The Dumbest Question: Which Windows Came First?
IKEA Display Inspired By Game of Thrones

Call Center Hell: Handling A Vular Caller By Being Helpful!


CallcenterskullHey there. Ms Kew here.

Been a while since my last post. Still in a call centre (now with the great Canadian B-E-Double Hockey Sticks), going on 6+ years, but this story is from my first project, with Phony, as their online sales support team.

Now, with Phony, selling/assisting custies with their online purchase of electronics, we were required to ask "lifestyle" questions to ensure the custy was purchasing the correct item they actually needed. You may not (or, given the readers on this site, most likely MAY ) realize that a majority of custies think that we are all out to scam them out of their hard earned money but the purpose of these questions was so I could actually recommend the right item for them!!

But there is one policy that Phony had comes into play in this situation, that I do not have to deal with any longer(will give props to The Big Brass Instrument for this). We were not allowed to disconnect a call, FOR ANY REASON, without a team managers (TM )approval first. In fact, the TM was supposed to take over the call.

So I get a call one night ...

For the sake of brevity and that there are not enough symbols on the top row to cover the entire conversation, the majority of this call is reduced to a few sentences, rather than quotes.

Me: "Thank you for calling Phony, my name is Ms Kew. How may I assist you with your purchase this evening?"

Customer: "Ah, thank you, Ms Kew! It's so nice to talk to a woman. Do you know the new tablet that Phony has come out with?"

Me: "Yes, sir. What can I help you with regarding 'the tablet' "

Cue this 'gentleman' describing, graphically, what he would like to do to me with said tablet. This diatribe went on for about 5 minutes

Now, I while I come across as very quiet and "business like", I am not some meek little mouse, as some of my co-workers have come to discover!

After getting over the initial shock of this man's words, I flag one of the TMs over to my desk. When HE gets to my desk, (about 3 minutes in) I mute the call and tell him what is going on.

The response I got?? "Deal with it. He'll most likely hang up as soon as I take the call."

WTF!!!! THAT is why I flagged you!!

RHSEPT 291Me: "Do I have permission to end the call, then?"

"NO." and he walks away!!

So, I decided to have the same fun with this guy, as I have with obscene callers I've had at home, only within company policy of asking "lifestyle" questions.


Me: "So, other than the purpose you have already stated, what else do you plan to use the tablet for? Is it for work, school or just personal pleasure?"

- few minutes more of vulgar descriptions.


Me: "Did you know that tablet comes with a 10mp camera and either a 32GB or 64 GB hard drive so that it will record HOURS of the activities you have described, in both high quality photos and videos?"

A few moments of silence and then custy expands on his earlier plans.


Me: "Now, that you have told me exactly what you plan on using our Phony tablet for, I would highly recommend our 64GB model, along with our full coverage warranty, which includes accidental and moisture damage, because I think you will be at high risk of dropping the tablet because your hands may be slippery while using it and it sounds like moisture damage would be an even higher risk"

There is a good length of silence, enough that I ask, "Are you still there, sir?"

"You're no fun!" CLICK.

Amazingly, I was actually written up for this call because, "You should not have antagonized a potential customer" and I forgot to capture the # on the caller ID so they could block him!! No contradiction there, at all!

--Ms Kew




They should have given you a commendation, not a write up! You were plugging the product the whole time!
I'm glad you're somewhere that actually lets you hang up now.

Tech Support Survivor

As a former tsr and phone jockey, I salute you.


I don't give a wet fart what the rules say... someone pulls that shit on me, they're getting a transfer to Mr. Dialtone. I'll put up with it a little bit, generally replying with a flat 'uh-huh. So is that all you wanted?' but after that, I'm out. Cuss, yell at or be a dick with me, and you're out.

Misty Meanor

I would've argued the write up right then and there!


Exactly, TT, and I've been in this business for a long time. I'm pretty tough to phase or rattle, since I've heard pretty much everything. Wanna rant and rave, cuss out the company? I'm fine with that, your language doesn't offend me at all. Get personally abusive, harassing, or threatening, I WILL hang up on you

I lost my ability to be shocked when I did in home computer repair. Spending almost 4 hours cleaning viruses and other stuff from some dude's PC, while seeing the kind of porn he was watching (I'm talking 2 girls one cup, granny, that kind of stuff) while he looks over your shoulder will do that. The whole time I'm just trying not to give him a o.O look


Fortunately, I've never had to deal with people's computers directly. Near the end at the big red Z and when I worked for the big blue hands, we could control some of them directly, but they were all in an office, so generally safe.

The closest I ever came to that was at HAL, nearly 20 years ago... "My son uses my computer when I'm out and there are all these files named things like 'horseluv.mpg' on the desktop. Can you help me delete them?"
"Ok, I can help you with that, but DON'T doublecl--"
(clickclick..."Whinny whinny! Moan moan!")
"Oh my god, that's DISGUSTING! I'm going to kill that kid!"

I did manage to not laugh until I hung up, but it was hard...

Vaguely related story:
Many, many moons ago, I was on the local college's PBS station as part of the Dr. Who marathon / fundraiser they had going on. A bunch of us in the area from one of the fanclubs (before the demophobia got acute. :P) were asked to take phone calls for donations. I was in the 'hot seat', the first phone in the series that the calls always came to unless I was on a call already. One of the presenters was a cute girl in a low and high cut dress. Phone rang, I answered with the spiel, and got a call that if it'd been played live over the channel would have sounded like Morse code for "I'm an asshole". "I want to my in her with a..." etc (Something like this: (SFW)

After a minute or so, I said "Me too, but that's not why I'm here. Want to make a donation?" and he hung up.

The comments to this entry are closed.