The customer is not always king...sometimes they're just plain stupid! If you've ever worked in a call center then you'll definitely relate to these telecom workers' stories of idiotic customers.
"Today: Lady calls in and after questions and her rambling for about seven of the most confusing minutes of my life I'm able to determine:
She has a credit card, she has a debit card and she doesn't know the difference between the two.
Now the credit is one of those that earn points. She got the card six months ago and started spending like there's no tomorrow so she can earn herself a bunch of reward points.
That alone takes a kind of logic I dare not give myself a stroke trying to figure out. But I digress.
So she calls to check on her expected many, many reward points, and turns out she has...none. This is because she hasn't been using her credit card but instead, her DEBIT CARD.
So now her checking account is way overdrawn, half her bills didn't get paid and she wants--I kid you not--she wants us to take all the transactions that are done on the checking for the last six months, undo them and re-do them using the credit card so her checking account will be fixed, the bills will get paid and she'll have her precious rewards points.
She literally wants us to go back in time and change history.
At least once a week I'll say to myself, 'That's the most ridiculous, unbelievable thing I've ever been asked' and somewhere a person like this is waiting by the phone going 'Hold my drink.'"
"I worked in telecommunications. At the time this happened, I was in a role doing cell phone tech care and got a call from a woman who was upset and demanding a replacement phone for her Galaxy S8 because 'the Bluetooth doesn’t work.'
After some questions, I managed to figure out the reason she was convinced of this: 'My S7 worked just fine with my car but the S8 won’t.'
I asked if she had performed the first time Bluetooth pairing before and she said, 'No but I don’t have to, it’s supposed to just work.'
She was loud and snappy through the entire thing. She eventually told me her dealership had set this up the first time. I asked some general questions about her car and where she might find the settings, and she steadily got louder and louder insisting her car had no such options or buttons for Bluetooth. I tried to recommend she contact her car dealership since they had set it up the first time, but this got her even more heated and she continued to yell that this was our problem 'because it worked before.'
Eventually, I found a how-to video showing where the button was (it was one of those voice control buttons on the steering wheel), and we were able to get the phone paired. Once the pairing was complete, a voice said 'Please record a nickname for this device.'
She was still angry and shouted her name at the car with the same tone she had been using with me for the entire phone call. The car then said, 'Is this correct?' and played the clip of her shriek back to her. I still remember the exact tone of voice and her full name, although this happened over a year ago.
After this, she got really quiet for a moment, then said in a quieter (but still very unpleasant) tone, 'Well that just sounds awful.'
She did not apologize but got quiet and uncomfortable and we ended the call shortly after that.
I like to think that she never learned how to re-record that clip, and has to hear her car scream her name back at her every time she has to mess with her car’s Bluetooth. It never fails to make me smile."
"When you rent a vehicle, you HAVE to return the keys at the desk. This isn't rocket science, it isn't complicated.
So this customer calls me one day and says he wants to file a complaint. I ask him what it's about and if maybe I can assist him so he doesn't file a complaint at all.
C: I just wanted to say that I didn't return the keys at the front desk because I didn't think it was necessary, and I have received a message from the people there that they are giving me a warning and that I will be charged??
Me: Yes, sir. You have the obligation to return the keys at the desk, or you will be charged a (ridiculously high) fee for a copy of the key that the staff needs to make. If there was no one at the desk to attend you or the office was closed (it wasn't), you should have left the keys in the box out front along with a copy of your rental agreement. Were you not informed of that?
C: I was, I just didn't feel like it.
C: I didn't feel like walking inside and handing the keys, I didn't feel it was needed. So I took them with me.
Me: Ok, well then I'm going to need you to bring those back immediately, and maybe (MAYBE) we can avoid a charge.
C: No, I'm not doing that.
Me: What do you mean?
C: I'm not going to bring the keys back. I will hold the keys hostage (he said that) until I receive my invoice with no extra charges.
Me: Yeah, that's not going to happen. If you refuse to bring the keys back we will charge you for a copy and extra days the vehicle could not be rented because of this.
C: Yeah, I'm not gonna pay that. As I said, I will hold the keys until I receive an invoice with a discount for the trouble you're putting me through.
Me: Sir, this isn't a discussion. You can bring the keys back to the station or send it by a messenger. If you do not wish to do that, you will be sent a bill and probably blacklisted for not following orders.
