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Bordering On Ridiculous

| The Hague, Netherlands | Transportation

(Our national touring club has an alarm call centre of its own. I’m doing the so-called intake of foreign calls, getting people on the phone with a broken car or motorbike all over Europe.)

Me: “Good afternoon, this is [Touring Club] alarm centre. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: *thick Twente accent* “Hello. We had a breakdown here in Belgium, and a towing truck came and brought us to a depannage. Could you send someone over?”

(Usually, a car having been towed means it’s an existing case and we already called out for help. But this sounds different.)

Me: “Let me see. Did you already give us a phone call about your problem, ma’am?”

Caller: “No, I just used one of those emergency phones on the roadside. They said I had to call you about payment and sending a repairman.”

Me: “All right, so it’s a new call. Let’s start filling in the case file, shall we?”

(Over the phone, I ask her for several things. However, no valid insurance policy pops up. They’re only insured for Dutch Road Guard, not for help in other countries.)

Me: “Ma’am, is it right you only have a policy for help in the Netherlands?”

Caller: “Yes, but the man of the towing truck said it wouldn’t matter, since it’s all the same.”

Me: “Not quite, but let me see what I can do.”

(I put her on hold. With all the information about their location and everything I go to my superior. Note that for some foreign people, the Netherlands and Belgium might seem like dwarf states, but that for us, half way through Belgium is considered quite far from the border.)

Superior: “Well, they should have had an insurance policy for Europe. We can’t cover for any Belgian help. The only thing we could do is send some Dutch road guard over, but only if they are close to the border. Where are they now?”

Me: “[Town].”

Superior: “Sounds Francophone. I bet it’s a town in Wallonia.” *Southern, French-speaking half of Belgium*

Me: “Yeah, it’s near Liege.”

Superior: “That’s too far away. We can’t send help.”

Me: “Fine. The Belgian tow company apparently said it didn’t matter.”

Superior: “Then he was wrong.”

(I get back to the phone.)

Me: “Sorry to keep you waiting, ma’am. Unfortunately it turns out there’s very little I can do. Since you’re not insured for foreign road guard we can’t cover the costs for you.”

Caller: “I see… after 25 years of membership and never having any trouble.”

(Some people really think that being a longtime member of anything gives you privileges. However, I think the rules just apply for everyone, unless the rules say differently.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am.”

Caller: “Well, then this ends our conversation.”

Me: “Very well, ma’am.”

Caller: “Is it possible I could withdraw my membership right now over the phone?!”

Me: “No, ma’am. You’d have to call our service department.”

(A Dutch saying says: “Give them one finger and they take your entire hand.” To be honest, some people just think they already have the entire hand. When finding out they don’t, they don’t want the finger anymore either.)

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Has No License To Be Psychic

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Crazy Requests

(I work for an electronic toll road and we often get vehicle updates from our customers. This situation happens more often than it should.)

Me: “Thank you for choosing [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m calling to update my license plate number. I got a new car and want to add it to my account.”

Me: “That’s great! Congratulations on the new car. What is the new plate number?”

Customer: “Oh, umm… I didn’t know I would need that.”

Me: “Has your license plate changed?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “And you would like to add the new plate to the account?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Then I will need to know the plate number so I can add it to your account.”

Customer: “Can’t you just find it for me?”

Me: “I don’t know where I can possibly look to find it. I’m afraid you’ll have to call back with the new information or add it to the account online.”

Customer: “You people are impossible!”

(I’m very sorry that I wasn’t gifted with psychic abilities in order to guess your plate information.)

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Email Fail, Part 8

| HI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

Me: “All right, Mr. [Customer]. Your flight date change has been confirmed and issued a new ticket for. All I need to do is to send you an email, so let me verify the email address on file.” *reads back his Gmail address*

Customer: “No, no, no! That one is in Maui. I’m in Honolulu right now; I’ll give you another one.”

Related:
Email Fail, Part 7
Email Fail, Part 6
Email Fail, Part 5

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That’s One For The Log

, | PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call center for a financial institution; I receive some pretty interesting phone calls. I’m paranoid about submitting too many and getting fired, but I thought this small one might be funny.)

Me: “Thank you for calling customer service. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Caller: *says immediately without pulling up his account information* “I’m looking at my login ID screen.”

Me: *silence to make sure I don’t interrupt him, expecting to hear more about the problem* “Okay. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I can’t log in.”

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It’s Going To Be One Of Those Bays

, | Orlando, FL, USA | Bizarre

(It is the last call of the night. The customer is in California.)

Customer: “You sound like you are from the Bay Area.”

Me: “That is funny, seeing I am on the other side of the country in Florida.”

Customer: “Of course, you sound like you are from there.”

Me: “From Florida?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I don’t sound Spanish or country or like a snow bird.”

Customer: “No, but you sound middle-class.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “But it is my birthday; follow me on instagram.”

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