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This is a question Call Centres

Dreadful pits of hellish torture for both customer and the people who work there. Press 1 to leave an amusing story, press 2 for us to send you a lunchbox full of turds.

(, Thu 3 Sep 2009, 12:20)
Pages: Latest, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Confessions of a phone monkey
1. We all have a standard phrase we have to open the call with. Let us finish first. You can wait 5 seconds to tell us what your problem is. Interrupting me speaking won't fix it any faster.

2. The most common phrase I hear is "now, I'm not sure if I'm through to the right department..." don't worry. Explain the problem as concisely as possible, I'll either do my best to sort it (if it's quick, regardless of whether I'll earn commission on it or not) or send you swiftly through to the right people. If you launch into a diatribe about how you "couldn't be bothered to listen to the options", "found it too bloody complicated" or "picked sales because you didn't think any of the other options would get answered" then chances are I might accidentally send you through to the Welsh language helpdesk. Unless you're actually Welsh, in which case you'll escape because I like your accent.

3. I don't need to know the exact dates and names of the people you spoke to before me. Tell me why you're calling me, don't waste five minutes of our time detailing your last contacts with [company name] going back to the year dot. Chances are I won't be listening and will be perving over the limited eye candy in the office anyway. Telling me who you've spoken to won't solve a damn thing - we've got 30+ call centres around the country and I don't know half the people in my one, let alone elsewhere.

3b. If by chance you do waste my time by doing the above, don't then complain it takes too long to talk to someone. It's due to people like you clogging up the system unnecessarily.

4. Don't generalise skill level by accent. We have incompetent fuckwits both in the UK and abroad - similarly, we have decent people who give a shit here and in India too. Prefacing your racist comment with "now, I'm not racist, but" doesn't absolve you of xenophobic stereotyping. Neither does saying "I just can't understand their accents" - if you had that much of a problem, you'd complain about the Geordie/Scottish call centres too. (Nobody complains about the Welsh ones because the accents are so lovely.) When I laugh a racist comment off, it's because I'm trying my hardest not to tell you what I really think of you, because the inbound calls are mostly recorded, and I'm on a final written warning for the next 7 months.

5. When I ask you for your account number, don't reply "oh, do you need that?". I'm not asking you it for my own curiousity, our own rules generally require it to be quoted to change anything on an account. Apologise and act humble and I'll ask alternative validation questions; tell me to just "find [your] details from the telephone number and use that" and I'll dig my heels in something rotten. I can hide behind the data protection act if I need to, and I'm stubborn enough to lose £2 commission on a broadband order if you rub me up the wrong way.

6. Conversely, if you give me your account number and I ask for your name and address, I'm usually not listening, just waiting for my creaking computer to catch up and do what I want it to. I'll keep one ear open to make sure we do have the right address listed, especially if you've just moved home and someone's forgotten to check the right box.

7. Yes, I know company x/y/z do it a bit cheaper. Generally they'll get their money back other ways, or will have a profit margin so thin that you've not got a chance in hell of fixing a fault if it goes wrong, because that'll wipe out any money they'll make off you for the duration of the contract. Unfortunately our own rules forbid us from telling you the truth and so we have to explain why we're more expensive by promoting our benefits. (Actually, on reflection, this is logical. Just when you're being harangued by three levels of management for not selling enough that day, you want to do anything you can.) If you want it at that price go with them, I can't budge on the prices. If you care about price, eat Tesco value baked beans. If you care about quality, pay a bit more and eat Heinz.

8. Be honest. If you're just getting a phone line to pay us line rental and get calls/broadband through another supplier then it means I can leave you in peace and finish the call quicker than if you tell a transparent lie which means I have to follow a tedious script process.

9. You called us. There's probably a reason for doing so, whether it's to get phone/broadband/tv service, or to have a wank while listening to my voice. Don't have side conversations, answer your telephone, put me on hold, or make me fight over the background tv/radio noise. The reason you're having trouble hearing me is because I'm generally softly spoken - if you're straining to hear me, then you're concentrating on what I'm saying and not anything else. I'm not going to battle above your racket. (Of course, if you're old/hard of hearing/foreign, I will give you a fighting chance.)

