Don’t Let The Bad Customers Bite

, , , , , | Right | June 8, 2017

(I work for a “heavy haulers” trash company. We pick up the big stuff the normal guys can’t, like furniture, dressers, and more. In our area there’s a bad bed-bug epidemic, so everyone is required to at least double-wrap the furniture. A woman calls us asking for a date to pick up a couch.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. What do you need?”

Caller: “I’ve got a couch I need to throw away. When can you get it?”

Me: Our next pick up date is Wednesday. All furniture must be at least double-wrapped or we will not take it.”

Caller: “Why?”

Me: “There is a bed bug epidemic in our area and we have to be careful.”

Caller: “But I don’t have bed bugs.”

Me: “That doesn’t matter if you do or don’t. Regulation says all furniture must be double-wrapped”

Caller: “This is bullshit! You’re making me pay extra for wrap for no reason!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but all furniture must be double-wrapped.”

Caller: But I don’t have f****** bed bugs!”

Me: That doesn’t matter. All furniture must be double-wrapped, or we can’t take it. No exceptions.”

Caller: *enraged* “WHAT? YOU THINK I LIVE IN SOME F****** PIG STY?”

Me: “I never said that ma’am, I’m sure you have a lovely home. But as per order all furniture must be double-wrapped.”

(She nearly slammed her phone down, judging from what I heard after ending the conversation with a reluctant “Fine!” and her address. When we went to collect the couch from her alley we saw a wrapping job that looked like she had a seizure when doing it. And while putting it on the truck my partner saw three bed bugs under the wrapper.)

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They’re Not The Brightest Bulb In The Box

| Right | April 19, 2017

(An angry customer calls during an historically unprecedented outage. As a utility worker we are working 16-hour minimum days for the duration. The damage is incredible and the outage is extended. This call is on day three:)

Me: “[Company] Electric emergency line. My name is [My Name].”

(I am using my best customer service voice as positivity is my trademark. The customer is raging about the outage. Keep in mind there are almost 1,000 poles on the ground and 5,000 wires down in our service area with 100k plus customers without power at the outage’s peak. We understand people are upset. The customer goes through a tirade about being unhappy and having not seen anyone working; mind you, 2000 workers from around the country are working non-stop. After my sincere apologies and honest understanding, as my place is also out, the customer ends with a question that completely confounds me.)

Customer: “How will I know when my lights are back on?!”

Me: *confused pause* “…they will be brighter than they are now?”

Customer: *click*

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Environmentally Unaware

, , , | Working | April 14, 2017

(I work in the financial section of a repairs and maintenance company, on behalf of a social housing company that offers rented accommodation to various demographics. Some of the tenants are, shall we say, ‘less respectable’ than others. One thing we do is so-called void properties, where we maintain empty houses until the next set of tenants move in. We get paid a set rate for repairs in each void property, with extra revenue if the void value is over £2000. On one of these voids, our cleaner found drug paraphernalia (heroin pots and needles) behind some kitchen units. She was removed from the property for her own safety and specialist cleaners called who do any drug removals for us. We also emailed the surveyor for our client responsible for maintaining this property, explaining to her the situation and the increased cost as a result. The surveyor in question has a habit of copying as many people into emails as she can in order to prove she’s right about things, even when she’s not. The email conversation went a little like this:)

Colleague: “Please see the attached schedule. I have upgraded the clean to a full environmental and removed the clear out as [Cleaner] came across needles and left over used cocaine bags. This has now increased the cost of the job. Please advise whether to proceed.”

Surveyor #1: “I have looked at the pictures with my colleagues and we cannot see any signs of needles or cocaine bags. I can see some tablets in sealed foil. I am not prepared to vary this schedule. There is no history with the former tenant of any such abuse.”

Colleague: “I have just spoken to [Cleaner] who has confirmed there are approx. 13 needles and heroin pots with residue in. She has been pulled from site. I can arrange for this environmental clean to be done on Friday as long as it can be agreed tomorrow.”

Surveyor #1: *here, she copies in the world and his uncle to ‘prove’ her point* “So why are the photos not showing what [Cleaner] is saying? There is no evidence of tenant substance abuse, and I am not prepared to vary this schedule.”

(At this point, one of the surveyor’s colleagues, who has just been made aware of the situation, replies to everyone.)

