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Now I’ve Heard It All, In Español

, , , , | Right | January 11, 2020

Me: “[Company] customer service. How can I help you?”

Customer: *obviously struggling with English* “Helou, I needo help with…” *tries to explain problem*

(It dawns on me that this person is Latino like me.) 

Me: “Oh, sir!” *in Spanish* “I can speak Spanish if you want.”

Customer: “No, no.” *in Spanish* “I want to speak with a person that speaks English.”

Me: *Spanish* “I speak English, sir. But it is hard to understand you; your Spanish is much better.”

Customer: *Spanish* “No, no, pass me on to an American that speaks English; this problem is too important and I know the best help is on the English-speaking lines.”

(At the end I had to transfer him. Later, I got reprimanded because my line is not supposed to be in Spanish. This actually happened often; my coworker explained that a lot of people think like this.)

You’ve Met The Accounting Parrot

, , , | Working | May 31, 2019

(I need to call a call center for a popular online store. I used to work for this place, so I know a little about their policies. This story is long, but I tried to write everything so you can feel my frustration.)

Representative #1: “Hi. My name is [Representative #1]. Can I help you?”

Me: “Hello. I am trying to log in, but as a security question it is asking for my billing address, and I don’t remember which I used because my whole family — all around the USA and Costa Rica — uses my account. I want to be able to access it with something else, like another address or card info.”

Representative #1: “Oh, sorry, you can’t. Without a billing address, you cannot access your account.”

Me: “No, no… I know you can. If you can’t, send me over to the team that helps people retrieve accounts. Please.”

Representative #1: “I can’t. I’m sorry. Without a billing address, you cannot access your account.”

(This goes around for over thirty minutes. I tell her she can, and she says she can’t and repeats the same speech. I ask her if she can ask her supervisor. She says she asked. I am skeptical, as she has not stopped talking to me even for a minute. I ask her to please ask someone else and she says she did. Again, at no point has she stopped talking to me.)

Me: *a little angry because I feel she is not trying to help* “Well, how about this? I’m going to list all of my families addresses and you tell me which is it. First, is it in Costa Rica?”

Representative #1: “No, without a billing address you cannot access your account.”

(The repetitiveness is starting to drive me crazy.)

Me: “Please stop repeating yourself; I heard you. I am trying. Okay, not in Costa Rica. Is it [Address #1]?”

Representative #1: “No, without a billing address you cannot access your account.”

(I read one by one for a while because there are a lot.)

Representative #1: “Which one is your billing address? I can only access your account with a billing address.”

Me: “Have you tried any?”

Representative #1: “I don’t know which one is your billing address. Without a billing address, you cannot access your account.”

Me: “Okay, that’s it. Get me a manager.”

Representative #1: “Without a billing address, you cannot access your account or get transferred to a manager.”

(Another thirty minutes pass, with me getting more and more frustrated and asking her to pass me to a manager and her refusing. I try to keep calm but am losing my patience; I don’t want to hang up, as I want to report her. She even tells me I should open a new account and leave that one; I explain that I don’t want all of our information in an unsupervised account. I’d rather get in and erase it. But she keeps insisting. Finally, after an hour of trying to contain my anger and failing, I try to say please after each request for a manager.)

Representative #1: “I’m going to transfer you now.”

Me: *almost in tears* “Thank you.”

Representative #2: “Hello! My name is [Representative #2], how can I help you?”

(In tears, I repeat my issue.)

Representative #2: “Oh, I see… mmm… how about you start telling me addresses and we check which works?”

Me: “Is the address in Costa Rica?”

Representative #2: “I don’t know. Let’s try it.”

Me: “Is it [address in Costa Rica]?”

Representative #2: “Yes, that is it. You are in.”

(I explode in tears out of tired frustration and the chance for some time to relax.)

Me: “Okay, I used this on my computer to log in and now it is asking me for the valid-thru date of a card I don’t have. It’s probably one of my uncles’ or aunts’; can you get it to ask me for a card in my name?”

Representative #2: “Hmm… No… but how about I transfer you to the team that helps people retrieve their accounts?”

