Customer Service Thread

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by tickingnectarine, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. I don't think there's a thread for this anywhere, but I figure those of us who work in retail (or tech support, call centers or other customer service type jobs) could have a place to talk about our experiences on the job.

    Here's one from a couple years ago- one day during the summer, I was working the front register and a customer came up and asked me if the older woman near the back of the store was allowed to sell her birdhouses. I was confused, so I called a manager to look into it, and yeah a customer was trying to sell birdhouses in the store. The manager escorted them out and asked them not to come back.

    What about you guys? What stories do you have?
    • Like x 4
  2. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I used to do tech support. So much tech support. Unfortunately, most of it is sufficiently-technical that it's really hard to usefully explain it.

    But we did have one woman who couldn't understand things like "the top half of the screen isn't changing, we just want to know about the bottom line of the screen", so every time we asked her what the prompt said, we'd get "up-arrow P colon print screen ..."

    Actually, though? I mean, it took like two days to get her through reinstalling software (including the operating system), but... They sent us a thank-you note.
    • Like x 4
  3. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    I...actually can't believe we don't have one of these threads already, this is great.

    So, my stint in retail was mercifully short, because I was working while full-time college while also part-time work study, which was kind of a shit show.

    This one time, though, I was on the floor, and got a radio call of "Hey, does anyone know anything about Skype?"

    It turned out that, out of the 10 ish employees there that day, I was the only one who Had a Skype account and used it semi-frequently. So, like an idiot, I was like "Yeah, sure,"

    It turned out that the lady on the phone was calling because she couldn't find Contacts in Skype. I asked a few questions - she'd bought the computer at our store a few months ago, lived in Canada, and hadn't used Skype in a few weeks.

    She was calling us because she assumed that the computer she had Skype on was the issue.

    It turned out that Skype had updated pretty recently, and that it had shifted some stuff around, and so I pointed out where it should be, which somehow led into a good ten minutes of her telling me repeatedly she couldn't find contacts and me asking her to do different things. She cut herself off mid "I can't find Contacts" with "If this doesn't work I'm calling you back.", and hung up.

    She didn't call back.

    ......I was not trained on either phones or the tech counter, also.
    • Like x 3
  4. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    i used to work at a pizza place and there was one night that some guy followed one of the delivery drivers back to the store, followed him through the employee entrance, and tried to convince the manager on duty to fire him. it was more than a little terrifying even though i only saw everything from the next room over. he literally walked through the fucking employee entrance.
    • Like x 3
  5. Sethrial MacCoill

    Sethrial MacCoill Attempts were made

    I want to share with you the stupidest question I have ever been asked.

    I was working in a sweets shop. A woman came up to me and asked, with a straight face, completely seriously, "What kind of nuts do the almond clusters have in them?"

    It took everything I had not to answer "deez."
    • Like x 23
    • Agree x 1
  6. I can top that one.

    I was working at a call center for a state agency, and an older woman called us for some information. During the conversation she asked if the government shutdown (this was, like. 2014 I think) had ended. I looked it up and told her it had ended 15 days ago. And she said "Fifteen... Isn't that the number of days in a woman's period cycle?"

    Why she wouldn't know the correct answer to that one herself is beyond me.
    • Like x 4
  7. Sethrial MacCoill

    Sethrial MacCoill Attempts were made

    I'm going to go with dimentia
    • Like x 1
  8. Void

    Void on discord. Void#4020

    I used to work at McDonalds.
    I was working the drive thru, at like... eh, i think it was probably 10 or 11pm.

    Guy in a van with his family pulls up. I look out the window to take the order, as we didn't have mics at our store. You had to be at the window. I see. He has his pants down and junk hanging out. Right there. There are people. IN THE CAR. I was like "oh." took the order because i was literally so flabbergasted i just went into autopilot mode. as soon as he pulls away i tell my manager who catches him pulling his pants up at the last window where you pick up food.

    they all got banned from coming back
    • Like x 5
  9. Choco

    Choco Duke of the Weepy Marshmallow Brigade

    OH MAN so my previous job was at a board game store when i lived in vegas which was an Experience- mostly just bullshitting about nerdy stuff with my coworkers.