He started yelling at me after that so I just repeated what he needed to do and hung up. Again, not rocket science."
"So, years ago I was a CSR grunt for a major American bank. I got a call from a very agitated woman.
'My husband and I are on our honeymoon, and our card isn’t working? What is wrong with you people?'
Well, as much as I’d love to help this friendly lass, her name wasn’t on the account, only his was. So she gets him on the phone, he verifies his information and then tells me to speak to his wife.
'Oh, buddy. You so wish you didn’t do that,' I thought.
I can already see that the issue was the account showing a zero balance, so I knew this was gonna go sideways.
He was yelling in the background about how much this bank sucked. (In fairness to him, that bank did suck.) So when she got on I told her the reason the card wasn't working, was, ya know, no money in the account.
'How can that be? We had over $4900 in there the last time I checked!' she screamed.
And then I saw it. 'Well, ma’am, it looks like there’s a lien on the account from the state of Texas for unpaid child support.'
'UNPAID CHILD SUPPORT?' I heard in the background.
Now the dude in the background started yelling louder. 'I never told them they could do that!'
And she yelled right back at him, and I will never forget it: 'YOU HAVE KIDS?!?'
"I worked in a call center for a major financial institution in the Midwest. Living in tornado country, we had procedures in place in the case of dangerously inclement weather. We were to end the call, explain the situation, then take the caller’s information to call them back. Then we took shelter downstairs.
The only time we had to enact this procedure in my tenure there did not go as smoothly as planned.
The windows were dark in the afternoon because there were major storm clouds brewing all morning. My supervisor had told us to be paying attention to our in-house messaging system just in case.
I was on a call. It started very typically. I was able to authenticate the account holder, and she said she tried to use her card, it was declined, and what was the reason, 'Oh and I need to order another card for my husband.'
As I was in the process of opening the systems which display this info, we got word from the supervisor we were to evacuate the call center and proceed to the shelter.
'I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we just received a tornado warning here at our office and we have to evacuate,' I pleaded
'Oh, heck no you ain't!' she retorted.
The rest of the convo went something like this:
Me: 'I’m afraid so. I’ll need to give you a call back when we get the all-clear. Are you currently reachable on this current number?'
Customer: 'Yeah, but heck no. I got a time crunch here!'
Meanwhile, everyone else is locking their screens and walking out. The windows are now pitch-black. Things were getting scary.
Me: 'I understand that I do, but we literally have a tornado near our building right now,' I plead.
Customer: 'Give me your supervisor,' she snapped.
Me: 'I’m sorry, I literally can’t. Neither my supervisor nor the resolution team is at their desks. They are on the way to the storm shelter,' I said.
Customer: 'B**! I don’t care about no dumb weak storm nonsense. Enable my transaction and order my card!' she screams.
Me: 'I have to go, ma’am. I will call you back.'
Customer: 'You a prick, sir. You call me back and I’ll talk to your supervisor.'
Me: 'Okay, thank you. I’ll reach out soon.'
Customer: 'F- - - you.' [click]
Hang up my headset, lock my screen, go to the storm shelter, tornado touches down about eight blocks from the office, get the all-clear, head back to the call center.
I went straight to my supervisor’s desk and explained the call. She listened to the call and told me I did everything right. She offered to call the customer back, which I readily accepted, and since we were backlogged due to the phones being off during the storm, there were a lot of calls to handle.
A little while later my supervisor messaged me to come to her desk. She praised the heck out of me for remaining calm and gave me a star certificate which translated into a $25 gift card.
"So this happened many years ago. It’s just one of many short stories I have from when I served my time in call centers.
At the time I was working for a well-known British bank on their mortgage call center. It wasn’t a career, but it was a job. I didn’t particularly enjoy, it but had to pay bills.
So one Friday evening we were all watching the clock, waiting for 5 pm so we could all go to the pub. It’s quiet, everyone’s started to pack their things. Probably about five minutes left before we can go when in my ear I got the dreaded beep.
So I took the call and wave at my colleagues to say I’ll be at the pub as soon as I can.
So I’m dealing with the call - I don’t remember the specifics - and the bloke on the phone started to get abusive. He’s shouting and swearing down the phone, the usual. I took it to start with, but then I decided enough is enough and give him a warning.
