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An Alarming Lack Of Alarming

| USA | Criminal & Illegal, Popular, Technology

(I work at an alarm management company monitoring home alarms. Normally when an intrusion or motion sensor alarm triggers, we call the house first in case it is the owner. They generally give us their passcode and we cancel the alarm. In this scenario, a motion sensor alarm comes up and I call the home.)

Me: “This is [My Name] with [Security Company]. Am I speaking with [Owner]?”

Phone: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, Mr. [Owner], if you can just verify the passcode for your account, I’ll be glad to disable the alarm for you.”

Phone: “I don’t have an alarm.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Phone: “I don’t have an alarm system. Whatever you’re seeing is wrong. Cancel the alarm; it’s not at my house.”

(I obviously think that this is bizarre so I call the secondary number, the owner’s work phone.)

Me: “This is [Name] with [Security Company]. Am I speaking with [Owner]?”

Owner: “Yes, that’s me.”

Me: “We didn’t just speak on your home line, did we?”

Owner: “No? Is something wrong?”

Me: “I thought not. Can I get your passcode for [Security Company]?”

Owner: “[Code].”

Me: “Somebody answered your home phone and claimed you did not have an alarm system. I have already dispatched the police to your home.”

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A Disconnection Between Her Phone And The Truth

| USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Popular, Technology

(It’s late at night and I’m about leave work. I get a last minute call.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Company]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “My phone is broken and I DEMAND a new one.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. What distributor is your phone from?”

Caller: “Your company.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, let me rephrase. Who made your phone? Is it an Apple pro—“

Caller: “No, my phone isn’t a god-d*** Apple! Now, I demand a new phone!”

Me: *keeps playing her game* “I’m sorry, ma’am. Is your phone an Android?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. What’s your name?”

Caller: “[Name].”

Me: “Thank you, please hold.”

(I put her on hold and pull up her records. You can see what phone the customer is calling from when you pull up the records, as well as other important details.)

Me: “Ma’am, [Company]’s records say you’re calling from the ‘broken phone.’ Records also say you’re three months overdue for your bill. Please pay with the next two months or else we’ll have to disconnect you.”

Caller: *click*

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Flood Of Lies

| UK | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

(I am working on a specific out-of-hours phone line for house maintenance and repairs on Christmas Eve. It is about four pm and one of the last calls of the day. I have already let the customer know that calls are recorded.)

Customer: “There’s a pipe under my sink and if I touch the bolt it is going to leak.”

Me: “I’m afraid we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours, sir.”

Customer: “But it’s going to leak if I touch it!”

Me: “Sir, if it is not already leaking I cannot send an engineer out to you. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Erm, okay, then, it’s leaking now.”

Me: *following my script* “Okay, and is the leak currently containable?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I do apologise, sir, we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours.”

Customer: “Then it IS uncontainable. My kitchen is flooding!”

Me: “Okay, I can get an engineer out to you but I would like to remind you that calls are recorded so you may be charged if this is not the case.”

(The caller hung up straight away.)

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A Far Away State Of Mind

| USA | Bizarre, Technology

(I work as a customer service representative for a catalog ordering company.)

Me: “My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *in a southern accent, with a shocked and confused tone of voice starts talking loudly through what must be a defective telephone* “You sound so far away! I can barely hear you! Are you far away?”

(I have an idea in the back of my mind what she really means but I just don’t believe it, so I give her the benefit of the doubt with my answer.)

Me: *wearing a headset* “No, my mouth is close to the phone.”

Customer: “No! I mean I live in Arkansas. Where do you live? Is it far away?”

Me: *deadpan* “I live in [Other State].”

Customer: *now settled and no longer confused, but still in a state of shock and speaking loudly* “OH! No wonder you sound so far away! [Other State] is very far away from Arkansas.”

Me: *face-palm* “Okay, well, how may I help you today, ma’am?”

(I finished the call without another incident.)

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Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 9

| UK | Crazy Requests, Time

(I work in a call centre that focuses on car insurance. At the start of each call we have to “baggage handle” the call, and basically tell the customer how the call is going to go: “just to let you know, this call will take 10-15 minutes and I will need to know [list off info we need].” Most of the time, it still plays like this when I get to certain questions that again, I always tell them I’ll need at the start of the call.)

Me: “And in the last five years, has anyone on the policy had any claims?”

Customer: “Well, I’ve had one…”

Me: “And the date of that?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe two-three years ago?”

Me: “Well, as I said at the start of the call we did need that information. If you have anything in the house that would say what the date was, like info from your current insurer, then I can get on with the quote, but if not then I can’t continue, and you need to phone back when you have it.”

Customer: “Really? They didn’t ask me this last year. Just put in any date around then. I know it was maybe 2013, and possibly in January.”

(The “they didn’t ask me this last year” thing is usually bull****. Most of the time I wouldn’t really be sure, as I’m new to the job and didn’t know anything about car insurance myself until I went through the training course for the job, but this one is CLEARLY bull-s***, but I still say:)

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but I’m new to the job and don’t know much about how things were processed last year. This is still the info we need now in order to get you an accurate price. Any change can mess up the underwriter’s assessment of the risk and make the price less accurate, so we need to know all that information. Like I said, I can’t do anything for you unless you have that info.”

Customer: “I don’t really have time for this, I have to pick up my kids in a few minutes.” *said when we’re only four or five minutes in*

Me: “That is fair enough if you don’t have time at the minute. Again, all I can suggest is you call back when you have the time and information.”

Customer: *hangs up after a forced cheery goodbye*

(I think this is how drive customers actually expect it to go down:)

Customers: “Hi, I need insurance.”

Me: “Sure thing. You’re price is that low price you wanted, and you’re now insured, without the need for any questioning or the need of your card details. Bye.”

Related:
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 8
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 7
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 6

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