The Customer Is Always Right?


It is a common rule that the customer is always right. But I worked in retail for three years, and I can assure you that it is very rarely true!

But there is one area that is even worse than retail…… CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Below I have posted some actual customer service conversations. They may sound crazy to you, but anyone who deals with the general public on a daily basis will surely be aware of how stupid some people can be.

Here are some of the customer service conversations that amused me the most:

: I have been ringing 0700 2300 for two days now and can’t get through to enquiries, can you help?

Operator: Where did you get that number from?

Customer: It was on the door of your travel center

Operator: They are our opening hours.


Caller: Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?

Operator: I am sorry sir, I don’t understand who you are talking about.

Caller: In your user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Can you give me his number?

Operator: I think you mean the telephone point on the wall.


Caller: Does your European breakdown policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?

Operator: Doesn’t the name of the product give you s clue?


Caller: Can you give me the phone number for the knitwear company in Woven?

Operator: We have no record of a place called Woven, are you sure?

Caller: Yes, it clearly states on the label: Woven in Scotland.


Tech Support: I need you to right-Click on the open desktop.

Customer: OK.

Tech Support: Did you get a pop-up menu?

Customer: No.

Tech Support
: OK, Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?

Customer: No.

Tech Support: OK, can you please tell me what you have done up until this point?

Customer: Sure. You told me to write click and I wrote click.


Tech Support: OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen you should see the “Start” button displayed.

Customer: Wow, how can you see my screen from there?

If you have had any amusing dealings with the general public, then please post them in the comments section.

  • okto

    I had a lady call me while I was working at the Apple Store and ask me why the cards were no longer flipping “right” in solitaire. “They’re all slow, how do you fix that?”
    Mac OS does not have solitaire, although she insisted that it came on the computer that she purchased from us.

    Current score: 0
  • Jesse-Lee Stringer

    Working for a ex-employer

    Customer :
    Purchased a new PC -$5000 with SCSI drives operating at 10,000 rpm… for his 10 yo son.

    Me :
    I install windows XP as per company procedure, activated, Pc’s ready to go.

    Customer :
    Comes back with a Windows Genuine Advantage Error stating his windows is not genuine, the kid had chucked on devil’s own copy (no idea why)

    Me :
    I explain then reinstall windows, again

    Customer :
    Calls up to complain that he’s getting the same error, I inquire what the error is and attempt to workout what serial was installed.

    ‘Fckgw-…..’ etc. I tell him that his egghead of a son has reinstalled a pirated copy of XP.
    Customer refused to believe that little Jonnie is a pirate.

    Me : Explain as simply as I can

    Customer : Your a f*ck … etc

    Me : Get f*cked, your sons an idiot and he’s come from your gene pool etc… etc…

    Customer : I want a full-refund

    Me : No problem, provide the PC with boxes and manuals just as they were when it was purchased.

    Customer : What about windows?

    Me : I can’t give you a refund for that as it’s already been activated twice.

    Customer : SHHY#*H&**#J*

    Me : Refund refused for all components. *click*

    Never heard from him again till he came in roughly 2 months ago to apologize. I refunded him in full.
    His son has since been caught selling new-release albums at school. Kid’s been expelled for an elite private school with a $10,000 fine that dad ain’t paying.

    Current score: 0
  • Dean Hunt


    Thanks for your story.

    People really do amaze me sometimes. I was once working in a golf retail store and this old guy came in and slammed his golf club onto the counter.

    He said: “This club head has a chip on it”

    I said: “Could that be due to you smacking it on counters?”

    He went nuts….

    Current score: 0
  • Phil

    I have a million stories from when I worked as retail clothing salesman…


    CUSTOMER (young kid): “I want to return these pants.”

    ME: “I’m sorry sir, these pants have been tailored. We sell our pants unhemmed. Once they have been tailored for you, we cannot accept returns. Furthermore, all the tickets have been removed. According to our policy, we can only accept items with tickets and a receipt. Even I made an exception on that, the pants have been tailored so we can’t re-sell them. I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do.”

    CUSTOMER: “What? I just want to return these. I just bought them two days ago”

    [BEFORE NEW YEARS EVE..hmmm...]

    ME: Right, well you see they’ve been tailored, so we can’t take them back.”

    [I inspect pants]

    ME: “Plus, it looks like there is some dirt on them…”

    [I find lipstick near the crotch]

    “And what is this, lipstick?”


    “I don’t no nothin’ about that. I didn’t do that. You sayin’ I did that?”

    ME: “Okay, no problem. Tell you what…I can’t take these back but I’ll give you a discount on anything you want in the store, because it’s the holidays.

    CUSTOMER: “Listen man, I want to return these right now. I want my money back.”

    ME: “Sir, I told you they’ve been tailored.”

    CUSTOMER: “You keep saying that, I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

    ME: “Okay tailored, look…hemmed…they’ve been sewn. You know the pants looked like….”

