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A Far Away State Of Mind

| USA | Bizarre, Technology

(I work as a customer service representative for a catalog ordering company.)

Me: “My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *in a southern accent, with a shocked and confused tone of voice starts talking loudly through what must be a defective telephone* “You sound so far away! I can barely hear you! Are you far away?”

(I have an idea in the back of my mind what she really means but I just don’t believe it, so I give her the benefit of the doubt with my answer.)

Me: *wearing a headset* “No, my mouth is close to the phone.”

Customer: “No! I mean I live in Arkansas. Where do you live? Is it far away?”

Me: *deadpan* “I live in [Other State].”

Customer: *now settled and no longer confused, but still in a state of shock and speaking loudly* “OH! No wonder you sound so far away! [Other State] is very far away from Arkansas.”

Me: *face-palm* “Okay, well, how may I help you today, ma’am?”

(I finished the call without another incident.)

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Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 9

| UK | Crazy Requests, Time

(I work in a call centre that focuses on car insurance. At the start of each call we have to “baggage handle” the call, and basically tell the customer how the call is going to go: “just to let you know, this call will take 10-15 minutes and I will need to know [list off info we need].” Most of the time, it still plays like this when I get to certain questions that again, I always tell them I’ll need at the start of the call.)

Me: “And in the last five years, has anyone on the policy had any claims?”

Customer: “Well, I’ve had one…”

Me: “And the date of that?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe two-three years ago?”

Me: “Well, as I said at the start of the call we did need that information. If you have anything in the house that would say what the date was, like info from your current insurer, then I can get on with the quote, but if not then I can’t continue, and you need to phone back when you have it.”

Customer: “Really? They didn’t ask me this last year. Just put in any date around then. I know it was maybe 2013, and possibly in January.”

(The “they didn’t ask me this last year” thing is usually bull****. Most of the time I wouldn’t really be sure, as I’m new to the job and didn’t know anything about car insurance myself until I went through the training course for the job, but this one is CLEARLY bull-s***, but I still say:)

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but I’m new to the job and don’t know much about how things were processed last year. This is still the info we need now in order to get you an accurate price. Any change can mess up the underwriter’s assessment of the risk and make the price less accurate, so we need to know all that information. Like I said, I can’t do anything for you unless you have that info.”

Customer: “I don’t really have time for this, I have to pick up my kids in a few minutes.” *said when we’re only four or five minutes in*

Me: “That is fair enough if you don’t have time at the minute. Again, all I can suggest is you call back when you have the time and information.”

Customer: *hangs up after a forced cheery goodbye*

(I think this is how drive customers actually expect it to go down:)

Customers: “Hi, I need insurance.”

Me: “Sure thing. You’re price is that low price you wanted, and you’re now insured, without the need for any questioning or the need of your card details. Bye.”

Related:
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 8
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 7
Pre(Car)ious Insurance, Part 6

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Totally Wired Right Now

| Orlando, FL, USA | Bizarre, Movies & TV, Popular, Technology

(I work for a cable company doing customer service, as well as tier one tech support. The bulk of my job is rebooting cable boxes and modems, or programming remotes. People tend to get frustrated when I ask them to do basic things like make sure their TV is on or there are batteries in the remote, but it is stories like this which justify the reason for asking such basic things.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]. How can I assist you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I just picked up a new box at the local center, and I am getting the same error message I was on the last box.”

(There are a list of error codes that show on the front display of cable boxes where the time or channel usually is, so I expect it to be one of those.)

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but I definitely assist you with that today. Could you please read the code off to me?”

Customer: “Yeah, it’s C-I-S-C-O.”

Me: “Cisco…? Sir, is that on the box itself or the TV?”

Customer: “The TV. It’s been there forever.”

Me: “Okay, sir, well that is just the name of the brand of the box. It appears to be rebooting. It is perfectly normal to see that there. Now can you please tell me what it says on the front display of the box itself?”

Customer: “Oh, it says [error code]. It’s been stuck like this for a half hour.”

