Employees Admit Their Most Regrettable And Embarrassing Customer Exchanges
Employees Admit Their Most Regrettable And Embarrassing Customer Exchanges
Customer service isn't for everyone. It takes an incredibly patient person to deal with other people all day every day. Sometimes, though, even the most patient among us slip up a little. One Reddit user asked:
Now that we're done taking our little bit of joy in other people's awkward suffering, we gathered up 20 of our favorite responses for you. We related to so many of these that now we're questioning our life choices.
I was scheduling a dental appointment for a patient and said something so cringey. We have days set for patients with diabetes so I asked her If she was diabetic. She says yes. I go to tell her that means that I can get her an earlier appointment, but I started with the phrase:
The patient took offense and interrupted immediately with:
**"No. Not cool." **
I accidentally told a patient that having diabetes was cool. I'm cringing at myself
Questioning A Need For Quality
I was helping a customer try to improve his video quality. He was kind of a long talker, so I just got busy making adjustments without interrupting him to tell him. I was only half listening when this happens:
Him: "Can you help me fix this?"
I say: **"Does that make a difference?" **
I was referring to the changes I had made, but it didn't come out that way. The change was subtle enough he didn't realize I did anything. Sure enough, he interpreted it as me being condescending, questioning his need for better quality.
When working retail, my store got a huge shipment and didn't have time to unpack it. A customer came up to my register asking for a fancy pillow. Instead of just telling her they weren't in stock, my big dumb gob uttered:
"oh, sorry, we haven't unpacked those yet."
She stared at me expectantly. I had utterly f*cked myself with a brick stick. She seriously expected me to go to the back room and unpack them so she could see them. My elderly, bitter co-worker was not pleased to be called up to the register. I then explained that I had to go to the stock room and open boxes until I found a specific type of queen-sized pillows.
I probably still have facial scars from the daggers she stared at me.
It took me 30 minutes of quickly opening boxes and throwing packing materials all over the place before I found the pillows.
Customer didn't like them, said they looked better in the advert. She left empty-handed.
"We have a special account status for those who are struggling to use library services, including those over 65!"
"I am 32."
She looked like an orange prune and was balding with thin light colored hair though, so what was I supposed to think?!
Hang Up Next Time
Called a client, was my last call of the day.
Left a super professional message, as was the norm.
Hung up the phone, and whooped:
"F*ck yeah! I'm out bitches!"
... I hadn't hung up the phone.
When I was in high school, a woman with a baby in a stroller came into the store I worked at. I was at a hanging rack, so her marching straight up to me was kind of weird. She wanted to know if a particular guy had come in and hit on me. She described him and I answered her honestly:
"Yeah that dude is a creep. He comes in every shift I work and talks to me for like an hour and follows me out to my car."
The guy was her cheating husband.
The Famiy Tree
I used to be a host in a restaurant. We had a very large party of 16 come in on a busy night without a reservation. The "gentleman" asks how long for that many, so I explain that I can't give a totally accurate guess, since I don't know when we'd have enough tables free to push together. I give him an estimate of 20-25 minutes.
It actually takes 35 minutes for us to be ready to seat them. I was off by ten minutes, which is pretty good considering how many people there were. I tell the "gentleman" that the table is ready and he snips:
"It took you long enough."
Before I could hold my tongue, I replied:
"Perhaps you should consider something called a reservation the next time you bring your family tree to eat."
Needless to say, he was unhappy about that remark and my manager was informed. My manager pulled me aside and told me:
"Nice one, but don't do that again."
I worked fast food when I was 15 and watched a customer really yell into a new girl. Said rookie walked away to go get a manager.
The customer clearly wasn't done yelling, because they turned to me and barked:
"Get her back here, I want to give her a piece of my mind!"
Without thinking, I fired back:
"Are you sure you have enough pieces to spare?"
A couple walked into my restaurant with their toddler. I asked them what they would like to drink. When it came time to get a drink for the little one, instead of effortlessly executing the question "what can I get for this little cutie?" I said:
"what drink can I get for.. this?"
I came off so wrong
Commitment To The Role
Not what I said but how I said it. Let me set the scene.
I'm waiting tables and I get this friendly looking couple. I walk up and, before I can say anything, the says in a heavy Australian accent:
"Hi there mate! How are ya?"
I was thrown off by the accent and by being interrupted before making an introduction. For whatever reason my brain panicked and threw the accent right back at him when I responded:
"Not too bad mate! Yourself?"
I realized i was doing it as it was leaving my mouth but I couldn't stop. I was convinced I was gonna get pinched square in the face... turns out my fake Australian accent isn't bad. The guy is delighted to meet an Australian. He asks if I'm in America on the Work program.
