This Call Is Going Down(load)

| NC, USA | Working | February 26, 2016

(My dad is on the phone with a tech company’s customer service, trying to figure out why a critical detail of an order he placed has now changed.)

Dad: “I ordered your software disc, but now your website is saying I have to download it. The software isn’t for me. I need the disc, the physical copy.”

(Pause.)

Dad: “What do you mean, you don’t have it on disc?! I specifically selected, and paid shipping on, an actual physical copy because the person it’s for cannot download it!”

(Pause.)

Dad: “You haven’t traveled much, I can tell. Most of the world doesn’t have the kind of Internet access you’re obviously used to. Is there a manager or supervisor I could speak to? Because you can’t help me.”

(Pause.)

Dad: “Okay, so tell me: where is your store in Antananarivo, Madagascar? There isn’t one, is there? Well, that’s where I do business, and that’s where MY DISC is going once you MAIL IT TO ME.”

(Pause.)

Dad: “Charlotte! That’s an hour and a half from where I live! You want me to waste fifty bucks on gas, just to get something YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAIL TO ME?! That I’ve already paid for! Just transfer me to your supervisor already!

(Pause.)

Dad: “Hello? Hey, hello? They hung up on me!”

(He called the Charlotte store next, explained his problem, and was quickly informed that he could download the software he’d paid for and transfer it via flash drive, much less likely to be damaged in transit than a disc.)

Should Monitor The Situation More Closely

| Glendale, CA, USA | Working | February 25, 2016

(I have been doing tech setup for a new temporary worker. She is very young and obviously very new to the workforce, and has been very demanding throughout the whole process, insisting on being given things we don’t normally give — such as desktop speakers for listening to music, which would disturb others in the open office. This is the tail end of a very long conversation.)

Temp: “If you won’t give me speakers, then at least give me earbuds so I can listen to music.”

Me: “We don’t have earbuds to give out, and you shouldn’t be listening to music on shift anyway.”

Temp: “I’ve always been able to listen to music before at my other jobs. How come I only have one monitor? I should have two monitors, at least.”

Me: “We don’t have enough monitors to give two to everyone; you can go on a waiting list, but there are several people before you, and nothing you’re doing in this role should require a second monitor.”

Temp: “Ugh! I’ve NEVER had to work in a job where I didn’t get two monitors before!”

Me: *with a wide smile* “Then you’re gaining valuable new work experiences already!”

What Good Was That Chat

| RI, USA | Right | February 24, 2016

(I work as a remote chat agent for a phone and Internet provider. I help customers add features to their phones, like international if they are traveling, or parental controls. I do not have direct account access, and usually this is no problem for most people.)

Me: “Happy Tuesday! Welcome to [Company] Online Features Sales! How may I assist you today?”

Customer: “So, what good are you? You can’t do anything because you don’t have access to my account. You’re just a waste of time and my money.”

Me: “I can still do my best to assist you, even without direct account access!”

Customer: “So, what good are you? And you’re probably not an American.”

Me: “I am, actually. I live in Rhode Island. What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “So, what good are you? You can’t help me. Your job doesn’t help anyone.”

Me: “I am very sorry to hear that. Unless you have a question or inquiry, I will need to end this chat. Do you have any questions for me before I do so?”

Customer: “So, what good are you? F*** you.”

Me: “Thank you for choosing [Company]!”

The Golden Age Of Tech Support

| UK | Right | February 19, 2016

(I get a call from a customer about computer text-sizes. I can hear from the user’s voice that he was getting on a bit, and notice in the ‘notes’ section that the customer is semi-retired and not very computer-savvy. After I have explained:)

Caller: “Oh! I think I understand. I’ve not changed the text size, but I’m on my old laptop; the new one is in for repair. I’m just doing this for my son while he’s on holiday, and I’m more comfortable on the sofa. Give me a moment; I’ll just try plugging it into the TV…”

(At first I think he meant an external monitor, but as he fiddled around with the cables he explained he’d bought this particular TV for the range of different connectors it had, so the great-grandchildren could bring round their game consoles and he could watch his blu-ray discs from the laptop that was in for repair. He was rather scathing about the staff in the electronics shop who’d not listened to what he wanted and tried to sell him a much simpler model with big buttons on top.)

Caller: “Right, I’ll just get the RDP session back up… Oh, yes, that’s better. All the buttons are showing now.”

Me: “Great. So, did you need help with the new process?”

Caller: “No, the instructions are pretty clear. It’s good to not have all that mucking around printing things any more. Here’s hoping I can get the wireless keyboard and mouse to work with this old thing. I don’t want to be sitting on the floor. It’ll make my arthritis play up and I’ve got a class this afternoon!”

Me: “Oh, what are you doing?”

Caller: “I teach computers for senior citizens at the local college. They didn’t want to let me do it at first, said I’m too old, but I said to them, who better to understand how to explain things to pensioners than another pensioner! Who else really understands what sort of things we want to be doing? And the students can’t say they’re too old to understand when the teacher’s 96, can they? Though some people you just can’t help. Like my son; I expect he calls you a lot.”

(Every time I get a customer who says they’re too old to learn computers, I tell them about this man…)

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Don’t Answer Machine Back

| Omaha, NE, USA | Right | January 28, 2016

Me: “How may I help you, sir?”

Customer: “I want your voice mail service turned off now!”

Me: “Let me take a look… your voice mail is deactivated already, sir.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t! I came home today and my phone said I had one message!”

Me: “Does your phone have an answering machine, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, it does! What does that have to do with anything!?! You never turned off your voice mail and now my phone says I have a message!”

Me: “It’s on your answering machine, sir.”

Customer: “And how did it get there?! Out of thin air?!”

Me: “No, sir, someone called you and left a message on the answering machine.”

Customer: “My a** they did!” *click*

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