Taking The Plunge To Customer Service

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I work front desk at a hotel. We are very short-staffed and don’t have maintenance or housekeeping 24 hours a day, just one front desk during each shift. This week we have a quite a few softball teams staying with us, and we have already had problems with one of the mothers giving us a hard time. It’s late at night, and I’m the only one working when one of the parents calls down to the front desk.)

Me: “Front desk.”

Mom: “Yes, do you have housekeeping here 24 hours a day?”

Me: “No, I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we don’t.”

Mom: “Oh?! I’ve never heard of that before! At every other hotel we have stayed at, they have 24 hour housekeeping!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am.”

Mom: “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” *hangs up*

(About 10 or 20 minutes pass before the same room calls back down.)

Daughter: “We need a plunger.”

Me: “Okay, I just need someone to come down here and get it.”

(Our policy is that we aren’t allowed to leave the front desk unless it’s somewhere close by, like the pool area. Sometimes if we are slower, then we can run up to the room and drop stuff off, but since we are right around capacity, we have to stay by the desk to help guests.)

Daughter: “Okay.” *hangs up*

(The same room calls down not even five minutes later.)

Mom: *angrily* “What do you mean that we have to come down and get the plunger?! You already don’t have housekeeping 24 hours, and now you don’t have anyone in maintenance to come plunge our toilet?! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am, but I am the only one here, and I’m not allowed to leave the front desk.”

Mom: *sighs angrily* “Fine! I’ll send my husband down!” *click*

(I hope that is the last of it, but the phone rings again less than a minute later, and it’s still the same room.)

Dad: “What do you mean, I have to plunge my own toilet?! There is no way that is going to happen! You are going to come up here and plunge the toilet for me!”

Me: “I am very sorry, sir, but as I said before, I am unable to leave the desk.”

Dad: “This is ridiculous!” *click*

(I call up the GM of the hotel and tell him he has to get here because I am having issues with some guests, and as I am talking to him, the mom from the room comes up to me.)

Me: *moves the phone aside* “How can I help you?”

Mom: “I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: “I am on the phone with him right now, ma’am.”

Mom: “Give me the phone; I want to talk to him.”

(I tell my manager that the mom wants to talk to him, and he tells me to hand her the phone. As I stand there, I can hear the two of them arguing back and forth.)

Mom: *hands me the phone* “You talk. I can’t understand him at all!”

Me: *into the phone* “[Manager], it’s me. She said she can’t understand you.”

Manager: “I will be right there.” *click*

Me: *to the mom* “My manager says he will be right here.”

Mom: “Good, and I’m so sorry about this. I didn’t know it was you that I was talking to on the phone! You have been so nice to us since we’ve been here!”

(Note that I have been working since 3:00 pm and it’s about 10:00 pm right now.)

Me: *almost in tears* “It’s okay, ma’am. I understand.”

Mom: “Oh, no! Don’t cry! It’s not your fault! Here; give me the plunger and we can do it ourselves!”

(I go to the back to get the plunger, while still trying to hold back tears, then hand it to her.)

Mom: “I will be right back with it.”

(She leaves to go plunge her toilet. She and her husband come back down and the husband is pissed.)

Mom: “Give her the plunger back, dear.”

Dad: “No! I want this man to see what he expects us to do!” *raises the plunger like a bat and looks like he is going to swing at someone*

Manager: *rushes into the front desk area, going to get a plunger*

Me: “[Manager], they already did it. They are standing at the front desk wanting to talk to you.”

Manager: “Okay.” *walks to the front desk* “What seems to be the problem?”

Mom: “What’s the problem? You expect us to plunge our own toilet! When we come to a hotel, we expect to be completely taken care of and not have to worry about stuff like that!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you are renting a room from us. If you need a toilet plunged, we have it down here. You just have to come get it.”

Dad: “That’s not right!”

(At this point they were sitting there, arguing about how the manager should have more people on staff. It got so bad that when our security guard came in for the night, the husband got pissed off at him, too! The mom had to force her husband to go upstairs so he didn’t get arrested! That’s what you get for yelling at the front desk for no reason, you jerk!)

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Return Of The Couponater

, , , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(We’re having our big spring sale and the store is very busy. A man comes up to my register and I ring up over $200 worth of merchandise for him. He shows me his phone with a popular third-party coupon collection app pulled up and a one-word coupon code listed. We currently only have one in-store coupon out, and that’s definitely not it.)

Me: “I’m sorry; that looks like an online-only coupon. I can try it, but I don’t think it’ll work.”