Now I'm stuck. If I admit I'm not Australian I'm worried he'll be offended even though I didn't mean to offend him. If not, I have to play this part for the next hour.
Yeah. I committed to the role. Got a 40% tip though so that was kinda nice and worth the stress.
The Spray Bottle
I was working at a pet store and we sold spray bottles for training dogs and cats. A customer came in shouting that it's not working and how we are all complete scum. She shouted that we were con artists stealing her hard-earned money. I, of course, decided to test it out.
I filled the bottle up with water, turned the lock on the nozzle (which the customer hadn't turned) and proceeding to test spray it. Right in the customer's face. I stood there for a few minutes with the customer in stunned silence. Then I awkwardly go:
**"See? It works." **
It made things worse. The owner tore me a new one. The manager, however, loved it and had the security footage saved to the desktop of the office computer.
Coffee shop. Woman orders a latte and I ask if she wants full fat or skimmed milk. She asks:
"You don't have a semi do you?"
Without thinking, I go for the obvious d*ck joke:
"No, it's just the way I'm standing."
She did not look amused.
Just Being Polite
After the standard screaming fest, an irate customer ended with:
**"And I am never shopping here again!" **
I gave her a smile and said:
**"Thank you, we sure would appreciate that." **
She stood there with her mouth open while I moved on to the next customer.
I was on a call with a customer who was complaining and absolutely irate. I had only been on the job for a few weeks and was becoming frustrated with the call. There was literally nothing I could do to calm this person down or get him to accept my answers. At one point he sarcastically said:
**"Wow thanks, you've been such a great help." **
In my flustered rush to say either "no problem" or "you're welcome" to end the call, I ended up saying:
**"Your problem." **
Then I hung up. He called back several times and I just ignored the calls because I was so exhausted.
Call The Lawyer
When I was working as a bank teller, I had a customer come over to my window with a $5,000 tax return check. This guy threw this check at me and barked rudely at me to cash it. Any bank employee who went against the rules for a customer was immediately terminated if the transaction was for over $1,000. Of course I asked him for two forms of ID - it's policy.
He immediately threatens me with:
"If you continue with this low bar of customer service, you'll be hearing from my lawyer."
"Yeah. Should we call him right now?"
He stalked off over to my manager to complain. My manager wasn't happy.
"She's Not Happy With You Dude."
I offended a female customer badly.
She walked in and started chatting with my boss. She had a pleasant smile, was nice, and looked like she had a decent amount of foundation on. When she came to check out, she complimented me and told me I was very polite. I humbly told her I was just observant and good at guessing. Hope you have your popcorn, people.
She's interested in my guessing abilities and tells me to guess her age. I decline, telling her I should probably begin closing shop. She insists. My boss has worked his way to being within earshot, so he overheard everything.
I tell her:
**"Ok, fine... you look about 45." **
My boss busts out laughing. I look over at him, then back at the lady. Her mouth is wide open.
"Excuse you, I'm 33 years old!"
After about a million awkward apologies she finally leaves in a huff. My boss looks up at me, still beaming from laughter and says:
"She's not happy with you dude."
What Up YouTube?
A customer came in that looked just like a YouTube celeb who puts out marijuana-related content. The customer seemed like a really chill dude, he looked kinda high too and seemed cool enough. He came up to my register to order and I said to him:
"Hey man you ever seen (the YouTube celeb)? You kinda look like him!"
He just gave me this incredibly befuddled gaze. After a brief moment of silence I smiled and said:
**"What up YouTube YouTube YOUTUUUUBBEE!" **
He then says to me:
"Wow, that's actually pretty offensive."
So I told him his total and he reluctantly gave me his money. That was it. I realize I probably should've apologized him.
Oh, you said "Cox"
I worked in a specialized department for a cell phone company. Our department was split into groups who worked exclusively with each carrier. I had a call from a lady who needed help porting her number from Cox Communications. Before transferring her I said:
"I just need a moment to transfer you directly to an expert in dealing with Cox."
Sounded so bad.
All Your Dead People
I worked for a remote medical records company and was tasked with hunting down a death certificate. I had to contact one of the biggest hospitals in the south west regions of the united states, but nobody knew who I was supposed to speak to. Of course that meant I kept getting transferred and having to tell the whole story over and over again. I went through several people, including the Chief of Security - yeah, it was that bad. I finally lost it on the secretary after she told me they don't store dead bodies there. In a slightly too loud void I snapped:
"THEN WHERE DO YOU KEEP ALL YOUR DEAD PEOPLE AT?!?"
Apparently my company teaches "tact when dealing with the deceased" in orientation now...
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.