Funniest Call Center Stories

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Vice President

Destination Excellence

Funniest Call Center Stories
Since it's the holidays, and we should all be in good spirits (or at least trying to get there!), how about sharing your best/funniest call center story. Maybe John will pony up a prize for the best one (any more umbrellas left?).

Here's my personal 'classic':

As a young supervisor in a hotel reservations call center in Texas several years ago, I was responsible for monitoring and coaching new hires during their first few months out of training.

One day, I was monitoring a new hire who was trying to sell a reservation at one of our hotels in Paris. She did a great job of qualifying the caller, a fellow Southerner, and providing features and benefits of the hotel and the amenities. When it came time to quote rates, however,her newness became apparent:

"And, sir, the room rate is 400 Frankfurters per night."

I nearly collapsed from shock and laughter, and as I was composing myself, the caller added the final blow. After a short silence, this fellow Southerner said:

"You mean we gotta pay them fellas in WEENIES?"

By the way, she booked the reservation, was very accepting of my minor correction to her currency selection, and went on to have a very good career with the company. No word onhow the caller got that many hot dogs to Paris.

sales

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An Unusual telephone service
Having not worked in a call centre I don't have a "personal" funny story, however a call centre consutant recently forwarded teh following story. See what you think:

This story was related by Pat Routledge of Winnepeg, Ontario, about an
unusual telephone service call he handled while living in England:

It is common practice in England for the telephone company to signal a
telephone subscriber [ring the phone] by applying 90 volts between one
side of the two wire circuit and ground (called "earth" in England).
When the subscriber answers the phone, the phone switches to the two
wire circuit for the conversation.

This particular subscriber, an elderly lady with several pets, called
to say that her telephone failed to ring when her friends called and
that on the few occasions when it did manage to ring her dog always
barked first.

Torn between curiosity to see this psychic dog and a realization that
standard service techniques might not suffice in this case, Pat
proceeded to the scene.

Climbing a nearby telephone pole and hooking in his test set, he dialed
the subscriber's house. The phone didn't ring. He tried again. The
dog barked loudly, followed by a ringing telephone. Climbing down from
the pole, Pat found:

a. Dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an
iron chain and collar

b. Dog was receiving 90 volts of signalling current

c. After several jolts, the dog was urinating on ground and barking

d. Wet ground now conducted -- and the phone rang.

Training Consultant

Accelerated Learning Training

Not quite call centre but made me giggle
This is a friend of a friend of a friend story, so you can judge the authenticity.

An old lady goes into a high street retailer to complain about a hairdryer she bought a week ago. She is wearing a hat. She takes off said hat to reveal a few strands of singed hair and a rather sore looking scalp. She then produces the offending article. Turns out is was a paintstripper but she had misread the packaging. The customer service person has major problems with empathy and sustains internal injury as a result of trying to keep a straight face.

Business Development Manager

SITEL (NYSE: SWW)

Wife's Mail!!!!!!!!
As a Team Manager, I was monitoring calls of some advisors online, sitting next to them!

Now we had a Cellular Product, where we call customers on their mobile phones and promote some add on value added services.

The advisor goes "...to add to it Mr. Smith were you aware that you can also check your VOICEMAIL absolutely free!!!!!!" The advisor is now confused to hear the customer say "Hey that's fine mate, I TRUST her"

The advisor is still confused and repeats "...the Voice Mail is Free and All you need to do is dial xxxx and you check all the messages" Customer now Angry "I DON'T NEED TO CHECK HER MESSAGES!!!!!"

Realizing that the customer has misunderstood "VOICE MAIL" for "Wife's MAIL"... He did apologize and then customer had a real Big Laugh and that call turned out to be the best call for the advisor because he managed to up sell products worth {x} 45 in that call!!!!!!!! and earned a heftY commission!!!!!!! :)

Agent

Search Consultancy Ltd

15mins of fame
As an agent giving out train timetable info during the fuel problems I asked what felt like the 100th customer of the day 'Where would you like to travel from.'

The customer replied 'It's not the place I'm bothered about it's the time.'