10. You're phoning a British call centre, for a British company, in Britain. (Please, no comments on the two offshore centres. They make up 5% of the total phone monkeys, and we're closing them soon anyway.) Don't expect any of us to be fluent in French/German/Russian. Most of my colleagues can barely speak English. (And that's just those of us in the south east.)

11. The long winded script we read out at the close of the call? We're not doing it for our benefit. We have to do it, it contains important information. If you listen to it carefully then it'll avoid you having to phone up again to clarify the date it starts/cancellation rights/price/what it is you've ordered (yes, the last one actually happened). Thankfully the web-based system that the script is hosted on fell over today, and so having had a rap on the knuckles yesterday for not reading it out word for word and instead compressing it into its salient points, I made the most of it and halved my call handling time.

12. The system problems we have are generally not our fault. We do our best with them, if the call takes an extra five minutes just bear with us while we battle with it. If you think it's bad now, 18 months ago would've terrified you. It's actually far, far better than what it was.

Reading that back, I realise how much of a grumpy twat I sound. These are just minor annoyances with a minority of people - generally I love my job, and have a laugh and a chat with a wide diverse range of people or find things to amuse myself (such as the fault reporting system developing a fault earlier today). I know I'm not perfect, but 95% of the time I'll answer your query, sort out your problem or point you in the right direction regardless of whether it's beneficial to me or not. A large number of customers I deal with ask me if I have a direct number because I've been so helpful, friendly and polite (or the odd few who love my voice) - I'd rather sort someone out and hear a "thank you, you've been really helpful" than make £2 selling a broadband to someone.

If you've worked out which company I work for from the hints I've provided in my answers to this question (sadly the Security department don't like us mentioning the company name in the same context as anything negative if we work for them) and you do have a grievance, problem or question then just gaz me and I'll do my best to sort it out for you (even after this question's finished). If you're just gazzing me to moan about something in the past with the company then please don't - I get enough of it at work, and I'm not paid to read b3ta.

(I think this is the first time I've genuinely had cause to apologise for length. On here, at least. Sorry, I got somewhat carried away.)
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 22:12, 10 replies)
I called the amputee hotline,
I got cut off.

#pop# quick and dirty and just like that goes my cherry.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 21:45, 2 replies)
I worked for the Viagra Helpline a couple of years ago.
I lasted four days.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 21:42, Reply)
Spying Fish
I used to work for Screwfix Direct on the inbound ordering line. It was a nice easy job and I cannot remember a bad customer. All I had to do was to enter the reference number, confirm what the item was and ask for the quantity. Good job for a burnt-out engineering student.

The company used an electoral-roll style of address lookup, all you had to do was enter the address and it would populate the name of the owner/voters registered at the place. One day, a very pleasant sounding lady rang up and asked to register as a customer. I asked for her address first and said "Oh is that Catherine?". She sounded very shocked and asked me how i knew. I was feeling rather cheeky (and a bit strange) and said

"Well, I am not really supposed to tell you. However, I do have a magical flying fish that travels down phonelines. He looked over your shoulder and saw a letter with your name on."

About 1 minute passed by in silence then the customer laughed her head off.

She asked for his name and said that she wanted to speak to him. To which I broke out in laughter and said that it was Bob and that he was hiding behind the monitor in a bad mood due to his secret being let out.

Such a nice lady and she wished Bob a nice day at the end of the call.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 21:29, 1 reply)
I spoke to Sky about my broadband today, and had to speak to the doziest cow they had. When she wasn't asking me to "bear with her while she ran tests on my line" (surely a phrase to rival "putting a note on your account"), she was failing to listen to my answers to her questions. Some examples (which I managed to transcribe in Notepad when she was "testing my line"):-

Her: So is the internet light green?
Me: No, it's orange, sometimes it's flashing and sometimes it's solid.
Her: Okay, so you have a solid orange light.
Me: No, it's sometimes solid and sometimes flashing.
[Later on in the call]
Her: So do you still have a solid orange light?

