They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!!!

I worked as a Wireless Broadband Consultant for Telstra for a while and it never ceased to amaze me how monumentally stupid the customers could be.  I don’t mean the ones who have zero technical expertise because… well, that was me before they trained me.  No, I mean the customers who were simply incapable of following simple instructions or who were unable to answer simple questions or the ones who liked to blame you for things they had done or things that were literally outside your control.  I used to particularly love the people who would call up complaining that they couldn’t connect to the internet and you’d look up their account and inform them that they hadn’t paid their phone bills so their services had been suspended…. which would normally result in an indignant tirade about how had paid their internet bill but not the phone bill without being aware that one relied on the other. 

Good fun stuff like that.  I used to come home all the time with another stupid annecdote gained from ‘exposure’…. exposure to the public that is.  ‘Them’… the hidden massess… the hairy unwashed and uneducated miscreants who unfortunately make up far to large a percentage of the general population.  I’m not racist or bigoted but I am a rather unashamed snob who doesn’t like having to deal with ‘stoopid people’…. yes it’s a dreadful burden but I’m learning to live with it.  Naturally having worked in IT support, retail AND hospitality over the years I’ve seen more than my fair share.

Anyway… where was i?  General public … customer service… blah, blah, blah.  I found a cool website "The Customer is NOT Always Right".  I’ve been reading through their past entries over the last few days and there’s some perfect examples demonstrated exactly the sort of thing that I’m rambling on about..  The stunning level of stupidity and seemingly willful ignorance displayed in some of these is phenomenal.  I’ve cut and pasted a few favs below:

Fibbing Fail  Retail | Denver, CO, USA

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I need to return this d*** camera.”

Me: “Sure, was it not working?”

Customer: “I just don’t want it, okay?”

Me: “Okay. Have you opened the box yet?”

Customer: “Why does that matter?”

Me: “Well, as the sticker on the box says, if the box is opened and you return it, I have to charge you a restocking fee.”

Customer: “Oh. No… no, it hasn’t been opened.”

(I look and the box has been clearly opened, with a torn seal.)

Me: “Uh… are you sure it hasn’t been opened?”

Customer:  ”LOOK! ARE YOU CALLING ME A F***ING LIAR? Where is your manager? I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars here and this is how I’m treated?!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you just–”


Me: “Ma’am, I believe you! I will return it!”

Customer: “That’s right you will!”

Me: “Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “It’s in the box.”


Egocentrism Meets Geocentrism

Travel Agent | Pendel, PA, USA

Customer, calling from a cell phone: “Would you tell me how to get to your office?”

Me: “Sure, where are you now?”

Customer: “That is none of your business. Just tell me how to get there.”

Me: “But to do that, I need to know where you are starting from. Are you in our town?”

Customer: “I told you that is none of your $%@# business.”

(After few more exchanges of this sort…)

Customer: “You are an idiot. Let me speak to your manager.”

Manager, who overheard part of the conversation already: “May I help you?”

Customer: “Tell me how to get to your office.”

Manager: “Well, that depends on where you are starting from.”

Customer: “&@#$#!! Just $%%@# tell me how to get there.”

Manager: “Okay. See the next corner? Turn right there.”

Customer: *click*


Living On The Edge

Ice Cream Shop | New York, NY, USA

(At an ice cream shop)

Me: “Would you like any mix-ins with that?”

Older woman: “Yes, I would like almonds. But not too many, because I’m allergic, and if I have too many I will die.”



Today, All My Questions Shall Be Stupid

Retail | Somerset, UK

Customer: “What size is this rug?”

Me, reading label: “54″ x 72″.”

Customer: “So how big is that?”

Me: “In centimetres? It’s…”

Customer: “No, in inches.”

Me: “It’s 54 inches x 72 inches.”

Customer: “OK. And what colour is it?”

Me: “Lilac.”

Customer: “Right…and would it look good in my lounge?”

Me: “I don’t know…I’ve never seen your lounge.”

Customer: “No, I guess you haven’t. Do you think I have room for it?”

Me: [email protected]#!


Military Intelligence

USMC (troubleshooter for f-18 jets) | MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA, USA

Me: “Okay sir, can you hear me?”

Pilot: “Loud and clear. Okay, I have a problem with my radar…it won’t test and nothing is coming up in the O-F-F position.”

Me: “Well, sir, turn it to the O-N position and let me know how things work out.”


Random Acts of Specificity

Sandwich Shop | Fort Collins, CO, USA

Me: “What else do you want?”

Customer: “Peppers.”

Me: “Which kind?”

Customer: “… Peppers.”

Me: “We have three kinds of peppers not including salt and pepper. Which kind of these do you want?”

Customer: “PEPPERS.”

Me: “Do you want banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, or green peppers?”

Customer: “PEP-PERS.”

Me: “Do you want these?” *holds up the green peppers*

Customer: “Yes, those! Jesus Christ, don’t you guys know what a green pepper is?!”


Do Not Doubt The Credibility Of The Map

Travel Agency | Alaska, USA

Me: “Thank you for calling **** Travel, this is ****, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Um, yes. You’re located in Alaska, right?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “Is that near Hawaii?”

Me: “No, sir. Not at all.”

Customer: “Yeah, I wanna talk to a manager. This map shows y’all are right next to each other, and I wanna know why one’s so dang hot and the other’s so dang cold.”

Me: “Sir, you’re actually reading the insets on a map of the continental United States. Alaska and Hawaii are several thousand miles apart.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”


Deep Pockets

ISP | Kansas, USA

Customer: “I’d like to buy the Internet, please.”

Sales: “The whole thing?”


This Is What Hell Is Like

Tech Support | USA

(I had this conversation recently with a lady who swore she had been using computers since forever.)

Tech Support: “All right. Now click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “Yes, click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “That’s right. Click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “So I click ‘OK’, right?”

Tech Support: “Right. Click ‘OK’.”


Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “YOU CLICKED ‘CANCEL’???”

Customer: “That’s what I was supposed to do, right?”

Tech Support: “No, you were supposed to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I thought you said to click ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “NO. I said to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Oh.”

Tech Support: “Now we have to start over.”

Customer: “Why?”

Tech Support: “Because you clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Customer: “Wasn’t I supposed to click ‘Cancel’?”

Tech Support: “No. Forget that. Let’s start from the top.”

Customer: “Ok.”

(I spend the next fifteen minutes re-constructing the carefully crafted setup for this lady’s unique computer.)

Tech Support: “All right. Now, are you ready to click ‘OK’?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Great. Now click ‘OK’.”


Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

(And people wonder why my mouse pad has a target on it labeled “BANG HEAD HERE.”)


That last one sounds REALLY familiar 🙂

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