Switching It Back Around To You

| Germany | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Prank, Technology

(I work at a small IT service provider with mostly small businesses as customers. A certain customer has purchased a PC through us, including a 36 month on-site service contract by the manufacturer. That means if there is a problem the customer contacts us and we contact the manufacturer, who will then send a service technician to the customer within two days. A few days after the customer received the PC, he calls.)

Me: “[Company]. [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “Hello, this is [Customer]. I got that new PC from you last week. It won’t turn on. It worked before I left for a schooling last week and now it’s broken. It’s still brand new!”

Me: “Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that. Did you try…”

(I walk him through a few steps he might try, including changing the wall outlet and stuff. He has already tried all that; no change.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll contact the manufacturer. They will call you back within the hour to schedule an appointment for the technician.”

Customer: “Can’t you come and check it?”

Me: “Sure. But it’s a one hour drive to get to you. The technician is free, as you purchased the service contract. I’ll do it, of course, if you need it today.”

Customer: “No, I can work on my laptop. I can wait that long.”

(So I contact the manufacturer. They say they’ll replace the mainboard which is their standard first step. An hour later the customer calls me to have me know that the technician is scheduled to visit in two days. Fast forward two days later, the phone rings.)

Me: “[Company]. [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “This is [Customer]. Just to let you know… the computer works now.”

Me: “Ah. So it was indeed the mainboard?”

Customer: “No… he didn’t even need to open the computer.”

Me: “Then what was the problem?”

Customer: “My son decided to turn off the PC’s main power switch as a prank. It was very effective.”

Me: “Oh… I see… so now I get to write that into my report. That’s a first for me, too. Well, I’m glad it works now.”

Customer: “Yes. Also, I told him that since the very expensive technician had to come to fix the computer, we won’t be able to afford the Switch he wanted for his birthday.”

Me: “Ouch… isn’t that a bit harsh?”

Customer: “Don’t worry; he’ll get it. But I had to wait two days for my computer, so he can wait two days for his Switch.”

Chewing Them Out About Being Chewed Out

| The Netherlands | Pets & Animals, Technology

(It is around 2002. We just bought a gerbil and it is a fast one. She escapes many times. My dad is trying to access the Internet, but it won’t connect. He is mostly a patient man. He calls the provider and has quite an argument with the person on the phone.)

Dad: “I checked it all! It should be working; are you sure you have done it all?”

Customer Service Desk: “Yes, sir, everything at our end is working perfectly fine. Our system is showing is that your Internet should be working.”

Dad: “But it isn’t! Are you really sure? Aren’t you looking at our neighbours or something?!”

Customer Service Desk: “No, sir, it should be working.”

Dad: “Fine, I’ll call you back…”

(Agitated as he was, he started looking at every part of the connection until he found a cable chewed up. The gerbil managed to bite the Internet cable in half… Later he called the provider to apologise.)

It Was A ‘No’ Brainer

, | ID, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers

(During a financial rough patch, my Internet service is disconnected for late payment. I call to see if I could get an extension.)

ISP Rep: “Thank you for calling [ISP].”

Me: “Yes, hello. My Internet was disconnected due to a past due balance. I was hoping you might be able to turn it back on. I get paid on Friday and can pay the bill then.”

ISP Rep: “I’m sorry, but without a payment we cannot reinstate service.”

Me: “Well, that sucks. Figured it was worth a shot. Okay, then, thank you.”

ISP Rep: “Okay? What do you mean Okay?”

Me: “Well, you agreed to provide me a service, and I agreed to pay for it. I failed to live up to my end of the deal, so you stopped providing your end. Fair enough. It sucks for me, but I’ll call back on Friday and get the bill paid and have my internet turned back on.”

ISP Rep: “Hmm. Sir, can you please hold?

Me: “Sure, I guess.”

(The rep puts me on hold for about five minutes and then returns.)

ISP Rep: “Sir, I’ve turned your Internet back on, but you have to promise me you will absolutely pay that bill on Friday, or else I’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

Me: “Sure, I will absolutely do that. Thank you very much, but if you don’t mind my asking, what changed?”

ISP Rep: “You are the first person in three months to not yell at me when I’ve told them ‘no’ to something.”

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Muggles Can’t See The Baconsaurus-Rex

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Awesome Customers, Geeks Rule, Language & Words

(I am the customer here. I have moved into a new apartment and am setting up the phone and Internet. It’s also exam period at the university where I work, so I have been up all night marking some truly abysmal papers. I am not operating well at all — which, of course, is the ideal time to deal with phone companies…)

Sales Rep: “…all right, we’re almost finished. I just need you to choose a username for this service.”

