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A Continuing Rise In Cases… Of Racism, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | August 14, 2020

We have just opened after lockdown and it is our second day back at work. Due to government restrictions, we can only let a certain number of people in and can only allow for limited service — mostly sales. We have therefore put a barrier on the door with a staff member constantly manning the barrier. This time it is, unfortunately, my turn when a horrible old woman stops at the barrier.

Customer: “Well, are you open or not?”

Me: “Hi! Of course we are, but it’s only for limited service due to maintaining social distance. How can we help you?”

Customer: “Well, obviously, I want help with a phone. This is a phone shop, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes, so tell me how can I help you with your phone. What seems to be the issue?”

Customer: “It’s obviously not working. I wouldn’t be here if it was working, would I? My phone isn’t working and I want to see what phones you have. Are you going to let me in or not?”

Me: “At this moment, due to how small our shop is, we are not allowing browsing because we cannot do that and maintain the two-meter social distance. I can, however, pass you to an advisor and they can discuss your options. Is that okay?”

Customer: “So, you’re saying I can’t look at phones? How am I supposed to know what to buy if I can’t look at different phones?”

I am slightly frustrated because I have literally just answered that.

Me: “As I explained, our advisors will go through certain phones with you on the computer; however, you cannot physically hold phones or even browse through the ones we have in store. If that is okay, please let me know.”

If she says yes, I will let her in.

Customer: “This is ridiculous! If you can’t serve me, why are you open?! You shouldn’t be open! And what are you, a security guard? People like you are usually…”

She trails off, rolling her eyes. I am a brown female, and because of what I wear, I am very obviously of a certain religion people associate with violence. I wish I could say I’m surprised.

Me: “Excuse me? People like me are what, exactly?”

Customer: “All you salespeople.”

It’s very obvious that’s not what she meant.

Me: “Look. I have already given you all the options. If you don’t want to speak to an advisor, you are free to browse our options online.”

Customer: “Open the door so I can speak to someone!”

Me: “Okay, there are guided markers on your right; please follow them.”

I open the door and the woman turns left.

Me: “Excuse me! Excuse me! Please go to the right!”

The woman pretends not to hear me and stops at one of the phone displays and begins looking at a phone. I am so mad at this point I have to regulate my breathing to not scream at her.

Me: “Miss, if you are going to ignore me and browse despite the fact that I told you not to, I am going to ask you to leave.”

The woman still pretends she can’t hear me and strolls on. I speed to one side and stand in front of her to block her. 

Me: “Please move HERE.” *Points* “You are breaking the government-mandated social distancing rule.”

She turns her head the other way and stays put. At this point, my white colleague comes over to my side.

Colleague: “My colleague has been very patient and very clear. Please move or leave this store. If you can’t do either, I am going to call the police.”

The woman rolled her eyes and moved to the right. My colleague motioned that she would take over so I could go back and destress.

When I went through the back, my managers asked me what happened and when I relayed the whole scenario, they said I should have asked her to leave when she began her racist rant. I know they would have supported me, but I am always afraid of being confrontational because of my ethnicity and religion. 

I later found out that my colleague kicked her out five minutes into their conversation because she kept making racist remarks about me.

Related:
A Continuing Rise In Cases… Of Racism

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The Penny Dropped Twenty-Four Months Later

, , , | Right | August 12, 2020

I work in the customer service department for a company that sells phones, subscriptions with the phones, and all kinds of accessories you might need with them. My job consists mainly of answering calls and replying to emails, but we also have a WhatsApp number people can text and a live-chat which customers can enable through our website.

Most phone subscriptions with providers can be made for one or two years, with the latter being the most popular option. As I’m on live-chat duty, I can see which page on our website customers have visited last before enabling the chat.

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to make a subscription with [Phone Type] at [Provider]. I keep clicking on ‘twenty-four-month subscription,’ but when I try to place my order, your website keeps changing it to ‘two-year subscription.’”

I start laughing out loud and tell my colleagues what this person just asked. I answer the customer.