'Sir if you keep shouting and swearing at me I will terminate the call, I’m trying to help you here, I plead'
I don’t remember the exact reply but it was something like 'Get lost then you stupid little prick.'
So you know what? I did exactly that! I hung up the phone knowing too well that lines were shut and he wouldn't be able to call back for the next 64 hours!
Say stupid things, win stupid prizes.
Then I went to the pub!"
"Ok, so, WAY back in 1998, I was working for a call center company whose main business was from other companies outsourcing their customer service to this company. For example, if you called the 1-800 number on the back of a box of Jell-O, or Kraft Mac & Cheese, your call would be answered by someone at my company who worked on that particular project. My project was the benefits department for a telecommunications company. We handled enrollments and changes to their employee health insurance, life insurance, dental, etc, etc.
One day, a manager called in. This particular employee wanted to add his newborn son to his health insurance. I congratulated him, added the child in the system, went through the standard spiel about how the coverage worked and advised him he would receive a confirmation letter in the mail in 7-10 business days. At this point, he asked if I could send the letter to his P.O. Box instead. I said 'sure,' and put the address in the alternate field. (what I did not know, at the time, was that the system would send the letter to BOTH addresses)
So, fast-forward about two weeks. I was taking calls, and I received a call from a lady who told me that she is not the employee, her husband is the employee, but she had a question about the coverage. No problem, as we were allowed to disclose such info to spouses. She gave me his SSN...and it sounded...familiar. While the system pulled up the info, I asked her how I could assist her...
Lady: 'Well, we received a letter of confirmation about our child's health insurance, and we don't have a new baby.'
Me: 'Ok, no problem, let me check the system...'
By this time, the system had pulled up the information, and lo and behold, it was the same guy that had called two weeks prior who added the new child. So, I confirmed that the employee had called in on such and such date to add the new child, named David, born on such and such date, etc, etc. What followed was the coldest that I have ever heard someone speak in my life up to that point:
Lady: 'That...child...is NOT of MY household, and I want it removed from our insurance IMMEDIATELY!'
Me: 'Not of your household? What do you mean...? OH!'
Yup, you guessed it...the husband had had a child with his mistress, added him to the coverage, and tried to run around without his wife finding out...which failed miserably due to how our system worked. I had to explain to her, in the calmest way possible, that since her husband was the employee, and had added the child, he would have to call to remove the child. She assured me that he would be calling back, thanked me for my help, and hung up.
I had to take myself out of the call queue for a few minutes to compose myself. As I did so, I heard hysterical laughter coming from the office at the end of the row of cubicles. A few minutes later, my supervisor's manager came down and asked me about the call. Apparently, they had been monitoring it for quality assurance, and it was the funniest thing he had heard to date."
"Helping a nice lady out with her Internet connection and she is a freak of nature: she may be elderly but she actually listens to instruction. It's a miracle. Never happened before or since but I am high on life right now as we click through menus and fill in fields.
I ping her computer and bam, she's online. Ten-minute call and she's super happy and proud of herself. Rightfully so ma'am, you rock.
Lady: 'But wait, can I do a test on my end to check my connection?'
Me: 'Sure, just open a website and go to... I don't know... hotmail.com.'
Why did I say Hotmail? Of all the places... Maybe the last caller had a Hotmail address and it was in my head? Anyway, next thing she says is:
Lady: 'Why did you send me to an adult website?'
Me: 'A... what?'
Lady: 'Well I did what you said and now there are all these hot men on my screen.'
Me: 'How is that... Oh, no I meant Hotmail! M-A-I-L! The webmail site!'
Lady: 'Well believe me I am looking at plenty of web males right now.'
Me: 'I am so sorry that's not what I meant at all.'
I proceed to grovel pitifully at this point. She would be within her rights to complain to my supervisor who, at the time, really seemed to love looking for excuses to fire people. Honest mistake or not I've seen people turfed for less.
Luckily she continues to be amazing:
Lady: 'Oh it's okay, don't worry about it. I can appreciate that we just had a little misunderstanding, and at my age, I've seen it all.'
Me: 'Okay, great, I appreciate that.'
Lady: 'I just have one more question.'
Lady: 'How...how do I bookmark a webpage?'"