Her: Okay, so now you have clicked disconnect, click on close window.
Me: I can't, that button's disappeared, should I close it with the red x in the top corner?
Her: No, just click close window.
Me: I can't, it's disappeared.
Her: Okay then, just click on close window.
[The sad part is that this one has been abridged, we went round in more circles than one of their bloody satellites]

Her: Do you have any other phone sockets in your house?
Me: No, I don't have any other phone sockets in my house.
Her: But do you have any other phone sockets in your house?
[I wish I made that one up]

Her: Stay on the line and I'll transfer you.
Me: Okay, I will, thanks for your help.
Her: No, no, stay on the line!
[She didn't put me on hold, she cut me off, and my broadband still isn't working]

This is on the back of two £90+ phone bills from me trying to actually get my land line connected, which required me to hold on an 08442 number (free from my Skytalk line WHICH ISN'T FUCKING CONNECTED, and therefore was costing me stupid money per minute) for up to fifty minutes at a time, listening to one song, interspersed with shit along the lines of "Don't miss a minute of the Ashes with Sky Player" (two days after the Oval test had finished).

Ah well, try again tomorrow, it's not like I'm a freelancer who needs an internet connection for work or anything :(
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 21:10, 5 replies)
BT Sales Monkeys
I've had BT peoples ring me up numerous times to offer me various deals towards the end of my broadband contract. The first one came about 2 months before I was due to move house and the contract ending, it was £19.50 (thereabouts) for that monthly bill, a saving of £5 a month on my current deal - the service of which I had been very pleased with (4hours downtime over 5 years and always a good speed and unlimited usage with no fair-usage policies), however, I wanted to shop around a bit first and told him that I was moving house and didn't know whether the new house would support broadband and so didn't want a contract till I knew it would work (I'd actually already spent a few calls to BT to try and get them to test the new line and transfer the line across, but different departments don't talk). I asked how long the offer was valid for, he said the next few minutes, I said no and he granted me a 2-month extension 'under the circumstances'. Win!

