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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

They’re In Denial About Getting A Denial

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: themadkingnqueen | September 16, 2020

I work in a home warranty company, in the authorizations department. I determine if a home repair is or isn’t covered. Our call center is in New Jersey and our after-hours call center is in a South American Country, so even though we have customers on the West Coast, in reality, we “close” around 5 pm local for Texas.

 I’m finishing up my shift but am not allowed to leave until the queue is empty, I’ll spare you the office politics but it’s not supposed to be able to receive incoming calls after 9 pm but in reality, it’s about 9:30 pm and the very last call of the night comes in from Texas.

 The caller is actually the customer’s own technician that they have called in to do a repair on a refrigerator, with the customer on speaker. The authorizations department usually only speaks to technicians, and not customers, so this call is already unorthodox.

Customer: “Hurry up and give us the authorization number! This tech has been on hold for way too long and doesn’t have time for questions.”

Me: “Okay, let’s start with the make model and serial of the unit.”

We use “unit” as a catch-all word for whatever needs to be repaired, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.

Tech: “No, it needs a condensing fan motor, and are you gonna cover it or not?”

Me: “So you are refusing to provide the information on the unit?”

Customer: “I said he doesn’t have time for this, are you gonna cover it or not?”

 Frankly, I don’t have time for this either as I got in the office at 7 am that morning.

Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot make a determination of the claim without the basic information on the unit as part of a diagnostic—”

Tech: “It’s a ten-year-old unit and it needs a condensing fan motor; you gonna cover this or not?”

Fine, I’ll humor him.

Me: “Do you have a part number on the fan that you claim this unit requires to have replaced?”

Tech: “No, I have it in my hand, and are you gonna cover this or not?”

Me: “How many horsepower is it?”

Tech: “1/2hp and it needs a new cap, too.”

Me: “And what’s your price on this motor and the cap?”

Tech: “$650 for the part, $200 labor, and I need another $100 for the hour I was on hold.”

Me: “I cannot authorize a repair without a part number or any details on the unit it is needed for. Furthermore, this typical repair costs no more than $375 parts and labor and we do not reimburse for time on hold. I will need to get all the documentation on the unit before we—”

Customer: “Get your boss on the line right now while you still have a job.”

I go over and get my boss, who looks at the diagnosis that is missing 99% of the needed information – at least I put the prices in and the horsepower! My boss enters the call.

Boss: “Hi, I’m the authorizations manager and I’m looking at this diagnosis and I have a few questions about the unit—”

Tech: “I ain’t answering no more questions; are you gonna cover this or not?”

Customer: “We need to know if it’s covered or not right now!”

Boss: “Without the needed information on the un—”

Customer: “Get your boss on the line now while both of you have a job!”

My boss and I exchange looks, and then he goes to find the VP of Operations, who of course left for the day so we get the next best thing and bring in someone who is technically my boss’s boss, but absolutely does not have time for this.

Boss’s Boss: “Hello, I am the head of operations. If you are unwilling to provide the needed information on the unit we will instead require a picture of the failed component to move forward with the claim and determine coverage.”

We get the picture shortly thereafter and wouldn’t you know it, the old motor was dirty. Not THAT dirty but certainly we were not going to pay this tech close to a thousand dollars for so small a job nor were we interested in accommodating or rewarding this customer/tech hybrid which was doing something shady.

I write up the denial and flag it for a level-two tier worker to deliver in the morning. My boss flags the claim with his own task explaining to anyone who looks at it what is really going on and for any over-night call center reps to inform them to call back during normal business hours.

But it is up to me to end the current call. I am giddy and excited to tell them that the gig is up but my boss puts his hand on my shoulder and says I have to play it by the book.

Me: “Hello. We have received the needed information and will be making a determination shortly. The claim is currently under review and the office is now closed for the evening.”

Customer: “NO, NO, NO! That’s not how this works! We got in before the office closed, this line will continue to remain active until we get the determination and I don’t care how long that takes but you will not leave this call!”

Me: “Unfortunately the office is closed. The system is no longer allowing me to input any new information. Our company is not an emergency service and we are contractually obligated to render a decision within 24-48 hours after the diagnosis is received from the technician.”

Customer: “If you hang up this phone I will get you fired and sue you for everything you’re worth you hear me!”

Me: “Thank you for calling [Home Warranty Company], I advise you to have a good day.”


As my boss and I walk out to the parking lot (boss’s boss left once we got the picture in) I ask him if they could actually do that or if it was one of the many empty threats we got all day long.

Boss: “What are they gonna sue you for? Hanging up a phone? Let legal handle that. We did it by the book and wrote it up the way we’re supposed to.”

I looked at the claim the next day and they didn’t even dispute the denial when they got it.

Legal Tender Is Not Illegal To Refuse

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Lilzhazskillz | September 16, 2020

I volunteer in a charity shop. My supervisor is going out back to wash her hands after dealing with a donation.

Supervisor: “Can you man the till for a little while until I get back?

I said sure, why not? The till is super easy to operate at the moment, because we’re only accepting card payments due to COVID. I step out, and after a few minutes, a middle-aged lady comes up to the counter. She’s wearing her mask below her nose, but there’s a perspex screen up so I don’t comment on it.

I’ve just finished scanning up her items, asked if she wanted a bag, etc., and give her the total, £12.50. She begins counting out pound coins on the counter.

Me: *Politely* “We can only take card payments at the moment, madam.”

I refer her to the huge sign on the screen saying as much. She pauses, and glares up at me.

Customer: “That’s illegal.”

I’m taken aback. I haven’t had any problems with customers before, but I don’t want an argument with this lady.

