CaffeinatedNoms' Candid Customers

I have decided to start a post documenting my exchanges with a select few customers, in order to vent and/or laugh at the state of the technologically illiterate. After all, that’s what the George section is all about, right?

Formatting is thus: Said things in standard font. Computer data in oblique. Emphasis in bold.

I shall start with the drunk woman from the Wirral - imagine if half of Manhattan was swamp, and hated the half that wasn’t. This is the Wirral to Liverpool. This took place Monday 10th. Additional information pertaining to this story: a pack is a pre-pay system whereby instead of just using your data, you get a set allowance of greater value than the original credit. Packs last 30 days before expiration, but you can supplement them with booster packs for one particular service. It’s pretty much a fully optional contract system, where you can leave at any time, and there’s no credit checks because you pre-pay.

Me: [opening spiel omitted]
Her: I just topped up £15 but my pack hasn’t renewed. I need my data so I can do my things!
Me: When is your pack due to renew?
Her: I don’t know.
[omitted: DPA and security]
Me: I’ll check. […] Your pack renews on the 23rd, but I can add some data now from your credit if you need it.
Her: So I topped up for nothing?
Me: No, you still have that £15. In fact you have close to £20 in credit right now, I can-
Her: So I’ve lost all the credit I just added?
Me: No. It’s still there.
Her: So where is my pack!?
Me: It renews on the 23rd.
Her: So it’s useless then?
Me: … no, you still have 440 [of 500] minutes and your unlimited texts. You’ve just used your data up.
Her: I don’t understand, I know I have minutes left, but I need a new pack for my data!
Me: But your pack doesn’t renew until the 23rd. I can add a data boost if you need data, it’ll come out of your credit.
Her: You said I had no credit!
Me: No, no, I said you had £19 credit, but your data has expired in your current pack.
Her: So give me a new pack!
Me: I can’t. You can’t have two packs at the same time.
Her: So what did I top up for?
Me: …because you wanted to buy more data?
Her: No, I wanted a new pack!
Me: But your current one still has a fortnight to run. I can add more data from your credit though.
Her: I don’t want more data I want my new pack!
Me [Jesus Christ, why me?]: Maybe I’ve not explained clearly enough [benefit of the doubt here guys], when you add a pack it lasts for 30 days. You’ve barely used any of your minutes at the halfway point, so even if I were to remove your pack - which I can - and start a new one, you’d be paying £15 for 2GB data and minutes you’re not going to use. I can add another 1GB right now to your account for £2, or 10GB for £7.
Her: So I topped up for nothing then since I can’t have my pack?
Me: No, like I say, your pack is still there. It’s still active. You have your minutes and texts, and I can add more data. You still have your credit.
Her: I don’t want that. I want a new pack.
Me: Are you sure you don’t want me to add just 2GB of data for £4? Then you’ll still have £15 for your next pack. Or if you want I can swap you to the £15 Data Pack which has 4GB data but less minutes.
Me [silently weeping]: You have that pack. You’ve just used up the data from it.
[omitted: the next five minutes going round in a fucking circle]
Me: Would you like me to cancel your pack and add the data pack then?
Her: Will I get my data?
Me [AAAAAAAAAARGH]: Yes, you will get your data.
Her: Well why didn’t you fucking say so already?
Me: I offered you this pack twice.
Her: Just fucking do it then. [hangs up].

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I feel for you.

So glad I’m not in that situation…


Oh, I know this type. I will pour out some coffee for your SAN loss.


Sometimes, you just have to let stupidity win.


Especially on the roads. Let somebody else deal with stupid, I don’t want to.


Today’s Candid Customer is from Norfolk. He’s somewhat high up in $mediumcompanyname from what I could tell since he has second authorisation on the business account.

