site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Stupid Customer Tricks...
...Ok, they're not all stupid customers tricks. Some of them are worthy of customer hall of fame sorts of things.

First I have to preface this: I now work for a company that rents textbooks. It's got an unusual name (no, not an obvious one for what we do) and we get some unusual customers. The process, however, is not complicated - you go on the website, you choose your books, we charge your card and send you what you picked out and you return it when you're done. And sometimes customers call us... Since it's the semester rush and we're a very small start-up, everyone is answering the phones and being a good Customer Service Rep. Even the CEO.

"No ma'am, I can't bill you for your textbooks. We have to charge your credit card. No, we don't take Paypal... no, no personal checks either.... no ma'am, I do not recommend sending cash in an envelope."

Customer calls in: "So, I don't have access to the internet and I want to rent a book from you. How can I go about doing that?"
My Response: "I'm sorry, but we cannot take orders over the phone. The only way to place an order with us, for the safety and security of your credit card information, is online. May I ask how you heard about us?"
Customer response: "On the Internet."
Cue my eyes rolling back into my head....

Sometimes I wonder if some of these calls are just pranks. And then I realize they're college students and probably serious.

"No, we don't take returns at the ( Valley) office. Yes, I understand that you are in the next building over and it would be easy to drop it off. Since you're in the next building over I'm sure you understand that it's office space and not warehouse space that's in this building. {Silence from the customer who is probably realizing that the office buildings are perfect twins, and then thanks me for my time.}"

Customer calls in and insists that we cannot be out of stock on a book. Individual who takes the call assures the customer that we *are* out of stock on said book and could not obtain it from the publisher either. Customer says the bookstore is out of stock, Amazon doesn't have it, we're out of stock and she's the only one in the class without a book...

"Couldn't you call the publisher and ask them to print one more just for me?"

Right, just like Netflix has a replication facility at their warehouse to make one more copy of the movie to send especially to you... geez, some people's kids.

"Thank you for calling (my company), how may I help you today?"
"Hi, I'm (male customer) and I have a problem. You see, I enrolled in college a few weeks ago because I'm going back to get a second degree after my divorce, and I have to drive a couple of hours away to get to my school and here's where the problem is. The engine in my car blew up and I can't get to my campus. But a friend is willing to loan me his car, but not to get to my original campus. I have to drive to the closer one, and I'm going to enroll in the same classes if I can get them at the new campus because I can't afford to fix my car right now which is why I'm renting my books."
"So, sir, what can I help you with?" (Thinking that he needs to return his books after all of that...)
"Are the books going to be the same at the new campus?" (Cue WG banging her head on her desk)

Remember how some kids used to lie in class and say that their dog, or the neighborhood dog ate their homework? We got a call the other day that beats that. I'm sitting at my desk working on a data model when I hear one of my coworkers say "Your dog ate the box?"

That gets the attention of the entire office and the call ends up getting passed to someone else as an escalation. Turns out FedEx saw the fences around the customer's yard and all the signs that said "Beware of Vicious Dogs". So they threw the box over the fence. The 3 large dogs in the yard got the box and tore it apart. There was almost nothing left.

We didn't believe it initially - well, who *would*? - but she's sending us the remains of the book and the box. And she's placed another order for a replacement.

I guess sometimes the dog really *does* eat your homework...

...before it's even been assigned.