Where There’s Smoke, There’s Getting Fired, Part 2

| Allentown, PA, USA | Working | January 24, 2013

(This happened a few years ago. My aunt’s house caught fire, and she lost literally everything. The shell of the house mostly survived but everything inside the house was destroyed. Among her difficult tasks, she called the cable company to cancel her account.)

Aunt: “My home burned down and I’m going to be moving away. I need to terminate my cable account.”

Representative: “You’ll need to return the cable box in order to close your account.”

Aunt: “The box was destroyed in the fire, just like everything else in the house.”

Representative: “We can’t terminate your account unless you return the box.”

Aunt: “I’m not sure what part of ‘my house burned down’ you’re not understanding. The box is gone. The fire originated in the part of the living room where the television was, so it was all destroyed.”

Representative: “It makes no difference. Unless you give us back the cable box, your account will remain open and you will continue to be charged for services.”

Aunt: “Well, if you can find it, you can have it!”

 

Scream If You Wanna Hang Up Faster

| Plymouth, England, UK | Right | January 24, 2013

Me: “Hello, you’re through to the billing department. How can I help you?”

(All I hear from the customer is a high-pitched, incoherent screaming.)

Me: “Sir? Hello? I can’t understand what you are saying.”

(Still screaming.)

Me: “Sir, if you could just calm down and tell me the problem, I’m sure I can figure it out.”

(The customer keeps screaming. I hang up. Two minutes later, my colleague takes a call.)

Colleague: “Hello, you’re through to the billing department, how can I help you?”

(Incoherent screaming.)

Colleague: *looks at me* “It’s for you.”

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A Higher Voice Is Not A Higher Power

| IL, USA | Right | January 21, 2013

(I overhear my coworker’s portion of a call.)

Coworker: “Thank you for calling [account name]. My name is [name]. May I have your name and membership number, please?”

(Looking at his screen, I can tell the account information he’s given pulls up a woman’s account.)

Coworker: “Thank you, sir. Now, I see that this account is under a woman’s name. Are you calling for a wife or family member?”

(While he does this, he’s checking the account to see if anyone besides the account holder has permission to speak.)

Coworker: “Okay, well, I’m very sorry to say this sir, but you are not authorized to speak on this account. Your wife would need to contact us.”

(A moment or two passes.)

Coworker: “Sir, placing me on hold for a few seconds, and then trying to speak in a higher voice will not fool me into thinking you are your wife. Especially as you already told me that she is out of town, in a meeting, and cannot call us herself.”

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Weekly Roundup: Call Center Chronicles

| Not Always Right | Right | January 20, 2013

Call Center Chronicles! They may seem faceless, but call center employees are constantly faced with anger, stupidity, and difficult customers on a daily basis!

  1. Nothin’ Like Some Tough Lovin’ (3,951 thumbs up)
    A caller finds out the “childish” cause of some adult card charges, and dishes out some adult justice!
  2. He Wants The Google (2,586 thumbs up)
    A tech-illiterate customer finds out the expensive, multi-billion dollar difference between *using* Google and *buying* Google.
  3. That’s Assuming If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood (5,986 thumbs up)
    If you ask this call center employee a stupid question, you’ll get a bunch of woodchucks!
  4. The Commute Must Be Out Of This World (2,778 thumbs up)
    A surveyer makes a very, very, very long-distance call… to the planet Qinjax.
  5. Even Paranoid Racist Nutjobs Have Bad Days (4,203 thumbs up)
    A racist caller finds out that bigotry is no challenge for diversity!

PS #1: check out our new Extras section, with pictures, videos, and news galore!

PS #2: Read more roundups here!

Courage Under Fire, Part 2

| Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK | Right | January 18, 2013

(I am a supervisor at a car contract hire leasing company. The fire alarm goes off, so I call to my colleagues to apologise, hang up their calls, and leave NOW. One colleague is left as everyone files out. She is trying to talk over the very loud sound of the fire alarm.)

Colleague: *to customer on phone* “I’m sorry, the fire alarm is ringing and we have to evacuate. If you give me your number, I’ll call you back after.”

(I can hear the sound of irate shouting from the customer on the phone.)

Colleague: “Yes, but the fire alarm is ringing and we’re evacuating. If you won’t give me your number, can you call back later?”

(Sounds of more irate shouting.)

Colleague: “No, that’s the fire alarm. I can’t turn it down.”

(Sounds of yet more shouting.)

Colleague: *to me* “I don’t know what to do.”

Me: “Leave by the fire exit now.” *I take the phone*

Me: “Hello, I’m [name] and I’m the supervisor. The fire alarm is ringing. It’s not a drill and I’m going to have to terminate this call.”

Customer: “Where’s the f***ing b**** I was just talking to? I want her f***ing name. I will not be f***ing treated like this! It’s only a quick f***ing query, why won’t you f***ing answer it, you bunch of f***ing c****?!”

Me: “This building is on fire as far as we can tell. Call back later.”

Customer: “All I f***ing want is for someone to work out my early termination fee. That’ll only take five or ten minutes. What’s f***ing wrong with you people?”

Me: “The fire brigade is here.” *sound of sirens outside* “Frankly, sir, and I mean no disrespect, but people like you are not worth dying for. Call back later.”

Customer: “How dare you! I’m f***ing paying your f***ing—”

(I hang up and run down the fire escape. A few hours later, once the fire on the roof was put out the customer called back. He was very apologetic; he’d told his wife about the outrage he’d suffered. She pointed out how much of a dick he had been. He decided she was right.)

 

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