Those Free Hot Wings Really Add Up!

, , , , , | Working | September 27, 2020

My boyfriend and I order fried chicken one night, but after it arrives, we realise that our order is missing two hot wings, so I call up to see if they can be delivered or refunded. I tell the customer service rep we’re missing food, thinking it will be a simple conversation. Nope. Note that I am FTM transgender, so my voice sounds “female” while my name is definitely male.

Rep: “Could I get the order number, please?”

After fumbling for a minute to find it on the ridiculously long receipt…

Me: “Sorry for the wait; the number is [number].”

Rep: “Okay, could I get the full name on the account, please?”

Me: “That would be [Male Name] [Last Name].”

Rep: “And the address, please?”

Me: “The billing address or the delivery address?”

Rep: “Yes.”

Me: “…”

After about thirty seconds of awkward silence:

Rep: “The delivery address, please.”

Me: “Sure, that’s [address].”

Rep: “And could I get your phone number, please?”

I start reeling off a number only to realise it’s my mother’s number. It’s about nine pm after a busy day, so I guess I had a brain fart.

Me: “Wait, no, sorry. That’s my mum’s number. My number is—”

I get halfway through before the rep interrupts me.

Rep: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t proceed with this call because you’ve failed the security questions. Are you sure this is your account? Could you give me the account holder’s name again, please?”

I’m annoyed at myself, flustered because I messed up my own number, and confused as to why a fried chicken chain has security questions. My full name includes three very masculine middle names chosen for me by my mother when I legally changed it.

Me: “I am the account holder. My full name is [Full Name]. That’s my name; this is my account.”

Rep: “Oh… Okay, and what was the item missing from your order, ma’am?”

Me: “Two hot wings.”

I ask my boyfriend quietly if he really wants the hot wings, to which he replies the negative. I decide to give the rep another chance before giving up. My mistake.

Rep: “Well, actually, you didn’t order any hot wings, and they aren’t on your receipt so you weren’t charged for them.”

Me: “I’m looking at the online receipt and the paper receipt that was stapled to our order, and both of them say, ‘1x two extra hot wings for £1.29.’”

Rep: “Oh… Well, I can’t give you a refund because—”

Me: *Interrupting* “You know what? I’m just going to do this online if that’s okay.”

Rep: “Yes, I was just about to suggest that you do it online.”

Me: “Great, thank you.”

I hung up without a goodbye, the closest thing to rude my English upbringing allows me to do.

I then went onto the app, found the online customer service option, and got my money refunded in roughly forty-five seconds. I get that the rep had a script to follow, but seriously, who tries to defraud a restaurant for £1.29?

Taxing Taxing, Part 8

, , , , , | Right | September 25, 2020

I work in collections for a company that provides equipment finance to other businesses. One morning, I receive the following call.

Me: “Good morning, [Company]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I’m the accounts manager at [Business] and you’ve charged too much on our rentals!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. Let me look up your account and see what’s happened.”

I pull up the customer’s details, but the only charges on there are their rentals, which match their documents.

Me: “Can you confirm how much has been charged?”

Customer: “£240! My rentals should be £200!”

In the UK, most goods and services are subject to a 20% tax. It’s common for the net amount to be shown on rental documents and business invoices.

Me: “The amount on your documents doesn’t include the VAT, so this is where the extra amount has come from.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay it!”

Me: “As this is a lease agreement, I’m afraid it is subject to VAT.”

Customer: “I’m not happy! Who said you could charge me this?”

Me: “The government?”

Customer: “Well, until you send them round to speak to me, I’m not paying it!” *Hangs up*

Me: “I’ll get right on that.”

Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6
Taxing Taxing, Part 5
Taxing Taxing, Part 4
Taxing Taxing, Part 3

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You Try To Do Something Nice…

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

I work at a retail store for a major telecom company in the UK. We sell both prepaid sims and contracts, and we are not commission-based. Our goal is usually to ensure that customers get the best value for their money. A lot of customers feel, however, that contract sims equal money stealing, despite the fact that direct debit standards placed by the Financial Conduct Authority and OFCOM mean that I would literally lose my job if I tried that.

I had the cream of the crop today, though.

An old lady wants to top up her phone, so we sit down and she gives me her number. The moment I enter her number to top up her account, her top-up history loads up.

Me: “I notice you’ve topped up £10 thrice in the past month with us. That’s a lot of money. What do you use your phone for?”

Customer: “Just calling and texting.”

Me: “Well, you’re clearly calling and texting a lot. There are contracts from £7 a month that would give you unlimited texts and calls; it would be far cheaper for you.”

Customer: *Shaking her head angrily* “NO DIRECT DEBITS! I ONLY PAY FOR WHAT I USE THE PHONE FOR! I don’t use the phone for Internet.”

Me: “You’ll still be paying us for what you use the phone for, but you’re saving at least a quarter of your bill every month. This plan doesn’t include Internet. I wouldn’t offer Internet based on your phone, anyway.”

I motion to her tiny button phone. She snatches her purse from the table.

