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And Now We All Get To Be Confused, Too!

, , , | Right | CREDIT: tracemcree | January 13, 2022

I work the overnight shift for Emergency Roadside Assistance (ERS). Most of the far and few between calls I have seem almost like a fever dream, as only the most random people call at 3:00 am for service.

At 3:30 one morning, I get a beep in my headset signaling a new call.

I give my introduction and the guy is talking to someone in the background. Aside from someone speaking over me, this has to be my next pet peeve. If you call somewhere, pay attention to the call. Don’t have three conversations at once while on call.

Me: “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?”

My hand is hovering on the “end call” button as I’ve been waiting for close to two minutes for a response.

The man comes on the line, sounding frustrated and tired.

Customer: “I have to have my car towed home.”

Me: “Okay, I can help. To place the call, I need your membership number first, please.”

The man sounds confused for a moment but gives me the number.

I locate his account. He already has a call for a tow and the driver is on scene. I stare at my monitor for a few seconds, preparing myself for some idiotic situation.

Me: “You already have a call in and a driver on scene. Is there something wrong?”

Customer: “No.”

I mute the mic and sigh, steeling myself for more stupidity.

Me: “Um, okay, so what’s the issue?”

I hear shuffling and a different voice comes on the phone.

Driver: “Hello? This is the driver.”

Now I’m really confused as to why he passed the phone, but okay.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] with ERS. Is there something wrong? I’m not quite sure how to help the member.”

The driver sounds just as confused.

Driver: “Frankly, miss, I have no clue why he called you, I told him everything was fine. I’ll pass the phone over if that’s okay with you.”

Me: “Yeah, no worries.”

The member comes back on the line.

Me: “All right, sir, how can I help you?”

I try once more, praying that he finally tells me.

Customer: “The driver is here.”

Me: “Okay, was there anything else I could do to help you?”

The guy sighs heavily and starts speaking loudly.

Customer: “How can I help you?! You’re not making any sense, ma’am. The driver is here.”

At this point, I just mute the mic to laugh because he stunned me into silence for a couple of moments at how random it was. I stare at the screen in disbelief.

Me: “Okay, so everything is fine?”

Customer: “Ugh, yes! D***, customer service in this company is trash.”

And he hung up.

I was still trying to understand what the h*** he had called about. But asking how he could help me threw me for a loop.

It may have been that the automated system contacted him and he was confused as to why. This scenario actually makes a lot more sense than someone calling and not knowing their request. It was confusing for all involved!

Time To Start Tow Shopping, Too

, , , | Right | CREDIT: HogwartsAlumni25 | October 8, 2021

I work as a dispatcher for roadside assistance company. One of our rules is that we don’t tow vehicles from one repair shop to another repair shop unless the shop it’s at can’t fix it or can’t get to it any time soon. A lot of people don’t like what the shop is charging, so they want to go someplace else, but that’s price shopping and not covered.

We had a call where the member was at a dealership wanting to go to a different repair shop. The garage called the member to find out why it was going shop to shop, but they didn’t answer. Then, the garage called the dealership and the dealer told them that the member didn’t like the price they were charging. So, the garage called us and told us, and we called the member to advise them that it wasn’t covered.

It turned out the member’s wife was the one that placed the call and she was upset.

Member’s Wife: “I can’t believe you went behind my back and called the dealership! You ruined it! I was not price shopping. I don’t want them to use new parts; I want them to use used parts!”

Dealers don’t use used parts, so she claimed that just meant they COULDN’T fix it. No. They CAN fix it, you just don’t like the cost they’re charging you and want something cheaper, but because they can’t do cheaper you want to go somewhere else. That’s price shopping.

Me: “We can tow your car home for you, but we won’t be towing it again after that, and we will not take it to another repair shop.”

Member’s Wife: “That’s it! I’m cancelling our membership!”

Jumper To The Realization

, , , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

I’m waiting in the side lot of a superstore for my groceries to be brought out to my car. It’s so backed up that I wind up waiting a while for my groceries, and during the wait, my car battery dies.

I go around the parking lot for about an hour asking if anyone has jumper cables, but no luck. I call roadside assistance and they say it’ll be about an hour and a half for someone to come out, so I sit on a curb and just wait.

It isn’t long before it dawns on me that, in fact, I am in the parking lot of a store that sells everything I need to get my car running again, so I run inside and buy a $15 set of jumper cables and ask one more car if they could help me jump it, and they agree to help.

Five minutes later, my car is running like new and I’m on my way home. Once I’m settled on my couch, I call the number for roadside assistance to cancel the service, hold for about ten minutes, and finally get a representative.

Me: “Hello! I called earlier and asked for help with a dead car battery. I would just like to cancel that service request.”

Representative: “Okay, sure. For the driver’s report, may I ask why you’d like to cancel?”

Me: “Well, it’s kind of silly, but while I was waiting for the service, it clicked that I was in the parking lot of a store that sold jumper cables, so I just bought some and the car next to me was able to help get me running again. I’m sorry for the trouble, but I’m all set!”

The rep had a good laugh at my slow thinking and was still giggling when she got my request cancelled and disconnected the call.

Customer Service Is Going Downhill

, , , , , , | Working | March 30, 2021

I am at University in the 1980s, living in a shared house at the top of a long hill. Although money is tight, I am just about able to afford to own and run an old car. I even manage to get enough money together to get basic car breakdown coverage.

One morning, I find my car will not start, so I call the breakdown service. After giving my membership number and current location, there is a pause, and then the telephone representative comes back to me, very apologetic.

Representative #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but it seems your car is currently located at your home address and you do not have the optional ‘home start’ coverage.”

Me: “So, how far from home do I need to be for my basic coverage to kick in?”

Representative #1: “At least a mile, sir.”

Me: “Thank you.”

I hung up, went back into the house, and rounded up my housemates, who helped me push the car onto the road and face it down the hill.

Ten minutes later, I phoned the breakdown service again.

Representative #2: “And where is your car currently located, sir?”

Me: “At the bottom of [Road], about one and a quarter miles from my home.”

The breakdown service arrived fifteen minutes later and my car was started.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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Needs More Assistance Than We Can Provide

, , , | Right | March 18, 2021

I work at a call center for roadside assistance. Weekend nights are generally fun, with the usual complement of drunk or intoxicated people, but this is one I’ve never heard before. My coworker takes the call, so I only hear his side of the conversation. Some excerpts:

Coworker: “No, sir, I need your license plate before we send someone out; we need to look up your contract information.”

Coworker: “Where do we need to go? Your address?” *Pauses* “And what is your address, sir?” *Pauses* “No, we don’t know your address.” *Pauses* “You don’t want to give it? Then we can’t send anyone to help you.” *Pauses* “Why not? Because we don’t know where to go.”

Coworker: “Could you give me your phone number so we can contact you if necessary?” *Pauses* “What do you mean, a conspiracy? A conspiracy using your cell phone? Sir, we just want to be able to contact you, nothing more.”

As if we’d sell his number to a telemarketer…

Coworker: “Well, then, do you have a home phone we could call?” *Pauses* “Your phone is tapped? And you don’t want people to hear your conversations?”

On a phone call. Which is recorded for quality purposes, as indicated at the start of the conversation.

And on and on… I was nearly doubled over laughing; my coworker not so much!