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Keep The Change, Keep The Happy

, , , , | Right | May 22, 2020

I was at work when two customers came in and began inquiring about rate plans and how to obtain handsets and services for one of them who just emigrated from New Zealand three days prior.

As government-issued identification is required and the recent immigrant hadn’t been in Canada long enough to have identification yet, his friend offered to attach him and his family to his existing account. 

It took two days and considerable effort to put this into place, due to a billing issue that impacted his ability to add the additional lines. I dug and called various departments. After almost five hours of work on my part, the customers left satisfied. 

And then, they returned three hours later. My heart dropped. I was convinced I had messed up. 

But they were so pleased with me that the account holder decided to return to me and pay an early upgrade fee to have me upgrade his line!

I was pretty happy about that. We had many laughs over the time we worked together and the customer told me he was going to call into my manager to give me a glowing review. 

After all of the activations were done and the store closed, I noticed my till had excess cash in it. I had forgotten to give the recent immigrant his change owed! Embarrassed, I called, knowing I lived in the same area of town they were staying. They hadn’t even realized that they did not get their change and were happy to meet up when my bus arrived in the area. 

When I was approaching the area, I gave the customer a call to let him know I would be there shortly. His response?

Keep it. Go buy myself a drink. 

I objected but he was insistent. 

Little did he know that I don’t drink, but I thanked him profusely. I walked around in a smiling goofy daze for two hours and splurged on an inexpensive gadget I couldn’t justify on my tight budget. Some days, customers not only completely make your day but give you faith that life gets better.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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Customers That Make Two Years Feel Like Fifteen

, , , , | Right | May 10, 2020

Me: “Good afternoon, [Store]. How can I help?”

Customer: “Now, listen. I have had a two-year contract with you since [specific date], so it has run out, but you are still charging me!”

Me: “Okay, do you want to end the connection?”

Customer: “Of course, I want to end the connection. I only signed up for two years!”

Me: “Okay, I see what you mean. The two years is a minimum term; to end the contract you need to give us thirty days’ notice.”

Customer: “No, no, no, no, I don’t. That is absolute rubbish.”

Me: “I’m afraid it isn’t, ma’am. It is clearly stated in the terms—”

Customer: “No, it is not. The only mention of thirty days’ notice is when you want to cancel early. You are talking complete rubbish, and frankly, I have had enough of [Company]’s horrendous service. Every time I speak to you people on the phone or go into your shop, I get nothing but bad attitudes and no care whatsoever!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear you feel that way, ma’am, but unfortunately, that is the process as it stands right now.”

Customer: “You are giving me nothing but lies now.”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t lie to my customers. I am actually very proud of the quality of service I give to anyone I speak to at work.”

Customer: “More rubbish! Now, listen to me. I have been a customer of yours for fifteen years!”

We haven’t been trading for fifteen years.

Customer: “I demand to have this situation resolved now!”

Me: “Ma’am, as I said, the only way to disconnect the device is—”

Customer: “I am fed up with your rubbish. I demand you put me through to your head office right now!”

Me: “Unfortunately, I haven’t got a way of transferring your call, and we don’t have a direct line for them, either.”

Customer: “You had best find one now, because I mean to tell them all about how [Store] are a pack of thieves and liars. I will take names, as well, please.”

Me: “My name is [My Name], and I can give you the postal address for head office if that’s okay?”

Customer: “Well, it will have to be, and who else is part of this scam?”

Me: “Without seeing the paperwork for your connection, I won’t be able to give you any other names, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Looks like all of this will land on your shoulders, then. Now, here’s what is going to happen: I am going to the bank and cancelling my direct debit, and I’m writing to your head office to tell them how in fifteen years of being a customer, I haven’t once been treated well!”

Me: “I must tell you that if you cancel the direct debit without informing us you are giving notice, you will take on extra charges, and the matter could get handed to a debt collector.”

Customer: “Are you threatening me now?”

Me: “No, ma’am, just letting you know how the situation will be managed from the company’s end.”

Customer: “You people are truly disgusting! I’m an elderly woman and you would send bailiffs round to take all of my belongings because you conned me?!”

Me: “Again, it is part of the terms of the contract you signed. Please make sure, if you do write to our head office, to mention that you will cancel the direct debit without giving us notice. I’ll give you the address now.”

The address was given and the customer slammed the phone down on me. I walked straight over to some existing customers who had come to see me specifically because of the service they received in the past.

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What DO They Know, Then?

, , , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(After bringing my phone in to have the SIM card from an old phone installed, it won’t connect to the network, so as advised, I have come back the next day to see if it can be fixed.)

Assistant: “Sorry, this phone is too old; it won’t work with our SIM card.”

Me: “But I had one of your SIM cards in a phone older than this just yesterday.”

Assistant: “Yes, but we transferred your number to a newer SIM card which isn’t compatible with your phone.”

Me: “Okay. So, change it back.”

Assistant: “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “What about the old phone?”

Assistant: “That won’t work anymore, either, because we gave you a new SIM card.”

Me: “So, what do I do?”

Assistant: “You have to buy a new phone.”

Me: “Hang on: I came in here with a working phone and another that could work. Then, after I gave them to you, I have two completely unusable phones?”

Assistant: “Yes, you need to buy a new phone.”

Me: “No, I need to speak to your manager.”

(The assistant gets a manager.)

Manager: “So, my employee explained the situation, and yes, you’ll have to buy a new phone.”

Me: “No, that’s unacceptable. You changed my SIM card without telling me or explaining that it might not work in an older model phone. I had a working phone until I gave it to you, and now I have none. You need to fix this.”

Manager: “There’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “I don’t believe you.”

Manager: “I can escalate this to the store manager, if you like.”

Me: “Please.”

(The store manager comes out and I explain the problem to him.)

Store Manager: “Ah, I’ve seen this before; we just need to do a full factory reset.”

(He resets the phone and it works perfectly.)

Store Manager: “Yeah, sorry, a lot of the employees out in the front don’t really know how this stuff works.”

Me: *after a pause* “Thanks.”

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This Contract Is More Painful Than Contractions

, , , , | Working | March 16, 2020

Ever since I was able to provide myself with cell phone service, I have opted for rental plans to be able to get some perks and phones. I have had some smaller issues over the years that were always solved — minor charges and the like — that got cleared with a simple call to customer support. That is, until the reason I left the service happened.

My contract was due to be renewed two months from the date they called me to offer a better plan with a better cost and a heavily discounted phone I was looking forward to, so I took the offer right away. They told me that they only needed the all-clear from the finance department and would contact me soon.

The next day, they called again to offer the same thing. I asked for the status of the last renewal — yesterday, right? — and they said someone had made a mistake and they’d have to do the process all over. I told them to go ahead, and once more they told me everything was fine and they needed the all-clear from the finance guys.

Next day? Same thing, yes, a third time, and a fourth. A fifth? Why the h*** not? Finally, I told them to stop calling and that I would let the offer pass.

Fast forward two months of sporadically getting offers to do an early renewal — already sick of it, by the way — I went to do my last payment and tried to renew at an office of my carrier. Easy, right? Well, apparently not.

Remember the small charges I said got cleared by calling customer service? Well, they all came back at once and amounted to almost another month worth of service. I told them that those charges were clear, with all the authorization numbers I had — I’ve learned through the years to get everything documented — and they told me, “We have to get the all-clear from the finance department.” I wasn’t going to have any of that, so I went to the competitor next door and signed a contract with “betrayal benefits” — get your number from a competitor with us on a yearly contract and get three free months each year.

I got my service running with a new cellphone in a couple of hours, paying the same I had been paying with even more services included and some free months down the path.

End of story? Nope.

Not even a week later, I got a call from a number I didn’t know and, lo and behold, it was from the renewal department of the former carrier. “You know? Yeah, go ahead and try to renew my number, please,” I said, bemused, but this time I didn’t get the usual “waiting for the finance department to clear my account.” This time they said that I owed them some amount. How much? The charges I fought and documented as having them cleared from me. Nope, you aren’t getting my money, former carrier! I hung up, and just because I have one of their offices near me, I went there and asked, “How do I pay what I owe?” Surprise, surprise, I was no longer in their system, and they had no idea how to charge me for anything.

All right, then. What next? Collections called. Yup, not even one week after the last failed renewal, I started receiving calls from the former carrier saying, “Pay us what you owe us.” I laughed at them and hung up. It happened for a couple of weeks, and I got all manner of answers.

“It’s from the last rent.” Nope, it isn’t.

“It’s a residual charge from an old invoice.” Nope, not having that.

“You know what? I can’t even come up with the information. Sorry to bother you.” This one made my day.

Fast forward to today. I receive one last invoice from the former carrier in my mail. I wonder how much they say I owe, and see in the summary, “Charges [Amount],” and then, “Customer Clarifications -[Amount],” and lastly, “Round up from last month payment -$0.35.” The grand total is, “Carrier owes user 35 cents.” We are talking pesos here, so it’s like 1.75 US cents.