Following day they call me again and offer me the same thing for ..... £21.50 a month. I say they offered me £19 yesterday, they apologise profusely and hang up.

~~~~~ move forward two months ~~~~~

Decided to stay with BT, call them up to ask for their £19.50 offer. Bloke can't find it on the system and says he can't give me that... BUT he can offer me the same deal at £15 (maybe £15.35 or suchlike) a month, he admits its a bit retarded but thats what the computer says! So I get it a lot cheaper! Bigger win!

I've also told everyone else I know who is on BT to call up and ask for that same discount - which they have all now received, saving them about £10 a month! :)
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 20:27, Reply)
Tonight, 5 minutes ago....
A fair approximation of the conversation I JUST had.


Me: Hullo?
Phone: *Bzzzzz* Congratulations, you have been selected for some damn holiday or other at some damn place including Universal Studios. If you want to be sold to, press 9 now.
Me: *9*
Phone: You have the code 89090230, hold on and we'll put you through to some poor sap in a pressure cooker someplace.
Me: (sigh)
Poor sap in a pressure cooker: Hello Sir, you pressed 9 and your code is 89090230, is that correct?
Me: Yup, that's right lady.
PSIAPC: Well, spiel spiel, blah blah yackety-smack...
Me: Gonna have to stop you there, I can't visit America because of my heroic criminal record. You see, I have several convictions because of my youthful ardour of yesteryear. I was something of a pinko, and would attend any protest going as well as being a rather successful hunt saboteur. Consequently my actions preclude any visit to the U.S...
PSIAPC: Oh, I'm sorry sir.
Me: ...oh, and all them rapes I did.
PSIAPC: (pause) Oh. I am sorry, sir.
Me: Nah, just joshing about the rapes but I do have a lengthy record of various offences, you see. I stand by each conviction from my protest days, each is a testament to my honour.
PSIAPC:.... OK. Um...
Me: So could I be removed from your lists?
PSIAPC: I'll do my best. No, I will do it. Maybe I could visit you someday.
Me: And you'd be welcome. Good evening.
PSIAPC: Bye, sir.

I feel for the people in those jobs, I really do.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 20:15, Reply)
Seems That It's Not Just Their Adverts That Annoy
This is more than ten years ago now, when I was living with the then-GF in the house we'd bought, well, mortgaged together. I picked up the phone (it rang first, obviously) and it was Safestyle, purveyors of double glazing to the too-stupid-to-say-no-before-it's-too-late-and-they're-fucked and producers of what still ranks in my top ten most annoying advertising campaigns ever in the history of the Earth.

Like so many others (but not all, I realise), this script monkey started right on into the spiel but I couldn't be arsed, so I interrupted.

ME: I'm going to have to stop you there mate - we already have double glazed windows and doors here - they were fitted before we bought the place.
SM: Ah right - they might need replacing then.
ME: All due respect there, but I'm a better judge of that than you are and they look just dandy to me.
SM: You're sure?
ME: Certain.

Script monkey paused for a moment and I thought that would be the end of it, but no. I could swear to this day I heard the lightbulb go 'ping!' over his head as he piped up again.

SM: Do you think your neighbours would be interested?

Oh, now there was a can of worms. Y'see, the GF and I had inadvertently moved into an area ruled over by some masonic knitting circle of old biddies and their hen-pecked hubbies, and they could barely stand the sight of us the moment we put the first stick of furniture in the place. Our card was surely marked since though, when the alarm was set off because I'd left a window open when I nipped out with a mate for an hour. The shrill old tuppence-ha'penny hag next-door greeted me at the doorstep on my return by calling me a pillock - no reason why that I knew of at that moment, I just had this old cunt calling me a pillock off-the-cuff. I told her in return that being a pillock was far preferable to being a shrill old tuppence-ha'penny hag. I enjoyed the look on her face immensely and she never even looked at me again. I enjoyed that too.


ME: The neighbours? Around here? I doubt that I could speak for them mate. {sotto voce: I couldn't even pretend to be enough of a twat for that.}

Script monkey must have been desperate as fuck, cheeky as fuck or both because he came back with this:

SM: Do you think you could pop round and ask them?

You fucking WHAT again? Christ on a bike, I couldn't even be arsed when he'd gotten started but this just snapped the twig for me.

ME: {laughing} You've got to be fucking kidding me!
SM: {hopefully} It's okay, I'll wait.
ME: Unless you're paid to wait for nothing mate, that wouldn't be a good idea. I've heard enough and I'm going now. Bye.

Cheeky, cheeky fucking fucker. Still amazes me now.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 19:54, 2 replies)
Eager to make his quota of cold-calls
