How Often The Customer Is “Always Right”

| Right | June 11, 2014

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Not Skirting Around The Issue

| Lake George, NY, USA | Right | June 11, 2014

(An older customer, maybe in his 50s, walks in to my female clothing store.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

Customer: “Don’t worry. I’m not a cross-dresser or anything. I’m just looking for my wife”

(He says the first half in a very derogatory tone of voice.)

Me: *smiles sweetly* “Well, if it’s any consolation, I think you’d look great in a skirt!”

(The customer glares at me and leaves!)

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Picture Perfect

| AR, USA | Right | June 11, 2014

(I work as a library clerk in the computer lab. Over the next couple of nights we have a gentleman come in who is completely computer illiterate. I’ve tried to explain the best I can as how to go about searching online for information, or watching videos. On this particular night he seems to understand the computer a little more.)

Patron: “Excuse me, I need help.”

Me: “Sure, what can I help you with?”

Patron: “This video won’t load! I’ve been staring at it for the last 30 minutes, and nothing has happened!”

(I take in the problem quickly, and try not to laugh.)

Me: “Sir, you’ve been looking at a picture for the last 30 minutes, not a video.”

A Total PPOODJ-Head

, | Adelaide, SA, Australia | Right | June 11, 2014

(I am working behind the ‘print and copy’ counter at my store. A customer who is known for her deliberate time wasting and rudeness comes in to use the self-serve photo printing kiosks. She calls me over because I haven’t served her before, so she sees me as a new target. She doesn’t know that I know exactly who she is and what tricks she uses. I also know that she is capable of using the machines on her own, as she does so when she thinks no one is watching.)

Customer: “I don’t know how to type in my name. You do it for me.”

Me: *very politely* “Yes, you do, ma’am. Do you remember last time when [Coworker #1] showed you just how to do it? Or the time when [Coworker #2] made sure you knew just how to use the machine? Now, these machines are self-serve. Why not have a play around with them yourself? I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Customer: “YOU DO IT.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I have customers. As I have mentioned, this is a self-serve machine. I’ll be more than happy to help you when I don’t have customers lining up. Please excuse me.”

(I go back to my counter and help the line of customers who are actually paying for the service of having me help them. She soon comes over to the counter with her ticket to pay for her photos. Her name is displayed on the ticket as ‘PPOODJ,’ obviously just random letter that she’s mashed.)

Customer: “LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO! LOOK! PPOODJ! I AM NOT A PPOODJ! LOOK!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter, ma’am. Your photos will be ready in a few minutes. The name doesn’t really matter at all. That will be [amount].”

(She pays and waits for her photos, grumbling.)

Customer: *over her shoulder as she is leaving the store* “PPOODJ!”

(She never asked for help again while I was working, and wouldn’t you know it, never had any troubles using the machine from then on.)

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Cold Callers Versus Hot Heads

| Yorkshire, England, UK | Right | June 11, 2014

(It is my first week of cold calling people to try to encourage them to buy a kitchen or windows. I do not want to be there, but I need the money.)

Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

Customer #1: “Yes?”

Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think—”

Customer #1: “DON’T YOU KNOW MY MOTHER HAS JUST DIED?!” *slams down phone*

Me: “… No?”

(I put her on to the don’t call back list despite the fact we’re not meant to do that unless they specifically ask us to because I feel sorry for her despite her rudeness, and let the automated dialer tick to the next cold call.)

Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

Customer #2: “Yes, you are. Who is this?”

Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think that might be something you’re interested in?”

Customer #2: “You know, you don’t have to do this. You could go back to college, educate yourself, and get a proper job. You don’t have to waste your life in a call centre.”

Me: “Sir, I’m studying neurobiology at university.”

Customer #2: “Oh, well, uh, no. I’m not interested. Sorry. Please remove me from the list. Good luck.”

(Again, I put him on the no call back list then let the dialer click on…)

Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

Customer: *sighs* “Yes…”

Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think you might be interested?”

Customer: “Actually, maybe. Tell me more. What does it involve?”

(The customer gets me to answer loads of questions, sounds really interested, and I begin to hope my day might turn round and I might finally check off the measly £1 bonus for getting someone to book a visit for a quote.)

Customer: “Brilliant, thank you for that. Can you do me one last favour?”

Me: “Absolutely, sir!”

Customer: “Good. Can you F*** OFF?!” *slams down the phone*

(I put him on the urgent call back list, meaning he’ll be called the next day around lunch time, and if he’s still rude to whoever is unfortunate enough to get him they will probably do the exact same thing. If you’re going to be a jerk to cold callers, remember we are human beings, too. Politeness gets you much further and it costs nothing to say nicely ‘I’m not interested; please take me off your lists.’ I started job hunting that night and left three weeks later.)

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