When he advised that he wanted to travel on 12th Dec 2026 I was a little stunned. I decided to take the logical approach. I apologised and calmly advised that the current timetables where only valid until September 2001. He advised that this was not acceptable. I tried to explain that timetables were seasonal and that they were produced by the current TOCs who could change by 2026.

To which he replied 'So i could own one of these companies by then?'

Although I know this was not the best response I replied 'That's entirely possible sir, you never know.'

The customer then went on to advise me that he was in prision and needed to know that train times so that he could get to his son's birthday party when he got out.

The conversation then went in circles for a while as I tried to explain that the needed timetables did not exisit. He then asked me name and advised that he would make a complaint about me if I did not give him the times he wanted. At this point I decided it may be best if he spoke to a supervisor (partly because I wanted a witness to confirm this was not an average call.)

So my response was 'You're very welcome to sir, can I put you on hold while I transfer you to a supervisor? They may be able to help you further sir.'

The customer replied 'Are you sure Elaine? I think you're trying to get rid of me.'

Without thinking I replied 'This may be true sir'

The customer then began laughing and said he was going to pass me to his coleague. His coleague then went on to thank me for being such as great sport and advised that I was live on Manchester radio!!!

Senior Team Leader

TeleTech Customer Managerment

Cannot login
User : allo, I cannot log into my Internet
Helpdesk : What is the error message that you are getting?
User : it is prompting me wrong userID/password
Helpdesk : Can I confirm that you are keying in your password in lower caps?
User : No
Helpdesk : Your password needs to be in lower caps
User : I can't
Helpdesk : You got to try
User : Look here, this is bullshit. There are no lower caps
Helpdesk : Yes there are.
User : All the letters on the keyboards are in Upper Caps..!!!@##$
Helpdesk : ( Falling off chair ) Doh!!! make sure the caps lock is not active.
User : Oooohhhhh......kkkaaayyyyyyy...!!!!!

Customer Service Professional

Sitel India Limited

Desktop! What's That!!!!!!!!!!
Bob: Asked the customer, "Brenda, do u see a butterfly on your desktop(MSN Explorer Icon)"

Brenda: Ok i will look for it.

After 2 minutes:

Brenda: Do you want me to look on the computer screen.

:)

Learning Consultant

BMP Training

Directory Enquiry Funnies
These are places we get asked for on a regular basis:

Windsor Safari Park - closed 11 years ago "but I took my grandchildren there last year"

Middlesex County Council - abolished in the mid 70's

The new cafe that is being built ext to ASDA - and that would be called ????

And finally late on a Friday evening - Can I have a Chinese please ? In which town please ? In this one...........

I could relay 100s more.

Resource Planning & MIS Analyst

Tui Travel - Specialist Sector

Courtesy of Avon and Somerset Police...
Pigeon

Communications operator: "Police Emergency..."
Caller: "Hello... I know this is gonna sound stupid but a pigeon's been run over... and I've got no money to phone the RSPCA or anything..."
Communications operator: "Right... so you're ringing police emergency line..."
Caller: "Well, I've just been told..."
Communications operator: "...which is for life and death about a pigeon which has been run over?"
Caller: "Well, I've just been told to phone you by the operator..."
Communications operator: "Right... Madam I'm going to put you on another line which will give you a number to call. I'm not prepared to deal with your enquiry on this line... just one moment..."

Trainer / Webmaster

Volvo Action Service

Drivers ...

As we are a call center for truck drivers with problems, we get a lot of calls with weird locations ...

One time ... a guy called in with a broken truck on a parking place in Germany. Now, the guy not being able to speak any german and therefore not being able to give us more details , we had some problems locating him. Finally he found the name of the german parking place. As his german was non-existent, yours truly asked him to spell. After a long spellingsession we came to :

' Parkplatz bitte sauber halten, danke shön" which means as much as " Please keep the parking place neat and tidy, thanks ". At that moment, well ... we both started laughing ...

