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Category: Tourists/Travel

That Reasoning Doesn’t Fly

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I work in a duty free shop and a customer wanting to buy a bottle of cognac comes to my register. All is well until I ask for his boarding pass.)

Me: “All right, sir, may I see your boarding pass?”

Customer #1: “No.”

Me: “Then you can’t buy this cognac.”

Customer #1: “Why not?”

Me: “Alcohol is a customs bonded item, and as such can only be bought by people leaving the country directly from this point. I need to see your boarding pass so I can make sure you are doing so.”

Customer #1: “But I am French.”

Me: “That does not mean you are leaving the country.”

Customer #1: “But this is an international airport.”

Me: “Domestic flights go out of this airport regularly.”

Customer #1: “Well, I won’t show you my boarding pass.”

Me: “Than you can’t buy the cognac.”

Customer #1: “But I want to.”

Me: “Then I need to see your boarding pass.”

Customer #1: “NO!”

(This goes on for five minutes and the customer leaves in a huff without his cognac. The lady behind him comes up toting a five pound bag of pretzel M&Ms, which, like all candy, is not bonded.)

Customer #2: “Um, I’m on a domestic flight to Phoenix. Can I buy these M&Ms?”

Me: “Sure. Candy isn’t bonded.”

Customer #2: “Okay.” *looks at the cognac* “After that last guy you might need some of that yourself.”

You’re Not In Kansas Anymore

, | San Antonio, TX, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

(I work as a supervisor taking calls. In my center, I have the highest authority on the phones. My name is common in Spain, Greece, and India.)

Coworker: “I don’t know what this customer wants. She requested a supervisor, got me, and said I wasn’t good enough to handle the problem.”

Me: “Okay, send her through.” *transfers* “Hello, ma’am. My name is [My Name]. I’m the supervisor on duty, and would like to know how I can help.”

Customer: “I want to talk to your supervisor.”

Me: “I apologize. I’m unable to transfer you to anyone else. I am the top tier of support. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to someone in the United States.”

Me: “We only have call centers in the continental US. I’m located in Texas, and am waiting to know how I can assist with what you were calling about.”

Customer: “Don’t lie to me. I am from India. You sound like me. You’re from India and the law says if I ask to speak with someone in the US that you have to transfer me.”

Me: “Ma’am, I have never heard of such a law. I’m physically unable to transfer you to anyone else, and have been patiently waiting to know how to assist you. Please let me help you with the reason you called, or I will have to end this call.”

Customer: “Transfer me to who I was speaking with before.”

Me: “Ma’am, as I said before, I can not transfer you anywhere else. Now, either tell me what I can do to help, or you can call back if you no longer wish to speak with me, as I can’t transfer you. Fair warning, though. We currently have a 30 minute hold time.”

Customer: “I would like to know what time I leave tomorrow.”

Me: “You depart at 0430, and land at 0625. What is your next request?”

Customer: “That was all.” *click*

(Exhausted with dealing with the caller, I look over to the only other person who has the same level of authority that I do.)

Colleague: “Aren’t you the one who everyone always confuses with the recorded message because you have such a generic sounding accent?”

This Customer Is A Train-Wreck

| Wales, UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Technology, Tourists/Travel

(A woman comes in with her daughter.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to collect some pre-booked tickets.”

Me: “Sure! Have you got the booking reference printout?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Oh, well, never mind! If you have it written down in another format or maybe saved in your phone, I should still be able to find it.”

Customer: “No. I don’t have it. The girl who served me last time didn’t ask for it. I just put my card in the machine.”

Me: “I’m sure you must have misunderstood. We cannot issue tickets without some type of secondary reference. Do you know the postcode associated with the billing address, and could I have your surname?”

Customer: “I don’t see why I need to give you those details. Look, I just want to print my daughter’s tickets and go back to work. You’re costing me money here.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unless you can give me more details such as name, postcode, and destination, I can’t print your tickets. Look—” *swivels computer screen so the customer can see* “—here are the search fields I have for when there is no collection reference number available. Unless I can fill in two of these, I cannot print your tickets.”

Customer: *turning to daughter* “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE THE REFERENCE NUMBER?”

Customer’s Daughter: “Sorry, mum, you said I shouldn’t waste paper and the ticket people didn’t need it.”

Customer: “Well, clearly they do. YOU’RE ALL COSTING ME MONEY HERE!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but one of the terms is that you provide a reference for collection. Could you please let me try and help you with some of your other details?”

Customer: *snappily* “FINE! It’s [Surname] and [postcode].”

Me: “I’m sorry; nothing’s come up.” *shifts screen around again so she can see* “See? Could you have used a different postcode?”

Customer: “No. Look, this really isn’t good enough. Why won’t the destination work on its own?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but hundreds of people travel every day from [Our Station] to [Major London Station]. I’m just thinking: whose email did you put in? Since it’s quiet in here, I could let you around the back to use one of the staff computers to log in and find me the reference number. I should tell you though, that this is against company policy and that I am doing this at my own risk. I could face disciplinary action.”

Customer: “It’s [Daughter]’s email. Can she just do it? Can I go? I need to get back to work.”

Me: “If yours was the payment card, then I am afraid you will need to wait until your daughter has accessed her emails since the reference number is useless without the payment card and vice versa.”

Customer: “Fine. [Daughter], go in the back with this idiot and see if you can’t find this bleeding reference number between your half-a-brain-cell each.”

(The daughter nips around to my side of the booth, accesses her email, and within 30 seconds I have the tickets up. The woman inserts her card and collects her tickets, and before she leaves decides to have one more dig at me for how slow I was to get her tickets up on the system.)

Me: “I’m sorry it took so long to resolve your issue, but perhaps next time you might consider writing the reference number down? You needn’t print it; in fact [Train Company] offers to send a free SMS containing the details to your phone. It would save an awful lot of problems.”

Customer: “Or, you know, they could just hire competent staff who don’t need reference numbers!” *to Daughter* “Look at all the money you’ve cost me! I’m selling your Xbox when I get home!”

(She stormed out. Fortunately I haven’t seen her since, although the daughter stopped by on her return journey to thank me for helping her.)