Everyone gets annoyed occasionally when dealing with a call center worker. Maybe the employee isn't allowed to give the caller what they want, or maybe the call was unsolicited. For whatever reason, speaking to a call center employee can be a stressful experience. But they're people too, and the calls can be even more awful for them. Read on to hear stories from call center employees about the WORST customer they had to deal with. Content has been edited for clarity.

How Do Ya Like The Sound Of That
How Do Ya Like The Sound Of That

"I work in telecom. At the time this happened, I was in a role doing cell phone tech care and got a call from a woman who was irate and demanding a replacement phone for her Galaxy S8 because 'the Bluetooth doesn’t work.'

After some questions, I manage 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 that 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 YouTube 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."

You Live In A PO Box?
You Live In A PO Box?

"My absolute favorite type of calls are when the customer suddenly realizes how ridiculous they sound.

For example today this happened when I got to the part of the verification when I have to ask for an address.

Me: 'Can I get your full address please?'
Caller: [says P.O. Box].
Now this happens a lot so I say:
Me: 'I need your home address please.'
Caller: [repeats P.O. Box].
Me: 'Ma’m I need your home address.'
Caller: [repeats P.O. Box again indignantly] 'God, didn’t you hear me the first two times?!'
Me: 'So, for the record, you confirm that you live inside of a P.O. Box?'
Caller '...OH MY GOD, I can’t believe I just said that three times. You must think I’m a complete idiot, I swear I’m not usually this dumb.'

The rest of the call was pleasant and she kept laughing at herself. And at the end, she got one last joke.

'I wish I could figure out how to live in a goddang P.O. Box. The rent would be amazing!'"

No One Needs My Name
No One Needs My Name

"I used to work on the customer relations and complaints team for a worldwide tech brand. I was stationed in the UK where it is legally binding that to access your account on anything by phone call, you need to answer some basic security questions.

Me: 'Hi, you’re speaking to ... from the customer relations team, how can I help today?'

C: 'Hello, I’m here to make a formal complaint as my phone has had some problems and your tech team won’t help me.'

Me: 'That’s fine, ma’am, I’m just going to ask some quick security questions so that I can access your account profile. Do you have your account reference number.'

C: 'Yes, it’s - don’t call me ma’am, I’m not an old woman.'

Me: 'My apologies, if you can just confirm your name I can call you by that if you would prefer.'

C: 'You don’t need my name, it’s in front of you.'

Me: 'For security purposes, I’m obligated to confirm your name, Date of Birth and first line of address.'


Me: 'I apologize for any misconceptions from previous calls but I am required by law to complete data protection checks.'


Me: '...I am the complaints department.'


Me: 'I am the supervisor for our department.'


(I was 18 and am from Yorkshire, whilst I have a distinct accent I assure you I speak perfectly fine in a professional environment).

Me: 'Right, I’ll transfer you to a manager's line now, ma’am. Enjoy your day.'

Later on, my manager took me in for a disciplinary meeting citing my lack of respect to her request to not be called ma’am (I didn’t even realize I’d said it again to be honest till I listened to the call in the meeting) and stated he would be sending me home for the day, unpaid. Later he admitted it was because he was frustrated I had passed the aggressive woman over to him and I wasn’t actually breaking any rules.

I quit when he told me that."

On Hold Does Not Mean Muted
On Hold Does Not Mean Muted

"I work customer service for a food delivery service.

A customer calls and says their food never arrived and it was over an hour late. I check their order number and their food is marked as delivered. I try to contact the driver, no luck.

Sometimes a driver will give food to a greedy neighbor pretending to be the customer. Sometimes they leave it in lobbies of apartment buildings and it gets taken. Sometimes there’s just a system error. So I gave the driver and the customer the benefit of the doubt.

I asked if they wanted to be reimbursed or if they wanted the order sent again. They said reimbursed.

I could’ve just reimbursed them 50% of their order and gone on with my night, but they’d been courteous, which goes a long way in a call center, so I decided to try and go in for the full reimbursement for them.

I had to check with my supervisor to get approval for the refund, because their full order was just a little over what I can approve myself.

I said I’d place them on a brief hold. My supervisor needed a minute so I was waiting. That’s when I hear this on the other end

'She buy it?'

'Yep. Told you this always works.'

'It’s not that same [n-word] from before, is it?'

'I hung up and called back til I got someone else.'

I immediately took them off hold and informed them their refund request could not be approved and since the delivery was marked as received, I could not credit their account. Then I disconnected the call and flagged the account for fraud. They’ll likely find themselves banned from the app for a week, if this is their first time, and I doubt it is, so it might even be a permanent ban.

I can put up with a lot, but I have zero tolerance for fraud or bigotry."

I Won The Gift Card!
I Won The Gift Card!

"10 years ago, I worked for a large banking call center that answered calls for customers all over the country as we were in almost every state.

I answer the phone with a greeting and the customer, 'John,' passes all required security questions, I see in the notes security has contacted him several times and all transactions were valid.

Me - 'Thank you for answering those security questions, how can I help you today?'

John - 'You guys sent me a bill, I don’t owe any of this.'