(I type in the code and, as expected, a message pops up stating that the discount cannot be used in-store.)

Customer: “You mean to tell me that your company puts out coupons that can only be used online and not in the store?”

Me: “Actually, a lot of companies do that. The online store often has different sales than we do.”

Customer: “So, you’re saying that I could buy all of this crap online for a cheaper price, because that’s the only way this coupon will work?”

Me: “Well, not exactly. We’re having a big sale right now in the store. I can almost guarantee that everything online is full price, plus you’d have to pay for shipping. That’s why they put out those codes, in order to get you to order the full-priced items online. I think you’re getting a better deal in the store, even without the coupon.”

Customer: “Are you kidding me? This is no way to run a business!”

Me: “I’m really sorry. I can offer you the in-store coupon we do have right now for $15 off your purchase, but that’s all I can do.”

Customer: “Fine. Add that on, and I’ll look up another coupon.”

(I try to explain that coupons don’t usually combine like that, but the customer ignores me. He then proceeds to spend the next ten minutes staring at his phone, looking through coupons on the third-party app. He finally finds one to his liking, and shows his phone to me again.)

Me: “That coupon gave me the same message: ‘Cannot be used in stores’.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! Fine, I’ll just pay for this now. But let me tell you: this is no way to run a business. I don’t know how you guys survive by being this dishonest.”

(The customer ended up coming back a few hours later, having signed up for the email list, which sends a percentage-off coupon. I then had to return his entire purchase, and re-buy it with the new code. Luckily, this one worked!)

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Caller Isn’t Operating

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I work for an Internet service provider, as a tech support operator.)

Me: “Welcome to [Company] support. You’re speaking with [My Name]. How can I help today?”

Customer: “Yeah, mate, I can’t get into my computer.”

Me: “Do you mean your Internet? Are you having trouble accessing websites?”

Customer: “No, my computer is asking for a password and I can’t remember what it is!”

Me: “What else do you see on the screen?”

Customer: “It’s all blue with a picture and a box asking for my password.”

Me: *realising what’s going on* “Okay, that sounds like you’re having problems with your operating system. It might be better for you to call [Computer Company], as they are better equipped to handle these kinds of problems.”

Customer: “Why? I’ve called you guys before and you’ve fixed this for me! I want you to fix it!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s outside of my power.”

Customer: “This is pathetic; you have to be the worst employee [ISP] has. I have the CEO’s personal number; I’m calling him now to get you fired!” *click*

Me: *stares at my coworker, dumbfounded*

(Six months on, I still have my job.)

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Piercing Observation, Part 3

, , | Working | October 13, 2017

(I live in Sweden and when going home to Portugal, I decide to go to a beauty salon to get my fingernails done. Note that I have a good job in Sweden, and it is apparent that I am a person that enjoys metal and more alternative things, as I have some piercings, dress in black, and wear metal band t-shirts.)

Nail Technician: “What color do you want to paint your nails?”

Me: “Black.”

Nail Technician: “Oh, my black nail polish is a bit ruined. Don’t you want some red or blue instead?”

Me: “Not really. I am not so fond of those colors and the black nail polish is the only thing that works to make me not bite my fingernails.”

Nail Technician: “Okay, then. We can try using it. Why do you have those piercings? They look ridiculous! Don’t your parents complain? You will never get a job like that.”

Me: “I am 30 years old; my parents have nothing to do with it. Besides, I am living 4000 km away from them; they just come visit once in a while. And I have a very good job in Sweden.”

Nail Technician: *interrupting me* “[Coworker], do you want to get lunch after?” *back at me* “You know, my niece has a boyfriend that is manipulating her into those metallic things. Pfft. She’s studying to become a doctor; she needs to have more dignity than that. She wanted to paint her nails black. I didn’t allow her. No one dressed like that and with black fingernails is allowed in my house.”

Me: “It’s not the way a person dresses that makes her a better or worse professional.”

Nail Technician: *very quickly* “Okay, you’re done. Good bye.” *gets up and goes out of the salon*

(In the end, the black nail polish worked flawlessly, surprise! And the job was so quick that I didn’t even have time to get up and leave, even though my blood started to boil.)

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For The Record, You’re Not The Favorite

, , , , | Related | October 13, 2017

(My mother always notices favouritism towards her younger sister by her mother. My grandmother gives my mum a record album as a gift. A couple of weeks later:)

Grandmother: “[Mum], where’s that record I gave you?”

Mum: “It’s in the record player; I can put it on if you want.”

Grandmother: “No, I want it back. Your sister just bought a record player and I want to give it to her.”

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