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Sunday, 25 September 2011

998 Ways To Keep You On Hold

Every one of us, at some point in our lives, has had the misfortune of having to make a phone call to the dreaded customer service department.

These soulless third rate keyboard monkeys purposefully leave us hold for what seems like hours on end and are the most unhelpful scum in the world.
Or are they.

In my previous live I was employed by an insurance company to answer the phones on a range of subjects relating to their policies. These included matters relating to pensions, tax free savings and life insurance.

In the 5 years I spent sat behind a desk, hidden away in my little cubical, staring at computer screen and wondering how much radiation was flooding into my brain via my eyes, I witnessed some of the most selfish, depraved and childish aspects of human nature.

My love for life and the future of our race as a whole slowly but surely evaporated with each and every call I took and has left me as the broken man who is typing these words you are reading now.
Of the thousands of calls I had to endure, some of them stick out in my mind.
The follow list contains genuine examples of conversations that were forever recorded in “THE CRYSTAL BALL!”

The CRYSTAL BALL was nothing short of a piece of paper that members of the team would write down the strange, idiotic and downright weird requests and statements that our beloved customers just had to make.

The full list contains over 150 differing examples of mind numbingly stupid brain farts made by members of the public, but here I submit just a small sample of what the general public believed were relevant and important questions to ask.

To get the most out this list imagine that each line containing the word CUSTOMER (C) is being screamed at you in one ear, and where it says ADVISOR (A) all self respect has been vanquished from you soul.

           CUSTOMER: Can you transfer me to the motor department? The number one doesn’t work on my   phone.

       C:        Where it says date of birth, what do I write?

            C:         Why do you not have an office in Australia?

       C:         “I just want to query this letter you sent...
ADVISOR: Did you receive the letter today?
C: No . . . 1989”

            C:            The last time I looked at this piece of paper it had two numbers on it, now it only has one. Why is this?

            C:                     Are you still open?

       C:             Why do you want a urine sample through the post?

While helping a customer complete a life claim form...

Me - “can you tell me the date of death of your husband?”
Customer” um... (Off the phone) Karen... KAREN... *pause* when did your dad die?.... (long pause)... well, check on the fridge. . .*small pause* . . . yes, it was last Tuesday.”

C:            I can’t hear you I’m deaf.

C:            My mum is dead. Where is she?

C:            Can you make my cheque take longer to get to me, I don’t want it yet.

C:            I have just found out I’m going deaf, so I will have to shout.

C:            What number have I dialled?

C:            What does as soon as possible mean?

C:            How busy will your phone lines be tomorrow?

C:            I have to unroll this elastic band and I’m not very good with my legs...will hang on?

C:            What happens if there is another 9/11 next year.

C:            I want my life policy payable to my dog Jacko!”

C:            Why is my bonus in 1997 less than in 2007?
A:            Because you get more bonuses each year.
C:            So why was it less in 1997?
A:            Because you get MORE bonuses every year.

A:            What is your house number?
C:            I live in a bungalow.

C:            Are you real?

C:            Zeros confuse me

C:            I want to change my address with you, but I don’t know where I’m moving too.

C:            I’ve just had an HIV test and it came back negative. How will this affect my savings account?

C:            Why am I getting other people post, it’s not even my address?

A:            What is the date of death?
C:            I don’t know... would that be on the birth certificate.

A:            I need to speak to your husband for authorisation....
C:            But. . .  he’s blind!


C:            Have you received my cheque?
A:            Which department did you address it to so I can check?
C:            I didn’t, I just putthe cheque in the postbox and thought it would get to you!

C:            Do you have MY death certificate? I can’t find it.

C:            My husband was brutally murdered in November, can I take a payment holiday on my pension.

C:            I’ve just given some money to a man. Was he one of yours?

C:            I have a statement that says January 2005 to December 2005 – that’s the wrong way round!

C:            How do I put money into a bank account?

But the winner of all of these idiotic murmurings has to go to the follow example of pure human stupidity...

CUSTOMER: Where do I send my claim form into?
ADVISOR: Head office.
CUSTOMER: Which floor?
ADVISOR: 6th floor.
CUSTOMER: Oh, that’s where I work!!!!!!

So, the next time you ring a help desk, or a call centre, spare a thought for the sad and lonely people who have to sit and listen to the likes of you prattling on about your stupid little problems. 

The first time you have had to ring customer services in about three years is the EXACT time you should lose your rag and go absolutely mental down to the phone to a person you didn’t catch the name of, you have no idea what kind of day THEY are having and you have just confirmed the full details of your home address bank account to them.

It’s not like they haven’t heard it all before.


  1. If you ask me, that sounds like the most entertaining job out there. I'd love to listen to retarded people all day long! :)

  2. Well after my last post, it looks like I'm up there on the list with the mind numbingly stupid brain farts...yeah, go me! At last, I belong!

  3. Sarah, it was a fantastic job. really set me up for a life surrounded by mind freaks and loonies. only problem now is that i have to deal with them face to face and on some days witness them shuffling from their caravans to the showers block in the dressing gowns like wrinkly grey zombies. puts you off life!

  4. Haha, lily, your post did inspire me to get off my lazy ass and print this off. been meaning to do something with it for years (yes years!) and using as a training aid in work was one of the many reasons i am not longer employed by this company.

  5. Well time does fly Mr H just think all those folk in those call centres are all in India now sitting in the sun and calling us up still from time to time saying they are Clive from the Windows Operating System. . . . .

    I think it is only a matter of time before all call centres are replaced with robots called Clive using the Windows Operating System which at least will allow the public to phone them up and tell them they have a problem.

    1. I only reposted it because of a thing on the BBC news about customer call to councils.
      I have moved away from windows almost completely now.
      My new Chromebook is very cool indeed!

  6. Oh my lord, that list still makes me bloody laugh out loud! Glad you reposted this Mr H.

    1. Nothing beats reliving your worst nightmares. Glad you enjoyed. hahaha


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