Bizarre, Home Improvement, Money, Popular

(Note that I usually work in the electronics department of my store. However, no one else is free to help a customer calling for hardware, so I take the call.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need an air conditioner for a window about [size]. Can you tell me what you have and how much they cost?”

Me: “Sure, let me put you on hold for a bit.”

(I check the air conditioners and find that they all require about the same size window, easily within the customer’s requirements.)

Me: “Actually, just about all of our air conditioners will fit. They range from about $100 to $300…”

Caller: “What? He wants $300 to fix this one?”

Me: “No, we’ve got some cheaper than that, as low as $100.”

Caller: “What brand are they?”

Me: “Most of them are [Brand], but a few are [Other Brand].”

Caller: “Hmm, never heard of [Brand] before. Are they any good?”

Me: “Actually, I don’t usually work in this area, so I don’t know how good they are. All I can really tell you is how much power the box says it has.”

Caller: “Oh, all right. I need one that’s at least twelve hundred. H6ow much do they have?”

(I go and check again, and find out that even the cheapest one is 5,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit).)

Me: “Actually, even our cheapest one is 5,000 BTU…”

Caller: “No, I don’t want your cheap one. I want a good one. At least twelve hundred.”

Me: “Er, I just said it’s 5,000, more than four times as much as you’re asking for…”

Caller: “No, I need something at least twelve hundred!”

Me: “Wait… do you mean twelve hundred, or twelve thousand?”

Caller: “Oh, yeah, maybe that’s what’s written down here. Twelve thousand.”

(I go and double-check, and find out our most expensive unit is 12,000 BTU.)

Me: “Okay, our most expensive one is $300, a [Brand] with 12,000 BTU.”

Caller: “Oh, $300? That’s a steal! And it’s a [Brand]? Oh, I know those are good. Thanks, I’ll be in later to pick it up.”


Talk Too Mulch

| MI, USA | Home Improvement

(It’s just a few days before Memorial weekend and the store has lots of sales going on; mulch being on of the hot items this year. Both my coworkers and I are getting fed up with people asking what color the “natural” mulch is.)

Customer: “What color is your natural mulch?”

Coworker: *totally deadpan* “It’s purple.”

Customer: *sounding excited* “Oh really?”


The Sedan Plan

| Tallahassee, FL, USA | Home Improvement, Popular, Transportation

(My mom and I are at the hardware store, waiting to get a plywood sheet cut. There is a lady with her six-year-old grandson getting help before us.)

Customer: “I need two ten-foot-long two-by-six boards, and one sixteen-foot-long two-by-six. And I need help loading them.”

Employee: “No problem, ma’am.” *to us* “I’ll be back, but it will take me a little while to load these.”

Mom: “Oh, we don’t mind waiting. Don’t worry about it.”

(He leads the lady and her grandson to the front of the store and we stand around chatting for a few minutes. The employee then comes back, pushing the cart with the boards loaded.)

Employee: “I’ll be able to help you sooner than I thought. She was trying to fit these in her sedan.”

Me: “What?”

Employee: “She said she was going to hang them out of her window. When I told her I couldn’t help her and that she needed to find another way to transport them, she said she was going to [Other Major Home Improvement Store] and get them to help her.”

Mom: “Why? Do they have a psychologist there?”


Flood Of Lies

| UK | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

(I am working on a specific out-of-hours phone line for house maintenance and repairs on Christmas Eve. It is about four pm and one of the last calls of the day. I have already let the customer know that calls are recorded.)

Customer: “There’s a pipe under my sink and if I touch the bolt it is going to leak.”

Me: “I’m afraid we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours, sir.”

Customer: “But it’s going to leak if I touch it!”

Me: “Sir, if it is not already leaking I cannot send an engineer out to you. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Erm, okay, then, it’s leaking now.”

Me: *following my script* “Okay, and is the leak currently containable?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I do apologise, sir, we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours.”

Customer: “Then it IS uncontainable. My kitchen is flooding!”

Me: “Okay, I can get an engineer out to you but I would like to remind you that calls are recorded so you may be charged if this is not the case.”

(The caller hung up straight away.)


Urgently Needs To Learn The Definition Of ‘Urgent’

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Home Improvement

(We receive a work order that reads “URGENT: fixture burning.” I call to see if anyone is home but nobody answers. We’re in the area for another call so we decide to stop by. We knock, and the homeowner answers.)

Coworker: “Hi, we’re with [Company]. You said you were having an emergency with one of your lights burning?”

Homeowner: “Yeah, the bulb keeps burning out and it gets really hot. We’ve changed the bulb at least four times. I’m really worried because the baby sleeps in that room.”

Coworker: “Okay, we can get that looked at right now for you, if you like.”

Homeowner: “Well, now isn’t really a good time. The baby is taking a nap so I don’t want any work done. But you can come see what I mean if you want.”

(We go inside to see what’s going on. The baby isn’t actually asleep, but jumping up and down in his crib. We look everything over.)

Coworker: *after checking it out, the wiring is all okay* “We can change out the fixture. It would only take about ten minutes.”

Homeowner: “Well, I’d rather have it done another time. I hope that’s okay.”

Coworker: “No problem, we can schedule something for a different day.”

(We end up setting an appointment for the following week. So much for being “urgent.”)

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