Customer Service Transcripts #12

Haven’t done one of these in a while! I stopped partly because these started to depress me. These are real calls. Looking back on them, for me, is more scary than funny. The other reason is that I ran out of ones that are anonymous. I have lots more, but the really juicy ones are tough because they tend to involve names and personal details — like the guy who just screamed his Social Security number over and over again until I hung up on him, and the lady who couldn’t spell her own name…

Today, though, I got a real doozy of a call. So here it is for your enjoyment. A lady struggling with our online membership application form. This lady was an American, so no language barrier. And remember that all these options she struggled with are drop down menus.

Cust: Okay, I’m looking at the application. I see the area for my name, but it asks for a prefix. What’s that?

Me: Um…what?

Cust: Prefix. What’s a prefix?

Me: It’s…a drop down menu, ma’am.

Cust: A what?

Me: A prefix is “Mister” “Missus” and so on.

Cust: Oh… I don’t see that on that menu thing you said. Drop…down?

Me: What do you see?

Cust: Mr, Ms., Mrs, Dr… (she spells them out: “M-R, M-S, M-R-S…”)

Me: Uh-huh.

Cust: Which one do I pick?

Me: Huh?

Cust: I don’t understand this.

Me: You know. You don’t have to pick one.

Cust: Oh. Okay. Then there’s suffix. What’s that?

Me: (after putting the call on mute and screaming) That’s like “Junior,” or “Senior” and so on.

Cust: So you only use that if your last name is Junior or Senior?

Me: …..yes. That’s right.

Cust: Now, on “current employment field,” what’s that mean?

Me: It’s a drop down menu, ma’am.

Cust: Oh, I see… (she reads off the list of 20 or so fields then she gets to “other.”) Um… What’s “other”? How do I know if I’m “other”?

Me: Do any of the other fields fit?

Cust: Um…no.

Me: There you go.

Cust: Okay. It also says “Highest degree earned in psychology.” I put down my Master of Fine Arts. That counts, right?

Me: Sure!

Cust: The option under that says “General setting.” What’s that mean?

Me: In reference to your degree in psychology. It’s asking where you’re practicing, or if you’re teaching, and so on.

Cust: (she reads all the options from the dropdown). Um… What’s “other”?

Me: We just discussed that, didn’t we?

Cust: Right! If I don’t fit any of the others.

Me: Yep.

Cust: I don’t.

Me: Okay.

Cust: So…which do I pick?

Me: Um…”other.”

Cust: Oh! Right!

Cust: Now, for the question about licensure, it asks yes or no. I don’t know what that means, but I put yes. Is that okay?

Me: Yep!

Cust: How do I submit it?

Me: What’s at the very bottom of the page?

Cust: (it takes her 30 seconds to find it) It says “Review Form.”

Me: There you go.

Cust: And that will submit it?

Me: That’ll let you review it if you want to make any changes, then you can submit it.

Cust: But… If I want to make changes, I can do it now. Why do I have to make changes later?

Me: Well…it’s just to make sure that you got everything right.

Cust: Did I?

Me: I’m sure you did!

Cust: Okay….okay… Oh! Wait! How do I sign it?

Me: You click that thing towards the bottom that says you agree to all the terms and what not.

Cust: That’s…not a signature. How do I get my signature on it?

Me: It’s what they call an “electronic signature.”

Cust: So…if I click that, then my signature will automatically appear?

Me: No…it’s in lieu of your signature.

Cust: In…what?

Me: Instead of.

Cust: Instead of what?

Me: Instead of your signature.

Cust: What is?

Me: Clicking that button.

Cust: Is that legal?

Me: Yes.

Cust: That’s scary. The internet can be scary, can’t it?

Me: The phones, too, sometimes.

Cust: Yes! Yes! Okay. I think I’ve got it now.

Me: Excellent.

Cust: I’ll call back if there’s trouble.

Me: No need to do that.

Cust: Okay…

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   2 Comments


  1. kyle
      February 25, 2011

    Brilliant.

  2. Art Taylor
      February 26, 2011

    Loved this one — and you’re “go for it!” attitude about the licensure question.

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