It’s Not Her Calling

| Raleigh, NC, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid

(I am working when my phone rings. I pick it up on the second ring.)

Me: “[Call center]. Mary speaking.”

Caller: “Why did you call me?”

Me: “…pardon, ma’am?”

Caller: “WHY. DID. YOU. CALL. ME?”

Me: “Ma’am, I just answered the phone. You called me. Can I—”

Caller: “No, I didn’t! I just picked up my phone and you were talking!”

Me: “My phone rung and I answered it, ma’am. Is there anything that I can help you with?”

Caller: “No! I don’t know you! Who are you?!”

Me: “This is Mary from [call center].”

Caller: “No! No! I don’t know any Mary and I don’t know any [call center]. Why did you call me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I did not call you. Were you intending to call someone else?”

Caller: “I didn’t call anyone! You called me! I’m done with you!” *click*

Radio Killed The Credit Card Score

| Newcastle, NSW, Australia | Technology

(Many debit cards and credit cards now come with contact-less payment technology. I get at least two calls a day to remove the technology from cards, which the bank can’t do.)

Me: “Hello, welcome to [bank]. My name is [name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I’ve just received my new credit card, and it has that radio frequency payment stuff on it. I don’t want it.”

Me: “Unfortunately, [major credit card company] has made that technology a standard across all cards. We at [bank] have no control over this and cannot remove it. You don’t have to use contact-less payment if you don’t wish to. You can still sign or pin when making pay—”

Customer: “I don’t want it! You’ve got two choices: issue me a card that doesn’t have it, or I’ll chop up the card right now!”

(Note that it has been a very long day at this point: our computer systems have crashed, causing long delays in the call queue. So, having angry customer after angry customer has been taking it’s toll on me.)

Me: “Well, best break out the scissors then.”

Customer: “I’ll close my account!”

Me: “Okay, if I can have your card number, I’ll cancel and close your account now.”

Customer: “Er… umm…” *defeated* “No, I’ll activate the card please. If that’s okay?”

Lone Star State, One Country State Of Mind

| OH, USA | Geography

(The caller is already upset when she calls in. I am trying to obtain her information to set up service. I ask her for her phone number and she rattles off 7 digits.)

Me: “Ma’am, I need your area code as well.”

Customer: “I’m in Austin, Texas! What do you think it is?”

Me: “Well, because of multiple cellphone companies with their own area codes, I don’t automatically know your area code. I’ll need you to provide it.”

Customer: “Where are you?”

Me: “I’m in Ohio.”

Customer: *becomes hysterical* “Oh my God! Oh my God! We need jobs here and they keep outsourcing and sending all of our jobs overseas!”

Me: “Ma’am, I promise you, Ohio is a state.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t! It’s not in Austin!”

Big Brother Is Not Watching You

| ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call centre that handles calls exclusively from American customers. Since we’re located right on the Ontario-Michigan border, we often tell customers that we’re located in Northern Michigan to avoid having to explain how the company manages to serve Americans properly.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [insurance company], roadside assistance. How can I help you?”

Customer: “You have a weird accent. Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from Northern Michigan, ma’am. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Oh! That’s where I am! You must be able to see me, then!”

(I assume she means on our program’s mapping system.)

Me: “I don’t have your location listed here, ma’am. If you’ll answer a few questions, I can get that information from you in a moment. Is your—”

Customer: “You mean you can’t see me?”

Me: “Not yet, ma’am. First I have to get some more information from you and then I can bring up a map of your location.”

Customer: “No, on the cameras! Can’t you see me on the cameras?”

Me: *confused* “What cameras, ma’am?”

Customer: “They’re right there! I’m waving at it! It’s just on top of the traffic light!”

(I realize she’s talking about the traffic camera that takes photos of vehicles that run red lights. I spend the next 10 minutes trying to explain that. Eventually, she accepts I can’t see her.)

Customer: *resigned* “Well, I guess if you can’t see me, I’ll just call my husband. He can change my tire…”

(She hung up before I could explain that we could set up service. About 20 minutes later, I heard my coworker explaining to a customer that traffic cameras are not a country-wide surveillance system. It was the same woman. She hung up on him, too!)

Weeding Through The Voters

| USA | Politics

(I am phone-banking Colorado voters, encouraging them to support the Amendment 64 initiative to legalize marijuana in the state.)

Me: “Hello. I’m calling with the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. In November, you will have the chance to vote—”

Voter: “Why should we only regulate marijuana like alcohol during November? I think we should do it the whole year!”

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