Me: “Well, it shouldn’t be taking that long, so let me look up what that code means.” *a few seconds pass as I verify it is an input error* “Okay, sir, could you do me a favor and let’s walk through your connections to make sure everything is secure on the back of the box.”

Customer: “Okay, give me a second.” *there’s some rustling as I assume he is checking all the wires* “F***. I guess I might help if I plug the cable into the wall, huh?”

Me: *chuckling* “Yeah, that does tend help with your cable TV experience.”

Customer: “See, this is the s*** that happens when you smoke too much.”

(I have to mute myself to laugh out loud.)

Customer: “Wait, these calls are recorded, right? I should not have said that.”

Me: *chuckling harder* “No worries. Nobody listens to these calls anyway.”

(I can only hope that was one of my randomly selected calls for review that month.)

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Trying To Go Above Her Stations

, | SD, USA | Money, Movies & TV

(I work in sales in a call center for a cable company. We are converting cable channels to digital format, so customers that don’t have equipment are losing their signal. A customer calls tech support because a lot of her channels stop working, and the tech support rep transfers the call to me. All she is paying for is basically local stations, but before she is getting the entire expanded basic lineup that was apparently leaking through. She wants to get her channels back, therefore the following conversation ensues.)

Me: “This is [My Name] from sales. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m not getting my stations anymore.”

Me: “Okay, to assist, what channels were you looking for?”

Customer: *names stations in higher package*

Me: “Okay, so it looks like those stations are in [X package]. Right now, you are paying for [Y package]. To upgrade, you’re looking at about $40 more per month.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want to pay for that. I just want my stations back.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, in order to get those channels, you will need [X package].”

Customer: “Why can’t you just give me my stations back?”

Me: “Since you are only paying for [Y package], you will only get those channels from now on. I apologize about any confusion. If you would like to upgrade to [X package] and get the channels included, the price is [price]. We can go ahead and upgrade you now and get that back for you. Also, we won’t even back-charge you for the free cable you have been getting for the last three years.”

Customer: “You guys are crooks.” *hangs up*

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Xandra The Great

| ON, Canada | Bizarre, Religion

(I work in a call center in Canada as a customer service agent for a well-known online bank located in the States. I am supposed to be doing some comparison testing for new programs so my trainer is listening to my calls with me while I am using the older systems. At this job, I go by Xander, short for Alexander. I’m also a mid-twenties, white male with no religious following.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. My name is Xander [Last Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Oh, my! What a lovely name you have! I’m [Customer]. How do you spell your name?”

Me: “X-A-N-D-E-R.”

Customer: “Oh, X-A-N-D-R-A! Well, Xandra, it’s such a lovely name! Is it Asian by any chance? I don’t know if you are Asian or anything, but don’t you find it funny that most Asian names start with the letter X?”

(The customer goes on for about five minutes about Asian names as I mute my microphone, and my trainer and I are laughing to tears. She later reveals that she does think I’m Asian. Eventually, I unmute my mic and proceed to continue with the call, authenticating her and helping her with banking needs. While waiting for systems to load, she creates small talk, then she randomly asks.)

Customer: “My dear Xandra, have you heard of Billy Graham? He’s a wonderful person who follows the acts of God! You can buy his CDs online! He can help you, you know? I can give you a 1-800 number that can save your soul.”

Me: “No, thank you, Ms. [Customer]. While I do appreciate the thought, it is considered soliciting with providing me with a number like that. However, I will look it up the moment I get home.”

(I have to mute my mic while she is still talking about another topic so that I and my trainer can laugh again. I compose myself, unmute, and continue the call. At the end, I give the ending speech I’ve memorized so well and before I hang up, she asks me this.)

Customer: “Xandra, before you go, are you going to Heaven or Hell?”

Me: *stifling laughter* “I’m going to where the fun people are.”

Customer: “Is that Heaven?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, it is, Ms. [Customer]. Have a great day!”

(The call ended. So, I went from Xander the mid-twenty white boy with no religious following, to Xandra, the Asian Evangelist. Considering the fact that I was constantly confused as a woman (my voice pitches high when I talk), I am unsure if this is an upgrade from the other phone calls I’ve had.)

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