From Jersey Shore To Shore

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2018

Me: “Hello, [overseas US Military Hotel]; how can I direct your call?”

Caller: “Oh, you speak English.”

Me: “Yes, this is an American military hotel you are calling.”

Caller: “Wow, your English is really good!”

Me: “Yeah, I’m from New Jersey.”

Caller: “You don’t even have an accent!”

Me: “…”

Unfiltered Story #114603

, , | Unfiltered | June 15, 2018

(I’m a second level in-house technician for the largest ISP in Germany. It’s been really chaotic for the last year because all customers have to upgrade their old connections to new IP-based connections, and all the telephones are upgraded to VoIP. And, because we have tens of millions of customers, it tends to get wrong sometimes, mostly because of a problem with the customers’ old DSL ports, but sometimes because of mistakes in our internal servers. My job is to take care of the customers’ DSL line, and if it turns out they have a problem with their hardware, I have to redirect them to the coworkers that are taking care of house brand routers or to tell them to contact their manufacturer. This customer has just switched connections and now nobody can call them, although they can call anyone; I check if the switch to VoIP has been completed and then make an exception and troubleshoot their router for them, since I have the same model at home and know it very well. This takes a long time, I’m already working twenty minutes past my shift end. It turns out the router is okay and their numbers aren’t correctly processed at our VoIP server, so I need to send a ticket to the guys over there to correct it. This particular problem unfortunately also prevents me from transferring calls to the customer’s mobile. The customer runs some kind of small business, but doesn’t have a business account. Also, I’m female.)

Me: … So, unfortunately, Ma’am, I can’t fix it, but I’ll send it to the guys that can right away. Sorry for all the trouble.

Caller: Alright, but this is ridiculous. Do I have to stay on the phone now and explain the whole thing all over again?

Me: It won’t be possible to transfer you via phone, because the colleagues at this unit don’t have a hotline. I’ll have to send it without a call and they will call you in turn.

Caller: So how long until they do?

Me: I can’t give you an estimate, I’m sorry, they don’t work with us.

Caller: So you’re telling me you can’t tell me? What kind of s****y customer service is this? I’m paying and I demand you fix it NOW!

Me: With all due respect, Ma’am, screaming at me won’t change anything. Now, if you let me just send your ticket over at the VoIP Management-

Caller: NO! I do not agree! You’re all liars and scammers over there, trying to rob honest people! You do know this is a business, right? I’m losing money right now because YOU DON’T WANT TO HELP ME OR EVEN TRANSFER MY CALLS!

Me: Ma’am, I already explained three times to you how your telephone works now and why this isn’t possible. Please stop screaming at me. I already took more time than needed into trying to fix your problem. My working policy states that I only need to take care of your line, which is stable; everything after that is on me, and I’m already twenty minutes overtime with your call! So please let me transfer the ticket over to-

Caller: THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! YOU LITTLE B*** BROKE MY PHONE AND YOU WILL PAY FOR IT! THIS ISSUE HAS TO BE RESOLVED NOW! I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO A TECHNICIAN!

Me: That’s what you’re doing right now!

Caller: You’re not a technician, you’re a dumb girl! You know nothing about this stuff! You just don’t want to fix it! I demand it to be fixed right now with TOP PRIORITY! And I will REPORT you for being so incompetent!

Me: First of all: you don’t have a business account so top priority is out of the question. Second of all, I don’t have to listen to this. *click*

(I proceed with explaining in the ticket exactly how rude the customer is so that the guys over at VoIP Management have an idea what they’re dealing with)

Coworker next to me: So what exactly didn’t she understand? You explained everything perfectly, and three times at that. My dog would have gotten it.

Me: I don’t know, man, she got so crazy in the end, she was contradicting herself. It was beyond my help.

(I don’t know if she reported me, in any case I didn’t hear anything about that any more. If she wants to make trouble, I have a reliable witness.)

Besssssst To Call Ahead

, , , | Right | June 14, 2018

(The standard way to get Internet via DSL in Germany is using the telephone line; all households have a special telephone outlet built in the wall along with the standard European power outlets and cable outlets for TV.)

