Call Center

Seattle, WA

[I do billing and tech support for a major cell phone carrier.]

Customer: I was just talking to someone about getting my rebate card for the phone I bought in November, and we got disconnected.

Me: Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll be glad to assist you with getting your rebate resubmitted or the card re-mailed.

Customer: I’m about to give up! The rebate people keep telling me I can’t have my $50 rebate!

Me: [looking at the notes on the account] Uh, ma’am, the notes here say that you purchased the phone for $1 at Radio Shack, is that correct?

Customer: Yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with it!

Me: Well, a rebate is basically a refund from the manufacturer, on money that you already spent on the phone. If you had gotten that particular phone at one of [carrier’s] corporate store locations, it would have been $79.99, with a $50 mail-in rebate. However, since you only spent a dollar on it in the first place- [at this point the customer cuts me off]

Customer: It doesn’t say anywhere on this rebate form the store lady gave me that you have to pay a certain amount to get your rebate card! I’m eligible for a rebate!

Me: I’m really sorry, ma’am, but there’s no way I can make them honor that, since you didn’t buy the phone at one of our stores. I do see that someone has applied a promotion for a month of free service to your account, though, as well as issuing you some inconvenience credits! Between the promotion and the credits, the value applied to your account is actually greater than the $50 gift card, anyway.

Customer: Those credits are because they were saying I was late on my payment! I pay on time every month, though!

Me: [looks at the payment history on the account] Well, I see that you’ve been making payments every month, but it looks like you’ve been underpaying by $10-$15 every month for the last few months now. I’d be happy to review your plan-

Customer: Oh, I don’t look at my bills, I just make a payment! No, I’m gonna take my free month and go look for another carrier. I can’t believe you won’t give me my rebate card!

[Nothing I can do or say will persuade the customer than in fact she owed us the remaining balance from her bills, and we do not owe her a rebate on money she never paid for her phone. Eventually she hangs up the call.]

Grocery Store


(I am at the register checking out items for a customer. There are 2 other people waiting in line including a mom with her daughter who is only about 6. The little girl asks her mom if she can get a candy bar. After her mom said no the little girl begins to turn back to put the candy back when she gets an idea and sneaks it into the man’s cart in front of them. As I was about to tell the man who was next in line what had happened he puts his items up on the belt and shakes his head at me to not say anything. The little girl quickly tries to grab the candy from one of his bags before he leaves when he grabs the candy  and proceeds to eat it, laughing in the girl’s face while exiting the shop.)

Little Girl’s Mom: (turning towards me while putting items up) “That’ll teach her.”


Moon Township, PA, USA

Customer: Im looking for this movie, do you happen to have it?

Me: let me have a look here (i look through all the movies we currently have)no, seems like we dont have this movie at the moment.

Customer: Ive been looking through your movies and they are all out of order. You should at least try to keep them in alphabetical order.

Me: Yeah, we could try that, but customers would pick up the movie and put it in a different spot.

Customer: Then you should put signs up stating that if you pick up a movie, put it back where you got it!

Me: But people dont read!

Customer: Ah, you do have a good point there….

Tech Support

Bend, OR

(I’ve been on a call with this customer for 22 minutes troubleshooting her wifi on her tablet.)

Me: Let’s restart your router.

Customer: Okay. How do I reset it?

Me: You can unplug it or press the power button.

Customer: I can’t, it doesn’t have either of those.

Me: Hmmm, is there a small hole that says reset?

Customer: Yes.

(4 minutes later…)

Customer: It won’t turn off.

(There was no other troubleshooting I could possibly do at this point.)

Me: Are you able to take the batteries out of it? We have to reset it.

Customer’s husband: Take the batteries out of what?

Me: The router.

Husband: The router? What do you mean?

Me: How do you get your internet?

Husband: -chuckles- Honey, how do you get your internet?

Customer: Just around, from the neighbor I guess?

Me: So.. You don’t have a wifi router in your house?

Both Simultaneously: No.