Me: “Good afternoon. I understand there is some confusion about the length of the subscription. It may occur that our website phrases things differently, but twenty-four months is equal to two years. The duration of your contract won’t change.”

After this, the customer didn’t reply anymore. As my colleague put it, he must’ve been too embarrassed after he realised his mistake.

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Too Busy To Bother About Being Busy

, , , | Right | August 4, 2020

My fiancé and I are switching cell phone carriers, so we go to a physical store location to do so. There is currently only one employee on duty who is helping us, and when another customer comes in to have his screen protector on his phone replaced, she excuses herself to help him since his transaction will be fairly quick. She leaves us with forms to fill out so we’re not just standing there doing nothing, and we obviously don’t mind since she is there alone. The store is otherwise empty.

She is finishing up with the other customer when a female customer throws open the front door and marches in quite aggressively.

Employee: “Hi!”

Female Customer: “Never mind; I’ll just call!”

Employee: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

Female Customer: “You’re all customers, aren’t you?! You’re all waiting?!”

My fiancé and I and the second customer sort of look at each other. I gesture that my fiancé and I are together and already being helped.

Female Customer: “Ugh, and you’re the only one working?!”

Employee: “Yes, ma’am, but I’m just finishing this up now; I can help you.”

Female Customer: “Forget it! You’re too busy; I’ll just call. This is ridiculous!”

She storms back out the door. The employee looks defeated and sighs.

Me: “Don’t worry. She was angry before she even walked in the door.”

Employee: “The funny part is, she’s coming in to pay her bill, which she could have done online or by calling or mailing it in.”

Me: “And yet she drove all the way down here just to storm in and scream at you for being so busy.”

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You… Just Saw Me Do It

, , , | Right | July 27, 2020

I work for a popular phone company. I usually just sell phones, activate plans, do some cleaning, etc. Often, I will have to do some tech work for customers, which is often pretty simple, especially as I learn more the longer I’m in the job. One day, a man comes in for a tech problem.

Me: “Hello, and welcome to [Store]. What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I was wondering how you make the video big on the screen.”

I take the phone which has a video playing and turn it on its side before pressing the full-screen button.

Customer: “Wow! How did you do that?!”

Me: “…”

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Would’ve Been Cheaper To Take His Two Cents

, , , , , , | Working | July 24, 2020

This is a story my uncle told me after he decided to switch cell phone carriers due to terrible customer service. He has closed his account and started with a new company; about a month later, he receives a final bill in the mail.

Uncle: “Hi. I have canceled my service with you and just received a bill in the mail for eight cents. I was wondering if you could write that off.”

Agent #1: “No, sir, we expect full payment. If you do not pay the remaining balance, we will charge you a late fee and eventually turn you into collections. I can process the payment over the phone but there will be a $3 service charge, or you can mail a check.”

Uncle: “But it’s eight cents; it will cost more to mail a check than that. Are you sure you can’t just clear out the balance?”

Agent #1: “No, sir, and if we do not receive payment by [date], you will be charged a late fee.”

Uncle: “Okay, I guess I will mail you a check.”

My uncle then mails them a check for sixteen cents and waits for a month to pass when he receives his next bill.

Uncle: “Hi. I just received my bill and I have a credit on my account for eight cents, but since I have closed my account with you I would like a check mailed to me for the remaining balance.”

Agent #2: “But sir, it’s only eight cents; it costs us more to print a check than that, plus the cost to mail it. Could we just close out the account?”

Uncle: “When I called a month ago about just writing off the eight cents I owed, you threatened to charge me a late fee and turn me into collections over eight cents, forcing me to write and mail a check, so no, I will not allow you to just close the account. I want my check for eight cents, and if I don’t receive it, I will file with small claims court and you can pay legal fees on top of it.”

Agent #2: “But it’s only eight cents.”

Uncle: “It was also only eight cents last month when you demanded I pay my bill. I’ll be waiting for my check, thanks. Have a nice day.”

A week later, he received a check in the mail for eight cents, which he happily deposited next time he went to the bank. The company has since gone out of business.


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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