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Hold For An Hourly Rate

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Money, Popular

(I work for a third-party seller/distributor of cellular phone service. It is the late 1990s, when cell phone service is just starting to transition from analog to digital in most states. Because a credit check and a contract is required to activate service, some customers are surprised when the credit check comes back that we require a monthly billing to their credit card, or worse, a $700 deposit. I take a call from a customer. After I run the credit check, I get the alert that he will need to pay a deposit or set up automatic payments.)

Customer: “What do you mean? My credit’s fine! Check it again!”

Me: *calmly* “I could check it again, sir, but it’s going to come back with the same result.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Well, it shouldn’t!”

Me: *still calm* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that’s what always happens when we get a report like this. In order for me to activate a line for you, I’ll either need to take down a deposit, or set up payments using a credit card.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your supervisor!”

Me: “I am one of the supervisors.”

Customer: “Then let me speak to somebody else!”

Me: “Sir, if I get you on the line with someone, they’re only going to tell you the exact same thing that I am.”

Customer: *yelling* “I DON’T CARE! Get me on the line with your supervisor!”

Me: *still calm* “All right, sir, no problem. Would you mind holding for just a minute?”

(We were always forced to ask permission to put people on hold, never tell them we were putting them on hold.)

Customer: *now irate* “I DON’T WANT TO BE PUT ON HOLD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but in order for me to get you on the line with someone else, I need to place you on hold.”

Customer: “I’ve been waiting long enough, and I don’t want to wait anymore! I want to talk with someone else RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “I understand, sir. Let me place you on hold—”

Customer: “NO, D*** IT! Don’t you DARE place me on hold! This is a waste of my time! Do you know how much I make an hour?”

Me: *rolling my eyes* “No, sir, I don’t.”

Customer: “$350.00. I charge $350.00 per hour, and in the time I’m talking to you, I could be making money. You’re wasting my time, and I’m losing money!”

Me: *matter-of-factly* “Sir, do you want to know how much I make an hour?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: *taking authority on the line* “Too bad, sir. I make $9.00 an hour. And I’m telling you this to give you some perspective. Between the two of us, the only one that can help you get your service turned on IS ME. Frankly, I don’t care how much you make, and it doesn’t motivate me to give you better service than anyone else. So you can either let me place you on hold so I can get a supervisor, or I’ll be glad to end the call, and you can go to a local [Company] store and do this all over again with them.”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “I’m going to place you on hold now, okay?”

Customer: “Fine.”

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Not Playing With Phrasing

| Hays, KS, USA | Movies & TV, Popular, Rude & Risque

(I am working for a third party that provides customer service for a very popular TV/Internet/phone company. During the evening shift we get a lot of interesting calls. In this case, I am the one who says something I wish I could take back. When we send a signal to a cable box to try to reboot it, we call it “hitting the box.”)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m trying to watch a show and it’s giving me an error.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I know that’s frustrating. Can you tell me what the error says so I can see how we can fix it?”

Customer: *reads me the error code; it’s for a premium channel*

Me: “Okay, I can see this is for a premium channel. Let me make sure we’ve got the channel active on your account.”

(I verify his account info, and see that he has subscribed to the Playboy channel, and nothing else.)

Me: “I can see that you’re currently subscribed to the Playboy channel. Is that the channel you’re seeing the error code on?”

Customer: “Yes. I really need it to work.”

Me: “No problem; let me hit your box and see if I can get it up for you.”

Customer: “…”

Me: *mortified*

Customer: “…”

Me: “I… I mean… um…”

Customer: *bursts into laughter*

Me: *trying to control my laughter* “I mean… let me… send a signal… to your cable box… and see if I can get your… channel… working again.”

(I got it fixed. He was able to… enjoy… his evening.)

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Expects You To Be A Non-Profit Prophet

| USA | Crazy Requests, Popular

(I work as a customer service representative for a small start-up company that produces a product that is aimed towards the education community. We are communicating over customer help chat.)

Me: “Good afternoon; can I help you?”

Customer: “I work for a non-profit and was wondering what discount I could get?”

Me: “Certainly, we would just need to verify that you are in fact a legitimate non-profit and we have a few forms.”

Customer: “Yeah, okay, but we can get it for free, right?”

Me: “Depending on what you do, we have several different options.”

Customer: “Oh, my god. You aren’t answering my question quick enough. No, you won’t even get my business. You should work on how you talk to your customers and how you get to the point!” *customer disconnects*

Me: “Seriously?”

(I was going to happily give them a discount until that…)

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You Say Tomato, I Say Refund

, | Ottawa, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I am a part-time head-cashier [supervisor] at a grocery store, and any returns need my password before the computer accepts a return.)

Me: “Oh-la!” *answering my phone with my signature hello for coworkers*

Cashier: “I need an override for a refund.”

(I walk over to customer service cash to  ask the cashier what is being return and why.)

Cashier: “Moldy.” *she points to the baguette, half of which is missing*

Customer: “It tastes like mold. That’s why I am returning it. I made my lunch with this bread this morning with it, and I can taste mold.”

Me: “Oh, I am so sorry about that. Do you want another baguette to replace it or just your money back?”

Customer #1: “My money, please.”

Me: *I type in my password, process the return, and print out a receipt for the customer* “If I can a signature here, we are good to go. Have a nice day.” *the customer signs and I start to walk away*

Customer #1: “Wait a minute. Aren’t you going to refund my sandwich meat and slice of tomato and slice of cheese?”

Me: “Excuse me?” *I ask myself in shock: did I forget to refund other items?*

Customer #1: “The tomato slice, cheese slice, and meat from my sandwich. The meat and tomato slice, cheese slice on the f****** moldy baguette, that you sold me!”

Me: “I cannot refund for slices. But if you bring back the meat, cheese, and remaining tomato, I’ll gladly refund it all.”

Customer #1: “Why would I do that? Nothing is wrong with them! I want my f****** money for the slices on the sandwich.”

Me: “Sorry about your sandwich; we did refund the baguette. I cannot refund the slices. If you bring back the rest of cheese, sandwich meat, tomato I can gladly refund them.”

Customer #1: *grabs her phone* “You’re f****** kidding me. That was my f****** lunch. I have nothing to eat. F****** b****! You ruined my lunch! “*walks away*

Cashier: “Wow.”

Customer #2: “Oh, my god! Well, I hope you don’t get any more people like her today.”

Me: “She’s been the fourth one today. Not going to be the last.”

I’m Not Here All The Time

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre

Me: “Would you like to sign up to receive our coupons?”

Customer: “No, it’s okay. I’m in here all the time.”

Me: “Oh, so then you might want the coupons then, because they are exclusive to the people who sign up and they give you certain percentages off your purchases.”

Customer: “No, I wouldn’t use them. I hardly ever shop here.”

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