Me - 'Oh, I’m sorry Mr. John. If your card was compromised, I can get that shut down, help you report which transactions are fraudulent, and get you a new card.'

John - 'You better, this is ridiculous.'

Me - 'Ok, your card is shut down, let’s go through the transitions.'

They were all big ticket items, $2k to Best Buy, $3K to a Pool/Spa place, $500 to grocery store, etc and they were done with it 5-6 days of the card opening.

John - 'All of those are mine.'

Me - 'I’m sorry Mr. John, I’m confused and I want to help you. You stated the bill was not yours but you just stated you did all of these transactions. How can I help you today?'

John - 'I won the $10,000 gift card, you shouldn’t be sending me a bill for it!'

Me - 'Mr. John, this is not a gift card, this is a credit card that you applied for at our xxxx branch on xx/xx/xxxx date and were approved for $10,000.'

John - 'No, this is a gift card.'

Me - 'I do show that branch was doing a promotional drawing for ten $1,000 gift cards totaling $10,000 if you opened a checking, savings or credit card account but that is still going on and the winners have not been selected yet.'

John - (lots of cussing and imaginative use of the English languages that I don’t remember, it went on for several minutes) 'What am I supposed to do? I can’t afford this bill!'

Me - 'Mr. John I apologize for any confusion. I show your minimum is due by xx date, while I wouldn’t normally recommend this but this...this isn’t a normal situation. Are any of the items you purchased able to be returned?

John - (more cussing stating he shouldn’t have to return anything or pay anything as we should have made it clear this wasn’t a gift card)

Me - 'Mr. John, by any chance do you have the physical card near by?'

John - 'YES, WHY?!'

Me - 'Does it say Credit Card or Gift Card in the top right?'

John - (Slams the phone with such force that only a good plug in the wall phone could do that I think it shattered)."

Just a Tornado?!
Just a Tornado?!

"I worked in a call center for a major financial institution in the Midwest. My office was the only call center to provide service for the one specific type of account we dealt with.

Living in tornado country, we had procedures in place in the case of dangerously inclement weather. We were to tactfully end the call by explaining the situation and taking the caller’s information to call them back. We then were to proceed downstairs to the storm shelter.

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 accountholder, and she said she tried to use her card, it was declined. 'Oh and I need to order another card for my husband.' As I was in the process of opening the systems which displays this info, we got word from our 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.'

'Oh, nooooo no no.'

'I’m afraid so. I’ll need to give you a call back when we get the all clear. Are you currently reachable at xxx-xxxx?'

'Yeah, but stop right there. I got a time crunch here!'

Meanwhile, everyone else is locking their screens and walking out. The windows are black.

'I understand that, I do, but we literally have a tornado near our building right now.'

'Give me your supervisor.'

'I’m sorry, I literally can’t. Neither my supervisor nor the resolution team are at their desks. They are on the way to the storm shelter.'

[yelling] 'Bullcrap! I don’t care about no dumb weak freaking storm bullcrap. Enable my transaction and order my card!'

'I have to go, ma’am. I will call you back.'

'You a witch, sir. You call me back and I’ll talk to your supervisor.'

'Okay, thank you. I’ll reach out soon.'

'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.


All Calls Are Recorded
All Calls Are Recorded

"I work at a membership based roadside assistance hotline. Some people just... Don't seem to understand how these things work. This fine gentleman is one such example of this.

This tale begins not with me but my coworker. Dude calls in, he's super frustrated because his car isn't starting since he left it in his garage for couple months while he was on vacation and now needs a boost. (car pro tip: if you're going to leave your car sitting for an extended period of time, get a trickle charger for it to prevent battery degradation!) One problem, his membership has a missed payment and he needs to settle it before he can get service. My coworker offers him a chance to settle the payment now and then we can send out a service truck to him.

He explained that his dad is actually the one who pays for the membership and tried to argue that even though the membership isn't paid for, it's not his fault and we should send out a truck anyway. My coworker explained that we can't do that, account needs to be settled first. Dude did not take kindly to that, said he was going to call a second time and use his dad's membership (which was paid for) to request service. That's a no go according to our rules, the person whose name is on the membership is the only person who can use it. Coworker explained this, and the dude's response was apparently, 'Whatever, you guys are freaking idiots. You won't notice,' and hung up.

Dude calls in again as he says he would and gets me. He introduced himself under his dad's name and basically impersonated him. I open up his file and find some very detailed notes that my coworker left explaining that this guy was trying to do. I take a quick second to read through them and when I'm done I ask him one question. 'Sir, are you aware that all our calls are recorded?'

I've never had anyone hang up on me so fast before."

Why You Talkin All Proper?
Why You Talkin All Proper?

"I used to work at a call center for a fairly large transportation company. We transport children to and from school, we also have train and bus transportation for normal everyday adult folks.

Anyway, this is a story that will always stick out in my mind and I tell it quite often. I got a call from a particularly irate African-American woman (Her race is relevant to the story) about her child missing the bus. Now, of course, she claims it's the bus driver's fault, that he didn't stop, blah blah blah. Little does she know, we have GPS tracking on all our buses. The conversation goes as follows..

