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This Caller Will Be Back-Pedalling

, , , , , | Right | November 4, 2021

Me: “Good afternoon, [Breakdown Services]. This is [My Name]; how may I help?”

Caller: “My f****** car won’t f****** start! It’s brand f****** new and it’s already f****** broken!”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that, sir. Please let me take a few details, and we’ll get some help out to you as soon as we can.”

Caller: “Fine, but you’d better get someone here straight away. This is a brand new f****** car and I can’t believe you’d sell such a piece of s*** that breaks down the first time you stop it. What f****** details do you need?”

I then get sufficient details from them to open a case in our system.

Me: “Okay, Mr. [Caller], thank you for that information. Now, before I send these details out, there are a couple of things I’d like—”

Caller: “No, this call has taken f****** long enough as it f****** is. I just want someone to come and take this f****** piece of junk away and give me a working f****** car right f****** now!

Me: “I understand how frustrating this must be, Mr. [Caller], having this happen with your new car. With this particular model, however, there are a few things we can try over the phone that might be able to get you back on the road in just a short minute. Now, first—”

Caller: “No! My f****** car is f****** broken and there’s nothing a dumba** like you can do to f****** help. I just want a new f****** car that f****** works and for someone to take this f****** car away.”

Me: *Much more firmly this time* “I understand, Mr. [Caller]. However, if we can ju—”

Caller:Stop wasting my f****** time by refusing to f****** help me and send someone right f—

Me: *Raising my voice to be heard over him*Mr. [Caller]! I am trying to help you here. There are two things we can try right now, on the phone, that may well get you back on the road right away. If they do not work, I will still gladly send further help to you.”

There is silence so I continue.

Me: “Now, these phone fixes will take a maximum of ninety seconds combined to try. If I don’t try them with you now, when our technician arrives, they will be the first things that he tries. Our current lead time for getting someone to you is about forty-five minutes to one hour. So, you can potentially be back on the road in under two minutes, or in an hour. So please let me try these with you.”

Caller: “Fine, just be f****** quick about it.”

Me: “Okay, first, please remove the driver’s side floor mat from the footwell. You can just put it on the ground.”

Caller: “What f****** good will that do?”

Me: “Please just try this.”

Caller: “Fine, now what?”

Me: “Now, try and start the car as normal. Depress the clutch pedal all the way and press the ‘Start Engine’ button.”

Caller: “That’s what I’ve been f****** doing, you—”

There was the sound of a car starting up, followed by ten seconds of quiet from the caller. I then heard a muffled “thank you” before the line went dead.

For anyone who might be curious about why this worked, some cars that require the clutch/brake pedal to be pressed in order to start the engine have sensors where the pedal protrudes from the floor which detect that the pedal is down. The floor mats can interfere with these sensors if they get shifted too far forward. Something that might help!

It’s The Season For No Seasoning

, , , , | Right | October 19, 2021

I work in the deli section of the supermarket. It’s connected with the butcher and fishmonger sections, so we cover each other’s breaks a lot. I’m covering the butcher counter when a middle-aged woman approaches the counter. I give her the stock greeting and ask what she needs.

Customer: “I need to make a complaint.”

Me: “Okay. The shop website has a complaint form, or you can fill one out at our help desk—”

Customer: *Interrupting me loudly* “Your chicken was terrible! It was bland and dry and awful. I demand my money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. There isn’t a till here, so you have to—”

Customer: *Interrupting me again, now almost shouting* “I can’t believe you won’t stand by your products!”

She continues to raise her voice at me, attracting the attention of a manager, who comes over. The manager takes her to one side and gets her to lower her voice to a more normal volume which means I cannot hear her anymore.

Eventually, the woman stomps off in a huff toward the front of the shop where the customer service desk is. The manager shakes his head and comes over to me.

Manager: “She bought a chicken three days ago from the chilled aisle. She didn’t season it at all and then cooked it for over four hours. Where do these people come from?!”

A Call-Back Attack

, , , , , | Right | October 4, 2021

I receive a call from a customer who is having trouble getting his car security system online. He describes an error code I have never heard of.