Do you remember a PC magazine called "PC Magazine"? Well in the early 90s before the internet proper, the adverts in the magazine used to have a small 3-digit number in a bubble somewhere in the smallprint. In the magazine was a pull out card with numbers on and you coloured in the appropriate number (a bit like when you buy a lottery ticket) for the company/product you were interested in, filled in your details and sent it off. The publishers would then send your details off to whoever you'd picked and they would then send you more information.

So I went through the magazine and coloured in bubbles for probably 90% of the ads and sent it of. About 2 weeks later I started getting loads of literature for all sorts of stuff, including several demo disks (some were 5.25" disks) and even a hardback A5 diary that looked like a Notebook. Big fat envelopes with thick brochures arrived nearly every day for nearly 2 weeks, sometimes in bundles of a dozen or so packages. Bear in mind that I didn't have a computer at all except for a Spectrum + with a dodgy power supply.

Eventually the post dried up and that was that.

About 6 months later, one Sunday morning, the phone rang at about 10:30am, so my wife runs downstairs to answer it thinking it was something urgent. I hear her umming a bit and then she calls me to the phone.
I then had a perverse conversation with a man with an unintelligible Southern drawl. The basic gist was that he was calling about some obscure middleware for what I think was SuperCalc 4. I asked him where he got my number from as I certainly didn't put it on the card. Being half-asleep I sort of uh-huh'd at him as he slurred his way through his spiel which ended up with him offering to send me a demo of the software. By now, I'm getting fed up and tea and Frosties were beckoning, so I said sure ok.

He then said I'd have to pay carriage for it and wanted my credit card details so he could bill me for it. We were skint and didn't even have a bank account at the time, so we did everything by cash. I told him we didn't have one, he sounded incredulous, and then asked if my parents had a card I could use. I knew they didn't but I told him that I aren't getting my bike out and cycling to their house at stupid o'clock.

He couldn't get his head around the fact that I didn't have a credit card yet didn't live with my parents as if one precludes the other. I asked him again how he got my number, and then he began the spiel again about the product, halfway through which he hung up.

Now that's dedication if he's willing to call someone in the Uk from America in the middle of the night.

Length? Probably about 10c per min off-peak plus a few dollars for some strong coffee.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 18:28, 1 reply)
Say it with flowers...
A colleague told me of a legendary tale.
A young woman takes a call from an irate customer, tellig her his bill has been inflated and he has recieved a letter threatening to cut him off if he doesn't pay in the next 7 days.
The conversation goes on, and gets more heated, with the young lady trying to explain the situatuon calmly and the guy becoming more and more abusive.
Eventually, the guy relents, apologises, and asks for the young ladiy's name, so that he can let her boss know how good she is.
A few days later the young lady recieves a bunch of flowers at the office and, at the end of the day, decides to take tham home.
On her way to the car park she is set about and beaten unconscious.

I relate the above as anekdotal, -- though it sound frightenly plausible to me.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 17:52, 6 replies)
I've always wanted to say to a cold-caller...
...that I'm not interested, and furthermore don't appreciate them bothering me in the middle of a huge wank.

But I've never had the nerve...
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 17:19, 5 replies)
While I was typing the post below, the phone rang...
"Hi Mr Martin, it's [snnmph] (I didn't catch his name), did you get your grant yet?"
"It's [snnmph], did you get your grant?"
"Your grant, the insulation grant?"
"My INSULATION grant? Insulation?"
"Listen, I'm a private tenant, the landlord sorts all that out"
"Doesn't matter, even though you rent you can get the grant to get your flat insulated. Have you had insulation done at *recites my address, although confuses the flat number and the road number and assumes there are over 3000 flats in my building*"
"First, do you have a loft to insulate?"
"Oh, well you can't get the grant then, sorry"

(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 17:18, Reply)
Well, it might have been a call-centre...
Carphone Warehouse's landline monkeys (is it TalkTalk? I can't remember) phoned me one night a couple of years ago... I was actually thinking about changing from BT so was interested. The conversation went a bit like this:

"Hi there, this is Carphone Warehouse, talking about our new landline service"
*various blurb and details*
"Ok, sounds good, can you send me some info to think about it then I'll get signed up"
"Sorry no, you can't have the info until you sign up. Let us get you connected now, then you'll receive all the info you need through the post"
"Hmm, that seems a bit strange. What if I want to think about it?"
"We're Carphone Warehouse, you can cancel at any time without obligation"
"Hmm..." (dubiously)
"So, your bank - is it Lloyds or Barclays?"
"er, Lloyds" (followed immediately by a mental facepalm)
"Great, and your account number and sort code?"
