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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.)