Sometimes, The Compliments ARE Complimentary

| AK, USA | Right | March 23, 2017

(I work at a small family owned plumbing and heating company where the owner sometimes makes special exceptions for people who do a lot of business with us or are close friends to them. I also have exceptional customer service skills when it comes to irate customers. This exchange happens during the winter, when we are the busiest.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Local Plumbing and heating Company]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “You guys installed a furnace for me a couple of months ago, and you still haven’t come back out to finish the work. When can we do that?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it may be at least two weeks before we can finish that work due to our high volume of calls for no heat.”

Customer: *now very irate* “That is absolutely unacceptable!! I paid a lot of money for this to be done properly, and it should have been done over a month ago! You need to send [Specific Technician] out right now so he can finish his half-a**ed job!”

Me: “I do apologize for this, sir, but we are very busy with rather important calls, and seeing as the work that needs to be finished isn’t life threatening, we are going to have to schedule you two-to-three weeks down the road.”

Customer: “I’m going to call the owner right now and complain to him about your incompetence and lack of customer service skills!”

(He hangs up. I continue on with my work, as now it has piled up quite a bit while I was on the phone with him. He calls back again, and I answer his call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Local Plumbing and Heating Company]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “It’s me again. I talked to your boss. I’m calling you back to apologize for how I treated you. I’ve been having a rough time with things lately and it was wrong of me to take it out on you like that. I also told your boss that you’re a huge asset to the company and if anything, he should give you a raise for not losing your cool with me when you should have.”

(Sir, I don’t know where you are now, but I wish I had time to tell you how much saying that meant to me. Even with my good customer service skills, I rarely receive compliments about it and that truly made my day!)

Easily A-Mew-sed

| France | Working | July 19, 2016

(My hot water tank is leaking and I call a plumber. He’s in his fifties and his assistant, who might be his son, is a big, burly man in his mid-twenties. The plumber starts examining my tank.)

Plumber: “For how long have you been using this water tank?”

Me: “I’ve been living here for only three years, so it’s been used for more than three years, I guess.”

Assistant: “Awww… what a cute little thing!”

(He kneels and starts cuddling my eight-month-old kitten, which was watching them intently. She purrs and obviously enjoys the contact. I can’t help smiling.)

Me: “Her name’s Toffee!” *I turn to the plumber* “I suppose it’s a wear and tear problem.”

Plumber: “Definitely.”

Assistant: “You’re cute! Oh, you’re so cuuuute!”

Plumber: “I’m afraid we’ll have to replace the whole tank.”

Me: “I see. How much is this going to cost?”

Assistant: “You’re cute!”

Plumber: “I’m going to make you a detailed estimate…”

Assistant: “Cuuute!”

Plumber: “He loves animals.”

Me: “I noticed.”

Plumber: “So, I’ll send you the estimate tomorrow.”

Me: “Thank you very much. Toffee, say goodbye!”

(I nearly said: “say goodbye to your boyfriend.” I would have never guessed that that huge guy would go silly about a kitten!)

Those Are Some Pretty Long Pipes

| Scottsdale, AZ, USA | Right | July 19, 2016

(There is a plumbing company in Maryland that shares the same company name as the one I work for in Scottsdale, Arizona. Due to the same name we occasionally get calls for them. I receive one such call from an restaurant in Westminster, MD.)

Her: “Hello. I work for [Restaurant] in Westminster, and we need a plumber.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we are in Scottsdale, Arizona. Not Maryland. We are about 2000 miles away from you.”

Her: “So, can you come out this afternoon?”

Me: “I’m sorry; We are 2000 miles away in Arizona. You have the wrong Apple plumbing.”

Her: “Wait, so, you guys can’t help us?”

Me: “Not unless you wish to pay a huge gas bill for us to drive out there and back…”

Her: “So, I guess you can’t be here this afternoon?”

Me: *sighing heavily* “No, not really…”

Dealing With Her Was A Walk In The Parking

| Australia | Right | November 23, 2015

(I am the boss of a plumbing business and deal with a lot of idiots who try and park in my area and going to different stores. There are signs up everywhere that say that this area is only for customers. A woman parks her car in my area and walks across to another store. It is about an hour away from closing.)

Me: “Excuse me, miss, but you can not park here. This area is only reserved for the customers of this business.”

Woman: *angrily* “Well, I was just going to go next door so I don’t see why I have to move. Besides, I don’t see anything that says I can’t!” *walks away*

Me: *catching up indicating to all the signs* “Miss, look there are signs everywhere that say if you are not a customer, you are not allowed to park here. There are plenty of parking spaces at the shop you are going to. Move your car or I will call the towing company.”

Woman: *snottily* “You wouldn’t do that; otherwise I will sue you!” *walks away*

(I decide to just leave it and begin to pack up to leave. I wait for an hour and she still hasn’t come out. Getting impatient, I call the police asking them what to do.)

Me: “Hello, I am calling because there is this woman who has parked her car in my businesses parking area although there are signs clearly indicating the area is only for customers. We closed an hour ago and she still hasn’t come. What should I do?”

Officer: “Well, if she hasn’t come and it is after closing, then just leave her car in there and she can wait until tomorrow to pick it up. Also if you give me her registration we can give a fine for breaking the law.”

Me: “Okay, the registration number is [number]. Okay thanks.”

(I then proceed to close up the store completely, closing the gate and locking it, and also leaving a message to the lady:)

My Letter: “Hello, as you have been so rude and have ignored my warnings of not moving your car, I have locked it up and you can wait until tomorrow morning. Also be ready to receive a fine in the mail. Regards: The owner.”

(The next morning the lady had climbed the fence and was trying to ram down the gate with her car. Not only did her car get damaged, she got arrested and received a fine for breaking property.)

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Seven, Eight, Nein!

| MD, USA | Right | March 26, 2015

(I work part time at my dad’s plumbing company, which bears our last name, doing basic office work, and learning about running a business. I’m filling out a work order for an older customer’s rental home. We live in an area with a lot of German heritage.)

Me: “And can I have your address?”

Customer: “It’s seventy-seven [Street Name].”

(I write the address down and, per usual, cross my sevens.)

Customer: “Look at your sevens. That’s a very German way of writing.”

Me: “Well, you know, as you can tell from my very German last name, we’ve got a lot of German blood.”

Customer: *leaning in and glaring* “That’s how they found the Nazis you know. They made them write stuff down and look at their sevens.”

(The customer is now quite close to my face and glaring at me.)

Me: “You don’t say…” *slowly backing up behind the service counter* “Well, I think I got everything here…”

Customer: *suddenly very chipper* “That’s great! Hope to see you soon!”

Dad: *apparently overhearing everything* “Did that guy just call us Nazis?!”

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