Customer Service Transcripts #6

Everyone get out of the building!

Customer: My client has a live grenade!!

Me: Um…I’m sorry, sir?

Cust: He has a live grenade! At his house!

Me: Okay…wow.

Cust: What should I do?

Me: Call the police.

Cust: What do I pay my dues for? I need advice! My client has a grenade at his house!

Me: My advice is that you call the police.

Cust: He says he’s going to use it at a store!

Me: Then I would call the police.

Cust: But that’s an ethical violation.

Me: No, it’s not.

Cust: I think you should call the police.

Me: No. You should.

Cust: But then I could be brought up on ethics charges!

Me: Sir, this is a matter for the police. You’re talking to a call center now. If you feel your client is going to throw a grenade into a store I really think you should call the police. Right now.

Cust: Fuck you! If you’re not going to help, then I want my dues refunded RIGHT NOW!

“How much for just one rib?” (August, 2009)

Cust: I want to order the Journal of (edited).

Me: Are you a member?

Cust: No.

Me: The price for 2009 is $159.

Cust: WHAT?!?!

Me: The price for 2009 is $159.

Cust: Ohgodohgodohgod… I don’t have that!

Me: Okay…well, I’m sorry, but that is the price.

Cust: Hold on! 20….40….60…80… No! I only have $80!

Me: Uh…

Cust: How much for just one?

Me: (trying not to think of I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and laugh) $39.75.

Cust: OH MY GOD!

Me: (silence)

Cust: (long silence)

Me: So…?

Cust: Okay! I’m thinking. Hold on.

Me: (silent)

Cust: (about 45 seconds of silence)

Cust: Okay. I can’t afford it.

Me: Okay.

Cust: Okay.

Me: Okay.

Cust: Can you just send it to me for free?

Me: No, I’m sorry.

Cust: What? Why not?

Me: Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Cust: I demand that you send it to me for free!

Me: No.

Cust: You will!

Me: No.

Cust: Okay…okay… Hold on. I’m thinking.

Me: (silence)

Cust: Okay! How about I pay you some now and send you the rest later?

Me: Sorry, we can’t do that.

Cust: How about…uh… Wait. I’m thinking…

(I terminated the call.)

Procedures, Procedures!

Cust: I want to place an order using a purchase order.

Me: Okay, PO’s need to be faxed or mailed in.

Cust: Okay, then I don’t have a PO. How about that?

Me: I can accept credit card payments over the phone.

Cust: But we use a purchase order.

Me: PO’s need to be faxed or mailed in.

Cust: Look, we don’t issue a purchase order until after we receive the items.

Me: Then…how do we know what you’re ordering?

Cust: I tell you, you send them, and then we send a purchase order. That’s the way it’s always been.

Me: I’ve been here nine years and, no, that’s not how it works.

Cust: So what do I do then?

Me: I can take a credit card over the phone, or you can send in a purchase order.

Cust: Okay, fine, we’ll do it your way. So how do I send a purchase order before I get the items?

Me: You can fax or mail it. (I give the details.)

Cust: This is absurd! Look, I’ve been in bookselling for twenty years and this is not the way we do it — you send me the books I want right now. Or else!

And we end with an email:

Hello, I was just at your conference this last weekend, and I met a great guy at the hotel. I don’t remember his name or anything about him. I’m wondering if I can describe him and you can give me his address?

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