Service Delivery Manager

MXDigital

Personal Injury
I well remember being at a call centre the day after John Prescott hit the guy who egged him.
A caller rang an accident claims line, claiming to have been punched in the street, could he make a claim.

Again a spoof call from the local radio station.

Process Manager Quality Assuranc

Omnia BPO Services Ltd

My Wife is Expecting
This is true incident .. names of company is changed ...


Pls tell if you like it ......


A young Executive of Omnia sought permission from his Manager to leave office the following weekend. "You see," he explained, "my wife's expecting."

"Oh..." said the Officer, "I understand. Go ahead and tell your wife that I wish her luck."

The following week the same Executive was back again with the same explanation: "My wife's expecting."

The Officer looked surprised. "Still expecting?" he said, "Well, well, my boy, you must be pretty bothered. Of course you can have the week-end off."

When the same Executive appeared again the third week, however, the Officer lost his temper. "Don't tell me your wife is still expecting!" he bellowed.

"Yes sir!" said the Executive resolutely, "She's still expecting."

"What in heaven is she expecting?" cried the Officer.

"Me." said the Executive simply.

Inbound Supervisor

Totally Inbound Ltd

Christening a new home...
As a supervisor at an inbound contact centre, I am often exposed to some very strange and/or annoying calls (not least amongst which is when people call at 3am on a Sunday and announce that they "were not expecting anyone to answer the phone" geez! logic?).

The funniest of these has to be the call received on behalf of a client who is a national plumbing and drainage company:

Upon answering the call at around 11pm, and enquiring as to the nature of the callout, I was informed by an agitated male caller that an urgent callout was required to deal with a radiator that had come off the wall. Ordinarily, this along with the caller's name, address and telephone number would be enough to place the callout with the on call engineer, however the gentleman felt the need to explain further:

"We've just moved into the house you see?" (There's me picturing dropping something heavy against the radiator and pulling it off the wall) "And we were 'Christening' the living room. To be honest, we got carried away with the handcuffs, and the radiator came off the wall."

Now, on hearing this I was ready to enquire about the validity of the call, however in the background I heard a woman's voice screeching "What the **** are you telling him all that for? They only need to know that the radiator has come off the wall, not about our ****ing personal habits!"

I duly advised the caller that I would have an engineer in contact with them to attend site as soon as possible. I called the engineer and passed the job details across, explaining the possibility of a prank call, but a certain genuine agitation.

The engineer did in fact attend site, and put the radiator back onto it's mountings, temporary fix the twisted pipes and arrange to complete the repair work the next day during more sociable hours.

Great was my surprise when the engineer called back with a job update - an occurrence that usually only happens when no contact was possible with the site - and advised that when he arrived (around 25 minutes after the call in to myself), he came upon the young lady still helplessly attached to the radiator pipes by handcuff, with a look on her face speaking volumes about the possibility of future nookie!

Agent Advocate

Freelance Writer

Speaking of plumbing...
At the time this occurred, I was providing tech support for cable TV. With the increasing complexity of digital television, we would frequently receive calls from irate and frustrated senior citizens who would be completely confounded by their digital converter box. Usually it would take several minutes to calm the customer enough to assess the problem.

I get a call from an extremely upset older gentlemen. In addition to being sputtering mad, he has a think eastern europe accent which was making him difficult to understand. All I could really pick out was that he wanted someone over there right away to fix the problem. I explained that, as it was 11pm, I could not possibly send a technician before the following morning. He insisted that he have someone there within fifteen minutes. I again explained the impossibility of that and offered to help him sort out the trouble. His response?

"I tell you the trouble! Trouble is f*@king thing is overflowing! That is trouble!"

Further inquiry revealed that he had a blocked toilet. He would not accept that his building superintentent had given him the number to his cable operator, not a plumber. After much discussion, he eventually hung up, presumably to call his building manager back.

Five minutes later, the agent sitting next to me got him.

