It Just Gets Exponentially Worse From Here

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Working | February 3, 2013

(I’ve lost the password I need to access my billing and setting and am calling to reset it.)

Representative: “Hello, thank you for calling [phone company]. How may I be of assistance today?”

Me: “Hi, I need to reset my password.”

Representative: “Of course, I’d be happy to help you with that. Can I have your name, number, and last 4 digits of your social security number?”

(I give them to her.)

Representative: “Thank you. Is there anything you would like me to temporarily reset your password to?”

Me: “Yes. Six, six, four, four.”

Representative: “Passwords must be four to five digits.”

Me: “But I only gave you four.”

Representative: “Oh, can you give them to me again?”

Me: “Six, six, four, four.”

Representative: “Thank you. To double check, do you want it reset to six, six, four, four or sixty six, forty four?”

A Taxing Conversation

| Norwich, England, UK | Right | February 2, 2013

(My colleague is the customer in this transaction. He has received a letter from HM Revenue (British tax authority).)

Colleague: “Hello, I am ringing about the letter I received stating the amount due to you is £1,400!”

Tax assistant: “Well, I can help you with that. What seems to be the issue?”

Colleague: *angry at this point* “The issue is that I have just received a letter telling me that I have to pay you £1400!”

Tax assistant: *still being very polite* “Well, sir. Please calm down, let me say something.”

Colleague: “Say something? What can you say that’s going to resolve this problem?”

Tax assistant: “How about, the check is in the post and you don’t owe us a penny?”

Colleague: “Oh.”

Tax assistant: “I thought that might help a little. If you had read the letter clearly you would have seen that it says ‘Amount due to you is £1,400.’”

Colleague: “Oh… erm… I’m really sorry for being a jerk.”

(I have never laughed so hard in my life.)

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Throwing Trash Is Pay Dirt

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | February 1, 2013

(I work in a customer service call center for a health plan that is also a cooperative; it’s the kind where it’s both your insurance and your doctors. On this particular call, a woman is upset because one of her claims was denied, after the referral she’d requested for the service had also been denied.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why my claims are denying.”

Me: “Ma’am, did you receive the referral letter we sent you that said that this service was denied?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but it seemed like there was a mistake, so I just threw it out!”

Me: “You threw it out?! Ma’am do you understand that that denial letter is a legal document that states we are in no way going to cover these services? Why didn’t you call us if you thought it was mistake?”

Customer: “Well I figured if it was a mistake, you guys would just find it and then I could go have this done and it would be covered!”

Me: “Do you realize that we process thousands of referrals to authorize a day? How are we supposed to know that what you requested is wrong, if you don’t tell us?”

Customer: “Don’t put this on me! You denied the referral! It was a mistake! I don’t have to pay! You have to pay!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s not our fault you threw it away and did nothing about it. We are not going to pay for these services.”

Customer: “You are going to pay! You should have known I would throw it in the trash! You will pay! You will pay!” *click*

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This Employee’s Days Are Numbered

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Working | February 1, 2013

(I’ve just paid my card off, but the payment isn’t showing up on my account information.)

Agent: “Can I have your payment confirmation number?”

(I start to give him the number, but the agent cuts me off.)

Agent: “That’s not it. Our numbers don’t start that way.”

Me: “I’m reading it directly from the payment screen.”

Agent: “Well, that’s not right, and you need to learn to read more carefully.”

(Eventually, the agent finds the payment using my telephone number.)

Agent: “Okay, I found the payment. You need to write down the confirmation number in case you have to call again. The number is [EXACT same number I gave him earlier]. Can I help you with anything else?”

Me: “No, but you can help yourself by learning to listen.”


Days-ed & Confused

| Malmö, Sweden | Working | January 30, 2013

Coworker: “So, I’ll get access to my new apartment on January 1st. That’s in like… a month?”

Me: “It’s exactly two weeks from today. It’s Tuesday the week after next.”

Coworker: “Oh, that soon? Wait, so is January 1st the day after New Years’ Eve this year?”

Me: “…Yes, the new year kind of always starts with January 1st…”

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