Giving Customer Service A Bad Name

| USA | Working | August 17, 2012

(I overhear my coworker speaking to a customer.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m Ms. Cheng. I’m looking for an Alex?”

Coworker: “Oh, yes. That’s me. Please sit down, Mrs. Cheng.”

Customer: “Oh it’s just Miss. I’m not married.”

Coworker: “You aren’t Chinese, but your surname is.”

(Note: the customer indeed doesn’t appear to be Chinese, but looks white.)

Customer: “I get that a lot. One of my great grandfathers is, so I’m actually part Chinese. Guess I’m too far down the tree to look like it.”

Coworker: “Well, good thing you’re a girl. Your children won’t have a misleading surname.”

Customer: “…Excuse me?”

Coworker: “I hope you don’t have a brother to carry on that misleading surname.”

Customer: “Uh, can I get someone else to do my travel?”

(Luckily, the manager overheard all this and called the employee to the back for a talk, and had someone else take over!)

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This Trip Is Not Going To Pan-ama Out

| Texas, USA | Right | June 20, 2012

Customer: “I’ve never taken a cruise before, but I really want to try one.”

Me: “I’d be happy to help you plan your first cruise. Where would you like to visit?”

Customer: “I’m thinking a short, roundtrip, tropical cruise, to either the Bahamas or the Caribbean.”

Me: “Sounds great! We offer a wide variety of roundtrip Bahamas and Caribbean cruises. Which departure port do you have in mind?”

Customer: “Vancouver.”

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Timelines Are Of The Essence

| China | Working | June 19, 2012

(I’m calling the travel agent’s customer service. The flight I booked from Dalian, China back to the U.S has been put on hold due to an error.)

Travel Agent: “Hello, how may I help you today?”

Me: “I just booked a flight from China back to the U.S for July 31st. I received an email about an error?”

Travel Agent: “Ah yes, Miss, I believe I know the one in question. You plan to leave Dalian at 1PM on July 31st, is that correct?”

Me: “Yes.”

Travel Agent: “…and then you will transfer in Japan, arriving in Tokyo at 5PM on the 31st, correct? You will then leave for the U.S at 12AM on the first of August…wait, and arrive in LA on the 31st of July? Ma’am, are you spending a year in Japan?”

Me: “What? Oh, no. You see, the plane will be crossing the international dateline, which is between Japan and the U.S, so while it will in fact be the first in Japan, it will still be the 31st in LA.”

Travel Agent: “What?” *long pause* “No, that can’t be right…”

Me: “…”

Travel Agent: “Wait a moment…wait a moment…one moment.”

(The ‘hold’ music comes on while he leaves the phone. When he comes back on, I hear laughing in the background, and he is obviously embarrassed.)

Travel Agent: “I am so sorry. You are perfectly right. Your ticket has been approved.”

Me: “Thank you so much for your help!”

Travel Agent: “So, what time is it in China?”

Me: “It’s morning on the 20th.”

Travel Agent: “Wow…”

They Swim Upriver To Mate

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Right | September 26, 2011

Customer: “I would like to schedule a Grand Canyon white water rafting and whale watching trip, please.”

Me: “So you’d like a tour to go to the Grand Canyon and then a tour to the ocean for whale watching?”

Customer: “No, I want to see the whales at the Grand Canyon!”

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Customer Service Speaks Your Language

| Clearwater, FL, USA | Right | August 19, 2011

(A customer calls on phone asking for directions.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [travel agency], how may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I need to pick up my friend getting off the bus depot. Where are you located?

Me: “We are 1/2 mile east of [road], across the street from [sports bar].”

Customer: “What’s that? Could you spell that for me?”

(I proceed to spell the name of the establishment.)

Customer: “Oh, [sports bar]. You should have just said ‘boobies’! That would have been much faster.”

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