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Really Phoning It In On Keeping Up With The Times

, , , , | Right | February 10, 2023

I worked in the cell phone department of a big retailer. This was right at the time that carriers switched away from two-year contracts to monthly payments for the phones themselves. I can’t even count the number of people that struggled with the concept, but there was one guy in particular that stands out.

Customer: “I’ve never had to pay more than $100 for my phone!”

Me: “Yes, $100 up front and $40 a month for your phone line. But if you upgrade now, the phone is discounted to $20 a month, and the phone line is discounted to $15 a month, for twenty-four months. So you will actually pay even less for your phone.”

Customer: “There is no way I’m going to pay $480 for a phone! I’ve never paid more than $100!”

Why Call Customer Service If You Don’t Want Help?

, , , | Right | February 2, 2023

I worked in the world of cell phone customer service. One day, I had finally had enough of this customer angrily interrupting me with a new question or demand every time I tried to answer their questions, so I sat there quietly until they asked:

Customer: “Are you still there?”

Me: “I am. I was waiting for you to finish talking as I was raised that it’s polite to let the other person finish speaking before I speak.”

And then I tried answering their questions. I had to try this strategy five or six times on that same call before they finally let me answer their questions.

Their New Monthly A**hole Tax

, , , , | Right | October 30, 2022

There’s an evil woman who is good friends with my boss and always needs special treatment.

She comes in one day and starts talking to my coworker.

Customer: “I just got back from vacation and got my bill. I went over on my minutes, and I need a bigger plan.”

This plan is $40 more a month. My coworker is going to set her up on this plan, but I decide to try and help. If she was on vacation and used all her anytime minutes roaming, then she will only pay the overages once. She doesn’t have to pay more.

Me: *Casually* “Oh, where were you vacationing? If it’s one of the countries on our roaming list we can—”

Customer: *From zero to screaming* “If you interrupt me again, I will talk to [Boss] and have your a** fired.”

Okay. Pay more. F*** you.

And she did pay more.

Got The Green Light To Fix It

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2022

I am working at a local dealer for one of the province’s major cell phone providers. On top of selling cell phones, we also get a large number of people who come in because they have a problem with their phone they can’t solve themselves.

A customer comes in one day with one of these problems.

Customer: “I can’t use my camera. It’s all green.”

She gave me the phone and I opened the camera app. I saw that it was not a digital green. I turned the phone over and there was a green sticky note over the camera lens. I pulled it off and gave the phone back to the customer. She thanked me and laughed in disbelief as she walked out the door.

Chipping Away Into The Modern Electronic Age

, , , | Right | October 11, 2022

Back in the early 2000s, I had a summer job as a service representative for a phone tech company. Specifically, the company sold and serviced ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) telephones. My job was to fix phones that had been sent in, and if I couldn’t fix them, just take one that had already been fixed down from the shelves and send that out instead.

A man called the repair shop, having been searching desperately for someone who could fix an issue with his phone. Apparently, he had been given the run-around by all the salespeople who sold him this thing, making him more and more desperate for actual assistance.

At this time (in July), most people were on vacation, so it was even harder to find anyone who could help. There I was, a temp in my teens, alone in a repair shop, taking his call.

As he explained his problem to me, though, it did sound like a fairly simple fix; the issue he was experiencing should be fixed with a software update. The way to do that was to open up the phone, extract one chip from the circuit board, and put in a new pre-programmed one. I wasn’t quite sure about the next step, though, seeing as he lived in a city an hour’s drive away.

Me: “Would you like to send me the phone? Or maybe I can send you the chip you need if you’re able to fix it yourself?”

Customer: “No, I’ll be right down!” *Click*

Sure enough, an hour later, a car pulled up on the industrial estate. I went out to greet him and let him in (even though there was no customer reception area, just a warehouse). Once I got hold of his phone, I fixed his issue in about two minutes. It was as I thought: just open it up, extract the chip with a special tool, insert a new chip that we had ready on the shelves, test the phone, and screw it back together.

Customer: “How much do I owe you?”

Me: “Oh, nothing. That was so simple; I couldn’t charge anything for that. Plus, you drove all the way down here.”

The man insisted and left me some cash anyway. He then departed, ecstatic that he’d finally found someone who’d been able to help.

I learned a lot about customer service in that job — to be polite, helpful, and patient. Whether the customer is an ignoramus, unlucky, or just plain desperate, there’s always some way to help them. When you’re in the service sector, that’s the job.