I wonder what’s coming up next week.

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This Representative Is Really Phoning It In

, , , , | Working | March 15, 2020

(I have been saving up for a brand new phone. On the day of release, I go to the store to purchase my fresh-off-the-line phone. Unfortunately, I am told it is a no go: they’re all sold out. Stock is incredibly limited locally. I give up for the day. I decide to go in two days later, with a relative who needs a new phone, as well. My relative picks up their new phone and the representative charges me for a phone that will be delivered to the store within three days. I walk out happy, thinking I will have my new phone soon. Four days go by and I am still without a phone. I am somewhat bothered by this but figure they may just not have gotten it yet. Day five comes around and I decide to go into the store. I end up talking to the same representative as the first day.)

Me: “What’s the situation with my phone?”

Representative: “Oh, we now have the phones in stock. Since we got them before your order showed up, they just cancelled the order.”

(I am a little annoyed that I wasn’t called to be informed of this, but I decide…)

Me: “Okay, well, I guess you can hand me my new phone right now.”

Representative: “Well, no. We can’t do that right now. You can’t get your phone today, or any day, until the cancelled order is cleared. Or, I suppose you can pay for the phone.”

(I have to take a few seconds to process this. So, if I am understanding her correctly, they charged me for the new phone and took money out of my account immediately. Then, they turned around and canceled my order without my say-so, leaving my money somewhere in Narnia, where it is playing the role of Schrodinger’s Cash Pile. It both is and isn’t mine, both spent and refunded. I am obviously furious about that and end up getting into an argument with her, flat-out telling her that her line of reasoning makes no sense.)

Me: “You have my money.”

Representative: “It is being refunded.”

Me: “I ordered the phone. I paid for the phone. You cancelled my order without even contacting me. It makes no sense for you to do that.”

Representative: “There was no point in continuing with the order. We got a shipment of phones. They’re here. Your special order was no longer necessary.”

Me: “And you never contacted me. If you hadn’t cancelled it, my special order would be here, today, having arrived after the three days it was supposed to have taken.”

Representative: “We had no way of knowing that you would come in today.”

Me: “You would have called me when the order arrived, I would hope! That is the promise you people made me when I made my order: that I would be called! You didn’t call me, and you cancelled my order without my permission. But you know what? Fine. Just give me a phone.”

Representative: “We cannot do that. You’re being refunded the money, which means you have no longer paid for the phone. If you want the phone, pay for it.”

Me: *eye twitching* “I already paid for it! Look, I just want my phone. When will my money be back in my account?”

Representative: “It will be processed in a month. You can always pay for it now and the refund will be processed in time.”

Me: “I don’t have that kind of money to just throw away a second time! And I absolutely will not give you more money while you’re holding my first payment hostage!”

Representative: “If you’re going to be unreasonable, please leave. I will not be helping you anymore.”

(I stormed out, furious. I called customer service and got told the same thing on the phone. Basically, “tough luck.” I got even angrier. I decided that it was time to give them a right hook straight to the social media kidneys. I went online and made a public post on one of their sites. I laid everything on the line, detailing what they had done to me and how they were holding my money hostage for a month, all the while refusing to give me the product I had paid for. I detailed everything as clearly as I could. Not even five minutes after posting about all this online, the company left me a comment on my post. They asked for the exact store number, the names of the representatives I’d spoken with, and so on and so forth. I told them everything in detail. Their next reply arrived within minutes, telling me to go into the store the next morning — since it was about 10:00 pm at this point — and that there would be a phone with my name on the box waiting for me. They said that they were sincerely sorry about the entire situation and that everything the representatives — both in the store and over the phone — had told me was not even remotely in line with policy. They told me that processing refunds took mere seconds to process, and that the “wait a month to get your money back” spiel was something that they were absolutely going to look into. I was reassured that the cancelled order was being handled by someone who would personally oversee the proper transfer of money through proper channels: the cancelled order was cancelled and the money was being redirected to a purchase. They promised that I was paid up and that the phone was mine. “We’re so sorry this happened. Please enjoy your new phone.” My mind was blown, but I was wary. I wasn’t sure what had happened on their end, but I wondered if I had uncovered something bigger than I had suspected, and that some people were about to be jobless. The next day, I went in and there was my brand-new phone waiting for me. A note had been taped to it apologizing for the inconvenience. I didn’t see the representative I’d dealt with that day, and I — finally — walked out a happy customer.)

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