Customer service is a job that requires a great deal of patience. This is mostly due to the amount of time it often takes for a customer to get through their seemingly infinite rant that could end if the representative could quickly and simply explain themselves. Well, some reps got to have their final say, leaving the customer in a state they had been previously unfamiliar with known as "speechless." These very reps shared their stories on Reddit. To anyone who works or has worked in customer service, prepare to meet some heroes.
"I used to work in Tesco, in England, as a team leader. It was basically a manager's job, on a bit more than a checkout lane operator's wage. I wonder why I gave that up to become a teacher... Oh yeah.
At Christmas time, for some reason, we were quite busy. We had a good 35 checkout lanes in the store and 35 of those 35 lanes were open. Yet, they were still queues. Ultimately, if thousands of people decided to do their Christmas shopping terribly late and you had every single lane open, what could you do?
This woman came over to complain that she had to wait. I explained that the checkout lanes were all in use and we could do nothing. She asked why I wasn't on a checkout. This was something often asked, the simple answer being that if I was the one who had to sort out any problem in case any of the 35 lanes broke or needed something or a customer could not walk the five paces to change their broken packet of biscuits nothing would be done if I was on a lane. She then demanded that everyone should be on the checkout lanes, which they were.
'I want to see the store manager!' she demanded, 'You need to have more people working on the checkouts. Where can I see the store manager?'
'Well,' I replied, 'he's currently sat on that checkout there, because we are so busy.'
She shut up. I really don't know what she wanted us to do."
"One of my favorite stories from my brief time in customer service was when a man called up the night after a minor hurricane screaming that his service did not work, that he had complained multiple times, and this was the last straw. Clearly, our service sucked and it was our fault his cable was out. He kept cutting me off and calling me rude names. Finally, I just interjected.
'Sir,' I began, 'your cable isn't out because of an issue with our service. Your cable is out because a tree branch fell across the cable line.'
He asked how I knew that.
'Because,' I continued, 'you live at [his address] and I live at [my address, same street]. I saw the branch fall. I'm the one who went out in the rain last night to get the branch out of the street. In fact, I know you know it's a branch because I could see you looking out your window at me moving the branch that fell on your property. Not only that, but when I was done, I went inside and called into work on my day off to arrange a bucket truck to come out and rerun the cable so you could beat the rush of calls that came in all across the island due to the storm. You didn't even have to call. A truck is already in route.'
Well, that shut him up."
"A customer was smoking in my supermarket. A staff member asked her to stop smoking. She refused to stop. It escalated to me, as I was the customer service manager at the time.
I grabbed a large CO2 fire extinguisher, walked up to the customer, and said, 'If you don't put that out now, I will be forced to assume you're on fire and act accordingly.'
She dropped the smoke, stamped it out with her foot, and left the store."
"I work in a shoe shop. One of the services we supply is to check how well school shoes fit on our younger customers. Once a staff member has signed to say they are a good fit, the customer is able to bring them back if there are any problems.
This one time, a mother came back in with her son a week after being fitted with a pair, loudly mouthing off that the shoes were too tight and causing blisters. Even though she was being a psycho hose beast about it, we offered to get her a new pair.
Once we were back in the kids' department, she spotted the girl who fitted the original shoes and went completely crazy at her, demanding that the girl should be there whilst a better pair was fitted so she would not make the same mistake again. Despite the mother's pretty degrading language, the girl agreed to sit in on the re-fit in an attempt to help out.
She remembered the customer, even to the point of remembering the child's name, and was visibly upset about doing a bad job. Returning to the till, the fitter offered to put the exchange through as a final gesture of goodwill, and then froze, with an awesome grin on her face.
'These aren't your son's shoes,' she said to the customer. 'They have a name tag inside saying "Tommy" and your son's name is Billy.'
It turned out that the kid had swapped his shoes with another boy in his class. We laughed her out of the shop."
"A customer wanted to return a computer that was about a year old when I worked in retail. I asked him what was wrong.
'It just don't work,' he said.