Customer: “I only top up once every few months. Your system is lying.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “All I want is a £10 top-up! Your money-grabbing schemes will never work on me!”

I top up the account with a shrug.

Me: “Sure. See you in ten days.”

She glared at me as she left the shop. But I bet I’ll see her again in a week and we’re going to have the exact conversation again.

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You Could Try Being Patient For A Change

, , , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

I work at a fast food restaurant. We have been open for five minutes, and we often don’t have £5 or £10 notes early in the mornings. A customer comes by and orders a small item for her grandson. She’s really rude through the whole transaction, belittling me and just being all-round unpleasant. Finally, she gives me a £20 note for a £3 item.

Me: “I’m really sorry. Do you have anything smaller?” 

Customer: *Rolls eyes* “How do you not have change when you just opened?”

Me: “I’m sorry. I do have change for it; it’s just going to have to be in pound coins if that’s okay with you.”

Customer: “No, that’s not okay! That’s ridiculous; you just opened! How do you not have change?!”

Me: “I’m really sorry. They don’t give us those notes when we open; it’s just something we accumulate through the day. I can see if I can exchange some change for it if you’d like?”

Customer: “No! That’s ridiculous! I just want my order! Give me my change in notes and my order!”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I don’t have notes. It’ll have to be in change.”

Customer: “Fine! But this is a joke! I shouldn’t have to deal with this!”

She throws the note down, and I count her change and hand it to her. I grab her order and put it in a bag instead of on a tray, as it’s only a single item and we run out of trays quickly.

Customer: “Why have you given me a bag? I’m not taking out; I’m eating in!”

Me: “Sorry, I can get you a tray. We don’t usually give trays for smaller items, but I’ll grab you one.”

Customer: “No! I’ll take the bag. This is ridiculous!”

I just give her a slight smile and ignore her, as I don’t trust that I won’t say something nasty to her, and wait for her to walk away.

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you going to thank me?”

Me: “Well, what the F*** do I have to thank you for?!”

Needless to say, she walked off and I was so satisfied. She never reported me. My manager only found out a week later and agreed that the customer was an a**.

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Don’t Offer Her Your Two Cents; She’d Take It

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

I worked in retail in the late 1980s. One of my coworkers was an unbelievably stingy woman. Amongst the many examples I can give you: she would pay in exact change for anything, would walk a mile in the rain to save two cents on groceries, go to thrift stores or haggle to buy clothes for her children — and always at least a size too small, I noticed — and would wear the same outfit every day until it fell apart or she really needed a shower. Speaking of which, she would use soap from the employee bathroom during breaks instead of buying her own. Here are some memorable instances of her penny-pinching.

When we were being given a raise of $3.50 a day, she asked, “Could you possibly give me this week’s money in advance? I need to buy extra gas.”

My boss asked, “Why?”

She replied that her daughter needed a new Girl Scout uniform. When he said he couldn’t do this, she said, “Fine, I’ll sort it out myself.”

When I saw her daughter delivering Girl Scout cookies, she was wearing a uniform with a massive tear underneath her armpit and dried mud on the hem. I asked her why and she shrugged, saying, “Mom said she can’t afford to sew it up.”

Now, my family wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination. True, my coworker worked in retail, but her ex-husband earned more than enough to pay alimony checks. I asked why she hadn’t asked him for more and was told that she didn’t want to spend money on a stamp.

Another example is when we were holding a Christmas celebration. I had brought in a box of chocolates, as everyone was bringing their own food. There was quite a bit leftover, and even a quiche that had been out-of-date; the person who had brought it in had misread the label and threw it in the trash. Guess what happened to the leftover food? That’s right; my coworker took it all home. She said to me, “Why waste going to the grocery when this perfectly good food is enough to feed me for at least a day? Roughly three meals, to be exact.”

I had never heard of anyone who ate crackers, chicken Kiev, or quiche for breakfast, but there you go. She also took half my box of chocolates, in case you’re interested.

But what really took the biscuit didn’t happen at work, specifically. I was carpooling my own kids to soccer practice and had offered to take my coworker’s son, as well; I promised that I would give him a uniform as my own kids had outgrown theirs. I arrived back at the house with its overgrown front yard and saw that my coworker had stapled the curtains together in the front room and duct-taped cardboard over her kids’ window.

When I asked why, she told me, “Why bother getting a blind when this is much cheaper?” or something like that.

My coworker lived in a two-story house with excellent plumbing and heating and in a good area, but she washed laundry in the bathtub, sometimes after her children had been in it, collected bottles and cans that the family used and sold them to a recycling plant — not that that is a bad idea in itself — had oranges on forks as an after-dinner treat, made her daughter give her all of her babysitting money when she grew old enough to go on a regular basis, let a graffiti mark on the ceiling stay there for ten years, gave her son a Barbie backpack for high school because it was going for cheap at the retail and made him keep it for four years, and broke the handle off the freezer door and never got it fixed.

However, she died ten years ago at a relatively young age and left each of her children $70,000. So I guess that’s something.

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