Category: Money


Hold For An Hourly Rate

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Money, Popular

(I work for a third-party seller/distributor of cellular phone service. It is the late 1990s, when cell phone service is just starting to transition from analog to digital in most states. Because a credit check and a contract is required to activate service, some customers are surprised when the credit check comes back that we require a monthly billing to their credit card, or worse, a $700 deposit. I take a call from a customer. After I run the credit check, I get the alert that he will need to pay a deposit or set up automatic payments.)

Customer: “What do you mean? My credit’s fine! Check it again!”

Me: *calmly* “I could check it again, sir, but it’s going to come back with the same result.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Well, it shouldn’t!”

Me: *still calm* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that’s what always happens when we get a report like this. In order for me to activate a line for you, I’ll either need to take down a deposit, or set up payments using a credit card.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your supervisor!”

Me: “I am one of the supervisors.”

Customer: “Then let me speak to somebody else!”

Me: “Sir, if I get you on the line with someone, they’re only going to tell you the exact same thing that I am.”

Customer: *yelling* “I DON’T CARE! Get me on the line with your supervisor!”

Me: *still calm* “All right, sir, no problem. Would you mind holding for just a minute?”

(We were always forced to ask permission to put people on hold, never tell them we were putting them on hold.)

Customer: *now irate* “I DON’T WANT TO BE PUT ON HOLD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but in order for me to get you on the line with someone else, I need to place you on hold.”

Customer: “I’ve been waiting long enough, and I don’t want to wait anymore! I want to talk with someone else RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “I understand, sir. Let me place you on hold—”

Customer: “NO, D*** IT! Don’t you DARE place me on hold! This is a waste of my time! Do you know how much I make an hour?”

Me: *rolling my eyes* “No, sir, I don’t.”

Customer: “$350.00. I charge $350.00 per hour, and in the time I’m talking to you, I could be making money. You’re wasting my time, and I’m losing money!”

Me: *matter-of-factly* “Sir, do you want to know how much I make an hour?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: *taking authority on the line* “Too bad, sir. I make $9.00 an hour. And I’m telling you this to give you some perspective. Between the two of us, the only one that can help you get your service turned on IS ME. Frankly, I don’t care how much you make, and it doesn’t motivate me to give you better service than anyone else. So you can either let me place you on hold so I can get a supervisor, or I’ll be glad to end the call, and you can go to a local [Company] store and do this all over again with them.”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “I’m going to place you on hold now, okay?”

Customer: “Fine.”


America’s Debt Crisis Explained, Part 3

| Waleska, GA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(I work in a store that sells some food items and accepts EBT food stamp cards. A woman comes in with a cart load of groceries and I ring up her items, including one box of baking soda. We sell both the kind you cook with, and the kind strictly for deodorizing/cleaning, and it states clearly on the box it isn’t for cooking (and is located in the cleaning section of the store.)

Me: “Your total is [amount].”

Customer: “I’m using EBT.”

(She slides the card and pays for the transaction. The system automatically charges just the food, leaving the small amount for the box of baking soda.)

Me: “That’ll be [amount], please.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “For the baking soda; it’s [amount].”

Customer: “No, it’s food. I want it on my EBT card.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, you picked up the kind for cleaning. It’s not meant for cooking with. See—” *I show her the label* “—I’d be glad to go and get you the correct one, but unfortunately once the payment process has begun, the only way to complete it is to pay the remaining balance, or cancel the order.”

Customer: “I don’t want it then. Forget it. I just want to go. I paid for my food.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I either need the [amount] owed, or I need to cancel the order and ring it in again. It won’t take but a minute.”

Customer: “Fine.”

(I proceed to cancel the transaction. In order to put her money back on the EBT card she needs to put in her pin again.)

Me: “Okay, just put in your pin to cancel, please.”

Customer: “Why? I don’t want to be charged again; just cancel it.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but to cancel it the money needs to go back on your EBT card. You need to put in your pin number to authorize that.”

Customer: “I don’t understand! I already put in my pin! I don’t want to be charged twice; just cancel it!”

Me: “I can’t cancel it until you put in your pin. I’m sorry. It won’t charge you twice, but your pin is giving us the authority to put your money back on your card.”

(Finally her daughter, exasperated, puts in the pin for her. I then ring up her items again, this time leaving out the baking soda.)

Me: “Okay, the total is now [amount], please.”

Customer: “What? I already paid. I’m not paying again!”

Me: “Ma’am, you paid once, but then didn’t want the baking soda, so I canceled the transaction and credited the money back into your account for your entire purchase. That’s why I had to ring it all in again.”

Customer: “I already paid! I’m not paying again!”

Me: “Ma’am. I rang up your items, then you slid your card and paid for the food items, but not the baking soda. The only way to fix this was to cancel the entire transaction and credit the money for the entire purchase — all the food — back onto your account. Like doing a refund. You did pay, but I gave the money back, not just for the baking soda, but for the entire thing. So you haven’t yet paid for these groceries.”

(The customer seems to understand and slides her card. When it asks for her pin she flips out again.)