I powered it on, got into Windows, connected to the wireless network, and got online. I opened Office and everything seemed to be working properly. I showed it to him and asked him what was wrong.
'It just don't work,' he said, again.
I asked him what was actually wrong with the machine, let alone why he would return a computer a year later.
'It just don't work,' he said, AGAIN. 'Are you saying if a car don't start, it works fine?'
At that point, I had had enough of the guy.
'No sir,' I replied. 'I'm saying if there was a car and everyone could start it except one person, I wouldn't blame the car.'"
"I worked at a concession stand for a children's baseball park. It was a large park with nine or so fields, so we got lots and lots of customers. Having lots of customers meant we had to make things in large quantities and the quality was not especially swell. It was a concession stand, not a restaurant.
One day, it was about 20 degrees out and people were ordering hot chocolate by about five cups at a time. Only two of us were working. It is funny how people magically get sick when the weather is awful. The process for making hot chocolate is putting an extremely large container of water in our extremely large microwave and then stirring in an extremely large amount of cocoa powder. It was nothing fancy, but it tasted pretty good, all things considered.
Later in the day, I was working the register and my co-worker, Peter, was running around making everything. A lady came up to the side window, screaming at my co-worker about how he was ruining the hot chocolate. My co-worker could not hear her, seeing as how she was yelling through a window at a guy working around a lot of refrigerator fans, among other things.
She finally comes to the front counter and tells me he's ruining it.
LADY: 'He's going to ruin the milk! He's going to ruin it in the microwave!'
ME: 'There is no-'
LADY: 'HES GOING TO RUIN IT!'
ME: [pretending to get super angry] 'DON'T FREAKING RUIN THAT MILK!'
The lady looked shocked.
PETER: 'What milk?'
ME: 'THE FREAKING HOT CHOCOLATE MILK!"
Peter came up to the front look VERY confused.
PETER: 'There is no gosh-darned milk!'
ME: [to the lady] 'Hmm. I suppose we don't use milk.'
She left looking very scared to talk to us ever again."
"I used to work at a restaurant chain that started about 15 or 20 years back and has about 15 stores in total. People all the time would complain and release the vague threat, 'I know Tommy! Do I have to call him to get some good service?'
Tommy was the guy who started the chain. There was so much freaking bologna from so many people, but we had to put up with it, because that's what you do in the restaurant business.
However, there was one time in which this happened when Tommy was actually in the restaurant. He would come in once every couple months or so and just act like a regular customer, just to kinda evaluate how things were running from a non-owner perspective. Of course, everything magically went smoother for him than any other customer. Imagine that.
This lady who had been a total prick the entire night started complaining. She was talking about how her meal was cold or bad or some bull, even though she had powered through four-fifths of it. She wanted her money back for this 'atrocity.' Then, she dropped the bombshell.
'I know Tommy!' she said. 'He wouldn't stand for this!'
Tommy was sitting almost directly behind her. It was pretty obvious that he didn't know her and she didn't recognize him.
After getting a bit of the old discrete Go ahead nod from him, I just said, 'Ma'am, Tommy is in the restaurant right now. If you could just point him out right now, I'd be glad to let him know what you think of his restaurants.'
'N-no he's not,' she stammered. 'I would have seen him!'
Then, the owner stood up and said Hello. He put on the kind of sickly sweet personality in which you are ever so polite, but a total meany at the same time. She shut the heck up and paid pretty quickly after that."
"My first job was at an ice cream shop as a general manager. It was the south in the middle of a drought, and it was 109 degrees with 100% humidity. A woman came up and ordered 4 hot fudge sundaes... to-go. I have no doubt the girl who made the sundaes did a great job as always but this woman, who was on break from McDonald's, called me about 15 minutes later.
'My ice cream is melted!' she complained. 'I have nothing but soup!'
'I'm sorry about that,' I told her. 'Are you outside right now? I can make something new and bring it out so you don't have to get back in line.'