    now i work at the returns desk at jc penney and you know that one post on tumblr that's like "people call the millennial generation entitled but have you ever tried to tell a middle aged white woman that her coupon doesn't apply?" because that is my WHOLE LIFE. most people are generally pretty sweet/understanding and i have yet to have someone Ask To See A Manager about me, personally, but i have been screamed at twice

    anyway so far the best (?) story i have is this old lady who bought a shirt for her granddaughter & was there returning it. i was grabbing a package for the woman in front of her (we also do order pick ups) and kind of overheard them talking about uniforms and how at once place they have to wear ankle-length skirts or something and how anything else is "playing with fire" (ugh) but i didn't really think anything of it? and then the old lady comes to me and she's like "i bought this shirt because i thought i was very cute for my granddaughter but look-" and she shows me it how it's open both sides, two huge slits basically- i thought it was defective but then she went on "this is a shirt for sluts" and i was just like "!!!!!!?!?!" because i mean, how do you respond to that?

    so i awkwardly process her return while she keeps going on and on about how this is a terrible shirt (it was actually a swimsuit coverup) and she's so embarrassed that she bought it and i just had that fake plastic ohgodpleasestoptalking smile

    man, working retail in utah is something else guys
    • Like x 7
  10. Void

    Void on discord. Void#4020

    OH another McDonalds story. So I was working the drive thru around halloween and we were serving happy meals in plastic buckets because you know. that totally replaces a happy meal toy. anyways this lady pulls up, orders a happy pail. I figured it was a happy meal so big whoop whatever.

    asks me to repeat the order. i say and "one blah blah happy meal" and this mom goes nuts. "UM NO I ORDERED A HAPPY PAIL I WANT IT IN THE BUCKET" "okay, it does come in a bucket, i just need to know if this order is right" "NO I WANT A HAPPY PAIL NOT A HAPPY MEAL" ???? i was just like "yeah ok" and let the manager handle it because i was just not going to sit there and argue the semantics of how it's still a goddamn happy meal even if it's served to you in a stupid bucket goddamn lady. you realize i had to stand there for eight hours yelling at me doesn't do shit i am already dead inside
    • Like x 5
  11. Sethrial MacCoill

    Sethrial MacCoill Attempts were made

    Not a bad story but a kind of cool one. On sundays in the summer I paint faces (like painting butterflies and stuff on peoples' faces, not painting portraits). One day I had this older woman, maybe mid-60s, stop and talk to me for like half an hour while I painted a kid's face. When I was done she asked really shyly and clearly embarrassed about it, "would you be able to paint an adult's face?" She and her sister were traveling around to all their childhood vacation spots, and her parents had never let her get her face painted as a kid. Of course I could paint her face! It was really cool to be able to do that for her, and I've never seen anyone happier to get their face painted.
    • Like x 21
    • Winner x 1
  12. Socket

    Socket fuzzy tabletop goblin

    Probably one of the weirder and kind of surreal experiences I've had working retail was on checkouts. Some dude (late teens, early twenties?) came through and put his shopping on the conveyor. Among this shopping - the rest utterly inconspicuous - was a cucumber and two lemons, placed in a distinctly, uh, phallic arrangement?

    And I'm convinced this couldn't have been an accident, because it was given its own area of the belt between the rest of the unremarkable shopping. But at the same time, this dude kept a completely straight face. And I tried to, and hopefully succeeded, and there was nothing else remarkable about the interaction other than the fruit dick.

    It baffles me to this day.
    • Like x 16
  13. Void

    Void on discord. Void#4020

    another mcdonalds story:

    one time a man came through our drive thru five times in half an hour because he wanted my phone number, then forced me to take his

    i threw it away
    • Like x 9
  14. Carnivorous Moogle

    Carnivorous Moogle whose baby is this


    i think one of my favorite stories from the grocery store where i work was around christmas last year (i want to say it was the week before new years but i'm not sure?).

    it took me a little while to get the full story beyond 'commotion a few lanes over,' but a little old lady came into the store, in big sunglasses and full bright-red sunday morning regalia, at 8:00 on a tuesday night, to accuse a perturbed-looking guy with a perturbed-looking small dog of following her around the store to make her sneeze. she was allergic to dogs, you see.

    i kind of thought i'd hallucinated 'oh! OH! SEE THERE HE GOES AGAIN -swishing feather hat noises-' until one of my coworkers made a joke about it a few weeks later.

    christmas does strange things to the fabric of reality, i guess.

    (there was also the time my cooler manager brought up fursuits in the lunchroom, and 'jennifer aniston in a fursuit' mutated from that into an in-store meme after the time a, um, memorable customer came through the line drooling over her photo on a magazine.)
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
    • Like x 4
  15. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    You know what sucked? At one point i didnt have any shifts for a week or two, and them when i came back i found out that they had changed the script for answeringe phones.

