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Sometimes A Customer’s Rage Is Justified

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2021

I live in a sharehouse with friends, and one housemate, in particular, has anger management issues. I have many stories about him; not all are flattering, as you can imagine, but in this particular case, I’m actually surprised he didn’t go off harder at the poor idiot on the other end of the phone call.

Our renting arrangement with this housemate is that he doesn’t contribute to the shared grocery bills and yard work bills, so he handles the Internet connection. It is not always the best situation financially for me, as I cover far more than my fair share in all household bills and paid utilities as well as rent.

Our internet has been dropping out a LOT, and I’ve since learned that the area itself is dodgy across all Internet providers because the infrastructure hasn’t been maintained or even installed correctly in the first place. So, today we have already had approximately twenty dropouts and it isn’t even lunchtime, so the housemate calls them up and tries to organise a guy to come out and fix it up. The call only lasts in civil tones for about fifteen minutes, and then the yelling starts. Roughly half an hour of yelling and swearing later, the housemate comes out of his room, literally throws his phone at me, and roars:


And then he slams his door shut. 

I tentatively lift the phone to my ear and begin what is probably the single most idiotic call I have ever had with an Internet provider in my life. We have a single outlet in the house for phone and Internet connections, with two ethernet sockets. The man on the phone condescendingly tries to explain to me that:

  1. I am wrong.
  2. There is another connection actively in use.
  3. The TV input for free to air connection is another Internet point for the modem.
  4. The dropouts aren’t happening.
  5. My residential address is listed as a business; therefore, I need to contact another line… but he won’t provide the line.
  6. The lights on the modem are not accurate enough for me, a female, to determine that it is switched on.
  7. The infrastructure is the best of the best.
  8. A man might be better to explain this process to.
  9. There are no maintenance technicians employed by their company.
  10. There are now two different types of technicians they employ.
  11. I clearly don’t understand the difference between an in-home and an outside technician.
  12. I need to own a home phone to access the Internet through their company, despite never having a phone line connected in all the years I had been living there.

All in all, it is an hour and a half of exasperating, misogynistic, ego-touting insanity masquerading as a phone call for what should have been a relatively simple issue.

Finally, I get the man to agree to send out a technician, but then I also cop a good twenty- to thirty-minute repeated lecture about the differences between the type of technicians, am told repeatedly that I don’t know what I want, and am warned extensively with the line:

Internet Provider: “If you request the wrong one, you will be charged a call-out fee from both the tech company and from us.”

I simply walk out front, locate our roadside box that runs the street’s connections through it, and ask:

Me: “So, ah, the roadside boxes count as a [Tech #1] job, right?”

Internet Provider: “Yes, that is correct, ma’am. [Tech #1], not [Tech #2]. So why do you ask?”

Me: “Well, I’m asking because the box is currently underwater and it hasn’t rained in weeks, so I’m pretty sure I want [Tech #1], not [Tech #2].”

Internet Provider: “Umm… I, I will send out the [Tech #1] as you have requested… Sorry?”

Me: “You really should be; it’s not just men who understand the basic principles of repair work, you know.”

Internet Provider: “Yes… you’re correct, ma’am… I’m sorry.”

The repairman was there within the hour and I’ve never seen a man so delighted to meet the caller before. Apparently, the [Tech #1] workers at that company have heard some interesting stories but don’t often get to meet the people who make the calls. I asked if he was disappointed about that and he grinned like the Cheshire cat and replied, “Absolutely not; most of the callers are whack jobs. You, however, were golden.”

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