'No. I'm at WORK.' She then relayed the story of her lunch break with coworkers and the four hot fudge sundaes.
'I see,' I replied. 'How long ago was this?'
'I WAS JUST THERE.'
'Did you have a cooler?'
'NO! Are you SURE you're the manager?'
'Last time I deposited a paycheck I was. I'd really like to help you. What can I do to help?'
'Our lunch is ruined. There's nothing you can do!'
'I sincerely apologize. I can make new sundaes and you can pick them up free of charge. I'll even refund your last order.'
'I'M NOT ON BREAK ANYMORE.'
At that point, my night crew was coming in for their shift and hanging in the back, where I was, waiting to clock in.
'All right ma'am. Let me see if I'm understanding: you ordered four hot fudge sundaes on the hottest day of the year, put them in a hot car for 15 minutes and expected the ice cream not to melt?'
The entire night crew started laughing hysterically. I immediately lost it and started giggling.
'ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME!?' she asked.
'Ma'am,' I replied, 'I'm trying really hard not to, but can you at least see this from my point of view? You've refused a refund, you refused a remake, and you're complaining about something that I have absolutely no control over. I assure you that my staff does everything in their power to make great desserts, but once the ice cream leaves the window, I can't control the weather.'
'I'm calling Corporate.'
"I used to be a low level manager in a call center. It paid the bills. A customer called us and had been perfectly pleasant, gave us his account details, and business got underway. At the end of the call, he asked for one more thing that we could not have done and was informed of this. He immediately got extremely aggressive with my member of staff.
At that point, her hand shot up in the air to cue me and she handed over the headset and chair so I could view the details. I was called a various bad names until we got down to the grand finale.
'Listen, witch,' he said. 'I can see your company's address on your website. I'm going to come down there and mess you up.'
'Good,' I replied. 'You gave my colleague your name and address details first then. I'll make sure to hand them over to the police somewhere in the few hours it is going to take you to drive down here. We'll be waiting.'
"I was working at a gas station in a very rich part of town. During a nice summer day, a prime example of the imbecile variety of the human species drove his super-expensive Lamborghini in, and in that haughty, I'm-rich-so-you-must-do-what-I-say voice demanded that it be filled with premium. The attendant started to fill it, but the guy immediately snatched the nozzle from him.
'You're too stupid to do this on your own,' he screamed to the attendant.
This was in Oregon, where customer cannot pump their own gas. State fire law.
Well, being that this guy was an idiot, gas spilled out from the nozzle all over his sparkly car. At that point, he truly flipped out and stormed into the store, where I was working as the cashier and de facto manager. He immediately demanded to speak to the owner, adding that we were going to pay to have his car repainted AND he would not going to be paying for his gas.
I tried my best to calm the situation, but he had a good rage going and did not want to be calmed down, dang it. While he was spewing forth, I noticed that an officer from the local police department was about to come into the store to get snacks or a drink or some such. This give me a nice idea.
'Sir,' I told the driver, 'I'm afraid that the gas is in your tank and you pumped it yourself, so you are going to have to pay.'
The man exploded, once again, into a fit of rage. Then he asked, at full bellow right as the officer walked through the door, 'So what, exactly, do you think you can do if I just go and get in my car and leave?'
'Well, personally, I can't do much, but the nice police officer standing behind you will probably arrest you for 2nd degree theft.'
The imbecile turned around to see the officer, with a very predatory smile on his face, nodding vigorously. Yeah, he shut up, paid, and we never saw him again.
Thank you, good Lord, for timing."
"During high school, I worked at a Burger King. There was this one woman who would always come into the drive-thru during the afternoon and ask for a Whopper Jr. with extra onions. I mean, a LOT of extra onions. No matter how many we put in, she always came into the store and complained that there were not enough. Still, this was in the middle of the afternoon, so we didn't care.
However, one day, we had four buses full of US Army enlistees at the store at the same time. Convoys of chartered buses would go by periodically, and they usually stopped at our store because the bus drivers knew my boss. These people were always the nicest, most respectful people you could possibly imagine, which was a welcome change after dealing with imbeciles the whole day. They also always ordered a ton of food - all king size, tons of double and triple Whoppers, the whole nine yards.
