Several years of taking orders and customer service by phone as well as in person have produced an endless source of humorous, silly, and just plain strange stories. Written below are some my favorites and I hope you enjoy them.
There are no timezones.
I once took calls from a company where the order line opened an hour before the customer service department. The company was headquarted in California and so was open 8am to 5pm Pacific time. One morning a lady called at 7am and immediantly began inquiring about how to return an item. I informed her that here at the order line we didn’t have the ability to process the return and she would need to call our customer service number. I told they would open at 8am pst or in about one hour. The lady insisted it was already 10am and she that she had called the customer service number in the first place. After determining she was calling from Philadelphia I explained that it was only 7am on the west coast and that when customer service was closed calls automatically forwarded to the order line. She became very angry and accused me of lying to her. She insisted time was the same no matter where you were and not to try to fool her with pathetic stories about “time zones. She had a college education and she knew there was no such things as time zones!
I order. You No Ship!
I once worked with a large mail order nursery who sent out their catalogues from January through May. Every week for two years we would get a call from a man who would simply say: I order you no ship! I order you no ship! He would then hang up never giving our agents a chance to get any information so we could assist him. After two years he stopped; we are hoping he got his shipment finally but also a little worried that something happened to him.
Ralphie is Dead!
Years ago I worked for a cable company as a customer service supervisor. One of my agents came running up to my desk. She was frantic. A lady was on her phone and she would just keep saying the same thing. Ralphie’s dead you killed Ralphie. He is dead on the floor. I calmed the agent down pointing out that since we were a cable company it was very unlikely that we had killed anyone. I then took over the phone call. Sure enough the lady insisted we had killed Ralphie. I asked her who Ralphie was. As it turn out Ralphie was a dog. He had been seeing a pet psychic because his nerves were troubling him. The psychic had said that Ralphie needed to have a strict routine in his life to alleviate his stress otherwise grave consequences could occur. Part of Ralphie’s routine was to watch tv at a certian time of day. Well, today the cable had went out and Ralphie had become very agitated and died right there on the floor. She wanted the president of the cable company to come to her house and apologize and to bring two technicians to cart off the dog. We eventually settled on a free month of cable. Hmmm guess the pet psychic was right afterall.
I don’t dial wrong numbers.
I took calls for a customer that sold collectible models. One day when I answered the phone a lady immediantly told me that her fridge was malfunctioning and as it was still under warranty she wanted it replaced. When I informed she had the wrong number she got very huffy. She did not dial wrong numbers and this was too the refridgerator company and I had better help or she would have my job. We went round and round for about 10 minutes before she finally hung up never believing she had called the wrong company.
My hedge is only 2 inches tall
I had to deal with a very angry gentleman. It seems he and his neighbor had went together to order a privacy hedge from our nursery catalogue. He was disappointed when his order of two hundred hedges had arrived and that plants were only 2 inches high not the 6′ shown in the picture. I handled the call as professionally as possible but all the time I was thinking. What an idiot did he really think we were shipping him 200 six foot tall hedges through the post office. After all did he really think six foot hedge trees sold at a rate of 200 for four dollars and ninety-nine sense. I have often wondered if maybe he went to the same college as the lady who doesn’t believe in time zones.
The last one isn’t funny at all it just shows the strange nature of people. While working for a cable company I took a call from an elderly lady who had a service call scheduled for that afternoon. She just called to tell me that while the technician had shown up the lady thought there was something wrong with her. When I asked why she told the lady was just laying in the street. She thought maybe she had been hit by a car. I asked her if she had called 911. “No I just wanted to call you to see if you would be sending out another technician?” When I insisted that she needed to call 911 she replied, “When my new technician gets here then I’ll call 911.” She then hung up the phone. To make matters worse are call center was in Florida and the cable company in New York. I had to call the main office in New York so they could call 911. People are just really strange some time. The technician suffered a broken arm but was otherwise okay and made a full recovery.
So for those of you who work with the public just remember your not alone! For the rest of you be a little patient with the person whose on the other end of the phone we’ve been through a lot.