Me: “Give me about ten minutes to do some research and ask some ‘veteran’ tech coworkers that are known to make miracles happen. I’ll call you back.”

Right around the time I hang up, I look up to notice the department manager motioning me to come with her, as we need to discuss an unrelated pressing issue in her office.

About twenty minutes later after everything is sorted out, I return to my terminal to notice several messages from coworkers who are advising me about a customer calling them repeatedly and screaming that I had flat-out lied to him and said I would call him back but never did. Checking the profile of the customer I had spoken to earlier, I discover that it is indeed him, starting his tirade of phone calls exactly twelve minutes after our conversation had ended.

I receive an instant message from someone in the Spanish language department.

Coworker: “I have an English-speaking customer on the line and I’d like to transfer them to you.”

After I accept the call, the customer goes on a two-minute tirade.

Customer: “It was extremely rude of that other agent to transfer me to someone else!”

Probably because the agents on the Spanish line don’t speak English, idiot!

Customer: “This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced, and I am going to complain personally to the board of directors!”

The moron actually did perform some online sleuthing and somehow was able to find the email address for the company CEO, writing him a rambling email — which was intercepted by his assistant and simply directed to our department manager — and threatening to return his vehicle for a full refund if I was not fired by the end of the week for “blatantly lying to customers.” He further stated that he wanted a copy of my termination letter as proof. 

The manager simply forwarded me the email with a note saying, “Thought you could use a good chuckle.”

Stress Is Bad For Your Health

, , , , , , | Working | September 30, 2021

I have avoided going to the doctors for ages, way before the health crisis, but I finally made an appointment for a physical consultation as I have been told I am high-risk. I am not at all worried, but they keep sending me messages!

I am there on time but there are two people in front of me and it takes me ten minutes to speak to a receptionist.

Receptionist: “You’re ten minutes late.”

I am irked by her facial expression and tone, not to mention having to wait because a man talked to another receptionist for at least ten minutes being told repeatedly, “They probably won’t do that for you.”

Me: “Why do you think that is?”

She’s taken aback.

Receptionist: *Mumbles* “I don’t know.”

Me: “I have been standing in the queue having to listen to some bloke wasting everyone’s time.”

She didn’t know how to deal with my lateness on the computer and turned to a colleague. I could hear them say that I would have to wait for the next available time or rebook.

I didn’t want to be there in the first place, so I swanned out, telling them as much.

I am not a patient person and especially not with people who blame the service user. I will delete their texts for a few months and rebook when I feel I have gathered sufficient patience to try again. 

That Could Have Been A Close Shave

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2021

I work in the clothing section of a department store. A young woman exits the store through the doors near my section and the alarms go off. As there’s no guard present, I call to her to return, figuring we’ve missed one of the hard security tags we use to secure the clothing.

Back she comes into the store. She has no clothing, but she does have a £100+ electric shaver. We put small sticky security tags inside the boxes, which should be deactivated when sold, and again, I figure it has been missed.

Me: “Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “I can’t find it.”

Me: “How did you pay?”

Customer: “Credit card.”

This is before chip and PIN, so it’s pretty easy to find out if someone has just paid by card; you go to the relevant till and look through the signed slips.

Me: “Which till did you use?”

Customer: “The one two floors up near the electric shavers.”

Me: “Please come with me so I can locate the proof of purchase.”

She complied. I opened the till and there were no corresponding slips; in fact, there were hardly any slips at all, as it isn’t exactly a busy section. She still insisted she’d bought it, but at that point, security was involved.

A few days later, I was told she had indeed been arrested for shoplifting.

I continue to boggle at the mistakes she made. She returned to the store; if she’d bolted when I called after her, I couldn’t have caught her. She claimed she paid by card, which was so easy to disprove. She willingly followed me to a section of the store that couldn’t be further away from the exits, so she couldn’t then make a run for it when it became obvious she’d tried to steal the item.

As a reward, I was given one of our store’s annual edition teddy bears.