The Times They Aren’t A Changin’  

| USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

Customer: “I have two phones and I just want to use one; one is personal and one is corporate. I want to just have my corporate number and move my personal line into the corporate account so I only have one.”

Me: “Okay. So, you are wanting to move [personal number] into your corporate account, and then cancel the number that was already on the [corporate number]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(I move their personal line to the corporate account, and ask to reconfirm they want to cancel the corporate line.)

Customer: “Yes, but let me ask you a question. Will the calls will still go to my [corporate number]?”

Me: “Well, no, people will call the [personal number], as the previous corporate line [corporate number] will be canceled as you asked.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to use [personal number]. I want to use the [corporate number].”

Me: “So… did you actually just want to use the iPhone that is on the [personal number] then, so you only have one phone?”

Customer: “No, no, no. I want to use the Samsung phone on the [corporate number]!”

Me: “Sooo… basically you didn’t want to make any changes at all?”

Customer: “Yes. Just change it back.”

Me: “All right, let me get you to the department that does that…”


Acting Cold Caller

| UK | Bad Behavior, Money, Popular, Time

(I know that cold calling isn’t anyone’s favourite thing, but it’s my job and I need to pay rent. It isn’t a scam company, but a call centre for a gas and electric company; we dial people who have opted into marketing; they always deny it, but they’ve clearly forgotten or misread the marketing. My current customer seems a little too eager to do the quote. He takes the time to get his current info about his supplier and his energy usage and so on.)

Me: “So, just a few more minutes of your time and I’ll get that set up for you now.”

Him: “No.”

Me: *continues with the spiel of why it’s a better deal* “…so, why would you not want to go for it?”

Him: “Because I don’t want to go for deals offered by people who phone me up when I didn’t ask for it.”

Me: “Then why did you even do the quote?”

Him: *smugly as he possibly can* “Well, you’re wasting my time so I figured I’d waste yours as well.”

Me: “I’m paid an hourly rate, sir; I just technically made £3.50 in the half an hour we spent on this call.”

(The guy stammered and hung up. I honestly get why people hate cold calling, and in all fairness, so do I, but some people I call are just so badly-behaved and I love these tiny victories I can get over them.)


This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 52

, | Ede, The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Money, Popular, Technology

(I work for a large Dutch Internet provider, at which I am working as a billing expert for the tougher customers with the more difficult questions.)

Me: “Hello, [Internet Provider]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I did not receive any bills by mail. You apparently just stopped sending me the bills. Now I have a huge debt, and because of your mistake I cannot use the Internet any more.”

Me: “Well, Mrs. [Customer], we stopped sending you bills by mail three years ago. Every once in a while you make a payment. But your funds stopped being enough to cover the costs several months ago.”

Customer: “Yeah… because you stopped sending me bills a few months ago. That’s your mistake. Now I am paying for a service that I cannot use anymore.”

Me: “Several years ago we stopped sending customers’ billing by mail as the default option. You can now login on our members’ site to read and even download you bill for free. We sent all customers e-mail and mail to tell them we were planning this move. If you still want to receive a bill every month with specifics, we require a payment of €1,00 on top of your normal fee.”

Customer: “Still, you stopped sending them a few months ago. So, it is your fault at [Internet Provider] that I cannot use Internet at this moment.”

Me: “Billing by mail as default is no longer an option. Clients that require billing by mail—”

Customer: “You are lying, you b*stard! You’re not taking me seriously.”

Me: “I’m so sorry you think that of me; I assure you we have all customers in high regard. Yet we stopped sending bills by mail a few years ago. You currently have a debt of six months worth of bills. By law every consumer is required to keep in check their payments themselves. We can only send you reminders to suggest that you pay us, of which we sent you at least four letters in the past six months. Clearly you were very lucky. Normally, when customers do not pay for two months or longer, they get shut off. You managed to keep your services for quite a bit longer.”

Customer: “I immediately require to have my Internet back. Now, please.”

Me: “We can give back your services to you today, but in return we require one of the two following options: 1) you can pay us the difference (upwards of €400,00) in one transaction today, or 2) you agree to a payment plan to catch up the difference.”

Customer: “Sure… I am not paying you to be shut off; I am paying you so I can use my Internet.”

(Getting a bit tired of this whole back and forth process, my tone becomes a little more harsh, yet still professional.)

Me: “Mrs. [Customer], firstly, it is our service we are providing; Internet is of and for everyone. Secondly, you did not pay for at least six months, so to be fair, you are not paying us for anything, and if one does not pay we do not serve. I am sorry.”

Customer: “And whose mistake was that? That I did not pay?”

Me: “Not ours, ma’am. You yourself managed to pay us for the last couple of years without your bills by mail, so the only reason for not paying the last 6 months is with your finances.”

Customer: “It is not my responsibility to pay. It is yours!”

Me: *sighs* “Ma’am, I can only help you any further if you mean to pay us. The responsibility of payment is entirely yours. I can offer you a plan or a way for immediate payment.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to a manager right now! It is not correct of you to shut me off, especially if the fault is entirely yours that I did not pay.”

(As I am the manager, I could not go any higher up the chain, so I ended the conversation as politely as possible, with the advise to call back when the woman was able to pay.)

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 51
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 50
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 49


An All-Consuming Customer

| NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(I work in the contact center for a window decor company. In my department, I only take calls from the retail associates at the big box home improvement stores that sell our blinds and shades. But every so often, a consumer (that being the person who actually buys the blinds and takes them home) sneaks into our queue, even though they have a separate line. We can answer general product questions for consumers, but per policy, anything more involved than that gets transferred to Consumer Services.)

Me: “Thanks for calling [Company]; what can I do for you today?”

Customer: “I’m trying to find my purchase order number.”

Me: *thinking I’m speaking to a retail associate* “Okay, take your time! And who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

Customer: “No, I need you to give me the PO number.”

Me: “Well, do you have a sales order number? I can find it with that.”

Customer: “I don’t have anything!”

Me: “That’s okay. I can wait here while you flag your manager down if you need to get your paperwork together. And I’m so sorry; I didn’t catch your name—“

Customer: “Manager?! What the h*** are you talking about? I’m at home!”

Me: *slowly realizing* “Are you calling about some blinds that you bought, ma’am?”

Customer: “YES. And I called earlier and you said I needed a PO, and I don’t have one!”

Me: “That’s no problem, ma’am. We should be able to see it on the label. Do you have the blinds down where you can look at the sticker inside the top rail?”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: *repeats myself*

Customer: “I don’t have the blinds yet! That’s why I called you! I want to pay for them!”

Me: “I see. And what’s your name, ma’am?”

Customer: “It’s [Customer]! I ALREADY TOLD YOU! ARE YOU STUPID?!”

Me: *smiling like a maniac* “Okay, [Customer], what I’m going to do is transfer you to our Consumer Services department. They’ll be happy to help you access your account and pay for your order.”

Customer: “NO!”

Me: *stunned silence*


Me: “I understand, [Customer], and I’m very sorry that you’ve had to wait, but the call volume over there is low and it won’t be a long wait. I’d do this for you myself, but this department only deals with contractors and retailers. Again, I do apologize for your trouble today. But if you’ll just bear with me—“

Customer: *abruptly hangs up*

Me: “—oooor you could just hang up. That’s fine with me, too.”


Miss Universe Hotline

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bizarre

(I’m wrapping up a sales call with a customer, and I ask the usual question:)

Me: “Is there anything else I could get for you today?”

Customer: “A better world…”

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