    I still hadnt figured out the new script by the time i had to quit.
    • Like x 2
  16. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya return of eggplant

    once again, your icon fits very well with the post
    • Like x 2
  17. Void

    Void on discord. Void#4020

    to be honest, that was my face 90% of the time i worked at mcdonalds. just. smiling no fuck that i just. had the deadest look ever. my voice was a deadpan. everything was dead. mcdonalds killed me inside :V
    • Like x 2
  18. Lerxst

    Lerxst salty parabola

    I used to be a shop tech in a local mom-n-pop computer shop that has since gone under because the pop sort of stepped back and the mom ran it into the ground and frequently just sort of ~forgot~ to get back in time to do payroll on Fridays. I have many stories.

    The weirdest would be the one who called up screaming because the washer and dryer she'd just bought from "us" didn't work. We did not sell major appliances and never had. So when she finally shut up long enough to let me get a word in, I told her we didn't sell appliances and she probably had the wrong number. Her response? "Well, WHO DO I NEED TO CALL TO GET THIS FIXED!?" I told her she might try calling the place she bought them from. "Well, that's just GREAT!" she snapped and then she hung up on me.

    But this one is the best.

    One day I'm doing my thing. Phone rings. Guy on the other end needs help with his "Tobishy" laptop. After a little gentle wrangling I make an educated guess about what he needs and tell him where he can get it. He thanks me and hangs up.

    A couple weeks later the phone rings. Guy on the other end needs help with... his "Tobishy" laptop. Yes, it's the same dude. Cue nearly verbatim repeat of previous conversation. He thanks me and hangs up.

    A couple weeks after that I'm doing my thing and a dude walks into the shop looking like he just stepped out of a Cheech & Chong movie. Double denim, sleeves ripped off the jacket, bandanna headband, longish gray hair in Willie Nelson braids, flipflops, reeking of Listerine, laptop and accessories in a paper grocery bag. "Hi!" he says, "can someone gimme a hand with this Tobishy laptop?" OH GOD. IT'S HIM. IN THE FLESH. Audible choking back of laughter from at least two of the office ladies, who I'd told about the phone calls with this dude.

    At that time, I am the only tech in the shop. Oh God, here we go. I go up there. He's got this laptop and an external CD-ROM drive taped together in the bag. He points to the drive. "What's this thing for?"

    "That's your CD-ROM drive," I said. "You can get programs on CDs and put them in there to use them."

    "Oh!" he said. "Like porn?"

    ......sure, let's go with that

    There was some confusion about the "Satellite" model name, he thought that meant it could get on the Internet through satellites. I explained that no, that's just a model name, kind of like a Dodge Ram or whatever. Okay, comprehension achieved.

    So we take the laptop up to the checkout station to plug it all in and see what we're dealing with here. Laptop comes on. There is a power-on password. "Uh," I said, pointing at the prompt, "what's your--"

    Okay. I'm not going to repeat the password itself, because even though this was a long time ago and it probably wouldn't hurt to, I have this thing about repeating customers' passwords. What I will tell y'all is that a) the dude blurted it out loud and proud and everyone in the office heard it, and b) it was a verb that confirmed my suspicions that I was dealing with an extraordinary stoner here.

    To this day I do not know how I didn't lose every last bit of my shit at that point. More audible choking back of laughter from the office ladies. Mom Boss is hiding behind her monitor, quietly dying.

    We get into the computer. Stock Windows wallpaper, nothing out of the ordinary. I explain that he'll need a modem to get on the Internet, and though we didn't sell external laptop modems (this was in the age of dialup) I could recommend a place. He thanks me and we unhook everything. And just when I think I'm almost free to go into the back and lose my shit in peace... he spends ten solid minutes taping everything back together and stuffing it back into the paper bag.

    Finally, he leaves. I run to the back and literally collapse on the floor and laugh until I can't breathe. We never heard from the guy again.
    • Like x 15
    • Winner x 1
  19. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    Not so bad yet, but I'm sure I will have more to share eventually.

    My first day at the drivethru register at Major Coffee Chain. We charge extra for extra cups. I relayed this to a customer who wanted one.

    As he handed me the change to buy it, he said, "Don't you feel bad asking for this?" with this absolutely awful expression of shitty entitlement mixed with 'aren't I so nice not to make a scene' faux humility.

    I wanted to tell him that what I feel bad about is all the styrofoam we waste, how so much of it ends up as trash on the side of the road, and that he should suck it the fuck up and deal with a little condensation touching his cupholders. I think I managed to deflect with something about store policy.
    • Like x 4
  20. Here's a classic, happens every week, that never ceases to make me feel sorry for the customer.

    You don't have your rewards card, but still want to use it? That's fine, you just need to type in the phone number on the keypad.

    No, on the keypad.

    It needs the whole phone number, what's your area code?

    No, that's the zip code.

    There we go.
    • Like x 8
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