Me: [opening spiel]
Him: Oh, thank goodness, I have been waiting ages.
Me: [looks at queue, 00m 45s] Oh, I’m sorry…
Him: Right, I’ve got a problem sending messages. I use this phone for work, it’s very important!
Me: Okay then, is it iMessage you’re having the problem with, or regular SMS?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Are the text bubbles blue or green?
Him: Text bubbles?
Me: … When you’re trying to send the messages, the bubbles that pop up with your message in, are they blue or green?
Him: There aren’t any bubbles?
Me: [thinking on the fly] Are you using a third party messaging client?
Him: No I’m using the one on the phone!
Me: Okay then. Can you describe what happens when you’re trying to send a message then?
Him: I’m opening up the thingy and it says “connection to server failed”. I need this for work, what have you done to my phone?
Me: I’m sure we’ve not done anything. [thinking] …are you sending an email?
Him: Yes! My email messages!
Me: [closes down the entire “iMessage cocked up again” diagnosis system] Okay, and it’s saying it can’t connect to the server?
Him: Yes! And I’ve just noticed I’ve not had any new emails since yesterday! I need this for work and you’ve stopped it from working somehow!
Me: [beat] Can you access the Internet on your phone?
Him: [tries] Yes.
Me: Can you use another Internet app, like Whatsapp or Facebook?
Him: [tries] Yes.
Me: Can you try opening your email for me now?
Him: [tries] It says “cannot connect to server”.
Me: Okay. We’re going to go into your email settings to check they’re alright.
Him: I don’t have time, I’ve got important messages to send!
Me: If you don’t have time now, I won’t be able to fix it now.
Him: Fine, fine. Where do I go?
Me: [instructions to where iOS keeps mailing settings]
Him: It’s my work address, $mediumcompanyname.
Me: Okay, I’ll try to find the correct mail settings for it. [three whois’s and some faffing later] Okay, I’ll have to call your provider for the correct settings. It’ll take two minutes and it’ll mean I can get your email working again.
Him: Okay, fine, just hurry.
Me: [dialling out, introduction, etc] Do you deal with $mediumcompanyname?
Host: Yes.
Me: I’ve got a customer on the line who can’t access his mail, and I’m trying to verify his settings.
Host: Oh, I can’t look those up right now.
Me: Heh, computer troubles?
Host: No, we went bankrupt and the removals team are taking the computers today.
Me: … [wtf!?] Oh, I see. Is that including your servers?
Host: Yeah, everything. We’re shut down as of 5pm yesterday.
Me: Ah. Well that explains a lot, thanks. Sorry to hear about the business.
Host: Did you say you had $name from $mediumcompanyname on the line?
Me: Um… yes.
Host: Could you transfer him through? He’s one of the reasons we went bankrupt.
Me: [how much trouble could I get into here?] …give me two minutes.
[push hold, resume line one]
Me: Hi, $name, thanks for holding. I’ve got one of your mail technicians on the line, he can tell you what’s happened.
Him: Oh finally someone who can help me, you’ve been next to useless.
Me: [vindicated] I’m sorry you feel that way, I’m transferring you now. Have a fantastic day!


I seriously hope this doesn’t come back to bite me in the arse but even if it does, totally worth it.

And yes, this actually happened. Today. :laughing:


Wow. Amazing.

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I have condensed today’s entry because I was tired when it happened and don’t remember more than the general gist of it.

• Complaint: The customer has moved house and the village in which he now lives has no signal whatsoever. He wants me to either rectify this or terminate his contract.
• Observation: The customer has moved to an AONB (Area of Outstanding National Beauty) where it is illegal to erect tall structures such as masts, power pylons - even streetlights have to be at maximum 4 metres tall, and must only cast downward light.
• Fact: It is stated clearly in the contract that a customer must inform us before they move so that if we do not cover an area we can release them from contract. This will be moot by 2020 when the company aims to cover 99% of the geographical British Isles rather than the current 95% of the population of the British Isles.
• Suggested resolution: If the customer has home broadband I can supply a free signal box which would act as his own private cell tower.
• Problem: The customer is unwilling to have a broadband line fitted to his house since he was already paying for a device on his contract that was a replacement for fixed-line broadband (a 4G MiFi device).
• Further suggested resolution: I point out that his MiFi device contract ends within two months and that he qualifies for fixed-line broadband from literally £1 per month compared to the current £46 per month he pays for the MiFi.
• Further complaint: The customer then accuses me of avoiding the original issue that there was no cellular service in the village. He refuses to accept that in an AONB there will be no service, even after I call up our three major competitors coverage maps and confirm that there was no service from anyone within fourteen miles of his house.
• Final suggested resolution: I offer to terminate his contract immediately. Of course he would have to pay the termination fees for five devices all held in contract, one of them in its first month, which totalled almost £2,500.
• Conclusion: The customer hung up.


Okay, let me see if I’ve got this right.
You offer to save the customer $45* per month or else they will need to pay an extra $2.5k instead.
Instead of taking the offer they hang up without resolving their issue?**

It makes it so much better that they won’t be able to go to anyone else either :smile:

* no pound symbol on my keyboard

** Well, without resolving the issue they called for. Their other obvious issues you can’t actually resolve anyway

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You get allsorts.

Customer’s own fault then.

I would’ve gone with this.

Ai ja… cuss-tomers.

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