Me: “This is the technical service of [ISP]. My name is [My Name], and I assume I’m speaking to Mr. [Caller]?”

Caller: “Hello, yes, exactly. You see, my Internet won’t work!”

Me: “Hello, sir. Yes, the lady from first level told me about your problem. Can you describe what the LED indicators on your router are doing and what kind of a router do you use?”

(It’s an expensive and a very stable router, which doesn’t belong to the ISP brand, but on rare occasions I do make an exception and help with minor issues, since I have the exact same box at home. In this case, however, it seems that nothing is wrong with the box. I then ask the customer to tell me about the indicators and what he’s already tried, while doing a bunch of tests and trying multiple things to bring him back online.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Unfortunately, I can’t just repair it like this; it doesn’t work. Everything seems normal, but the connection just isn’t there. It may be your telephone outlet, but I’ll have to send a field technician to check it out, and exchange it if necessary.”

Caller: “Well, I don’t really like this, but you did really try.”

(We then book an appointment for him.)

Caller: “Oh, and one important thing: is it possible for your guy to call about 30 minutes before coming?”

Me: “They usually call before they have to check something in someone’s house.”

Caller: “Yes, but how long before? I have to prepare everything here.”

Me: “Let me think… The last time I got a field tech at home, he called about 15 minutes earlier to ask if it was okay. But you don’t need to prepare anything; I can assure you our techs know what they’re doing.”

Caller: “Oh, you see, I don’t know how to explain this, but since he’s going to work on my telephone outlet… You see, it’s behind a giant snake terrarium!”

(Needless to say, I wrote that down with the extra plea to call the customer a bit earlier.)

Awaiting The Frozen One

, , , , , | Right | June 8, 2018

(My boyfriend and I are at a bowling center to celebrate the birthday of a good friend. Everyone is having drinks and my boyfriend orders a chicken burger to eat.)

Waiter: “Here you go; one chicken burger. Enjoy your meal!” *walks away*

Boyfriend: “Hey, [My Name]. Could you try the burger? I think it is still frozen in the middle.”

(I try the burger and the chicken is indeed frozen. We call up the waiter to complain about it.)

Boyfriend: “Excuse me, but the chicken is still frozen inside. Also, the burger is pretty cold itself.”

Waiter: “I’m terribly sorry. Do you want a new chicken burger, or can I bring you something else?”

Boyfriend: “A new burger will do, thanks.”

(The waiter walks away. Meanwhile, I chat with a friend until I see the waiter returning with the new burger. I turn back to my boyfriend, only to see him stuffing half of the frozen burger inside his mouth. I am shocked. The waiter puts down the new plate and grabs the plate with the now noticeably smaller, old burger.)

Waiter: “Wait a minute. Did you just eat half of the burger you just complained about?”

Boyfriend: *while still chewing* “No! I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would I do that? That would be pretty stupid.”

(The waiter looks disbelieving, but then walks away, probably thinking he is mistaken.)

Me: “What did you do that for? You got a new burger!”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, so? I’m really hungry and I didn’t want to pay for two burgers. It was a happy coincidence.”

(At the end of the evening, I gave the waiter a huge tip to compensate for the behavior of my boyfriend.)

Pardon My French

, , | Right | June 5, 2018

(I’m the customer in this story, visiting a perfume shop. While the French language isn’t as commonly known in Germany as the English one, at least basic pronunciation is. French and Latin are common second foreign languages taught at higher schools. I picked French and still remember some basics. The perfume in question has a rather hard-to-pronounce French name, think something like, “La chaise de l’hôtel,” by a quite famous manufacturer.)

Me: “Hi, I’m looking for—” *trying my best to pronounce it as correctly as possible* “[Perfume]. Do you happen to have it?”

Employee: “Um, could you say that again, please?”

Me: *thinking I pronounced it wrong* “I think it is called [Perfume].”

Employee: “I’m not sure. Could you write it down, please?”

(I write it down.)

Employee: “Oh! Yes, we do have it, of course.”

Me: “Did I pronounce it wrong?”

Employee: “No, you were actually the first to pronounce it right. I’m sorry.”

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