Customer: “I already put my pin in twice! Why do I have to do this again! How many times am I being charged!?”

Me: “The first time you put in your pin was to pay the amount for the groceries. The second time was to authorize us to refund that money back into your account. This third time is to buy the groceries again. You’re only paying once, since we refunded the first purchase.”

(The customer got upset, refusing to “be charged a third time.” Finally her daughter, again frustrated and wanting to leave , put in the pin. The woman continued to question why she had to put her pin in as her daughter tried to shove her out the door. She came back twice to ask again why she had to put her pin in so many times. Finally her daughter succeeded in leading her out, casting me an apologetic look as they left.)

America’s Debt Crisis, Explained, Part 2
America’s Debt Crisis, Explained


The Mother Of All Complainers

| Cleveland, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money, Popular

(I work at a restaurant where a server has to pay the bill if a customer walks out. One day a customer arrives with his friends. The group decides to split the bill between them. One young man writes down the name of a friend and leaves the restaurant. After contacting him on Facebook, he agrees to pay. After a full run around that takes four to five days, he ultimately does not. I am having an unpleasant day, and do not feel like losing out, even for a small amount. I contact the police. Afterwards, his mother arrives to tell me off.)

Mother: “Just who the f*** do you think you are calling the police? You made me look like an idiot over eight dollars. You should feel ashamed about making such a problem over this.”

Me: “Your son wrote down the name of his friend and walked out. That isn’t acceptable. In here, we have to pay if someone walks out, and I don’t like losing out. Short of that, what he did was illegal.”

Mother: *screaming* “How DARE you? My child wouldn’t do such a thing, and you harassed him over some imaginary crime and made a big problem out of seven dollars? It’s eight dollars. It means nothing!”

Me: “If it’s nothing, then would you kindly pay? I need to work, and you’re scaring the other patrons.”

Mother: *ear-splitting shrieks* “I will not. Quit making problems for good people. I don’t have the time for this.”

(The manager walks up.)

Manager: “Ma’am, I have to ask you to leave. You are causing a disturbance.”

Mother: “I’ll make as much noise as I want until this b**** stops complaining about her imaginary money!”

(Shortly after the police were contacted, and two officers dragged her out. She tried to come back twice, but she was informed if she showed up again she would be detained.)


This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 55

| CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Money

(I work in a high end makeup retailer that has just recently gotten a credit card program. We have had a points-based rewards program for a long time, and our systems base pre-approval off of a customer’s rewards card’s history.)

Me: “Can I get your phone number for your rewards card?”

Customer: “It’s [phone number].”

(The screen comes up with the message that the customer has been approved for the highest level of the credit card, which is able to be used anywhere, not just in our stores.)

Me: “Congratulations! You’ve been pre-approved for an [Store Rewards Brand] credit card! With that card you’re going to earn extra points on the purchases you make in the store, and get 20% off of your purchase today. Are you interested in signing up?”

Customer: “Sure! Sounds great!”

Me: “Okay! Just go ahead and select one of the options on the screen in front of you.”

(The options include: “Yes, sign up”, “No, this isn’t me”, or “No, not at this time”. After the customer chooses “Yes, sign up,” I continue to read through the customer’s reward information in great detail, including the spelling of her first and last name, address, email, birthday, etc., as they have to be completely accurate to make sure that the approval goes all the way through.)

Me: “All right, on the screen in front of you it’s going to have you read over all of the information that we just went over, just to double verify that it is all correct and your information.”

(The customer clicks yes and it goes to the next screen, asking her to verify her social security number.)

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know my mom’s social security number… I might know it; I could try to guess. Or I could call her…”

Me: “You told me that that was your information, not your mom’s. We can’t open a credit card in her name without her here… Did you see the button that said, “No, this isn’t me”?”

Customer: “Yeah, but we just share the same rewards card, so I thought it would be fine.”

(I exited out of the credit pre-approval and finished her transaction as usual. I gave her the credit brochure and told her to give it to her mom. I’m interested to know what happened after her mom found out her daughter tried to sign her up for a credit card!)

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 54
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 53
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 52


Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 3

, | Boise, ID, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(I work at a call center for a bank that finances credit cards for several companies: anything from jewelry to gasoline. We handle both consumer and business cards. The craziest call I ever get is from a business account for office supplies.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]; my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my name is [Customer] and I am authorized by [Accounts Payable] to pay $140.”

(I verify them as authorized on the account. The balance is over $800.)

Me: “I can certainly run that payment for you, but that amount will not postpone further collections activity. The balance is [amount #1] and is five months past due. We need a payment of [amount #2] to prevent the account going to third party collections.”

Customer: “I don’t think you understand; I will only pay you $140. If I make this payment, you have to forgive the rest of the debt. I WILL NOT pay you any more, and you WILL NOT charge me any more late fees.”

Me: “I can’t do that. This is a balance that has been accrued on this credit card. It needs to be paid in full or at least paid on time to prevent further fees.”

(Customer ranted on and on about how it wasn’t fair of us to charge him and that he would speak with accounts payable. Then he hung up.)

Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 2
Got To Give Him Credit For Trying

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