Not Always Working Always Works

| AZ, USA | Non-Dialogue, Technology

As the phones at work are to be manned at all times, we’re allowed to surf the Internet when the lines aren’t busy.

I always enjoy going to the Not Always websites. One of the sites has just started to load when I’m sent on break.

I leave my desk without waiting for it to finish. By the time my break is over and I return, all my coworkers are busy taking calls. Only my desk is unoccupied, with NOT ALWAYS WORKING, splashed across the screen.



| QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Employees, Technology

(After I move from a big city to a remote town, I need to call my cell phone provider to make a few changes to my account. The worker who answers the phone after about a fifteen minute wait time is talking with a very heavy accent. It is clear that she was either a first generation immigrant, or is working in a call center in another country.)

Worker: “Thank you for reaching [Cell Phone Company]. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi. I need to change my local call zone as I have moved, and I would like to change my pre-paid plan for a regular plan.”

Worker: “We can only treat one issue per call. You will have to call back for the second one.”

(At this point I think this to be very bad customer service, but assume it wouldn’t do any good to argue.)

Me: “Well, okay… Let’s start with the local call zone. I recently moved from [Big City] to [Remote Town].”

Worker: *after about five seconds* “I can’t find [Remote Town]. Do you have another city?”

(Again, I find this odd, but I figure the other towns around would still be in the same zone. However, those other towns have complicated names, and it’s safe to assume that someone who never heard of them would make a spelling mistake while searching for those towns in a database.)

Me: “Okay, what about [Town #2]?”

Worker:  *after a few seconds only* “I don’t have that. Do you have another town?”

Me: “Hmm… maybe [Town #3]?”

Worker: *after a few seconds again* “I don’t have that. Do you have another town?”

(At this point, I’m about 100% sure she didn’t spell the names right, because I know this company has cell phone coverage in the area I’m in.)

Me: “Are you sure you’re spelling the names right? Those towns have tricky names and—”

Worker: *cutting me off* “Yes, sir, I’m sure. I don’t have those places in my list. Do you have another town?”

Me: “Well, the next town over is about 500 km from where I live, so I guess not.”

Worker: “Okay. Since we haven’t been able to resolve your first issue, we can go ahead and change your plan without you having to call back. So, what plan would you be interested in today?”

Me: “Is this serious? You cannot set me up in a local call zone, and now you expect me to stay with your company, AND to switch from my pre-pay plan to a regular plan?”

Worker: “Well, we have a lot of good plans.”

Me: “Never mind.” *click*

(I called their competitor, and got everything working the way I wanted within the hour. And they have actual decent customer service!)


Three Times A Shouting Lady

| UT, USA | Awesome Workers, Employees

(I work for an inbound call center, taking orders for a wide variety of products advertised on TV and radio. Callers order the advertised item, and then I have several screens of up-sells and add-ons that I have to offer to them. I am required to offer every additional item unless the customer states he or she is not interested in any extras three times, which hardly ever happens, no matter how mad they sometimes become. This call is for a product with eight add-ons. After completing the order information for the main item…)

Caller: “Now, I know you have, like, a dozen other things to sell me. Thanks to problems with my phone and my credit card, this is the fourth time I’ve called and gone through this ordeal this morning. I’ve heard it all before. I’m tired, and I’m frustrated, and I’m really trying not to get angry at you because you’re just doing your job, but I need to get this thing for my daughter. Do we really have to go through all the other stuff?”

(I could hear the exhaustion in her voice and wanted to help her out, but if I didn’t offer the extras, I could face disciplinary action. Then I had an idea.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, I do have a few additional offers for products that complement [Item] very well, and I would like to tell you about them. I think there’s a problem with my headset, though, because I’m having a bit of trouble hearing you.”

Caller: “I said I’m not interested in any additional items.”

Me: “What was that?”


Me: “One more time, please?”

Caller: “I ONLY WANT [ITEM]! Nothing else!”

Me: “Thank you. Because you have stated you only want [Item] three times, I can now skip all the additional offers. Page forward one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. There. Standard shipping or express, ma’am?”

Caller: “You heard me just fine, didn’t you?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Caller: “Well played, young man. Very well played. Express shipping, please.”

Me: “Express shipping it is. The total that will be charged to your credit card is [Price], and your package is expected to arrive within 3-5 business days. Thank you for ordering [Item]. I hope the rest of your day is better that it has been so far.”

Caller: “I think it will be.”


A Passable Reason For A Disconnect

| MI, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers

(I work for a major telecommunication company in their retention department. It is my job to retain a customer’s service and, when not possible, to set up their disconnects. A lot of our calls come in from other departments such as billing. This is one of those calls.)

Representative: “Hi, I have [Not The Account Holder] on the phone. It looks like she needs to disconnect because the account holder has decided to pass away.”

Me: “Um… transfer her through.”


Insecurity Question

| Tampa, FL, USA | Employees, Money

(I am in the QA department, listening to calls to ensure our agents provide excellent service, when I listen to this winner of a call:)

Representative: “May I have you provide the three digits located on the signature panel of your card?”

Member: “Is that on the back?”

Representative: “…”

Member: “Is that on the back?”

Representative: “I’m sorry I can only read the security question to you.”

Member: “That is fine; I just want to know where it is located.”

Representative: “The signature panel of your card.”

Member: “Is that on the back?”

Representative: “…”

Member: “Ma’am?”

Representative: “I can’t disclose that.”

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