"It was a typical day when I had a woman who called in because her television bill was higher than expected. I'm not just talking about an extra $20 or $30; she had $250 on her bill that she wasn't expecting. She was mad and I don't blame her. She wanted to know how her bill got that high, so I looked it up and, sure enough, someone had ordered some adult films on her account. I was able to look up exactly which satellite box it was ordered on, how it was ordered, and even when it was ordered. Remember how I told you about having a phone line hooked up to the satellite box and Pay Per View? That's what happened.
They ordered PPV back when they first got their service hooked up, then our system tried to make the call and report it. PPV got shut off for that box when PPV couldn't be reported. Seven months pass and they decided to attach their phone to the satellite box and, suddenly, they get hit with charges from months ago for that old PPV. I was also able to look up exactly which one of the satellite boxes the adult films were ordered on and, sure enough, it came from the box in her teenage sons' room.
That was when the call changed. I mean, she was the typical angry, irate customer when she called. She was mad. After I explained everything to her, she was still mad, but she wasn't mad at me or my company anymore; she turned her ire to her son. For the rest of the call, after every statement or two, she took a second to yell at her son, telling him things like 'We're selling your stereo, you're getting a job and you're paying for this!'
'How did you think you were going to pay for this!' and 'We can't pay our cable bill this month, just because you needed to jack off!'
Oddly enough, she never asked to make payment arrangements or even credits. I would have gladly done it for her, but I couldn't offer those without her requesting them."
"I work at a road assistance company, yesterday I was helping arrange a tow for this lady who car had a flat tire. She told me her car was in her apartment's underground parking garage. Quick towing lesson for folks who don't know this already: your average tow truck is too big to fit inside an underground garage, but my company has one smaller truck that can go into an underground garage. However, at the time of this call, that truck wasn't available until that afternoon. This meant that the lady's options are that I could send a light service truck to change the tire or she can call back in the afternoon when the underground truck is available.
Simple, right? Well, not according to her. So here is how our convo went:
Me: 'I apologize but because our underground truck isn't available until later this afternoon we can't tow you at the moment. We can send a light service truck or you can call back later in the day, which is best for you?'
Caller: 'I don't want to call back later so I guess I'll take the light service truck. Can it tow me to my garage?'
Me: 'No ma'am, it's just a light service truck that isn't capable of towing. Imagine a regular pickup truck and that's what we'd be sending.'
Caller: 'What good is that going to do me? I want a tow.'
Me: 'The light service truck can change your tire. That might be all you need, if you insist on getting a tow you'll have to wait until the afternoon.'
Caller: 'Why do I have to wait?'
Me: 'Our underground truck is unavailable at the moment, but it will be available later on.'
Caller: 'Can't you send a regular tow truck? You gotta have those available.'
Me: 'We do but I regular tow truck can't get to your vehicle.'
Caller: 'I don't get it, why can't it tow me?'
Me: 'Because tow trucks are too big to fit into the parking garage.'
Caller: 'Okay, well just send the regular tow truck and I'm pretty sure they can take their tools and go into the garage. He should be able to tow me then, right?'
Me: 'Unless your car can be driven out of the underground he won't be able to tow you. Can you drive your car out of the underground at least?'
Caller: 'No, I can't drive it out. It needs to be towed.'
Me: 'Then you'll have to wait for the smaller truck to become available, so it can go down to get your car.'
Caller: 'I want a big truck through.'
Me: 'Ma'am, the big trucks can't go down to get your car. This is an issue of size, the truck can't physically go down into your parking garage to your car. It won't do you any good if we send a big tow truck.'
Caller: 'Alright, well can the driver in the big truck park out front and then go down with his tools to change my tire?'
Me: 'If the driver changes your tire, will you drive it out of the underground for the tow?'
Caller: 'Well if he changes my tire then I won't need to get towed.'
Me: 'Well in that case I'll just send a light service truck to change your tire.'
Caller: 'No no! I want the big truck!'
Me: 'Ma'am, we need our tow trucks for tow calls. If you're not getting towed, then I can probably get a light service truck to you faster.'
Caller: 'I might need to be towed though.'
Me: 'Ma'am, I've explained this before. The big tow trucks are BIG. Too big to go underground. They will not be able to tow you.'
Caller: 'I don't get it, but fine send whatever.'
This woman was in her 30s, I cannot believe I actually had this conversation with an adult."