"Haha, no hang on - I'm not giving those out over the phone!"
"But we're Carphone Warehouse, there's no risk!"
"I'm sorry, I've got no proof of that, I'm not giving you those details"
"You want to speak to a manager?"
(a slightly different voice comes on the phone)
"Hi, this is the manager, you don't want our plan?"
"No, I want it, but I'm not happy about giving out my bank details over the phone, so I want you to send me some more info, and a form I can fill in to send back to you to take the contract out"
"But this is Carphone Warehouse! There's no risk!"
"So you say - for all I know you could be a couple of Indian guys in the phonebox at the end of my street!"

He seemed quite annoyed by this and started on the whole "there's no risk" spiel again, more vehemently this time.

I cut him off with "Listen - I've had a long hard day at work, you're trying to sell me something and now you're giving me a hard time. I don't need this, bye", and hung up.

Apologies for lack of funnies, although I hope "for all I know you could be two Indian guys in a phonebox at the end of my street" makes one or two of you smile - it cheered me up at the time :)
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 17:13, 3 replies)
Letters of apology
I read this in the paper the other day. Call centres often have to send out apologies to customers - but to save time they copy and paste the substance of the complaint, to include in the apology.

This was one that someone got from BT:

Dear Sir/Madam,
customer lost her husband and while trying to sort out his furaral she was disconnected mor than four times she has been to a number of times that she would get a rebate that she has not recived and customer is very upset at all the people t
Yours faithfully,
British Telecom Plc
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 17:12, 3 replies)
Internet Service Providings
Haven't seen this link on here yet, apologies if bindun

And a related story:

- Tiscali are incompetent liars.

Having sold me a 2Mb connection following their line tests, after 3 weeks of 5-seconds-max-at-a-time internet and regular calls to "support", a BT engineer was sent round and tested the line directly, only to find we can only support 1Mb at best. Contract duly cancelled as Tiscali didn't offer a lower-speed option, so we switched to Virgin who did.

- Virgin are incompetent liars.

Having sold me a 1 Mb connection, I found myself with an intermittent 2Mb connection, which was up about 50% of the time. Repeated calls to Virgin to sort this out failed to produce any result as their computer system said we were on 1Mb, and as they were only charging me for 1Mb (and I was sick of calling people by this point) I let the 12-month minimum contract roll around.

- Tesco are surprisingly competent.

Having had no problems with their 512k connection prior to the Tiscali "upgrade", I went back to them and have had no problems with their service since. Well, except for what happened next...

- Virgin are incompetent liars.

Transferring the line to Tesco and cancelling the Virgin contract didn't seem to get through to Virgin, however, as they charged me for the next month. A couple of phone calls later, all is "sorted". Until they charge me again the next month. Another phone call and it's "sorted" again. A few days later I find I have no broadband. As Virgin have now realised I've cancelled the contract, but conveniently forgotten I'd transferred to someone else. So have contacted BT to disconnect the broadband (that Tesco have been providing for the last 2 months) from my line.

- Tesco remain surprisingly useful.

One phone call and their checks reveal Virgin's cock-up. Another netless week and I'm finally back up and running.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 16:14, 6 replies)
more pea-roastage
Numero 1,

I had a customer call to say they wanted to disconnect their mobile as it was too expensive,
ME "ok, do you think your talkplan is too high?"
HIM "No"
ME "so what are you finding expensive?"
HIM "The batteries, I am switching my phone off after every call I make, but the batteries run out within a month & it was too expensive to keep buying new ones!"
(He added that he had so far bought 3 batteries at a cost of about £50 a piece.)
ME (biting lip) "are you aware that the batteries are rechargeable?... that's why we supply a charger."
HIM "Shit"
The line went dead

Numero 2,

...selling round-the-world tickets to a couple of (rich) gap year students:

Customer A: "So we'll be in Sydney for new year then?"
Me: "Yes"
Customer A: "Is it their summer then?"
Me: "Yes"
Customer B: "So when do Australians celebrate Christmas?"
Me: "July"
Customer B: "Really?"
Me: "No"
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 15:43, 10 replies)
Acting as a Call Centre as Such.
Following copious amounts of Mad Dog 20/20 and Strongbow, we used to randomly phone people up out of the phone book with the surname of "Wall"

Ring Ring
If a lady answers***

"Is Mr Wall there?"
"Is Miss Wall there?"

"Is Master Wall there?"

"There is no Master Wall"


Cue us laughing uncontrollably for hours on end

***If a bloke answered, Danny used to shit it and put the phone down.

Good Times.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 15:29, 14 replies)
Cold call, but
