Pay Off Your Insurance Or Go Into Rears

| Leicester, England, UK | Health & Body

(I work in a call center for travel insurance. Once a medical condition is declared, we go through a series of questions about that condition.)

Me: “As a result of your diabetes, have you suffered any retinal damage?”

Customer: “That’s a bit personal, don’t you think?”

Me: “Not really, it’s one of the standard questions for your condition.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not sure I’m comfortable discussing something so personal with you, especially with you being a woman.”

Me: “Um… I wouldn’t say it was too personal.”

Customer: “Can you repeat the question?”

Me: “As a result of your diabetes, have you suffered any retinal damage?”

Customer: “Oh, retinal! I thought you said rectal!”

Needs To Chill Out

| Auckland, New Zealand | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Technology

(Our company takes calls from all over the world from customers wanting help with household appliance queries.)

Me: “Welcome to the customer care centre. How may I help today?”

(An American customer starts screaming.)

Customer: “STOP WATCHING ME! BIG BROTHER IS INSIDE MY FRIDGE!”

Me: “Why do you think that, ma’am?”

Customer: “There’s this little blinking light and manic beeping coming from inside my fridge! Listen!”

(I hear a clunking noise, and the customer’s voice gets very faint. A few moments pass; the customer puts the phone to her ear again.)

Customer: “Did you hear that? I know someone is spying on me!!”

Me: “What just happened, ma’am?”

Customer: “I put ya’ll in the fridge so you could hear the noise, and see who’s spying on me!”

Me: “Well, apart from being a little chilly I didn’t hear anything. How often does the beeping occur?”

Customer: “When I have the door open! I can see the blinking light and the beeping is driving me nuts!”

Me: “Ma’am? The fridge does this to alert you to the fact that the door has been open for too long. It is so the food is kept fresh. I promise you, there is no one watching you.”

Customer: “Yes! There is someone! What are you going to do about it?”

Me: “May I ask how much you purchased your fridge for?”

Customer: “Around $1500. Why?”

Me: “Ma’am, you don’t need to worry. There is no one inside your fridge watching you. We only supply the ones with robots inside for the military, and those fridges would set you back $5000! I promise you that if you shut your fridge door firmly when it starts to beep, you won’t have any more trouble.”

(The customer breathes a sigh of relief.)

Customer: “Whew! I thought I was going nuts! Thanks hon!”

Her Credit Didn’t Quite Make The Cut

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

Me: “Thank you for calling, how can I help you?”

Caller: “My card isn’t working, and I think I know why.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. Why do you think your card isn’t working?”

Caller: “Well, I cut the end off. I accidentally cut through the chip, and after that it wouldn’t work in the cash register. I think that’s what did it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Did you say that you cut a piece of the card off?”

Caller: “Well, yes. It wouldn’t fit in the pocket in my wallet, so I cut it so that it would fit.”

Me: “Okay. Well, yes. That would most likely be the reason why it isn’t working. We’ll replace the card for you. It should arrive in seven to ten working days. Did you have any other questions or concerns today?”

Caller: “Yes, actually. Do you think if I cut the other side of the card without the chip on it, it would work fine?”

He Has His Wires Crossed

| Lismore, NSW, Australia | Extra Stupid, Wild & Unruly

Me: “Welcome to [company], this is [name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I want instructions to wire up my phone socket to the mains to boost the signal.”

(Our phone lines use a 12 V signal while main power is 240v V Connecting the two would be a very bad idea.)

Me: *shocked* “Are you a trained electrician?”

Customer: “No. Why would I want to be one?”

Me: “You do know that the phone systems uses a 12 V system while the mains is 240 V?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Only authorized and trained people can work on a phone line. You are neither.”

Customer: *sighs*That is why I am wanting the instructions to wire the phone socket to the mains!”

Me: “Sir, if by some miracle you do not kill yourself wiring the two together you would be personally responsible for the cost of replacing a multimillion dollar telephone exchange that you would blow up by doing that wiring. Do you understand?”

(A moment of silence as the customer thinks this through.)

Customer: “I don’t like your attitude. Transfer me to someone more sympathetic to my needs.”

Me: “How about I transfer you to faults. They know about wiring, and we both know you will be there sooner or later.”

Customer: “They can tell me how to wire it up?”

Me: “I will get them to tell you themselves.”

(I put the customer on hold while I contact Faults department.)

Faults: “Hello this is [name] in Faults.”

Me: “I am so sorry to give this to you, but I have a customer demanding how to wire the phone socket into the mains.”

Faults: “What?”

Me: “I have explained to him if he did not manage to kill himself wiring it up, then he would be liable for the replacement cost of the exchange but he insists on being transferred to someone more sympathetic.”

Faults: “It’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it?”

No Vocation For Location, Part 5

| London, England, UK | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words

(I work at a call center for charities where we call people to confirm their details and thank them for their donations. I have recently moved from South Africa and am still getting used to some of the pronunciations around the UK.)

Me: “Hello, this is Sarah calling on behalf of [charity]. I believe you spoke to John in Inverness on Saturday. Is that correct?”

(I’ve pronounced it ‘In-ver-niss’ as opposed to ‘In-ver-ness’.)

Man: “What?! How can you work in a f***ing call center and not even know how to pronounce the names?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’m not from England so I’m still getting used to all the names.”

Man: “How f***ing dare you! I am not from England! I am from Scotland, you dumb b****! They’re different places! How don’t you know that? Didn’t you go to school?!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say I’m new to the UK. Some of the names of places are still a bit tricky for me.”

Man: *calmer* “Well, okay then. Where are you from?”

Me: “Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Man: “Oh, you mean Zimbabwe!”

Me: “No, sir, they’re different countries.”

Man: “They’re the same thing!”

Related:
No Vocation For Location, Part 4

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