Contract-ed A Bad Case Of Legalese

, , | Legal | June 22, 2018

(I recently pre-ordered a new phone before noticing I could find a better deal direct from the manufacturer. As a result, I call the after-sales support to cancel my original contract within the 14-day period, as enshrined in law in the UK under distance selling laws.)

Agent: “I’m afraid you’ll need to return the product to us within 14 days to cancel the contract.”

Me: “The phone isn’t even released for another three weeks, so I need you to cancel the contract within the 14 days as mentioned in the email you sent me when I placed the order.”

Agent: “No, you need to wait until you’ve got the phone first and then return it or refuse delivery.”

Me: “At which point I’ll be out of the 14-day return period and I’ll have to pay for an £870 phone.”

Agent: “Just ignore that and return the phone when you get it.”

Me: “Are you asking me to breach a legally binding contract between the company and myself?”

Agent: “Just ignore that.”

Me: “I’m assuming your calls are recorded? Please play what you said to your supervisor.”

Agent: “I don’t have to do that, and I can choose not to record a call.”

Me: “It’s okay; I’m recording the call.”

Agent: “You can’t do that; it’s wiretapping and against the law.”

Me: “It’s neither wiretapping nor against the law. Under Section 36 of the 1998 Data Protection Act, I’m allowed to record any phone call under such circumstances and don’t even have to inform you of this.”

Agent: “People like you always think you’re so smart. I’m better than you and don’t have to deal with this. What makes you think you’re better or smarter than me?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, I’m aware of the law that allows me to record this call, the second is you’re asking me to breach a contract, and the third is you’re working in a call centre for minimum wage so I’m betting you probably don’t have a post-graduate in the relevant laws.”

(I eventually gave up and later called their sales support team who were able to cancel the contract inside of a few minutes, with no attitude.)

They Need Adult Help

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

(I work in a bank call centre, where customers call in to report unrecognised transactions on their accounts. This customer has a joint account with her husband.)

Customer: “There are all these payments that made no sense to me.”

Me: “Ah, yes, I can see. These are all on your husband’s card, and the company they’re going to processes payments for adult entertainment. Does your husband ever use this?”

(You can imagine how common this is.)

Customer: “What’s that, dear? Adult…”

Me: “Adult entertainment.”

Customer: *to husband in background* “Do you use adult… something?”

(She genuinely seems to not know what it means.)

Husband: “No, I’ve actually never used that card for anything since I got it.”

(I proceed to file a claim against the payments.)

Me: “And would you like us to keep you updated on this via text message?”

Customer: “Ooh, yes, that would be great!”

Me: “Great, can I take a mobile number?”

Customer: “Oh, no, dear, we’ve just got the landline.”

Me: “You don’t have a mobile?”

Customer: “No, dear.”

Me: “Okay, so, we wouldn’t be able to send a text.”

Customer: *again sounding genuinely surprised* “Oh! Okay.”

Headless Cords Don’t Mean No Strings Attached

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

As part of my very extensive job description, I do “additional” tech support on home safety devices; that is, I am not the priority call-taker. I help out as best as I can when needed.

One afternoon, this lady called in through our reception line instead of the help line to get help on her devices. The receptionist tried to get her information to either have someone help her out or call her back. She categorically refused to give a name, completely upset at the question. She now demanded to speak to a supervisor.

Again, the receptionist asked for a name to give to the supervisor, very politely. This time the lady lost it and started berating the receptionist. Being too polite to the customer, and knowing that I’m good at helping people, the receptionist walked over to my desk — halfway to the other end of the building — and put the cordless headset on my head, making a face that plainly said, “This one is yours; nice knowing you.” So, I introduced myself and asked how I might help.

Because it was a cordless headset, I walked back toward reception while talking just to make sure I didn’t lose the connection. After about 20 minutes of information for her products and additional info not related directly to our products — including deducing when her house was built and other features about it — she decided she wanted to talk to my manager, though she was in a good mood and thankful for my details. I “warm” transferred her to my manager after a brief recount of my conversation.

After having a quick chat with the receptionist and a bit of a laugh that the lady did not want to share even a pseudonym, I walked back to my desk. As I proceeded past my manager’s office, I heard her state to the lady, “I’m sure he’d be honoured, but he can’t do that. He’s a married father of three, and pretty loyal to his wife.” I burst out laughing.

It turned out she had a daughter in her 20s looking for a good man, and the lady was so impressed by my information, she thought I’d make a great son-in-law.

Since that night, my wife teases me about having a potential new mother-in-law.

Unfiltered Story #114599

, , , | Unfiltered | June 14, 2018

(I work at a call center that tries to give people information about schools around their area that have available classes. I’m helping a customer looking for a specific medical course. It took some convincing because she already did a search for schools and found something, but eventually I was able to get the necessary information out of her. We do our search by zip code to make sure people know the schools in a specific area. Sadly, no leads popped which meant we didn’t have any available courses in our system.)

Me: I’m really sorry, but unfortunately we weren’t able to find any matches with the information I have here. What else would you like me to search for you?

Customer: *noticeably irritated* I don’t understand why you couldn’t find the school that I was talking to in Washington!!

Me: Uhm, that’s because the zip code you gave me was in Michigan…

A Token Caller

, , , | Right | June 13, 2018

(I work for a pet food manufacturer, and we are presently running a competition on one of our foods. Twenty tokens have been placed in bags of food, and if you find a token, you win a hamper. At least 100,000 bags have been released nationwide, with banners on them indicating the competition, and all the rules. All information is very clear and straightforward, yet many people still seem to be confused. These are some of the interactions I have had so far:)

Me: “Good morning, ma’am. How can I assist you?”

Customer #1: “Hi, I’m calling about that competition you guys are running. I’ve just bought two bags of food, and I haven’t found a token yet. Why haven’t I won?”

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say you have purchased two bags? Ma’am, we have made a very large volume of food that is distributed nationwide, with only twenty tokens available. It may take more time to find a token.”

Customer #1: “Oh… Well, that’s very misleading! I thought I’d win! I wont be supporting your product anymore!”


Customer #2: “Hi, I bought that bag of yours that has the banner about the competition! How do I get my hamper?”

Me: “Oh, that’s great! Did you find a token?”

Customer #2: “Token? What are you talking about? The bag says I get a hamper. Where’s my hamper?”

Me: “You have to find a token inside the bag in order to win.”


Customer #3: “Hi, I see you’re running this competition, and I wanted to find out: will the token be inside the bag, or outside the bag?”

Me: “Uh… It will be inside the bag.”

Customer #3: “That’s great! Thanks!”


Customer #4: “Hi, I’ve bought three bags of food and I haven’t found a token yet. Is your competition over? Why is your company still selling these bags if the competition is over?!”

Me: “Apologies, ma’am, but our competition only began about two weeks ago, so it is still running.”



Customer #5: “Hi there. I think I may have found a token! Is it the same size and color of the food?”

Me: *wondering WHY we would ever make it look like the food* “No, ma’am, it’s very large and noticeable, and has a reference number on it.”


Customer #6: “Good day. I have been buying your product for years; it’s the only food my pet will eat. I see you are running some kind of competition, but I haven’t found a token yet. I think I should be compensated for being such a loyal customer! It’s not fair that I haven’t won yet!”

(We had numerous customers calling, all with the same type of complaint or query. We have yet to have anyone actually call about finding a token.)

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