Surveyor #2: “Hiya, just spoke to the ex-tenant, who confirmed his ex-girlfriend is a heroin user. So it is most likely to come from her.”

(Needless to say, the job was varied correctly at this point, and the original surveyor decided to keep her mouth shut for a while…)

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Being A Good Sport About It

| Working | March 7, 2017

(I launch a chat window to cancel a package that came free with the entertainment service when I signed up, but will automatically renew with a charge in a month.)

Carrier: “Hello! Thanks for choosing [Provider] chat.”

Me: “I need to cancel the NFL Sports package.”

Carrier: “I see that you’re inquiring about canceling your NFL Sunday Ticket. I can help you with that.”

Me: “Excellent.”

Carrier: “By the way, while I am pulling up the account, if I may ask, are you not a sports fan?”

Me: “Nope. Not a sports fan.”

Carrier: “By the way, before I set up the account for non auto renewal for NFL Sunday Ticket. NFL Sunday Ticket Max is the only place to get the maximum live football experience every Sunday. With NFL Sunday Ticket Max, you’ll have access to premium features such as Red Zone Channel and Fantasy Zone Channel. By keeping NFL Sunday Ticket Max on your account, you’ll be prepared to watch your favorite team each week, and you won’t have to worry about doing anything else.”

Me: “You might recall that part where I said I wasn’t a sports fan. I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl yesterday. I don’t have a favorite sports team. All sports teams can take a flying leap off a cliff for all I care. The worst possible experience in my view would be a live football experience, Sunday or any other day.”

Carrier: “Haha. All righty! Let me go ahead and cancel this.”

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The Gas Leak Isn’t Coming From The Meter

| Right | September 6, 2016

(I’m an emergency dispatcher at a local natural gas company. We have customers of questionable intelligence that search for suspected gas leaks with lighters or matches. Among our customers are the ones who get shut off for non-payment. I can’t turn an account on if they’re off for non-payment. That’s not an emergency. That’s the end of my job. I take a call on a Friday night.)

Customer: “Y’all shut me off and now I’ve paid so y’all can come back out now; turn me back on.”

Me: *spiel to a tee* “I’m very sorry, sir, but all reconnect orders after non-payment have to be issued by the Customer Service and Billing offices; they are closed at this time, but if you call back after 8 a.m. Monday, they’ll be happy to help you out.”

Customer: “You mean I won’t have gas this weekend?! No, no! Y’all will come out right f***ing now and reconnect this.”

Me: “Sir, I am not customer service; if you continue with this language I can and will hang up. I can’t issue an order to reconnect this service, but if you ca—”

Customer: “Now. I’ve paid the fee for an after-hour service, and it’s after hours.”

Me: “That charge is only applied once the initial payment has been processed and after we have worked that order after-hours. The payment won’t be processed until the office opens again at 8 a.m. on Monday.”

Customer: “So why are you there if you won’t do anything for me?”

Me: “We’re federally mandated to operate this office 24-hours a day. I’m here to dispatch my drivers to emergencies as and when they arise.”

Customer: “I don’t have gas. This is an emergency. I have kids.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t consider disconnection for non-payment an emergency.”

Customer: “Well, what’s an emergency?”

Me: “Any leaks, pressure issues, or damage to our equipment that needs to be addressed immediately.”

(Nearly audible ticking from the customer’s mind.)

Customer: “So if I had a gas leak, y’all would have to come and turn me back on?”

(The answer is an absolute no. The answer is that I dispatch not the usual one, but two different departments to look into something as serious as gas getting through a locked and sealed meter. But if you’re playing this game…)

Me: “Are you telling me you have an odor in your house, sir?”

Customer: *initially hesitant to fully commit* “I have a big, stinking odor that just walked in through the door.”

Me: “An odor of gas in your residence?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

(Game on.)

Me: *after well-rehearsed safety spiel* “And I’ll be dispatching my drivers to your address now. We’ll have to remove that meter for testing and make sure your house is safe. All our calls are recorded and any report of gas must be dealt with as quickly and safely as possible.”

Customer: *hangs up*

(I dispatched my 6’4″ bear of a technician and secondary driver to remove the meter. Didn’t hear from him again that night. He got reconnected on Monday… after his payment was processed in the other office as I’d told him. It’s always an emergency if you haven’t paid your bill for ten weeks…)

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