I Work Customer Support, Not 1-800-Oracle

, , , | Right | June 25, 2020

I work at a factory that manufactures over a thousand products that are distributed throughout the country of South Africa to just about all the major and minor stores that are in the country.

We make it, it gets sold to distribution warehouses all over, the big stores order from them, and the small stores order from the big stores.

As you can guess, the variety of stock can vary in every store and branch, so it is impossible to know where one particular variant of a brand of product can be; we supply probably about 250,000 stores. This is a call we get regularly.

Customer: “Hi, I can’t find [specific variant] of this product; can you tell me where I can find it in [Very Small Suburb]?”

Me: “Hi, ma’am, we are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty finding this product. Can you tell me which stores you have looked at so far?”

Customer: “I only shop at [Small Mini Shop] that is down the road from me; it’s where I always shop. I haven’t looked elsewhere. Why can’t I find it?”

Me: *Pause* “All right, well, have you spoken to the store manager? They would be able to tell you if they have it listed, or if they have placed an order, or even if another branch has stock.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I haven’t taken it that far yet. I was at the shop today and I didn’t see it on the shelf, so I thought I’d call you and ask you, instead. So, where is it? Are you out of stock?”

Me: “Okay, I can see on our stock tracker that we have sufficient stock, so there shouldn’t be any shortage of stock on the shelf. Unfortunately, I cannot accurately advise on where [specific variant] is right now in your specific area. See, we don’t supply the stores directly; we supply the distribution warehouses in your region, and then the [Major Brand] head office places an order with them and that stock gets allocated to the majority of the [Major Brand] branches in your city. The variety of stock is dependent on their orders and it can vary from region to region. We would recommend looking at more than one store, or alternatively, speaking to the store manager, as they may be able to order the [specific variant] of the product that you are looking for.”

Customer: “Oh! So, you don’t just, have a list or something of where your stuff is sold? I guess I’ll speak to the store manager, then.”

I can’t understand how customers think we have a list of a thousand different products that are in all 250,000 stores in the country that we can just whip out.

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She’s Engaging In Thermohysterics

, , , | Right | June 16, 2020

A customer places a can of soda on the counter.

Me: “Hi there! That’ll be [price].”

The customer pays.

Customer: “I have a cold! This soda is too cold! I can’t drink it! Put it in the microwave oven and warm it up for me! I can’t drink this; it’s too cold!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I won’t be able to do that, as it would be dangerous.”

Customer: “No! I insist! Warm it in the microwave! I want it warm!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, that would cause the can and the microwave to explode. If you want, I can run some hot water over it to warm it up a bit?”

Customer: “Never mind!” *Storms off*

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Unfiltered Story #196224

, , | Unfiltered | June 11, 2020

(I used to work at a produce and grocery shop near downtown Johannesburg. We were usually rather busy throughout the week. I was in customer service, specifically a cashier. We were closing for the day when someone came too late)

*As I was sorting the carts I noticed a woman trying to pry open the locked automatic doors*

Her: Ma’am! Please open this door! You can’t close yet! I’ll be quick!

Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but we’re closing for the night.

Her: I’ll give you R 100! Open the fo**en door!

*I left to tell my supervisor. When she gets there, the door automatically opens from the inside. The woman rushes inside.*

Supervisor: I’m sorry, but we’re closed!

Her: I’ll be quick!

*she returns 5 minutes later, at 9:35. We closed at 9*

Her: Yeah, she (me) was so sweet for trying to let me inside! Got her manager and everything! You’re a lifesaver, young lady!

I was actually getting my supervisor to tell her to leave, but OK. She never did give me that 100 rand note.

NOT What It Says On The Tin

, , , , | Working | June 10, 2020

I walk into an Indian fast food cafe whose name is literally “Roti & Chai.”

Me: “I’ll have the prawn roti roll and a masala chai, please.”

Cashier: “Sorry, we don’t serve chai. Only [soda].”

Me: “But it’s in your name.”

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The Only Thing Smelling Funny Is This Scam

, , , | Right | June 9, 2020

I work for a pet food manufacturer as a customer care agent. Basically, if anyone has a problem with a product, I can replace it. Sometimes, though, people try to scam the system to get free product, so I am usually very wary.

Me: “[My Name] speaking, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I bought your three-kg [Brand] cat food, but it smells different to me. I want it replaced.”

Smell complaints are usually a red flag for me, as it’s not something I can confirm by images or that I can get proof of. Collecting it to get proof also costs more than it does to just replace it. It’s the easiest way to get free food.

Me: “All right, no problem. I will just need the batch details and manufacturing date, and then I can replace that bag for you.”

Customer: “Great! I actually bought thirty bags, though, so I’ll need them all replaced.”

Second red flag: I don’t know about everyone else, but a single bag of cat food lasts me almost a month. This is basically two years’ worth of food that will expire before she manages to use it all. She hasn’t mentioned that she is from an Animal Charity, which would maybe explain the quantity. Perhaps she has ten cats? In any case, it’s a very high volume for us to replace.

Me: “Ah, that’s quite a lot of product that you have there. Unfortunately, due to the volume of product you have mentioned, I would recommend having the remaining product returned to the store instead for a monetary refund, and I can replace your opened bag. You cannot be certain that the other bags have a strange smell, so this option may work best.”

Customer: “No, I know they have a strange smell! I, uh… I opened all of them, so I could smell all of them, and they all smell!”

Me: “You opened all of them? All 100 kg of food — you opened all of it?”

Customer: “Yes! I had to check, so now they are all opened and I can’t return them, so you have to replace them now.”

Me: *Pause* “All right. Well, due to the volume of product, I am going to need to email you to request the batch details of every bag, as well as your till slip, to confirm you have purchased that quantity.”

Customer: “Oh… all right.”

She never replied.

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