Getting Into The Time Zone

| Right | August 29, 2016

(I do stocking and shipping for a web-based tech supply company: computers, servers, parts and accessories, office security, things like that. I get a call.)

Me: “Shipping, [My Name].”

Sales Rep: “Hey, [My Name], I’ve got a customer on the line. He wants to know why his order didn’t ship yesterday.”

Me: “Sure, do you have the order number?”

(As I pull up the order information, the rep puts the customer on three-way call.)

Me: “Ah, I see the problem here, sir. Your order was placed too late in the day to process, and—”

Customer: “Impossible.”

Me: “Um… actually, sir, it’s very possible. You see—”

Customer: “Your site says you GUARANTEE same-day shipping!”

Me: “Actually, sir, it doesn’t. The word ‘guarantee’ doesn’t exist there. It states ‘Most in-stock orders placed before five pm Eastern time are shipped the same day.’”

Customer: “Exactly! So why wasn’t my order shipped!?”

Me: “Because you placed your order with us past ten at night.”

Customer: “Bull! It was no later than seven pm!”

Me: “I see from the shipping address you’re in California, correct?”

Customer: “What does that have to do with it!?”

Me: “Time zones. California is three hours behind us, so when it’s seven your time, it’s ten our time.”

Customer: “No, you IDIOT, it’s the other way around! When it’s seven MY time, it’s FOUR your time!”

Me: “Sir, I’m looking at my clock right this second and it says 2:45 pm. What time is it where you are?”

Customer: *pause* “You still should have gotten it out yesterday! Amazon ships until midnight!”

Me: “Sir, the main Amazon warehouses process more shipments in a day than we do in a year. More than we do in TWO years around the holidays. No carrier would make the deals with us that they do with Amazon.”

Customer: “Well, your site’s still misleading! You must deal with this all the time!”

Me: “Actually, sir, except for legitimate problems such as incorrect information or technical malfunctions, you’re the first one I’ve spoken to that was this upset. And I’ve been here for ten years.”

(I don’t know if it was because I was staying level-headed or he was realizing his own culpability, but pretty soon the guy hung up. The sales rep, who until now had apparently been speechless, finally piped back up.)

Sales Rep: “How did you keep your cool with that!? That guy sounded like he was going to scream at everyone in the company!”

Me: “I married into a very large, very loud, Italian family. If THAT guy could rile me up I’d never survive Christmas!”

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