That’s A Big No-Noel From Me  

, , , , | Right | December 8, 2019

(I work for a call centre in Dublin and, after a long call, the customer and I are finished speaking.)

Me: “Would you like a reference number just in case you need to call back?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

Me: “[Reference Number].”

Customer: “Can I get your name, as well?”

Me: “My name is Noel.”

Customer: “What do you mean, I cannot have your name? This is a disgrace!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, I said my name is Noel.”

Customer: “I do not understand why you cannot give me your name!”

Me: “Sir, my name is Noel, as in Christmas. Noooooeeeeeeel.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you.”

(So much gets lost in conversations over the telephone.)

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Can’t Even “Spare” A Moment To Listen

, , , , | Right | October 30, 2019

(In Ireland, all cars have to go through a road-worthiness test every one or two years. If you fail, it can either be a defect, which means you have to schedule and pay for a retest, or if can be a visual, which means the testers just need to visually inspect the car which can be done at any time for free. I’m waiting for my test results when they call up the guy in front of me.)

Worker: “Now, Mr. [Customer], your car hasn’t passed today because your rear tire is bald. However, your spare tire is perfect. This is just a visual defect, so once a good tire is put on in place of the bald tire, you will pass. You don’t need to reschedule for a visual inspection; it’s free and we can do it without an appointment.”

Customer: “For f***’s sake, I can’t afford a new tire right now!”

Worker: “I understand. What I’m saying is that your spare tire is good. You just need to swap the bad tire for a good tire and you’ll pass.”

Customer: “That’s not f****** good enough. I don’t have the time or money to get a new tire. This is typical of our f****** government trying to shaft the decent, hard-working man.”

Worker: “Mr. [Customer], you just need a visual inspection, so if you can put a good tire on your car right now, I can go straight out and pass you. Your spare tire is good. You just need to put a good tire on the car.”

Customer: “Why do you keep repeating the same thing? Are you f****** dumb?! I bet there’s nothing wrong with my car and you just have a quota of cars you have to fail every day to get more money for the government.”

Me: “Oh, for God’s sake! If you’d stop ranting and listen, he’s trying to tell you to put your spare tire on the car now and he’ll pass you!”

(The customer looks at me and then at the worker, who makes the slightest nod. The customer goes red and storms out to his car.)

Worker: *to me* “Thank you. We can’t outright tell people to do that and some people just don’t get the hint.”

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Lose Your Card, Not Your Manners

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I work in a call centre and I’m well used to abusive customers. Normally, I ignore them because I know they’re just trying to push my buttons. However, if a customer starts being abusive to me for no reason, I won’t take it for a second.)

Me: “Good evening. Lost & Stolen Cards. How can I help?

Customer: “Finally someone answers. I got to Spain an hour ago and I lost my debit card. You are going to cancel it immediately.”

Me: “Of course. Can I take your account number?”

Customer: “I don’t have that. Who brings their f****** account number on holiday? For f***’s sake, how hard is it to cancel a card?”

Me: “If you don’t have your account number I can search for you. I just need your name and the bank you opened your account with.”

Customer: “Are. You. F******. Stupid? I don’t have any of my account information because I’m not in the f****** country. Is that too hard for you to understand or do I need to speak slowly?”

Me: “Don’t speak to me like that when I’m trying to help you.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not the f****** idiot who keeps asking me for account information.”

Me: “And I’m also not the idiot who lost their card within minutes of arriving in a foreign country and now can’t understand that it’s impossible to find their account if they don’t give me any account information. I’m not bloody psychic.”

Customer: “You can’t speak to me like that!”

Me: “I think you’ll find I can, because I just did.”

(About fifteen seconds of silence and then…)

Customer: “My name is [Customer] and I opened my account in [Bank].”

(I found the customer’s account, and for the rest of the call he couldn’t have been more polite. He also apologised for being so rude and said he was just frustrated at losing his card. I accepted his apology but asked him in future to remember that the person he’s talking to is human, too, and it’s not acceptable to take his frustration out on someone who is doing their best to help him. I flagged the call to my team leader, and since I usually have a spotless record, she agreed to avoid that call when marking my performance that week.)

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That’s Cardly A Reasonable Request

, , , | Right | October 2, 2019

Me: “Good evening. You’re through to [Bank] Customer Services. How can I help?”

Customer: “Hi. I lost my debit card and was wondering if you can help.”

Me: “Okay. Can I just take your name, account number, and [security information] to verify you?”

Customer: “Yep, that’s [details].”

Me: “Thank you. Looking at your account, I can see a note here from [Branch]. They found your card in one of the ATM machines and it’s available for collection at the Customer Services desk when the branch is next open.”

Customer: “Great. I’ll collect it tomorrow.”

Me: “Well, as tomorrow is Saturday, the branch is closed for the weekend. Also, as Monday is a bank holiday, the branch won’t be open again until Tuesday morning at nine am.”

Customer: “But I really need my card. Can’t someone just go into the branch tomorrow and wait for me to come get my card?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. The branch cannot be opened outside of normal working hours.”

Customer: “I want to go drinking with my friends over the weekend. I need money.”

Me: “We can arrange for you to withdraw funds at an ATM without needing your card. Would you like me to organise that now?”

Customer: “No, I want my card. I don’t understand why someone can’t just wait in the branch for me.”

Me: “To be clear, you want someone to go into the branch, on their day off, and wait indefinitely for you to collect your card, all without pay?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “But I need my card!”

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Animatedly Enthusiastic  

, , , , | Right | September 8, 2019

(My husband and I are checking in our one suitcase at the airport. The airline of our flight has multiple “DIY check-in stations” and several employees walking around to assist. The QR code that needs to be scanned is on my husband’s phone. He sticks the phone inside a hole in the station that clearly has some laser-scanning action going on inside, but nothing happens. An employee is already stepping up to help us out as I point out the animation playing on the screen on the station to my husband.)

Me: “You have to point the screen downward to scan, not upward. See?”

Husband: “Ah, d***, and it was so obviously pointed out right in front of me. I feel like an idiot.”

(He flips his phone around and the machine beeps.)

Employee: “Ah, sir, you need to– Oh.”

Me: “Sorry for not paying attention to the animation right away.”

Employee: “I… I have been working here for five years and I have never seen someone pay attention to the animation. You are the first to do it right without any assistance!”

Me: “Wow, that sounds… terribly frustrating. The animation is so obvious!” 

Husband: “Thanks for the assistance, anyway!”

Employee: “You are most welcome!”

(The employee turns around to help out someone else while the machine prints the label we need to stick around the handle of the suitcase. I take it and see that there are directions printed on the backside: instead of peeling off a sheet to make the ends stick together, the label will stick all on its own according to the two drawings. NOTHING on the ends seems sticky but I trust that the drawings are correct, so I stick the label through the handle and press both ends together. By magic, they stick like glue immediately. A second employee steps up to help halfway through my actions.)

Employee #2: “Ma’am, you need to… oh…”

(I have not seen a woman so baffled, impressed, and hopeful for humanity all at once. I cannot help but think that they talked about “this crazy couple that did everything by themselves at the DIY station” at their coffee break!)

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