...not on a phone.

Seeing as the QoTW seems to have been extended beyond it's scope....

I once had a window salesman turn up after a cold-call to my ex girlfriend. She was useless at getting rid of them. I'm usually polite and to the point and that seems good enough; she, however could be talked into buying snow if she lived in Alaska.

Anyway, this bloke turns up - of course, she's out. I told the bloke I knew nothing of it and he looked decidedly put out, and then said,

"look, if you just sign this form to say I gave you my speil, then I get ten quid and everyone's happy."

I replied, "yes, of course. Why not." (he was driving a Honda Accord)

...then, "do you want to come in for a beer...?"

Of course, he jumped at the offer. Whilst drinking the aforementioned beer he noticed my guitars (they were, after all, spread about the living room as they always are) and asked if I played.

I replied in the affirmative and started to play. He asked if he could grab one of the others and join in, and he did. He was a bloody decent guitarist by all accounts and we had a jam for a good couple of hours along with a good few beers.

We got to talking about guitars and it turned out he was a roadie in the 60's (aren't they all), he said despite it being low paid - it wasn't for the Hendrix Experience or anything (that's for another QoTW), it was the best time of his life, and the time of his life where he got laid the most etc...

Anyway, when it got dark, the misses returned. He handed me 20 quid to cover the drinks - which I refused, gave me his number and said if I ever wanted to jam again, to give him a ring.

I never did, sadly, but it was quite possibly the most enjoyable cold-call I've ever had.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 15:21, 2 replies)
Would never want to work in one mind...
However, a good way I found of annoying the conservatory salesmen was to invite them round to quote how much it would be to build me one.

When I lived in a rented 1st floor flat.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 14:57, 1 reply)
I don't believe in being rude to call centre staff
Even the cunts who ring from fucking Mumbai, and pretend to be called "Jason" or some shit, even though it's obvious their name is really Sanjay.

The best way to fuck them off the line politely, I've found, is that whatever they're offering, I've miraculously just got.

Refinancing my mortgage? Just did it last week, thanks.

New mobile phone contract? Just re-signed the other day.

Roof tile cleaning? I just had it done a couple of months ago.

Credit card? I already have one of your brand.

Gives them no alternative than to apologise and fuck off.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 14:38, 3 replies)
Not a story
And I realise this is not /links
but this does make me giggle.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 14:24, Reply)
I have heard
that people with Honda Accord's never receive cold calls as everyone is too scared to call them. Plus if they have a complaint it always gets resolved straight away for the same reason.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 14:09, Reply)


(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 13:42, 4 replies)
Grotbags (yes the real one)
Working for a well known software company back in the mid 90's I spoke to Grotbags who was trying to re-install Word 95. She was absolutely barking mad and kept saying that she was calling me from inside her filing cabinet - Could I help her? No. She didnt have a valid support contract - felt guilty ever since...
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 12:54, 1 reply)
Complaint. (Amazingly, 100% Genuine!)
Working at a cable phone company that I've dropped hints about on previous posts, one of my colleagues took an absolute Gem of a call. A woman having services installed at her property called with a good reason to complain about one of the installation engineers as I'd ever heard.

It seems that he was caught short whilst doing a job and decided to use the customers front garden to take a shit. When she saw him and politely enquired as to what the fuck he was doing in her garden, he replied "Isn't it obvious? I'm laying a cable!"

I suppose that is what he was paid for...
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 12:49, 2 replies)
Poetic licence

I once worked in the 'consumer relations' dept (ie complaints factory) for a rather large company that made a rather well-known carpet/clothes stain remover - think pink! Unfortunately, the marketing department didn't do us many favours by over-emphasizing and occasionally exaggerating the claims of said product's stain removing ability.

One customer especially took issue with an advert we had running at the time: Generic Pretty Woman dipped a stained garment into a see-through glass tank filled with water mixed with our stain treatment product, in order to demonstrate it's efficacy. The customer complained that our product was nothing more than a 'tub of crap', and went onto inquire whether any fish were living in the tank, and if we had taken suitable measures to rehome them before the filming of the ad (he was being blatantly sarcastic, but we had to treat all questions as serious). I sent the usual standard responses for how we didn't harm/test on animals, and asked for more details about what sort of stain he was trying to remove etc. Within the hour I received the following reply...