Her: 'Uh, yeah. This bus just drove right pass me and my baby and didn't even stop!'

Me: 'Alright ma'am, hold for one moment and I'll check on this for you.'

Her: 'Mmmmmhmmmmm' (I knew once I heard that, I was in trouble).

So I put the phone on mute, and I could hear her talking while I tracked the bus with GPS

Her: 'This mofo needs to hurry his butt up, I ain't got time to be waitin' all day.'

Me: 'Alright ma'am. I checked on this bus for you, and it looks like the driver did make a complete stop, and he waited over 1 minute for you.'

Her: 'OOOOOOH NAH NAH NAH, I ain't hearin that bullcrap! Ya'll playin too many games with me and my baby! Dis mofo betta come back here and I ain't playin wit yo butt!'

Me: 'Well ma'am, unfortunately since the driver did make a complete stop, and he waited for you more than the allotted time required, he does not have to come back. However, I can have a different bus there in about an hour or so.'

Her: 'OH NO! You betta listen to me, you mother trucker! You send a bus back here NOW or you ain't gonna have a job tomorrow! And I don't know why you talkin all proper, ain't you BLACK!?'

Now at this point, I wouldn't normally engage in such foolish banter, but I decided to humor myself.

Me: 'Ma'am, what does my skin color have to do with the way I speak? Am I not allowed to speak with proper grammar and pronunciation because I'm African-American?'

Her: 'MMMMHMMMM, [n-word], get me a bus back, UNCLE TOM, or you won't have a job tomorrow!' (Yes, she emphasized the Uncle Tom part).

At this point, I pressed *9 on the phone to start recording the call. As soon as she heard the prompt, she quickly hung up. Never in my life have I been put down so much by my own race for speaking with proper grammar. I will never forget this lady until the day I die."


"This call will be one of the funniest ones I remember, and just purely because of the karma this lady got. So I work in a call centre for a cruise company, we don’t get complaints too often but when we do... they are angry!

This lady phones because she hasn’t received her little pack of luggage labels. I check and she’s opted in for ‘Go green,’ which of course means she ain’t getting it through the post. She would have pressed this big green button online that says ‘Opting in for go green means all documents are online only and will not be sent via post.’ YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE BLIND TO MISS IT BASICALLY.

I have more sympathy for older passengers in their 70’s/80’s as they’re not used to computers. This lady was 34 right...

Me: 'Generic phone intro.'

Sara: 'I’m going on my cruise in 2 weeks and I haven’t received my luggage labels!'

Me: 'Okay not a problem let me take a look...(realizes she’s opted in for go green). It looks as though you have opted in for go green and chosen to have online documents only. Unfortunately I cannot resend these as we need at least 21 days to send these to you.

Sara: 'I never opted in for that! You're lying! I didn’t touch anything on my booking, you’re just trying to save on money!! I WANT MY LUGGAGE LABELS NOW!'

Me: 'I’m happy to print and send you paper copies, but they won’t be like the ones that get sent to you as those are hard copies.'

Sara: 'I want to speak to your manager, they will send me some out!'

Me: 'Unfortunately, my manager will say the same thing. They do not have the ability to get these to you any faster than the standard time.'


Me: 'Oh my god.'

Sara hangs up phone

So of course I speak to my manager and explain it all, she listens to the call and has to write it out as a script to pass over to the Complaints manager. Because this lady hung up midway as I was saying ‘Oh my god’ the script looked as follows:


Me: 'Oh my...'

This made me laugh harder.

So anyway to end this beautiful story, the other manager calls the lady to tell her that she is in fact not welcome to cruise with us again, we will be cancelling her booking down as we do not want her on board our ships. AND... she is now blacklisted so if she tries to book again she will be denied booking...HAHAHA karma freaking slaps.

Her response was begging my manager she was sorry and that she didn’t mean it whilst blubbering uncontrollably down the phone.

The manager: 'Nope, too late.'


What Gives You The Right?
What Gives You The Right?

"This lady has permission to speak to us about her daughter's account. She will be Clueless lady (CL) I will be me, and her daughter will be Innocent disabled lady (IDL).

Me: 'Thank you for calling {Major american credit card company}, my name is [me], can I have your name please?'

CL: 'Clueless lady, I am IDL's mother and I am authorized to speak to you.'

Me: 'Thank you, I see that. How can I help?'

CL: 'I want to know what gives you the right to give a disabled person a credit card? Especially with such a high limit!! My daughter IDL is (she used the r-word) and you gave her a card and she ran it up over two grand!'

Me: (baffled) 'Uh... the law?'

CL: 'What?!'

Me: 'Ma'am, we are not legally allowed to discriminate based on age, gender, national origin, race, location, orientation, OR disability. In fact, we don't even collect that information beyond the basics as we are required not to do so by law to open an account.'

CL: (more quietly) '...What?'

Me: (trying not to bang my head on my desk) 'Ma'am, we cannot discriminate. She is allowed a card if she applies for one and meets the minimum criteria.'

CL: 'Can you block her card so she can't use it?'

Me: 'Not legally, no.'


I swear... really?"

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