A Lovely Reminder That Racism Is Alive And Well

, , | Right | March 4, 2021

I am dealing with cancelling a contract for a customer over the phone. Everything goes perfectly and the customer is very polite. 

Me: “Well, sir, the contract is cancelled. I can email you the cancellation letter, or would you rather have it through post?”

Customer: “Email, please.”

Me: “All right, let’s check if we have your email on file.”

I notice that the email address contains one of the most common surnames in the Netherlands. The customer I have on the phone has an Arabic surname.

Me: “Sir, do we have the right email address on file? It says it’s [address].”

The customer becomes silent for a second. He sounds a bit… sad or embarrassed; I can’t be sure. 

Customer: “Eh, yes, that email address is correct. I’ve had it for ten years now. It’s just… whenever I emailed a company with my real last name, I never got invited for an interview. Since I started using this email address, I’ve gotten invited to several interviews and landed a good-paying job.”

I swallow the words I actually want to say. 

Me: “I completely understand, sir; no need to explain. I just sent the letter.”

I heard a “ding” through the line and the customer said he’d received the proof. We ended the conversation. I had heard before that a lot of companies won’t invite people with a foreign name, but this was the first time I’d met someone who’d had this happen to him. My first response would have been outrage — not to the customer, but to society as a whole.

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He Screen Shot And Missed

, , , , , , | Right | February 19, 2021

I work in customer service helping customers via phone and email. A customer emails in about an error message on our site, but I’m not able to recreate the error.

I ask him to send in a screenshot of what he entered and the error message he received, so that I can see if there’s something he’s doing that I’m not. I never receive a reply from him and just assume that he figured out the issue and managed to place his order.

Fast forward to about a week later when I receive an envelope on my desk. Upon opening it, I find a physical print out of the man’s screen, showing the error.

I’ve since specified that people should email me the screenshot, not just send it to me.

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A Handy Piece Of Knowledge

, , , | Right | February 5, 2021

I work in aviation for a scenic flight company. We get clients of all backgrounds and we do everything possible to make sure everyone has a great trip. We also have a lot of safety rules to make sure everyone gets home safe. One of these rules is that we do not allow any bags, regardless of size, onboard the flight.

A lady, north of forty, is checking in for her flight.

Me: “I’m really sorry, but we don’t allow any bags on board the aircraft for safety reasons.”

Customer: “But it’s just a handbag.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t allow any, even if it’s tiny. It’s for safety.”

Customer: “But how will I take photos?”

Me: “You can take your phone or camera, just not your bag. You’re more than welcome to leave it behind the desk with me; I’m here at all times and there is a CCTV camera up there, too. Or you can put it in your car?”

Customer: “But I need it to take photos.”

Me: “You need your camera or phones for photos.”

Customer: “Yes. How will I do that if I don’t have my bag?”

Me: “You can hold your phone in your hand.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The phone will be in your hand when you take photos.”

Customer: “But I need my bag.”

Me: “For the photos?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Is it a photoshoot for the bag?”

Customer: “No, but I need it to hold my phone.”

Another five minutes later, she eventually realised that she indeed had two hands.

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Call Me By My Name

, , , , | Right | January 29, 2021

I have a leak, so I call my water board and someone takes my details.

Customer Service: “And can I take your name, please?”

I got married a few months ago, and I can’t remember if I have changed my surname on the account. Something that I can only attribute to lack of sleep makes me come up with this gem:

Me: “I don’t know my name.”

Eventually, I was able to communicate why I had said this. Whoops!

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You Should Not Have Contacted Or Contracted Him

, , , | Right | December 3, 2020

Because we are a social housing company, there are a lot of government laws that we have to follow. One of those laws had the intention to make things clearer, but in the end, made things confusing and only costs a lot of money for everyone. The government decides to cancel the law. Nothing changes for our clients, but we are obligated to inform them that the mentioned law no longer applies. 

Client: “Why did I get this letter?”

Me: “The law was cancelled, so we are obligated to inform you, but don’t worry; nothing will change for you. You won’t pay anything more or less because of this law.”

Client: “You are not allowed to change my contract without consulting me first!”

Me: “Eh, we didn’t change anything. The government did. The mentioned law doesn’t exist anymore.”

Client: “That’s illegal!”

Me: “The government decided the mentioned law should no longer exist. We can’t change that. But, like I said, nothing changes for you. You still have the same rights, but now you don’t have to contact a third party; we can help you ourselves now!”

Client: “This is illegal! You are not allowed to change a contract without my approval! You must change it back or I will contact my lawyer!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the government cancelled the law. I can’t do anything about it.”

Client: “I will not accept this! Change it back, right now!”

Me: “You want me to apply back a law that no longer exists?”

Client: “You changed my contract without consulting me first and that is illegal!”

Me: “I’ll send your request to the department that dealt with this change. You will be informed within a few days.”

Client: “You will be hearing from my lawyer!”

I had no idea how to make it clear that you can’t reapply a law that the government cancelled.

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