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Wish You Could Weed Out The Bad Customers, Part 2

, , , | Right | October 14, 2021

I handle the phones for a lawn spraying company. We treat for weeds or insects. We do not offer mowing or yard work of any other kind. The title of the company has the word “lawn” in it, but the rest suggests pretty heavily that this is a chemical spraying company.

Every year, when the advertisements go out, the phones begin to ring.

Me: “Hello, thanks for calling.”

Caller #1: “Yeah, I need my yard mowed once a week. How much would that be?”

Me: “We actually don’t offer that service, but I can recommend a few companies near you. Which city are you in?”

Caller #1: “I’ve had folks before who did a crap job. I want it mowed on the diagonal. Straight lines. Every week.”

Me: “As I said, we are a weed control company; we do not mow lawns. I do have the name and number of trusted folks who do that I’d be happy to share.”

Caller #1: “And edging. I have a fence around back and the curved sidewalk up front needs to be edged.”

Me: “Yes, but we don’t do—”

Caller #1: “And don’t leave clippings on the yard or the sidewalk. I want it all cleaned up.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand. But you are asking for something we don’t offer. We are a—”

Caller #1: “You don’t sweep?! What kind of company are you?!”

Me: “We are a chemical company. We do not mow or edge. We apply products to the lawn to keep weeds away. We fertilize lawns. We also offer several options of pest control.”

Caller #1: “So, how much would it cost to mow my lawn?”

Me: “I don’t know, sir, as we do not offer that service. We do not mow lawns.”

Caller #1: “Your ad says you do!”

Me: “Can I ask where you are seeing this ad? I’ll look into why there is an error.”

Caller #1: “It says [Company] Lawn & Pest.”

Me: “Yes. That is the name of the company. If you’ll notice, the tag line says, ‘Kiss your weeds good-bye.’”

Caller #1: “That’s false advertising!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Is there anyth—”

The caller hangs up. Within seconds, I get my next call.

Caller #2: “I’d like a quote on services, please.”

Me: “Great! And you are looking for fertilization and weed control, is that correct?”

Caller #2: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay. If you give me your address, I can measure your lawn from here and give you an exact quote.”

Caller #2: “It is [address].”

Me: “Okay. I’ve measured your lawn to be just under 4,000 square feet, so we can treat that for—”

Caller #2: “No! My house is less than 2,000 square feet.”

Me: “I’m looking at it from an aerial view and it measures to just under 4,000 square feet. It would be—”

Caller #2: “NO! My house is only about 1,800 square feet.”

Me: “Sir, I’m measuring your yard, not your house.”

Caller #2: “My house is not over 2,000 square feet.”

Me: “I understand. But we will be treating the yard, so I have measured the yard. The yard is just under 4,000 square feet, so the cost for treatment would be…”

Caller #2: “What about only the front yard? What would that be?”

Me: “All right. Let me re-measure. Okay, the front yard is less than 2,000 square feet. Since our lowest price is just under what it costs for your whole yard, it would be a savings of only—”

Caller #2: “Thank you.” *Click*

It would have been only $4 less for the front yard but he never let me give him any figures at all.

Related:
Wish You Could Weed Out The Bad Customers

That’s Mite-y Suspicious

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2021

Me: “Welcome to [Pest Control Company]. How can I help?”

Customer: “Hello, I have mites.”

Me: “All right, you have called the line for home insurance policies, and they don’t normally cover mites. I can try to transfer you to—”

Customer: “No, you have to help me. It’s really bad. They are all over my scrotum.”

I am young and innocent at this point and not really believing what I’m hearing.

Me: “Pardon me, what did you say?”

Customer: “They’re all over my scrotum! You won’t believe how much it’s itching! I need help right now!”

Me: “Sorry, are you certain we’re talking about mites? It might be bedbugs; the usual symptoms for that are skin irritation. I just assign work orders, but I can transfer you to a professional who can help you narrow down what kind of pest you might be dealing with.”

Customer: “No, I know it’s mites because they’re just on my scrotum. It itches so bad. Give me your email address and I’ll send you a picture!”

Me: “Please don’t. I’ll just transfer you directly to a [Company] professional.”

Many apologies to the poor person at the pest control company who had to take that call, but we were not allowed to hang up on customers and I was absolutely not paid enough to deal with that kind of thing.

How Big Was That Rat?!

, , | Right | September 22, 2021

I work for a telephone service that takes overflow calls from a pest control company.

Swedish authorities do not give out weapon licenses willy-nilly. To own a gun, you are supposed to have a proper license. Those are usually issued to people who hunt or use their guns for sport shooting. You need to store your gun in a secured place like a locked safe to follow the law. There are all kinds of regulations in place, and if someone has a loaded gun in either a public or a private place, that’s a HUGE cause for concern.

Me: “Welcome to [Extermination Company]!”

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got a huge sewer rat in my house. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure, I need some contact details and your insurance information, please.”

Customer: “What will you be doing when you come? I’ve tried catching it but…”

Me: “What have you been doing so far, then?”

I expect an answer like, “I set a trap,” or, “I stood on a chair and flailed for a while.”

Customer: “I tried to shoot it.”

Me: “You did what?”

Customer: “Well, I have this old shotgun, so I went down into the cellar and tried to kill it, but it ran away.”

Me: *A little scared* “Um… all right…”

Customer: “So, how soon can you have someone over?”

Me: “If you promise to put the gun away safely, I’ll send a technician right away.”

The Biggest Pests Are The Callers

, , , , | Right | June 17, 2021

There is a realtor who has service with our pest control company and occasionally orders inspections through us for her clients. She is rude, entitled, and snooty, and none of us can stand her. Oftentimes she will call in and demand things that we can’t provide, often legally speaking, like information about other people’s accounts. For a while, we would just tell her no and hang up, but now we’ve all made a point to waste her time as much as she wastes ours.

Realtor: “Hi. I’m calling about a mutual client of ours, [Client].”

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Realtor: “When was the last time you serviced his lawn?”

Me: “Do you pay for his lawn service?”

Realtor: *Indignant* “No!”

Me: “Then, I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you that.”

Realtor: *Huffing* “Look, he’s got lots of little purple flowers in his yard and I just want to know what you’re going to do about it!”

What she’s describing is a common weed in this part of Florida, colloquially called “Florida snow.” I’ve been almost manically pleasant with her up to this point, but now I really dial up the innocent sweetness in my voice.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m not familiar with your client’s landscaping situation or preferences. I would hate to send someone out and have them ruin his yard.”

Realtor: *Screeching* “Well, you’re no help at all!”

Then, she hung up. She’s right, though; we definitely can’t help her at all. Stop calling.

An Embarrassing Game Of Cat And Mouse

, , , , , | Right | October 19, 2020

I fumble a coin in my kitchen and it rolls under the stove. Shining my flashlight under the stove to find it, I’m mortified to see the body of a mouse, staring glassy-eyed back at me. I call a pest control company and the exterminator arrives the next morning.

Exterminator: “’ll just check under your stove, get rid of the dead rodent, and check for signs of any current infestation.”

The exterminator looks under the stove.

Me: “Thank you. I try to keep things clean, and I worry about my little boy crawling around on the floor when there’s—”

Exterminator: “Sir?”

I’m surprised at being interrupted.

Me: “Yes?”

Exterminator: “Here’s your mouse.”

He holds up a little cat toy — a cloth mouse, complete with shiny little plastic eyes.

Me: “How much do I owe you for the trip? And how much extra to never, ever, speak of this again?”