Me: *a little stressed* “Uh… I’m so bad at choosing these. And my brain is just not working… Hang on, give me a moment…”

Sales Rep: “Sure, take your time.”

(Sadly, my brain decides now is a good moment to catch up on lost sleep. The moment stretches on for what feels like several minutes, during which I come up with literally no ideas.)

Sales Rep: “Hello? Are you still there?”

Me: “Yeah, I am. Just, uh, having some trouble deciding.”

Sales Rep: “Most people just use theirname@[ISP].com, or some variation.”

Me: “Yes. That would be the sensible thing to do. For normal, sensible humans. OK, let’s go with [unusual nickname]@[ISP].com”

Sales Rep: “Would you be able to spell that, please?”

Me: “T, M -”

Sales Rep: “D, N?”

Me: “No, it’s ‘T’ for…Tyrannosaurus. ‘M’ for…Muggle. ‘B’ for …Bacon.”

(Suddenly, there is muffled giggling from the other end. It starts off quietly, but grows into an impressive crescendo.)

Sales Rep: *after having recovered somewhat* “Sorry about that. That’s just the best thing that’s happened all day. You have no idea how boring ‘Tango,’ ‘Mike,’ and ‘Bravo’ get. You get brownie points for that.”

Me: “Oooh! I think you mean ‘bacon points’!”

(Things went much better after that.)

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 52

, | Ede, The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Money, Popular, Technology

(I work for a large Dutch Internet provider, at which I am working as a billing expert for the tougher customers with the more difficult questions.)

Me: “Hello, [Internet Provider]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I did not receive any bills by mail. You apparently just stopped sending me the bills. Now I have a huge debt, and because of your mistake I cannot use the Internet any more.”

Me: “Well, Mrs. [Customer], we stopped sending you bills by mail three years ago. Every once in a while you make a payment. But your funds stopped being enough to cover the costs several months ago.”

Customer: “Yeah… because you stopped sending me bills a few months ago. That’s your mistake. Now I am paying for a service that I cannot use anymore.”

Me: “Several years ago we stopped sending customers’ billing by mail as the default option. You can now login on our members’ site to read and even download you bill for free. We sent all customers e-mail and mail to tell them we were planning this move. If you still want to receive a bill every month with specifics, we require a payment of €1,00 on top of your normal fee.”

Customer: “Still, you stopped sending them a few months ago. So, it is your fault at [Internet Provider] that I cannot use Internet at this moment.”

Me: “Billing by mail as default is no longer an option. Clients that require billing by mail—”

Customer: “You are lying, you b*stard! You’re not taking me seriously.”

Me: “I’m so sorry you think that of me; I assure you we have all customers in high regard. Yet we stopped sending bills by mail a few years ago. You currently have a debt of six months worth of bills. By law every consumer is required to keep in check their payments themselves. We can only send you reminders to suggest that you pay us, of which we sent you at least four letters in the past six months. Clearly you were very lucky. Normally, when customers do not pay for two months or longer, they get shut off. You managed to keep your services for quite a bit longer.”

Customer: “I immediately require to have my Internet back. Now, please.”

Me: “We can give back your services to you today, but in return we require one of the two following options: 1) you can pay us the difference (upwards of €400,00) in one transaction today, or 2) you agree to a payment plan to catch up the difference.”

Customer: “Sure… I am not paying you to be shut off; I am paying you so I can use my Internet.”

(Getting a bit tired of this whole back and forth process, my tone becomes a little more harsh, yet still professional.)

Me: “Mrs. [Customer], firstly, it is our service we are providing; Internet is of and for everyone. Secondly, you did not pay for at least six months, so to be fair, you are not paying us for anything, and if one does not pay we do not serve. I am sorry.”

Customer: “And whose mistake was that? That I did not pay?”

Me: “Not ours, ma’am. You yourself managed to pay us for the last couple of years without your bills by mail, so the only reason for not paying the last 6 months is with your finances.”

Customer: “It is not my responsibility to pay. It is yours!”

Me: *sighs* “Ma’am, I can only help you any further if you mean to pay us. The responsibility of payment is entirely yours. I can offer you a plan or a way for immediate payment.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to a manager right now! It is not correct of you to shut me off, especially if the fault is entirely yours that I did not pay.”

(As I am the manager, I could not go any higher up the chain, so I ended the conversation as politely as possible, with the advise to call back when the woman was able to pay.)

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 51
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 50
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 49

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