My boss would always have me give them the 'senior discount' (15% off) and they enjoyed that immensely. As nice as the were, they strained our store to the limit because they ordered so much food. We were almost literally going hammer and tongs to keep up.
Then, 'Mean Face Woman' came through the drive-thru. My boss told me to just grab two handfuls of onions and put them on the sandwich because we did not need a scene when we were as far behind as we were. I could barely close the burger because of the onions, but I managed it and we gave it to her.
The store was completely full of the US Army enlistees. They probably had not had fast food for weeks (I think they were going from boot camp to get their first assignments) and the line was out the door. Suddenly, 'Mean Face Woman' pushed her way past all of these people, rudely shoving them out of her way, and came up to the counter screaming that she didn't have enough onions. My boss is peeved. She took the sandwich, handed it to me, and told me to do whatever the heck I wanted with it.
I dumped the ENTIRE FREAKING TUB of onions (probably about 1.5 LITERS of onions) on it, wrapped it up really, REALLY tight with our somewhat elastic wrapper, and taped it shut. My boss handed it to MFW and she opened it right on the counter to 'make sure we had enough,' even though it as about six times bigger than normal.
The thing freaking EXPLODED ALL OVER. It SO freaking awesome. All the troops were trying not to laugh. One of their officers, a pretty young first lieutenant, was waiting by the counter for his food and finally, he just gave up and started laughing his butt off. The troops took this as a cue. She had about 250 troops all dying laughing at her. It was one of the best days of my high school life.
MFW didn't come back for a month and she never, EVER complained about not having enough onions."
"I work at Ikea in Customer Service. On a daily basis, we have customers come in with items that have been used, broken, old, without their receipt, or not even an Ikea product, DEMANDING a refund. The couple that really takes the cake tried to return to me a broken and rusty ironing board. It was obviously used and without a receipt and I had limited options.
We can only offer store credit if the item can be returned to stock in its original packaging. Obviously, it was not. With a receipt, 90 days are given to return the item in any condition. After I refused the return, they asked for my manager. My manager offered to look up their receipt. We couldn't find it, so we couldn't take it back. They then asked for her manager. Every time they got a 'No,' they asked for the manager above.
Eventually, it got to our store manager, a 6'5", Hulk-like, Swedish BOSSSSS. He started as a cashier and made his way up literally from the bottom to running the store.
He came on down to the belligerent couple who were causing a scene because our customer service was apparently SOOOO poor. After inspecting the item and removing the iron cover (which none of us did before since the item was that appalling we really didn't want to touch it), he found the date stamp. It was from 2002. The couple got real silent because the entire time they said they've had it for less than three months.
Our store manager said in the calmest voice I have ever heard in my life, 'I think it's about time you leave my store.'"
"I live Houston and worked at Kroger around the time of Hurricane Ike. My dad was the store manager around this time and I worked at another store down the road.
After the hurricane had passed, my father and I went to check out the status of the store. It was bad. The power was out and the generator was supposed to kick it, but it didn't. My dad had to deal with disposing of a store with fridges full of potentially spoiled food.
My family and a few co-workers all came into work and spent the next 36 hours cleaning the store up. My dad got a call on day two of cleaning from the district manager telling him to open the store that day at 10 am. We had customers lining up early in the morning. It got bad real quick. There were hardly any workers other than my girlfriend at the time and 15-year-old brother, who were both hired on the spot that day.
I was checking out some butthead with his two butthead friends. He spotted my dad and yelled at him that we were out of Miller Lite.
'Well, we'll get it when we get it!' my dad replied.
The guy then went on to yell out loud how it is outrageous that they had a store that was up and running without essential products. Then, he went on to say that my dad did not know what the heck he has had to deal with.
I had enough at that point and sternly stared the guy in the eyes.
