Going Back In Time

, , , | Right | November 14, 2019

(One of our customers is a little old-fashioned, though not very old. He used to be a fax/phone-only guy, but when his fax died I talked him into getting email. He’s a small, one-man operation, working out of his house. We’d been using the email for seven months when I got this call.)

Customer: “Hi, [My Name].”

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “You can start using my fax again, that’s how.”

Me: “Your fax? I thought it broke?”

Customer: “Yep, I bought a new one!”

Me: “You bought a new fax machine?”

Customer: “Yep! Personal fax machines are hard to find now, but I got one! So you can get rid of the email account!”

(Why would you replace your email with a fax machine?!)

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Got Some Catching Up To Do

, , , | Right | November 13, 2019

(I am working at the customer service desk in my local grocery store on a typical weeknight. An elderly woman comes up to the counter.)

Me: “Hey there. What can I do for you?”

Customer: “I was wondering if you would help me download this coupon onto my savings card?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am!” *explains how the process works*

Customer: “No, no, I need you to show me!” *whips out tablet*

Me: “All right, first, I need you to go to [Store website].”

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “A website.”

Customer: “What’s a website?”

Me: “It’s a page on the Internet.”

Customer: “What’s an Internet?”

(It took me about three-quarters of an hour, but we made her an email account and an account on the store website, and got her that coupon!)

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Off Screen And Off Your Mind

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(A customer comes in with her son asking for an anti-virus package. These days, we don’t sell disks anymore, only cards with a license key. You enter that key on the website of the anti-virus software, and you get a subscription for a year.)

Customer: “Hi. I would like to buy a virus software. But can you give the card to me first?”

Colleague: “Uh, sure. But what for, exactly?”

Customer: “I just want to make sure this is a key for 2018, and not the same one that I bought last year.”

Colleague: “Sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that. I can assure you, however, that every key is unique. And year of production doesn’t matter, they are valid for multiple years.”

Customer: *slightly agitated* “But I want to make sure!”

Colleague: “I understand, but I simply can’t show you the card. That key is basically what you’re buying, but again, it’s unique. Promised.”

Customer: *reluctantly* “Fine, I’ll buy it.”

Colleague: “Excellent! Can I have your name?”

(We need a name to register every purchase.)

Customer: *gives name*

(We usually just enter the first few letters, as our system automatically searches for partial matches as well.)

Colleague: “Right, that was [Customer] on [Address], correct?”

Customer: “Yes, that… Who’s that?” *pointing to the screen*

Colleague: “Hmm? Oh, that’s someone else. I just looked up the first three letters of your name, letters that this person shares with you.”

(At this point, I have to move to the stock to grab a few things, so I miss the rest of the conversation. But I do hear that the customer seems angry. She leaves, and I think that is the end of it. I’m wrong. A coworker gives me the phone, saying it’s likely the customer from before.)

Me: “Hello, [My Name] from [Store]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “There was another name on my screen; I want it gone.”

Me: “Excuse me? What exactl—”

Customer: *agitated* “When I bought the virus from you—” *her exact words* “—there was another name on the screen!”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I remember you. Yeah, the person happened to share your first name, and the first three letters of your last name. What about it?”

Customer: “I want her address!”

Me: “Eh, sorry. I can’t give customer information to someone else.”


Me: *firmly, but slightly ticked off* “And I said I legally can’t give you any information. It’s just a random person that sha—”


(Funny, I thought the screens we have belonged to the store, not to the customers?)

Me: *snarky, because I am losing my patience* “Well, one of you two should change their name, then. There’s nothing I can do otherwise.”

Customer: “THEN DELETE HER!”

Me: “Same problem; can’t do that without permission.”

Customer: *now fully enraged* “I WILL CALL THE GDPR ON YOU! I WANT TO RETRACT MY CONSENT!”

Me: “All right, but you’ll have to contact my boss, I ca—”

Customer: “NOW, D*** IT!”

Me: “Okay, look. I’ve been patient with you, but that’s over with. Unless there is something I can help you with, I’m hanging up.”


Me: “Good.” *hangs up*

(For those unaware, GDPR is the name of the new privacy laws regarding customer information — General Data Protection Regulation — not the name of an organisation or anything. Good luck calling a law, crazy woman.)

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He’s Never Going To Be A Pencil Pusher

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2019

(I am helping a patron set up a new email account.)

Me: “Okay, now hit ‘Next’.”

Patron: “Where?”

Me: “On the blue button that says ‘next’.”

Patron: “Here?”

Me: *pointing with a pencil* “Right here.”

Patron: “Here?”

Me: “Nope, right here where my pencil point is.”

Patron: “Here?”


Patron: *moving the cursor to the right spot* “Here?”


Patron: “Now?”

Me: “Yes.”

Patron: “I click now?”

Me: “YES!”

Patron: *clicking* “Like that?”

Me: “Well, you can’t move the mouse while you click. Let’s try again…”

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Should Have Googled The Solution  

, , , | Right | October 24, 2019

(As I am sat at my desk working, a customer approaches me, clearly frustrated.)

Patron: “Your Internet isn’t working.”

Me: “It should be working. What have you typed in?”

Patron: “Google.”

Me: “Okay, let me come look.”

(I get to the patron’s computer and they have literally just typed in “GOOGLE” in the website address bar. No “dot-com”.)

Me: “Have you tried putting ‘google-dot-com’ in the website address bar instead of just ‘Google’?”

Patron: “Erm… no.”

Me: “Well, give that a go and see if that works.”

(The patron proceeds to type it and presses enter, and the Google search engine appears on the screen.)

Patron: “Oh, erm… It’s working now.”

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