Agent Advocate

Freelance Writer

Help, fire!
Coax cable is generally connected to customers' homes via a grey plastic box on the side of the residence. This box contains the coax splitter and a ground connection and is locked to prevent cable theft. As with all electrical systems, bad things can happen. We received a call one night from a very angry customer who's cable tv was out. Smoke was coming from the box and it was very hot. he insisted that we send a tech immediately. We told him he needed to call the fire department. The customer refused, saying that it was our box and he was not going to run the risk of the fire department charging him to deal with our stuff. 45 minutes, an agent, a senior agent, and a supervisor later, with flames now flickering from the box, we finally convinced him to call the fire department and bill us if they charged him.

Nature meeting high technology is always fun. Squirrels run along overhead coax and break the lines. Birds roost in the amplifiers. And, my personal favourite, a colony of bees decided that the neighbourhood cable node (large metal box on side of the street) would be the perfect place for their new hive... three years running!

Indian Customers
Some Outlet's loyalty card where you can buy clothes and gain points money where you can exchange from the same outlet ,

Me , Thank you for calling Alix is speaking , how can i help?
Indian guy, Hello Saar can you provide me with the PIN CODE
Me , Can you provide me with your good name ?
Indian guy : Yes My name is Vindoranterian vikass sivanasan
Me Mute : Oh God ,
Unmute Welcome Mr. VIKASS
but there's no PIN CODES for our loyalty Cards!!
Could you please provide me with more info. about the inquiry
Indian Guy,
Ari yaar I'm in front of the ATM and i want to draw my money RIGHT NOW .
Me , Mr. VIKASS This is a loyalty card and the rules and regulation for the program is that you can buy from the our mentioned stores it's true that you can gain points that equals to money but you won't be able use it on ATM you can only use in our stores !
Indian guy : Oh now i understand Mr. ALIX a thousand's very thank to you ALIX SAAR .
So i have to go to store to take the money
Me : Mute, [Rude Words], Unmute, Ok just visit the store provide them with the card and get Clothes instead
Indian guy : Oh that's even better Very thanks to you
Thank you for calling have a nice a day

LOL

Strange calls
i work for a multi client call centre dealing with a large variety of customer calls.
one night I got a call from a very agitated young man wanting to make a claim for personal injury, quitye normal you may think for a law firm.
He wanted to make a claim against Google. When prompted for further information he said that he had dropped his phone in the toilet and he had googled "what to do when your phone gets wet" and had found a video on YouTube that said you needed to put the phone into rice and allow it to dry out.
So trying to ascertain how this had caused him personal injury he then went on to explain that he had cooked the rice (with the phone still in it) and when he went to remove the phone he had burned his hand.
He then went on to say that "the rice tasted metallic" and that his phone still did not work.

My supervisors had listened in to the call and by this time they were rolling on the floor in silent laughter whilst I was trying to keep a straight face and a professional tone in my voice.
I would really love to know what the legal advisor said to the client when they spoke to him the following day.

Funniest call center stories
1. we were investigating customer call fraud cases in India and the perpetrators pretended to be from the American Department of Social Security investigating fraudulent car rental cases. They told the customers someone would have used their social security number to rent a car which was involved in a crime and offered the people to get rid of the problem under the hand.
The funny part is they operated from the back seat of a rental car and used the mobile internet device of the car for their calls.
2. Another funny rental car story is a customer called bewildered and complained about the bad quality of the car he got. The agent was a Newbie and got confused because he couldn't even find the booking. After fifteen minutes problem got solved. A senior took the call and asked if he knows where he was calling. "Europcar", of course. "No, Hertz." Customer apologized and hung up.

Secondhand Stories
I have read this story online from some people in IT support back in the days when CD-ROM drives were becoming standard, but were still new.

Caller:
Yes, my cupholder broke.

Agent:
Have you attached a cupholder to your computer?

Caller:
No, it's built-in.

Agent:
[puzzled]Now where is this cupholder?

Caller:
It's right in the front.

Agent:
[still puzzled]Is it attached to the front?

Caller:
No, you press a button.

Agent:
You mean you press a button and it comes out of the system?

Caller:
Yes, that's it. It's broken.

Agent:
That is the CD-ROM drive, not a cupholder.

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