Beware House

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

I am in the call center for an industrial supply company. The office is physically attached to the very, very large warehouse, but office workers are not trained in filling orders or other warehouse operations. Despite the fact that we’re a relatively large company, some customers are under the impression that our facility and operations are significantly smaller.

Caller: “Hi, your website says that [item] is in stock. Can you check for me?”

Me: *Checks our database* “Yes, I’m showing that these are in stock.”

Caller: “No, you didn’t check. I mean, can you physically check your shelves? I can wait.”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t do that.”

Caller: “I’m a paying customer looking to spend good money here, and I’m willing to wait for you to take a look. Can you please do your job and check your shelves?”

Me: “Sir, I am doing my job. Our warehouse is over a half-million square feet in size. I am employed in the office. It would take me at least ten minutes just to get to the warehouse. Even if I was trained in how to navigate our inventory system and was willing to dodge the forklifts and other heavy machinery that a half-million-square-foot facility entails, it would not be conducive to your time or mine to have you wait while I physically check the shelf for something I’ve already told you is in stock. Now, our system occasionally makes mistakes, but that’s not often, and if this happens to be one of those rare instances, we will certainly make it up to you. Now, how would you like to proceed?”

There’s a pause.

Caller: “So, you said it’s in stock? Will I see it tomorrow?”

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Knows Zip About Zip Codes, Part 2

, , , | Right | February 26, 2021

The company I work for has been able to take credit card payments by phone for as far back as I can remember. Starting about two weeks ago, we suddenly started having the following conversation with multiple customers.

Me: “And what is the billing address of the credit card?”

The customer provides a five-digit number and then stops. I repeat the number back.

Me: “Is that the street number? And what’s the street name?”

Customer: “That’s the zip code.”

One customer goes one step further.

Me: “And what is the billing address of the credit card?”

Customer: “The full address or the zip code?”

Me: “The full address, please.”

He provided a five-digit number and then stopped.


Knows Zip About Zip Codes

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Wary Of The Warehouse

, , , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

The company I work for has five warehouses in five different states. While the overwhelming majority of orders ship around the world, each warehouse also has a will-call where local customers can pick up their orders.

I work in the call center where we often get calls asking for directions. The caller ID and area code will usually tip off which location I have to give directions to, but not every phone number will show up.

Caller: “I’m having trouble finding your will call. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure. Let me just confirm which warehouse you’re trying to reach.”

Caller: “The warehouse with the will call.”

Me: “Yes, each of our warehouses has a will call. Which state are you in?”

Caller: “I’m by the glass doors.”

Me: “We have five different locations in five different states, and I need to know which one you’re trying to reach.”

Caller: “I see a lot of trucks.”

If anyone can tell me how I can possibly be clearer or more straightforward, please let me know!

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This Will Be Exhaust-ing

, , , , | Right | February 25, 2021

Caller: “I’m looking for an exhaust fan. Do you have technical support to help me?”

Me: “Sure, I can help you. What do you need?”

Caller: “An exhaust fan to blow fumes out of our welding shop.”

I look in our system and get 458 results just for “exhaust fans.”

Me: “Okay, any specifications? Voltage? Horsepower? Size? Dimensions?”

Caller: “No. Do you have a picture?”

Me: *Inwardly* “Literally no.” *Outwardly* “Can you maybe take some measurements and call us back? I have over four-hundred pictures I could show you right now.”

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A Heater Debate

, , , , | Working | February 23, 2021

I work for a well-known do-it-yourself moving company. I receive a call.

Customer: “My heater in my truck doesn’t work, and if I turn it on it makes my windshield freeze. But [phone line akin to AAA] says that they can’t do anything about it because it’s not an emergency. And anyway, I need to keep the truck longer.”

We go through the process of extending the rental, and then the customer starts griping about the faulty heater again and asks for a discount. This particular kind of rental does not have any kind of discounts available, and prices are only ever reduced if it is a matter like a vehicle breakdown or if something happened which was the company’s fault.

I also notice that the customer is in a southern state, where it isn’t very cold at this time of year. I hold my tongue.

Me: “As far as discounts go with this kind of rental, that would have to be negotiated with the manager of that location upon dropoff.”

Customer: “What about a manager? Can your manager do it?”

Me: “I can transfer you to a manager, but they would most likely say the same thing, as it was this location’s vehicle which had issues with the heater.”

Customer: “They made me walk two blocks to come to get my truck. I had to walk two blocks to come to get my truck because they wouldn’t bring it to me!”

Me: “Unfortunately, dropping off trucks is not a service we offer.”

Customer: *Sounding furious* “You’d better get me to a manager now before I get upset!”

The customer angrily interrupts me repeatedly while I explain that they will have to be put on hold for a moment. I call the manager to explain what happened.

Manager: “We don’t offer dropoff services.”

Me: “Yes, that is what I said when they got upset. They want a discount because the heater is broken, though it is in [Southern State].”

Manager: “Yeah, it’s probably just a little chilly.”

After completing the transfer, I checked the weather there. It was cloudless with a low of forty-five degrees – in late October. The customer had acted like they were trudging through two feet of snow and driving the unheated truck when it was ten degrees out, when in reality it was “keep your sweater on in the car” weather.

Thank goodness this company has the employees’ backs on stuff like this. It’s a good company, and 99.9% of issues people encounter are caused by other customers or themselves. In this case, it was other customers failing to report a faulty heater.

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