Me: *Calmly* “Oh. I’m very sorry, but I haven’t been made aware of that. Due to current health guidelines, we cannot accept cash. It’s for our employees’ safety, and these are our store guidelines.”

Customer: *She snaps* “Oh, I know why you’re doing it, but it is illegal. Loads of shops around here don’t seem to know that either, but this is legal tender, so you can’t refuse it without breaking the law.”

I shift where I’m standing. Other customers have glanced over, but I really don’t have time for this lady’s bull-s***.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but these are the store guidelines. I can’t change them.”

Customer: “Oh, I’ll comply, but it’s illegal. You need to tell that to your manager, because you’re all breaking the law.”

She gets out a credit card (if she had it the whole time, why not just pay with it?) and glares at me.

Me: “The machine is ready, ma’am, if you want to use contactle-”

Customer: “I can’t use it.”

I look at the machine, working perfectly and well within reach. I have no idea what to say. She had just said she’d comply, right? I look at her with what I hope was a tired, but confused expression.

Customer: “My amount. You haven’t told me the total.”

Now, if you remember, I had told her the total. I repeat it: £12.50.

Customer: “I can’t see my total. I can’t use this.”

I’m flummoxed. The total is displayed clearly on the card machine, as well as my computer. Thankfully, my supervisor (not the manager) comes out onto the floor.

Customer: “Excuse me, excuse me, you are aware that your store is exercising illegal practices?”

She squawks, pointing at me. I look desperately to my supervisor for help.

Supervisor: “I’m sorry ma’am, we can only accept card. The governme—”

Customer: *Shouts* “I AM COMPLYING! But it’s illegal!”

She turns back to me.

Supervisor: “Hold it up.”

I freeze. Hold what up? The hideous dress she wants to buy? The ‘pay with card’ sign? My freaking hands? As it turns out, she means the card machine. I have no idea why she can’t use it when it was on the table, but hey, Karen’s gotta Karen. I hold it up, clearly showing the screen, and she puts her card in.

Customer: “I still don’t know my total.”

Me: “It’s £12.50. You can see it on the machine screen.”

She glares back up at me, before demanding I put the machine back down, and then finally types in her pin and pays.

With one last “That was an illegal service and you need to inform your manager,” she leaves.

The other customers look startled, and I give a ‘WTF was wrong with that’ look at my supervisor.

She googled the guidance on this after, and no, refusing cash payment for retail purchases is definitely not illegal in the UK. Yes, cash is legal tender, but the only time you can’t refuse it is if the person is paying a debt. We were completely within our rights.

I’m just annoyed at the fact that she had a card, that took less time to get out than all her coins, very obviously saw the sign, but decided to make a point about it anyway. Look, I’m just a teenage volunteer, people, I don’t make the rules.

A Different Kind Of Returner Burner

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Doggoofborth | September 16, 2020

I work in an antique store. It attracts a sometimes eccentric clientele. I love it. A young man comes in, approximately eighteen or nineteen. He looks a little sheepish.

Man: “I’m really sorry, I think my mum accidentally stole these from here. I’m happy to give them back and I’ll pay for them as well. She doesn’t mean to, she just forgets she has them and walks out with them.”

The item in question is a little dog figurine and a small glass vase; neither of them very high in value. Both have tags on from the shop.

Me: “I’ll grab my boss.”

This definitely looks like I’m passing over the problem to him. I am. I hold my hands up but it’s his shop at the end of the day. And I had another lady in line to buy a large wooden cat statue, which she ended up needing me to carry to her car.

 I returned to my till to see no one in sight. I served the next customer. Twenty minutes later in an empty shop the man and my boss came out of the camera room.

Man: “I’m sorry.”

Boss: “It’s okay. She looks like she just forgot they were in her hand. It’s an easy mistake to make when trying to remember everything else.”

The man hands my boss the cash to cover the items and my boss hands him the cash back.

Boss: “Listen you’ve returned the items. You are more honest than most of my regulars. Your mum messed up but you’re taking responsibility for it. That speaks about you as a person.”

The man broke into tears. My boss is a good man.

Returner Burner, Part 8
Returner Burner, Part 7
Returner Burner, Part 6
Returner Burner, Part 5

Returner Burner, Part 4

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

Read the next Feel Good roundup story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for September 2020!

Not Getting The Focal Point, Part 2

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: loonyloveg00d | September 12, 2020

During college, I work as a cashier at a bookstore. A normal, run-of-the-mill lady in her mid-thirties comes up to my register to purchase a pair of reading glasses. I ring her up.

Me: “Your total is $16.34.”

She does a double-take.

Customer: “But it says $1.50 right here!”

She points to a sticker on the lens. Confused, I look at where she’s pointing. Then, I have to stifle a giggle as I summon every ounce of politeness and tact I possess to deliver the following sentence without embarrassing her or sounding like a smarta**.

Me: “Ma’am… That’s the prescription strength.”

She did not purchase the glasses.

Not Getting The Focal Point

The Oregon Trail: The Conan Edition

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Gattaca401 | September 12, 2020

I am but a simple inbound technical support representative for a large ISP, cable, and phone provider.

Caller: “I need to complain! I wanted to watch [Action TV Show], but when I tuned into that channel, Conan O’Brien was on, instead!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, sometimes the schedule can—”

Caller: “I f****** hate Conan O’Brien!”

Me: “Sir, I—”

Caller: “I hope you and every single employee of your company get diarrhea for an entire month!”

If the curse stands true, we will all potentially die of dysentery within the next thirty days, and we have Conan O’Brien to thank for our fate.