'You are absolutely right!' I told the customer. 'He has no idea what you or anyone else has had to deal with! Not because he doesn't care. No, he doesn't know because he's been too darn busy throwing away half the merchandise in this store (an estimated $10,000) and trying to get this store up and running so you could come here and stock up on Chex Mix and Cheese Whiz. However, I'm sure you could try one of the other stores in the area to find your darn Miller Lite. No, wait... No one else is open.'
The rest of his checkout was silence."
"I worked in electronics at Target. Over at Guest Service, I saw a woman with her teenage daughter heatedly speaking to the guy at the counter. After a few moments, he pointed over at me in electronics. The woman's head whirled around, dragon like, toward me. The rest of her body realigned with hear head and she stomped in my direction.
'How can I help you?' I pleasantly asked when she reached the counter. She slammed a receipt and PlayStation 3 controller on the counter.
'I paid $55 for this and I can only return it for 40!' she exclaimed.
'May I see your receipt?'
She nodded and I picked it up.
'See? $55!' she said.
'Yep, I see that,' I said. 'You bought this last week when the store gave away a $15 gift certificate with the controller.'
'You would shop at Target again, right?' I asked.
'Not if this isn't resolved!' she spat. Her daughter next to her was embarrassed.
'Hypothetically,' I said, 'if there wasn't an issue, I'm guessing you would and you would use that $15 gift card on your future purchase. If we let you return this controller for $55 then you would have a free $15 gift card. That is why the return price is $15 less. I can do the return for you over here if you don't want to go back to Guest Service.'
'I didn't want to return it,' she said, 'I just wanted to know why the return price was so much less.'
She picked up her controller and receipt and began to walk off. Her daughter, clearly ashamed of her mother, thanked me and followed her mother out."
"I used to do tech support for AOL. I eventually worked my way up to the help desk, which is where the 'Let me speak to your manager!' calls would go. I got an irate man on the phone complaining about wait times just to talk to support.
'Do you realize how long I've had to wait just to talk to a live person?' the irate man asked. 'I had to wait nearly 10 minutes!'
Me: 'I'm sorry sir, we've been very busy here since -'
Irate Man: 'Don't you know how valuable my time is? I'm a doctor!'
Me: 'Well, as a doctor, do you have a waiting room?'
IM: 'Of course I have a waiting room!'
Me: 'And do people have to wait to see you?'
IM: 'What's that have... THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!'
He hung up rather abruptly after that."
"I used to work at Blockbuster. I am competent enough to not choke on my own drool, so they quickly promoted me to a manager position. I got to deal with complaints after the customer service rep (cashier) called for backup. The best I ever got was a guy who had a movie charged to his account because he never returned it. He got furious at the cash register and demanded to see a manager.
'How may I help you, sir?' I greeted the customer with a smile, gritting my teeth.
He proceeded to go on a tirade about how he returned the movie in question and demanded a refund. As one might imagine, Blockbuster did not treat or pay their employees very well, so the quality of employee was close to the bottom of the barrel. A few extra dollars an hour would have gotten them a much better calibre of employee and they probably would not have gone bankrupt.
I went through the returned movies as well as the movies that were on the shelf to see if he had indeed returned the movie, but one of the customer reps forgot to scan it in. Ninety percent of the time, the movie would on the shelf. All I would have to do would be to scan it in and the system would automatically refund the customer the money. If another customer tried to rent a movie that had not been scanned in, at the point of sale, the computer would check in the movie and then check it out to zero out the inventory. If I didn't find the movie on the shelf, then there was very little chance this guy had actually returned the movie.
I didn't find the movie.
I returned back to the front of the store and told the angry customer that he, in fact, did not return the movie as it was not in the store. The reaction was priceless. A small line had formed as a result of this incident, so there were people watching my every move, giving me 'the eye' to speed things up so they could get their movies and go home. I can still remember almost word-for-word what he said, in his best condescending loud voice.
'Do you know who I am?' he asked. 'I am the chairman of the board of education for [local high school]! How dare you accuse me of not returning this movie if I said I returned it!'
