The State Of The Estate Is In A State

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling [Company]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “My husband died, and I need to get the name changed to my account so I can pay his bills.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am. Would you like me to send the bills to his estate?”

Customer: *after a pause* “He don’t got an estate.”

Me: “Ma’am, in this instance, estate means whatever property and money the deceased had, usually controlled by his will’s executor, or lawyer.”

Customer: *after a long pause* “He don’t got an estate.”

Me: *pause* “I’ll just change it to your name, shall I?”

A Different Form Of Understanding

, , , , | Learning | July 25, 2018

(My brother works for a call centre in our home town in Scotland. He has a lot of stories about things like a mobile phone sales campaign where the workers were never, despite repeated requests, given the phone specs, so they had to “improvise.” One of my favourites is when they are dealing with applications for student loans. This is all done on paper forms, with lots of to-and-fro via post. He gets a call…)

Caller: “Hello. I haven’t heard back about my student loan application, and it’s close to term start.”

Brother: “Thank you for calling. May I take your details, please?”

(My brother checks and finds no record of him in the system, even after his usual check for hideously misspelled names and street names, etc.)

Brother: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can find no record of you in the system. It looks like we haven’t received your application”

Caller: *shouting and angry* “What?! You haven’t received it? HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT WHEN I’M HOLDING THE APPLICATION FORM IN MY HAND?!”

Brother: “Well, I take it you’re not studying physics, sir, or you’d know an object cannot exist in two places at the same time.”

(Eventually, he got the guy to calm down and helped him, but he still wondered how the guy managed to qualify for university or even deal with daily life when he didn’t grasp that just filling in a paper form didn’t magically make things happen.)

Welcome To Gotham 411

, , , , , | Right | July 24, 2018

Me: “Good afternoon. You’re through to [Company]. How can I help?”

Caller: “How come Batman can’t fly?”

Me: “Batman cannot fly because he does not have any super powers.”

Caller: “Oh. I feel sorry for him.” *click*

Me: “What?”


Unfiltered Story #117474

, | Unfiltered | July 24, 2018

(I work in a call center. Today my tools have been difficult to work with. A customer calls, requesting to know the status of her order.)

Customer: “I need to know the status of an order I placed a week ago. By the way, is there any way to get to a live person faster? Every time I call it takes too long.”

Me: “I’m sorry about the wait, ma’am, there really is no way to get to a representative directly but I’d be happy to check on the status for you.”

(Meanwhile it appears that my computer is frozen, and I desperately try basic troubleshooting to get any response. After about a minute I’m advised to shut everything down and restart, but since it takes up to ten minutes to get everything running, I have to advise the customer to call back.)

Me: “I’m sorry about the inconvenience, ma’am, however it appears my system is updating and I’m not able to check on the status of your order at this time. Normally I would connect you to another representative but since I’m not able to transfer calls right now I have to ask you to hang up and call back.”

Customer: “That is just ridiculous, I always call here to check on my order, why can’t you do it? ”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, this is the correct number but my system will not allow me to do anything because it is updating.”

Customer: “Well you clearly just don’t know what you’re doing. Just transfer me to someone who actually knows how to do their job.”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience, but as I mentioned I can not even transfer calls right now. If you would prefer, you can wait for me to restart everything. However since this may take up to ten minutes I would advise you hang up and call back.”

Customer: ” That is shameful; you should at least know how to transfer people before they hire you. You know what? I’ll just call back and get someone who knows what they’re doing.”

Time To Appoint A Different Voice

, , , | Right | July 21, 2018

(I work in a government call centre. Occasionally customers have appointees to speak and handle their affairs for them. I receive a call from a man who is clearly inebriated, but we finally get through security questions. I realise he has an appointee, so I am unable to make the changes to his account that he requests.)

Me: “I am sorry, [Customer]; I cannot change that information without your appointee’s permission.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. She is with me now; I’ll put her on.”

(A moment later I hear voice say, “Hello,” but it is clearly still the customer.)

Me: “Hello, who is this, please?”

Customer: “I am [Appointee]; I am the appointee.”

Me: “[Customer], I know that is you. Is the appointee really available for me to speak to?”

Customer: “Yes, I am the appointee!”

Me: “[Customer]…”

Customer: “Yes? *pause as he realises what he just said* “Who am I speaking with? My name is [Appointee] and I am an appointee!”

(After several failed attempts to speak to his appointee failed, I had to end the call. He didn’t even bother disguising his voice in any way!)

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