This Time, It’s Personal

, , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I’m a property manager at a small real estate agency. I generally work at the front desk, so I also take calls in. My bosses are of retiring age and are VERY hard workers; they work ten hours a day, seven days a week, and some public holidays. They have finally gotten a vacation: a week-long trip to China. I am instructed to take all calls for them and just pass the calls along when they get back, etc.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Realty Agency], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Client: “Hi, I’m looking for [Boss].”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Boss] is currently on leave and is not available right now. I am the agency’s property manager, so I may be able to help you, however. If not, I’ll be—“

Client: *irate* “No, I need to speak to her directly! Put me on the phone with her!”

Me: “Unfortunately, as I mentioned, she is currently on leave and won’t be back until Tuesday next week. I can leave a message for her if you’d like to leave a name and message.”

Client: “I sent an email to her two hours ago and she still hasn’t responded!”

Me: “Ah, I see. Due to her staying in another country, she has notified me that she will only be checking her emails once every day due to a lack of Internet connection.”

Client: “Well, then, you need to check her email, please. It’s from [Company]!”

Me: “Sorry, was that sent to her personal email or her business email?”

Client: “Personal, obviously!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t have access to her private emails. She’ll have to call you back.”

Client: “You don’t have access to her private emails? Well, that’s a bit stupid.”

(The client then hung up.)

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What On Earth Are You Looking At?

, , , | Right | October 8, 2018

(My family owns a small real estate company. About a year and a half before this story takes place, my family’s company merged with a bigger, more well-known company, and therefore, no longer exists. One day, my mother answers this call.)

Mother: “[Bigger Company]. This is [Mother]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “[Bigger Company]? I thought this was the number for [Old Company]!”

Mother: “We merged with them about a year and a half ago, sir. [Old Company] no longer exists, but we are still the same people. Can I be of assistance?”

Caller: “NUH-UH! I can tell you, I am sitting here, looking at [address] right now, and there is an [Old Company] sign in front of it with this number!

(This man continues to insist, so my mother takes down his contact info and says she will investigate it. She calls her coworkers and asks if there is any possibility they have that address for sale with an [Old Company] sign still there. One of her coworkers even tells her he drives past there a couple times a week and there’s no sign there at all! Finally, she calls the man back.)

Mother: “Sir, I have done some investigation, and there is absolutely no [Old Company] sign still at that address.”

Caller: “Yes, there is! I’m looking at it right now on Google Earth!”

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Their Disbelief Has Been Suspended

, , , , , | Right | June 13, 2018

(I work in an office where we regulate and assist realtors in business, and they pay us for their memberships to different services. The billing cycle has been the same for at least fifteen years. They are given ten days to pay, beyond which point their membership becomes suspended for a month, then finally terminated. Throughout this process we fairly spam them with notices and alerts to make sure they know what is happening. Still, my day is filled with this type of call. This particular customer calls me after we’ve sent out the seventh and final notice.)

Me: “Thank you for calling.” *I do my standard greeting on the phone*

Customer: “Yeah, my account isn’t working.”

Me: *knowing full well why* “Okay, let me go ahead and look up your account.”

(I look him up and see he indeed owes two sets of payments, and has now been charged late fees after the two-week grace period.)

Me: “Okay, sir, it seems that your memberships were due, and as they have not yet been paid, your account was suspended.”

Customer: “No, you all said I had until the end of the month to pay.”

Me: “Well, yes, at the end of the month we have to terminate you, so you have until the end of the month before you lose your membership. However, as it says on your invoices, you have until the 10th to pay before late fees are assigned and your account is suspended. It is now the 21st.”

Customer: “Yeah, I saw that, but you didn’t tell me you would turn off my f***ing account so I can’t use it!”

Me: *unsure what to say to that* “I’m sorry; we thought saying, ‘Your account will be suspended,’ would convey that.”

Customer: “You need to change your invoice. The word ‘suspended’ doesn’t make any sense! And I can’t believe you are making me pay a late fee! I’ve been a realtor for 25 years with you, and this s*** is f****** ridiculous”

Me: *at this point his belligerence has made me cut to the chase* “We gave you a month and half to pay, emailed you seven times, put it on our social media pages, our website, and added a pop up to the system that made you scroll down and click, ‘I understand,’ before it would go away. The due date hasn’t changed for at least 15 years, and you’ve been paying on the same date, so I’m not sure why this time you would have forgotten when they were due.”

Customer: *long pause* “F****** can’t believe this!” *hangs up on me*

(Sometimes I’m frightened at the thought that these people are handling such huge, life-changing transactions for people!)

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All Rent Out Of Shape

, , , , | Working | May 29, 2018

(I am 18 and moving three hours away to work at my grandpa’s business for a year before going overseas for University and then coming back to work at Grandpa’s. I am buying an apartment, and planning to have it rented out while I’m overseas. Therefore, it will be easier to have the apartment in both my name and my mum’s, so she can handle tenants.)

Agent: “So, you want to buy and then list it for rent?”

Me: “Buy it now. But we’re not renting it out right now; we want to list it available for rent a year later.”

Agent: “So, you don’t want to list it for rent? Why are you asking about renting?”

Me: “I’m asking about renting because we do want to have it rented out later.”

Agent: “So, you want to list it for rent, but tell potential tenants they can move in next year?”

Me: “No, we are not listing it for rent now. We are asking about the process of listing for rent so we can list it later.”

Agent: “Do you want to list it for rent or not?”

Me: “Forget it. We are going to just buy now. No rent.”

Agent: “All right. Just buy. No wonder you need your mom on the deed, as well; you’re clueless.”

Me: “…”

Agent: “Ask your mom to come back and confirm things. Don’t come alone next time.”

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Taxing Faxing, Part 22

, , , | Right | March 9, 2018

(I work as an admin at a real estate office, and we often get documents faxed to us. On this particular day, though, I check the fax, and someone’s medical records have been faxed to us. It’s not anyone related to the company, and being trained in medical privacy laws from my previous job, I immediately call the facility the records came from and tell them what happened.)

Woman: “Oh! I’m so sorry. I don’t know how that happened.”

Me: “It’s fine; I just wanted to make sure you knew so you could get them to the right person.”

Woman: “Okay, well, do you think you can fax us back the records?”

Me: *confused* “I could. Do you guys not have them anymore?”

Woman: “No, we have them. But if you fax them back to us, that way you won’t have them anymore.”

Me: *trying really hard not to laugh* “That’s… That’s really not how that works.”

Woman: “It’s not? What?”

Me: “No. You know how you faxed over the documents but still have the originals? That’s what would happen if I faxed them back over; you’d just get a copy of what I sent you. How about I just shred them?”

(She agreed but still didn’t seem to understand what I was saying. Here’s hoping everyone’s medical records got to where they needed to be.)

Taxing Faxing, Part 2017
Taxing Faxing, Part 21
Taxing Faxing, Part 20

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