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Six Figures Under

| OH, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Money, Popular

(I work at a call center for a life insurance company, providing information and support for agents and policy holders. I’ve actually had this conversation more than once.)

Caller: “I want to know why my beneficiary change wasn’t processed. Why was I sent a new form?”

Me: “Okay, if you just give me the policy number I can bring up your file and see what the problem is. Are you John Smith?”

Caller: “That’s me.”

Me: “Okay, and it looks like you wanted to name your beneficiary as… John Smith.”

Caller: “That’s right.”

Me: “Sir, you can’t be the beneficiary of your own policy.”

Caller: “Well, why not? It’s my policy.”

Me: “Yes, but in order for the policy to pay out, you have to be dead.”

Caller: “I don’t understand. It’s my money.”

Me: “Well, technically, yes. If you really want to take it with you, I suggest making arrangements with a funeral home to ensure that you are buried with it.”

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Out Of Control Panel

, | Portugal | Technology

(I work in a tech support company that is outsourced by some of the largest ISPs in the country to provide IT support to their customers. The average customer knows almost nothing about computers. This is a sample of a conversation that happens with several customers, too often to count…)

Tech: “All right, now I’m going to ask you to open the start menu and go to the Control Panel.”

Customer: “So where do I click?”

Tech: “The start menu.”

Customer: “And where is that?”

Tech: “It’s that little round button with the Windows flag on it, usually on the lower left corner of your screen.”

Customer: “So, do I open the Internet?”

Tech: “No, the start menu.”

Customer: “…”

Tech: “Do you see the time and date? On the lower right corner?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech: “On the opposite end of the task bar, which has the time and date… all the way to the left… What do you see?”

Customer: “I see… Oh, I see a ball with a Windows symbol inside. Is that it?”

Tech: “Yes. Click there, please.”

Customer: “Do I click once or twice?”

Tech: “Once.”

Customer: “Left or right mouse button?”

Tech: “Left.”

Customer: “Ok, I clicked it. It opened a rectangle on the left with many options.”

Tech: “Ok, so if you look closely you’ll see that rectangle is divided in two columns, correct?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech: “And on the right column you can read ‘Documents’, ‘Pictures’, ‘Computer’, etc… And if you continue going down you’re going to find the Control Panel.”

Customer: *taking an unusual amount of time to read half a dozen options on a menu…* “Oh, yes, I see it. Do I click it?”

Tech: “Yes, please.”

Customer: “Once or twice?”

Tech: “Once.”

Customer: “Left or right mouse button?”

Tech: “Left.”

(By now, it had been like five minutes, and all we had managed to do was open the Control Panel. And that was when we were lucky enough to manage even that! These calls weren’t free. And we often had to hear the customers complaining that they’re “spending a lot of money and the problem hasn’t been solved yet!”  Well, at this pace, it’s no wonder…)

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Speaking On Different Channels

| Canada | Language & Words, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work tech support for the Internet part of a company that also provides cable TV and cell phones, so sometimes we get calls meant for other departments. When that happens, we just transfer them over. One day I get a call from an older, heavily-accented caller.)

Me: “Thanks for choosing [Company] Internet tech support. What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “My weather network, and the news, and, uh… it no work!”

Me: “Your Internet isn’t working?”

Customer: “No! Not Internet. TV! My weather channel isn’t working! And the news channel!”

Me: “Oh, your cable TV isn’t working!”

Customer: “”Right!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that! Well, you’ve reached Internet tech support, so let me get you right over to cable TV repair, and they’ll be able to look into that for you. Before I get you to them, do you have any Internet questions for me while you have me here?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My weather channel isn’t working!”

Me: “Okay, well, then, let me get you right over to cable TV repair then. This will just put you back into hold while I get you to them. There may be just a brief wait–”

Customer: “Wait!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My news channel isn’t working!”

Me: “Well, that’s still on your TV, so let’s get you right over to the right department–”

Customer: “Wait!”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “My weather channel isn’t working either!”

Me: “Okay, well-let-me-get-you-right-over-to-the-right-guys-they’ll-be-with-you-in-just-a-sec-bye!” *hits transfer button*