This Behavior Is Foreign To Me

, , , , | | Right | May 22, 2018

(We have a notoriously nasty client who calls about once or twice a week, known as “Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy.” He basically calls to yell and scream at the person he gets through to, stating that he will not talk to f****** foreigners who take Norwegian people’s jobs and ruin Norway. The kicker is, however, that almost every single person he has talked to at our call center is a native Norwegian with a very common Norwegian name. We also know what his problem is, and what is causing it, but none of us have been able to get through to him as he just yells and screams. This day, I am training a new hire. He is originally from Iraq, and he has a very foreign-sounding name. However, he grew up in Sweden and he speaks Swedish. Note that Swedish and Norwegian are similar languages, and we understand each other well, but it is still VERY clear that it is not the same language. I’m listening to the new hire’s calls when we get Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy on the phone.)

New Hire: *in Swedish* “Welcome to [Company]! My name is [New Hire]. How can I help you?”

F****** Foreigners Guy: “OH. MY. GOD. I can’t f****** believe this!”

(I immediately recognize his voice and get ready to terminate the call. However:)

F****** Foreigners Guy:Finally, a true Norwegian person! With a real Norwegian name and all! You have no idea how many times I had to talk to all these f****** foreigners just to get to you!”

New Hire: *confused out of this world, still speaking Swedish* “Uh… I’m sorry to hear that, sir. What can I help you with?

(And just like that, Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy was the nicest person ever, and got his problem fixed by our new hire. We never heard from him after that, and to this day we still have no idea how a self proclaimed “Norwegian Nationalist” could not tell the difference between Norwegian and Swedish!)

I Swear They Couldn’t Hear Me

, , , , | Working | May 16, 2018

(I work in a call centre, handling insurance sales and service. It’s a quiet day, and a coworker and my boss are standing directly behind me, talking loudly about awkward customers. I am sitting with my headset on, but just doing paperwork whilst they speak. My boss describes a customer he’s taken a complaint from as a “Right c*** of a customer!” Sick of him and my coworker using my working space to chat instead of getting on with their work, I quickly and hurriedly started apologising about the language used by my coworker to a “horrified customer.” My boss and my coworker fall silent as I feign trying to calm a seriously offended caller. After a few seconds, I take my headset off and turn around.)

Me: “If that had been a real customer, [Department Head] would have had you both sacked for that.”

Boss: *still rather pale* “You… weren’t on a call?”

Me: “No, but our microphones are awfully sensitive. Bear that in mind before complaining loudly about customers on the work floor.”

(Both my boss and my coworker slunk off back to their desks and I got on with my paperwork.)

 

This Call Scores A (Ground) Zero

, , , , | Right | May 16, 2018

(I work in a call center doing senior-level tech support for a cell phone manufacturer. This interaction happens after a lower-level support transfers the call to me.)

Me: “Hi there, [Customer]. My name is [My Name], and I’ll be taking full ownership of this call from here on, so that means I’ll be the last person you’ll have to speak with to make sure we come to a resolution for your issue. Just to make sure I understand correctly, it seems you’re trying to trade your phone in with your carrier for a new one, but your device is activation locked. Is that right?”

Customer: “Yeah, that’s right.”

Me: “All right, and do you know the email address or password for the account the device is locked to?”

Customer: “No, I need you to unlock it.”

Me: “All right, that is something we can do; however, we will require that you submit the original proof of purchase for the device.”

Customer: “I don’t have that. I’m the one who bought the phone. Can’t you just take my driver’s license?”

Me: “Unfortunately not. In order to unlock the phone, we need to match your proof of purchase with what our system shows us in order to properly verify that the device is actually yours.”

Customer: “But I don’t have that. Why can’t I just go to [Cell Manufacturer Store] with my driver’s license and have them unlock it?”

Me: “They’ll end up telling you the same thing I am. Our system needs the original proof of purchase to—”

Customer: “So, you’re saying I can’t get my phone unlocked by showing my driver’s license at the store, but I can use it to get on a plane and fly anywhere I want in the US?!”

Me: “Uh, yes. That is basically the truth.”

Customer: “Well then, maybe [Cell Manufacturer] should have been flying the planes on 9/11.”

(I’m completely speechless for a good 10 to 15 seconds.)

Me: “I-I’m sorry, ma’am. But if you can’t remain professional on this call, then I will have to disconnect—”

Customer: “Fine. Bye.” *hangs up*

Totally Overwatch

, , , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(I work in a call center for a company that sells protection plans online. When it comes to watches, we will repair the watch if it is over a certain price, and if it’s a cheap watch, we only issue a check to reimburse it. Keep in mind we only cover mechanical failures coming from the dial; we don’t cover water damage or drops.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you?”

Customer: “Hi, I want to file a claim on a watch.”

Me: “No problem. I’ll be glad to help you with that. May I have your information so I may access your file?”

(She gives me her information, and I ask her for the price of her watch.)

Customer: “$3.78.”

Me: *pause* “You’re filing a claim for a $3.78 watch?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay, what exactly is the issue with the watch?”

Customer: “I wore it in the shower and it stopped working.”

Me: *pause* “Is it waterproof?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but I will have to deny your claim due to accidental damage handling.”

Customer: “Oh, well, this is stupid.” *hangs up*

(Even if we had taken her claim, the shipping label we would have sent to her would have cost more than her watch.)

When Trying To Be Helpful Isn’t Helping

, , , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I am a US citizen on a long-term assignment in Canada. After three years, we need a new car. We have a US-based credit card, which gives us significant credit towards the purchase of a particular manufacturer’s vehicles, so we decide to see if we can get the credit transferred from the States. I call the Canadian bank and get a very helpful woman. We start the process and reach a point where I have to get more information for her. We disconnect, and I get the info from the US and call her back. Since she has a fairly unique name, I’m transferred through promptly, and we continue. We reach a last impasse, and I need to call the US again. This time, when I call the Canadian bank back, it does not go as smoothly.)

New Guy: “Hello, my name is [New Guy]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, please connect me with [First Person].”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

Me: “I need to be connected to [First Person]. Please put me through.”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

(This continues for a few more cycles until I’m ready to tear my hair out. I decide to go ahead.)

Me: “Okay, here’s the information you need to issue my credit card with the purchase credits on it.”

New Guy: *nonplussed* “Wait. What?”

Me: “Sure, it’s in the records. I needed to get [Bank] the following information to get my card issued. This is my third call, and it’s all you need.”

New Guy: “Wait, I have to look at that. Hold on…”

Me: “I’ve already spent the better part of an hour setting this up, and I don’t want to go through it all again. Why didn’t you connect me when I asked you first?”

New Guy: “Because I could help you.”

Me: “Here’s a tip. If a customer asks for a specific person, they almost certainly have a good reason. Put me through now.”

(A couple of clicks later, I was talking to [First Person], and the card was on its way within minutes.)

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