(He did and they helped me. I couldn’t complain about the first representative, but I did leave a nice review about the other one and the one that helped me retrieve my account.)

Totally Estúpido! Part 6

, , , , | Friendly | January 19, 2019

(My mom and I are sitting while we wait to send a package of documents. There are two people before us, a man and a woman.)

Man: *to service representative* “Do you speak English?”

Sales Rep: *in Spanish* “No, sir, I’m sorry.”


(The woman ended up serving as an interpreter and they left.)

Mom: *to me* “I wonder if this is the kind of man that insists that foreigners in the US must learn English?”

Totally Estupido, Part 5
Totally Estupido, Part 4
Totally Estupido, Part 3

Not So Easy-Peasy Japanesey

, , , , | Friendly | January 10, 2019

(I go on various forums for expats living in Japan, looking for advice.)

Me: “Hello. I am a woman from Latin America moving to Japan for work. The company hiring me already told me I should bring fitted sheets from home since they are very expensive in Japan. Are there any other things I should bring, so as to not make my move too expensive?”

Person #1: “Japan is a first world country; you can get anything here.”

Person #2: “Japan is way more technological than that.”

Person #3: “Japan does have some things that are more expensive, but you can get anything here.”

Person #4: “There are more things here than where you live, lol.”

(So far, not one useful answer.)

The Customer Service Is Not Always Write

, , , | Working | November 21, 2018

(My car needs to get an oil change, so I take it to the dealership. My aunt drives me there since I can’t drive because of a recent operation. My car is VERY dirty because it has stayed parked for two months, and I was regularly going on nature adventures before the operation. I am a woman, and so is the representative at the dealership.)

Dealership Representative: *checks the car for bumps and hands me a paper* “Just sign here, and we will call you when the car is done.”

Me: *looks at the paper with scribbles all over it, written by hand* “Excuse me, but what is this?”

Dealership Representative: “Just an overall check of the car so that there are no misunderstandings if you find a scratch after you get it back.”

Me: “Okay, but I can’t read it. What does it say here?” *points to first sentence*

Dealership Representative: *sighs and goes to my left car door* “If you see it against the light it has minor scratches. It says dirty and scratched.”

Me: “Okay, I totally get it, but could you please write, ‘lightly scratched.’ I don’t want to come back to a giant scratch and them to tell me it was there.”

Dealership Representative: *starts getting visibly agitated* “Well, it’s dirty.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. Just put ‘lightly,’ so that I can be sure there are no misunderstandings.”

Dealership Representative: “Fine!” *snatches the paper from me and writes something*

Me: “Okay, thanks.” *leans over her to continue reading* “What does the second line say?”

(She starts shaking and angrily going to point each flaw in my car. She keeps insisting I “come see” it closer than I am and getting super agitated the more calmly I try to tell her I understand but need to understand what is written.)

Dealership Representative: *visibly shaking in what appears to be frustration* “I think what we can do is I won’t wash your car for the checkup.”

Me: *trying to act super calm, as I feel like she might attack me if I don’t* “Please don’t get defensive; I really only want to understand. I don’t mean to attack you or anything. I just need to know what I’m signing.”

Dealership Representative: *screams for a girl to come help her “deal with me”* “Well, I’m sorry you can’t understand my writing. Look…” *points to a word* “There it says, ‘dirty,’ D-I-R-T-ammm… There it says … emmm.”

(She continues reading the whole thing to me like this. Sometimes not even she can understand what she wrote. Some are apparently abbreviations, and some are in English, and others in Spanish. In the meantime another girl is “standing guard,” but she seems to be telling her to calm down and smiling at me.)

Me: “Thank you.” *to the other representative* “I really meant no harm; I just wanted to understand. You see, you guys trust that you mean no harm and I trust I mean no harm, but if I sign something I need to be sure.”

(The first representative was now shaking in pure anger and just got in my car. The other girl thanked me and explained when I could pick it up and such. As I walked away, I could hear the first one talking about me to the other. I get it that some people are annoying with these things, but you can’t get angry and mean when someone just wants to understand what they are signing.)