I was pleased to hear that the fish were not harmed
distressed of otherwise alarmed,
And sadly the same could be said about the clothes
for the stains are still very much attached to those.

Before I put them in the water
I read the instructions like I ought'a
I done as it said to do on the side of the tub
before I went off to have a bit of grub.

But twelve hours later, this morning in fact
with the stains still there I changed tact
I boiled washed the items in the machine
by now screaming things somewhat obscene

What the stains are, I shall never know
Tea, coffee, or something alien like cocoa
And while I know not what caused this blemish
I do know I can't shift it with your soppy promise

All I need now is my four quid back
for I have given you products the proverbial sack
But I warn you now not to clean it up with your stuff
Because you'll find it's just not good enough...

Four quid please.

Least to say, this poem was printed out and stuck to one of the walls, where I think it still remains to this day.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 11:56, 8 replies)
here she is again!!
i really hope the girl who im about to mention somehow reads this, she's rang my house in total 4 fucking times today and its only half 11 (well it was when she last rang)

the first time she said where she was from and told me what she wanted my dad for (i'm part time secretary in our house haha)

then not content with my answer that he's not here right now but will be at such a time
she rings back 3 more fucking times!

each time pretending to be a different person asking if he's there cause they'd like to enquire about something or other.
except she has the same voice and doesnt realise that i know the past 4 phone calls are all from the same number

next time i'm just going to scream as loud as i can down the phone, unless anyone has any better suggestions?

(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 11:49, 8 replies)
At least I think it is.

My old flatmate enjoyed winding up call centre staff so much he decided to let them keep on calling. Now, I did work in a call centre, but that was inbound customer service, and as a result I have no sympathy whatsoever for the sales or outbound staff as I was on the receiving end of complaints when they had lied their arses off to get a sale.

A selection of the Andy's best follows:

1. The surreal tangent

Caller: Hello sir, can I ask you about your mobile phone?
Andy: You may.
Caller: Did you know you can trade in your old phone etc. etc.?
Andy: Why no, I did not.
caller: would you be interested in doing so?
Andy: No, I do not own a phone.
Caller: You do not own a mobile phone sir?
Andy: Nope, no phones at all.
Caller: Sir, do not be funny sir, you must be speaking to me on a phone of some sort.
Andy: No I'm not.
Caller: Sir, please do not make funny with me sir.
Andy: I'm not honestly. It's just that the fridge started ringing and your voice came out of it.
Caller: The fridge sir?
Andy: Refridgerator, yes. Your voice is coming out of it from just behind the mince.
Caller: ...
Andy: Do you get this often?

2. The 'Actually making that person's day' call
Andy came through to the living room talking on the phone, muted the telly and put the woman on speakerphone.
Woman: ...and apparently one half of your house isn't on a conservation area so that half would be suitable for double glazing...
Andy: Oh, would you remove the bricks?
Woman: I'm sorry?
Andy: They got bricked up after the council levied a tax on windows. We couldn't afford more than 3.
Woman: I didn't know they still did that...
Andy: Well, you know, it's just part of the learning curve.
Woman: Yes.
Andy: I never wanted to be a homeowner...
Woman: No?
Andy: No...I wanted to be a lumberjack, Leaping from tree to tree as they float down the mighty rivers of British Columbia. The giant larch, the redwood, the mighty scots pine. With my best girl by my side, we'd sing...sing... sing...

And we did. The whole song.

She seemed to enjoy it.

3. Convince them you're a psycho

Caller: And the best thing is that you can take 10 friends' numbers and get a reduced tariff on calls and texts to them.
Andy: Oh dear.
Caller: Do you have that on your current phone?
Andy: I don't think so. I don't know if I need that feature.
Caller: I assure you sir it's very useful, most people only call the same few numbers with any frequency.
Andy: But...I don't know if I have ten friends.
Caller: Well, you don't have to use all of them.
Andy: There's mother...
Caller: Right, family as well.
Andy: Um...
Caller: Does your dad have a phone?
Andy: Who? There's Aunty Sarah - I used to fancy her when I was six - but she's in a retirement home now and doesn't like noise.
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 11:11, 8 replies)
What’s the best way to set fire to a block of flats with a bag of firelighters, some old newspapers, and a two litre bottle of white spirit?
... Well, that’s not very constructive...

... That’s the last time I call the Arsonists Support Helpline...
(, Tue 8 Sep 2009, 11:10, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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