Warning: Human Interaction Imminent

, , , , , , , | Working | February 12, 2021

My Internet service provider’s tech support line intersperses awful hold music with tips and comments, which it regularly interrupts mid-stream to update you with your place in the queue. One such tip, about increased call waiting times due to the health crisis, starts with “Unfortunately…”

Timing is everything. I just got told, “Unfortunately— You are next in the queue.”

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A Long-John Week

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2020

Our chief financial officer comes back from lunch and finds a voicemail on her direct line, originating from an unlisted number. She doesn’t deal with customers directly, so it’s a mystery how the caller even got the number. Each day, a new voicemail message appears, each time while she’s out of the office on her lunch break.

Monday: “Hi, this is John. My Internet isn’t working. Please give me a call.”

Tuesday: “Hi, this is John again. My Internet still isn’t working; please call me”

Wednesday: “Hi, John again! MY F****** INTERNET IS STILL DOWN. CALL ME.”

Thursday: “WHY WON’T YOU MORONS CALL ME BACK?! MY INTERNET IS STILL DOWN. CALL ME BACK! NOW!”

Friday: “What is WRONG WITH YOU?! CALL ME, CALL ME, CALL ME, CALL ME, CALL ME! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS S***!”

Saturday: “YOU FIX MY INTERNET NOOOOW OR I’M GOING TO… AAAAAAARGH! JUST CALL ME BACK! NOW!”

Sunday: “Please fix my Internet… and please call me back.”

He never left his last name, phone number, address, account number, or any other remotely identifiable info, not even his first name after the initial few calls. We had hundreds of customers named John. He also never bothered to call our 1-800 help desk or customer service numbers, which were plastered all over the website, phonebook, Yellow Pages, and ads. We never did find who was calling.

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USB-B For IE From The ISP

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2020

We provide a cable Internet network in a nearby housing complex. Many residents run a cable to their home but then move on, leaving the cable available for the next resident via a company-branded network port on the wall.

A new resident contacts us, saying she had plugged her computer into the network port we provided to the previous resident, but IE can’t display the page. (Clue one: “Is my browser that thing with the E on it?”)

I send my assistant over to see what the problem is, as I can’t see a physical connection to her unit on our router through that network port.

Not five minutes later, he’s back. She has a USB printer cable plugged into her computer, with the USB-B side in the network port in the wall!

It is the same basic shape, I guess.

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Year Of The Modem

, , , , | Right | March 2, 2020

(I work customer support for a fairly major national ISP. When you cancel your subscription we require the modem and other equipment to be sent back, and if you don’t, we charge a fee. The following exchange has been going on for two months now via Webcare.)

Customer: “I have been charged €300, but I cancelled my subscription. Why are you stealing my money?”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that, ma’am. Please give me your customer information and I will look it up immediately.”

(The customer hands over their details.)

Me: “Ma’am, it appears you have not returned the hardware, despite repeated reminders. As such, we have imposed a fee.”

Customer: “I didn’t know it had to be sent back.”

Me: “It says so in our terms of service and also in the cancellation confirmation.”

Customer: “Well, I’m in [Other Country]. Can’t I just hand it off at [Loosely Affiliated Other Company owned by our parent company]?”

Me: “Unfortunately, that is not possible. You really will have to send it to us directly.”

Customer: “I will be back in a year; I will just send it back then.”

Me: “You can do that; however, until the equipment is returned, we will charge the fee and if you do not pay it, there will be additional costs incurred. If you pay the fee now and send the equipment back in a year we will refund the fee once we receive it.”

Customer: “You are stealing my money! This stuff isn’t even worth that much. Don’t you dare impose the fee.”

(This exchange goes on for two months as company policy requires us to keep engaging customers.)

Me: “Look, ma’am. You didn’t return the equipment. You agreed to return it. A fee has been imposed as you didn’t return it. You can either return it or pay the fee. If you do not, the company will bring it to court and you will have to pay a lot more.”

(I’ve had no response for the past few days. Hopefully, she finally got the message.)

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Leaving Them Speechless; Quite A Feat

, , , , , , | Working | July 30, 2019

In 2000, I was a newlywed and a new mother. As finances were tight, my husband and I cut corners where we could. We accepted a free month of the local dial-up service, the only option at the time for Internet at our apartment complex.

The free month came to an end. I called to cancel, and while I gave a typical excuse of why I was going to cancel, I accepted a second month at a substantial discount.

At the end of the month, I called again to cancel. Thankfully, broadband was coming, so we definitely wanted to ditch the dial-up. The customer retention specialist, as usual, asked the reason for cancelling.

I told him I didn’t want to be on the Internet anymore. There was a moment of silence, followed by laughter and a surprising reply. I still find it funny, years later:

“Uh… there’s no response listed here for that reason! I’ll get this cancelled for you!”

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