At that point, my dishonesty meter was high.
'Sir,' I very calmly said, looking him in the eye, 'I don't care who you are. But I'll tell you what, I'm going to refund you your money so I can get these other people through so they can go home and enjoy their night. But, let's make a deal: If I find the movie, I will call you up and apologize personally and give you a free rental. If you find the movie, you return it to me personally and apologize.'
He was taken aback and nodded his head. Not to be outdone, he looked over at his shoulder and said in a loud voice, 'That sounds like a deal.'
The next day, the movie was in the drop box. The guy never entered the store again. He instead sent his wife into the store to rent his movies for him. The kicker? I saw a BMW car key on his keychain. The guy was loaded."
"I work at a gas station. I had a dude come in yelling at me that he prepaid $30 worth of fuel on his pump and his gauge had not even budged. I asked him the obvious questions: 'Are you positive that you pumped it?' 'You don't have a broken gas gauge? etc, etc.'
I promptly pulled up his pump information on the register and saw that he had indeed pumped the whole value of gas. Seeing that we were corporate owned and 'the customer is always right (even when they're freaking morons),' I set his pump for another $30. A few minutes later, he came back in yelling again that his gas gauge had not moved. That time, there was a refund for $13.17 due back.
Hmmm... That's strange. If he actually didn't get any gas the first time and he claims it was on E, then a midsize sedan like his would probably take more than $17 to fill.
I stepped away from the counter ready to investigate further when I looked out the windows and saw it. Gas was spewing from the bottom of this man's vehicle. The idiot had an enormous freaking hole in the bottom of his car dumping $43.17 worth of fuel all over the parking lot. Not only did he not notice it, but he had been in the store yelling at me as if it was my fault.
Before I could point that fact out to this guy, another customer came in and confirmed what I was seeing.
'Whoever owns that car, it's leaking something all over the ground,' the customer said.
'Oh No,' the dude yelled and booked it outside while my co-workers and I watched for a few minutes before getting back to work. For some bizarre reason I could never understand, the guy came back in, demanding I owed him money back. I got behind the counter and explained that he actually owed me $13.
'HOW CAN I OWE YOU MONEY?' the dude asked. 'MY TANK WAS FULL WHEN I GOT HERE. NOW IT'S EMPTY. YOU PEOPLE ARE PULLING SOME SHADY BULL AROUND HERE!'
'So,' I replied, 'what you're accusing me of is going outside and, without you noticing, siphoning the gas out of your car so you can come inside, waste my time, and pay me extra money that I won't ever see in my paycheck? You caught me. Sorry.'
The customer behind him then said, 'Just pay for your freaking gas and quit being a prick.'
The dude paid and left, but only managed to get to a parking space around the side of the building. That was the last we saw of him."
"I worked at a furniture store answering phones and ringing up customers in the office. One day, I got a call from a lady asking if she could return a sofa she had bought. I tried to look up her purchase in our system using her last name and found nothing. I tried her phone number - nope. I tried her email address, home address, everything, and I couldn't find a single thing.
'I'm sorry ma'am,' I told her, 'I can't seem to find your purchase anywhere, are you sure you bought the sofa here?'
'Yes I'm sure!' she replied. 'It's ridiculous that you can't find my purchase. I really need to to return this sofa because MY FATHER PASSED AWAY ON IT and it has some BLOOD STAINS.'
I freaking kid you not! I tried to hide my shocked voice.
'Ma'am, how long ago did you buy the sofa?' I asked.
'About two years ago,' she replied.
This lady wanted to return a two-year-old sofa with blood stains from her father who died on the sofa. I was pretty sure our warranty didn't cover that. But still, if she had bought it from us, she would have been in our records, so I pressed on.
'I can't believe Rooms To Go would treat their customers like this,' she said.
'Ma'am, this is the Roomstore, not Rooms To Go,' I informed her.
'Oh... My mistake. I'll call them.'
I felt really sorry for those Rooms To Go guys."