The Unfantastic Mr. Fox

, , | Right | May 26, 2010

(A man comes up to me with a huge bag.)

Customer: “Can I ask an odd question?”

Me: “Go for it.”

Customer: “Would it be okay for me to put my fox costume on and stand in the foyer?”

Me: “Why?”

Customer: “Just for pleasure. I enjoy doing it and the customers would enjoy seeing it.”

Me: “I’ll just check with my manager.”

(I phone the manager and repeat the request. The manager laughs for a few minutes and says no.)

Me: “I’m afraid my manager has said it’s not okay.”

Customer: *looks down sadly* “It’s okay. They said no everywhere else I asked too.” *walks away sadly, dragging the bag with his fox costume in*


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Not-So-Fast Forward

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2010

(I sell cable TV packages, and talk the caller through set-up. Our service offers a service where you can record programs and pause and rewind TV.)

Caller: “And can it fast-forward live TV?”

Me: “Um, no, it can’t.”

Caller: “I would have thought it could, since it can pause and rewind live TV.”

Me: “Fast-forwarding live TV is a bit different.”

Caller: “Forget I said that.”

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Money To Burn

, , , , | Right | May 23, 2010

Caller: “I want to know why my gas bill is so high.”

Me: “Okay, well, looking at your account history I can see we have billed you accurate readings which show very high daily consumption. How many hours is your central heating in use per day?”

Caller: “I never use my heating since my boiler started smelling of gas.”

Me: “It sounds like you may have a gas leak in the property. I need you to call the gas emergency helpline as soon as you finish this call. Please extinguish any naked flames and try to turn off your electrical appliances if it is safe to do so.”

Caller: “Is the leak causing my high bill?”

Me: “How long have you been smelling gas?”

Caller: “About five months.”

Me: “Sir, that is a very dangerous amount of time to leave a gas leak unattended. Why did you not query this earlier?”

Caller: “It didn’t seem important.”

Me: “I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to call the emergency helpline straight away.”

Caller: “Can’t we talk about my bill first?”


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When Judgment Is Clouded

, , , , | Right | May 18, 2010

(We give weather forecast information for Royal Air Force aircrew officers for fast jet flying.)

Caller #1: “Hi, this is flying officer [Caller] with [Squadron]. I need the weather for five hours’ time on the west coast.”

Me: “So, that’s the forecast pressure, wind, and cloud cover?”

Caller #1 : “No, I don’t want the forecast conditions. I want the actual weather for five hours ahead.”

Me: “I can only do actuals for what hasn’t happened, but I can give my best forecast.”

Caller #1: “No, that’s not good enough. I don’t want forecasts. I want to know what’s going to actually happen!”

(Someone else takes the call.)

Caller #2: “Hi, this is [Squadron] navigator. Sorry about that. Can I get the forecast conditions for him, please?”


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Not So Sharp

, , | Right | May 17, 2010

(It is 2010.)

Caller: “Hi, I asked you to pierce my daughter’s ears earlier, but apparently you won’t do it. I think that’s unacceptable!”

(Note: the caller sounds about 14.)

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry about that. If I can just confirm some details with you, I’ll note it down and you can send her back in. Can I get her name and date of birth?”

(The caller confirms the name, and the date of birth as the 10th April 1996.)

Me: “And can I confirm your date of birth please?”

Caller: “The 12th, of September 1996.”

Me: “…1996?”

Caller: *hangs up*


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