Its Curtains On This Scam, Part 3

| UK | Working | March 6, 2013

(Note: there are a series of telephone scams going around at the moment, particularly involving PPI (payment protection insurance) from loans. I have one student loan, which has no PPI, and have never had anything else.)

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling about the loan you took out a while ago.”

Me: “Really? Which loan would that be?”

Caller: “Erm, the… uh… loan from [bank I’ve never used].”

Me: “Really? That’s interesting. Since you haven’t even asked my name, there is no way you can know if I do or do not have a loan. You’ve asked no security questions, so I’m not going to be stupid enough to give you any of my details, and I have never used that bank at all, so you definitely have no reason to call me. Do you understand that scams like this are illegal?”

Caller: “Er… sorry.” *click*


He’s Just Arse-king For It

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Working | March 5, 2013

Phone Rep: “Good afternoon, may I speak to Guy Arseanault, please?”

Me: “I’m sorry; you have the wrong number.”

Phone Rep: “I’m sorry about that, miss. Have a good evening.”

(A week later, the same phone rep calls again.)

Phone Rep: “Good afternoon, may I speak to Guy Arseanault, please?”

Me: “I’m sorry; there’s no one here by that name.”

Phone Rep: “I’m so sorry, miss. Have a good evening.”

(A few days later…)

Phone Rep: “Good afternoon, may I please speak with Guy Arseanault?”

Me: “I’m sorry; there’s no one here by that name. I believe you have the wrong number.”

Phone Rep: “Well, I’m sorry, miss. Have a good evening.”

(This goes on several nights a week for at least six weeks, where I have the same conversation with the same guy. One day, my girlfriend and I have just had a fight, and I’m not in the mood for this game when he calls again.)

Phone Rep: “Good afternoon, may I speak to Guy Arseanault, please?”

Me: “Okay, look, dude: there is no Guy Aresenault living here! I keep telling you this: there is no Guy Aresenault. There are no ‘guys’ here, period! No guys at all—just lesbians. My girlfriend, my self, our neighbours and their roommate, are all lesbians. Seriously, man, you’re killing me here. No Guy. Just lesbians. Lots of lesbians…”

Phone Rep: “…Wow. Hey, can I come live with you?”

(I wasn’t expecting his response, so I break out in uncontrollable laughter before answering him.)

Me: “Oh man, you’re too funny! I’m so sorry for that, but seriously.”

Phone Rep: “Alright, I get it. I’ll have your number taken off the list. I’m sorry for this. That was priceless, though. Have a good night, miss!”

Me: “It’s all good! Thanks and have a good night, too.”

(I never heard from him or heard the name Guy Arsenault again!)

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He Has His Wires Crossed

| Lismore, NSW, Australia | Right | February 25, 2013

Me: “Welcome to [company], this is [name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I want instructions to wire up my phone socket to the mains to boost the signal.”

(Our phone lines use a 12 V signal while main power is 240v V Connecting the two would be a very bad idea.)

Me: *shocked* “Are you a trained electrician?”

Customer: “No. Why would I want to be one?”

Me: “You do know that the phone systems uses a 12 V system while the mains is 240 V?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Only authorized and trained people can work on a phone line. You are neither.”

Customer: *sighs*That is why I am wanting the instructions to wire the phone socket to the mains!”

Me: “Sir, if by some miracle you do not kill yourself wiring the two together you would be personally responsible for the cost of replacing a multimillion dollar telephone exchange that you would blow up by doing that wiring. Do you understand?”

(A moment of silence as the customer thinks this through.)

Customer: “I don’t like your attitude. Transfer me to someone more sympathetic to my needs.”

Me: “How about I transfer you to faults. They know about wiring, and we both know you will be there sooner or later.”

Customer: “They can tell me how to wire it up?”

Me: “I will get them to tell you themselves.”

(I put the customer on hold while I contact Faults department.)

Faults: “Hello this is [name] in Faults.”

Me: “I am so sorry to give this to you, but I have a customer demanding how to wire the phone socket into the mains.”

Faults: “What?”

Me: “I have explained to him if he did not manage to kill himself wiring it up, then he would be liable for the replacement cost of the exchange but he insists on being transferred to someone more sympathetic.”

Faults: “It’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it?”

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No Vocation For Location, Part 5

| London, England, UK | Right | February 24, 2013

(I work at a call center for charities where we call people to confirm their details and thank them for their donations. I have recently moved from South Africa and am still getting used to some of the pronunciations around the UK.)

Me: “Hello, this is Sarah calling on behalf of [charity]. I believe you spoke to John in Inverness on Saturday. Is that correct?”

(I’ve pronounced it ‘In-ver-niss’ as opposed to ‘In-ver-ness’.)

Man: “What?! How can you work in a f***ing call center and not even know how to pronounce the names?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’m not from England so I’m still getting used to all the names.”

Man: “How f***ing dare you! I am not from England! I am from Scotland, you dumb b****! They’re different places! How don’t you know that? Didn’t you go to school?!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say I’m new to the UK. Some of the names of places are still a bit tricky for me.”

Man: *calmer* “Well, okay then. Where are you from?”

Me: “Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Man: “Oh, you mean Zimbabwe!”

Me: “No, sir, they’re different countries.”

Man: “They’re the same thing!”


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| UK | Working | February 21, 2013

(Note: I’m calling about my mortgage to see if they can get me a better deal.)

Operator: “Okay, I’m just going to ask you a few questions and then we’ll see what we can do for you.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. Fire away.”

Operator: “How much do you owe on your mortgage?”

Me: “Roughly £97,000.”

Operator: “Okay, and who is your current mortgage provider?”

Me: “HSBC.”

Operator: “And how do you spell that?”

Me: “Um… H… S… B… C.”

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