Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Call This Customer Service?

It was just another day at work. Time was winding down and the weekend was quickly approaching. My mind was on the departmental Christmas party that would be happening tomorrow afternoon. Before I could party as heartily as I wanted, I had some actual work to get done. One of my long term projects involves setting up a new ticketing system from scratch for our call center. In order to do this, I needed to talk with the software vendor to get the minimum specifications for the software so I knew what kind of servers to order for the project. This should be a no brainer, right? Wrong!

The tech support line kicked me right over to the marketing department where I was met with a thick foreign accent belonging to a woman named "Sara". I explained the situation to her and she attempted to transfer me back to the tech support department. I told her that they had just sent me to her and that I was shocked that such basic information wasn't readily available to either department. After failing to placate me with promises of a call back from a software representative, she transferred me to her supervisor, another thick accented person named "Christopher". I explained the situation again.

"The software works on any platform", he said.

"Any platform?", I responded, somewhat dumbfounded. "So, you're telling me that this software will work on an old 386 from the 1980's?"

"Yes, that is so", he said.

"Okay", I continued, hardly believing what I was hearing. "Let me ask you this. Will your software work on my Commodore 64?"

"I believe it will", he said.

"I see", I said, amazed at how versatile this software seemed to be. "So, your software will work even if I have 2 kilobytes of RAM?"

"Yes", he said. He then launched into another attempt to get me off the phone. He promised to have someone call me back with the specific information I needed. Again, I was incredulous that such basic information, information essential to the use of the software they are selling wasn't readily available to their customer interface staff.

I became resigned to the fact that I wouldn't get my question answered today and that I'd have to wait for a call back. Before getting off the phone, I had to ask something. "Where are at right now?"

"You were routed to our call center", the voice on the other end said.

"No, what I mean is, if I wanted to call you directly, what city would I be calling?"

"You would have to call our base of operations in San Diego and be routed."

"But where are you sitting? What city are you physically in?"

"I'm in San Diego", he said. I smelled the distinct odor of scripted corporate bullshit.

"Oh yeah?", I asked, "How is the weather in San Diego today?"

"I don't want to talk about the weather", he said.

I just about blew a fuse right then and there. "Come on, buddy! Hell, just look it up on the internet or something or just tell me it's clear skies and 65 degrees! You've lied about everything else! What's one more?"

My co-workers overheard the whole thing and I think that, due to my nature of playing practical jokes, they initially thought I was faking the entire phone call. The sad thing is, it would have been a pretty funny joke if it wasn't so sadly serious.


  1. Yes, we were all laughing in our cubes at the incredulousness(if that's a word) of the phone conversation.

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  3. Well, I'm finally caught up again. I hate that I always let so much time pass by before coming back here again. Oh well, it gives me several minutes of enjoyable read!

    Merry Christmas. I miss you my friend,


  4. i cracked up at the commadore 64 part.. omg. you sound like me when you realize the person on the other end has no friggin' clue what they are talking about. no matter where they live, ya just gotta screw with them. LOL

    thanks for the monday morning chuckle.. have a great week!! Happy Holidays my friend!! :)