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Category: Language & Words

This category features customers whose mishandling of vocabulary and grammar are so bad that we literally have no words to describe them!

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You’re An A**-Hole In Every Language

| UK | Crazy Requests, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I work in a complaints department for an airline based in the UK. We fly to hundreds of airports all over the world. This call comes through from an Italian gentleman who is irate from the beginning.)

Me: “Good morning, [Airline]. How can I help?”

Customer: “I’ve been on hold for twenty f****** minutes! I just need to know why my refund hasn’t gone through!”

Me: “I’m sorry you were kept waiting, sir. We’ve been very busy today. Let me check if the refund has been processed yet. Do you know the amount and what it was for?”

Customer: “You’re not sorry at all; you’re just paid to say that! You English are all the same, thinking you can be polite and it will let you get away with treating your customers terribly!”

Me: *starting to get annoyed after a long morning being shouted at* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir. I’m trying to help you. Could you tell me what the refund you’re due is for?”

Customer: *grumbling* “I didn’t get the seat I paid for on my flight to Hong Kong last week! You promised it would be in my account by now and it’s not! I had to sit at the back of first class near the business-class people!”

Me: “Okay, let me see what happened.”

(I look through the transaction history for this flight. The total amount he spent on the flight was upwards of £8,000 and the total amount he would be due for a refund is £20. I scroll down and see that the amount was refunded to his credit card three days ago.)

Me: “Sir, I see on my system here that the £20 was refunded to your card ending **** on Thursday.”

Customer: “Are you calling me stupid? Don’t lie to me, you English b****! You’re all the same! I want my money back in the next hour! I’m never flying with you again! Your pilots can’t fly and they should learn to speak Italian!”

Me: “Are you suggesting out pilots learn the language of every country we fly to?”

Customer: “Of course! It’s common courtesy, something you English don’t seem to understand!”

Me: “Sir, we fly to hundreds of airports across the world. Instead of learning to speak languages from across the world, our pilots are making sure our passengers are safe on comfortable on every flight. However, regardless of whether you fly with us again or not, I can assure you that the money you were owed has been returned to you.”

Customer: “Bull-s***! You don’t have nearly the same high standards as [Competitor European Airline] have!”

Me: *impatient now* “You’re telling me that all pilots at [Competitor European Airline] can speak Italian, English, Hungarian, Japanese, Finnish, Spanish, Mandarin, Icelandic, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian—”

Customer: *click*

(I got a warning for that call, but I didn’t care.)

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Speaking Plainly

| GA, USA | Language & Words

(I work at a financial institution opening new accounts. I am about to print a debit card for a new customer. We only offer two patterns of card, a simple card with just our logo, and a card with a very detailed picture of an airplane on it.)

Me: “All right, sir. For our cards we have two options: the logo and the airplane. Which do you prefer?” *shows picture of cards*

Customer: “I’ll have the plane.”

Me: “Good choice! That one’s my favorite.”

Customer: “Yeah, anything but that plane one!”

Me: *confused* “Oh, so you did want the logo, not the plane?”

Customer: “Yeah, I want the second one, not the plane one.”

Me: *shows pictures again* “You want this one?” *points at logo*

Customer: “No, I want THAT one.” *points at plane* “The other one is so plain.”

Me: *light-bulb goes off* “So you want the airplane instead of the BORING one!”

Customer: Yeah!

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You Can’t Just Squirt That Kind Of Thing Out

| Canada | Bizarre, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(I’m making drinks on a typical weekend. The customers waiting for drinks are a pair of fifty-year-old golf buddies just chatting.)

Me: “Your mocha will be ready in just a moment here.”

Customer: “Yah, sure.”

(Having run out of whip cream, a pull a fresh container from my fridge and give it a shake. Typically new containers have some water running down the sides from condensation and this flies off when I shake it. Neither customers nor colleagues tend usually notice.)

Customer #1: *watches this* “Oh, so you’re a squirter?”

Me: *look up with very wide eyes, mid-drink* “Um, pardon me?”

Customer #2: “You can’t say stuff like that!”

Customer #1: “Oh.” *picks up drink and walks off without apology*

Me: *stunned silence*

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Couldn’t Be Fur-thur From What She Wanted

| Natick, MA, USA | Crazy Requests, Language & Words

(A frazzled and cold lady comes in late at night looking for a fox fur coat. I work in lingerie so I’m not extremely familiar with furs, but am excited at the potential commission earnings. I read the ticket on a beautiful jacket and it’s 100% fox. I show my customer.)

Customer: *screaming* “THIS IS NOT FOX FUR”

Me: “No, ma’am, it is indeed entirely fox.”

(I assume maybe she doesn’t like the style so I show her another fox jacket.)

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU! THIS IS NOT FOX FUR! I NEED SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE!”

(I turned her over to a coworker in the fur salon thinking maybe I didn’t know as much as I thought. After some bickering back and forth I saw her cashing out and purchasing a beautiful coat. I asked the salesperson who took over what she ended up with. Apparently the customer wanted FAUX fur but was pronouncing it wrong the entire time.)

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Would Have Been Prudent To Look That Up Before Asking

| Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Funny Names, Language & Words

(The customer in front of me is paying for her groceries and notices the cashier’s name tag.)

Customer: “Oh, ‘Prudence,’ what a lovely name!”

Cashier: “Thank you, ma’am.”

Customer: “What does it mean?”

Cashier: “It means ‘wisdom’ or ‘good judgment.’”

Customer: “Wonderful! And what language is it?”

Cashier: “Umm… English.”

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