    [I call another salesman to get a pair of unhemmed pants and show it to the client]

    ME: “Okay, they looked like THAT. Now, someone has taken a scissors and cut them…”

    CUSTOMER: “Whoa, I didn’t cut nothin!”

    [In this moment, the other manager, who is also the tailor, comes out from our backroom tailor shop. I tell him what’s going on.

    TAILOR: “Sir, I remember you…On New Year’s Eve you came in here, late. I told you we were closing and you begged me to hem these for you. Look at the stitches, this is my work and I will tell that to any judge.

    “Also, these pants are filthy and stink. It looks like there is lipstick on the crotch. I don’t know what game you are trying to play, but nope, no way we are taking these back.”

    CUSTOMER: “Man, you guys are a bunch of assholes.”

    He storms out of the store.

    Is the customer always right? Well, insane people have their own way of thinking about things, now don’t they…

    Current score: 0
  • Tony

    Hi Dean

    hope you dont mind, but have just posted “the customer is always right” on my new blog and in return offer my own “Help Desk” quotes:-
    Helpdesk: What kind of computer do you have?
    Female customer: A white one…
    Hi, this is Celine. I can’t get my diskette out.
    Helpdesk: Have you tried pushing the button?
    Customer: Yes, sure, it’s really stuck.
    Helpdesk: That doesn’t sound good; I’ll make a note …”
    Customer: No … wait a minute… I hadn’t inserted it yet…it’s
    still on my desk… sorry ….
    Helpdesk: Click on the ‘my computer’ icon on to the left of the
    Customer: Your left or my left?
    Helpdesk: Good day. How may I help you?
    Male customer: Hello… I can’t print.
    Helpdesk: Would you click on start for me and …
    Customer: Listen pal; don’t start getting technical on me! I’m not
    Bill Gates damn it!
    Hi good afternoon, this is Martha, I can’t print. Every time I try it
    says ‘Can’t find printer’. I’ve even lifted the printer and placed it
    in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can’t find it…
    Customer: I have problems printing in red…
    Helpdesk: Do you have a colour printer?
    Customer: Aaaah………………..thank you.
    Helpdesk: What’s on your monitor now ma’am?
    Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the
    Helpdesk: And now hit F8.
    Customer: It’s not working.
    Helpdesk: What did you do, exactly?
    Customer: I hit the F-key 8-times as you told me, but nothing’s
    Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
    Helpdesk: Are you sure it’s plugged into the computer?
    Customer: No. I can’t get behind the computer.
    Helpdesk: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
    Customer: OK
    Helpdesk: Did the keyboard come with you?
    Customer: Yes
    Helpdesk: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another
    Customer: Yes, there’s another one here. Ah…that one does work!
    Helpdesk: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital
    letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
    Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?
    A customer couldn’t get on the internet.
    Helpdesk: Are you sure you used the right password?
    Customer: Yes I’m sure. I saw my colleague do it.
    Helpdesk: Can you tell me what the password was?
    Customer: Five stars.
    Helpdesk: What antivirus program do you use?
    Customer: Netscape.
    Helpdesk: That’s not an antivirus program.
    Customer: Oh, sorry…Internet Explorer.
    Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screensaver on
    my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears!
    Helpdesk: Microsoft Tech. Support, may I help you?
    Old woman: Good afternoon! I have waited over 4 hours for you.
    Can you please tell me how long it will take before you can help me?
    Helpdesk: Uhh..? Pardon, I don’t understand your problem?
    Old woman: I was working in Word and clicked the help button more
    than 4 hours ago.
    Can you tell me when you will finally be helping me?
    Helpdesk: How may I help you?
    Customer: I’m writing my first e-mail.
    Helpdesk: OK, and, what seems to be the problem?
    Customer: Well, I have the letter a, but how do I get the circle

    Current score: 0
  • Lord Matt

    Having been arround the IT block enough to have seen this from both ends I can tell you that customer stupidity is funny (on the whole) while Customer Service Staff stupidity makes you want to kill people.

    Me: Hi there is an issue with high frequency interference affecting the downstream of my ADSL giving me a high cyclic redundancy error rate and a tiny SNR Margin such that the line is becoming un-useable.

    ISP: What opperating system are you useing?

    Me: this is irrelivant the fault is with the line and I need you to activate an ISP only fault ticket with BT-Wholesale.

    ISP: What opperating system are you useing, sir?

    Me: The fault is with my ADSL line somewhere between my home and the exchange where I am guessing you house your local loop etc etc hardware.

    ISP: What operating system are you useing sir?

    Me: sigh, XP.

    ISP: what lights are on on your modem.

    Me: I have a router. The line diagnostic and runtime information says there is a line fault. I am not able to contact the correct burocratic department so you as the ISP must do it.

    ISP: Let’s check you settings are correct.

    [snip] 20 minuets of me reading my always worked for two years settings which are indeed correct. [/snip]

    ISP: Can you restart you computer for me?

    Me: You have got to be kidding me. Even if I restart the…

    (give up and restart the damn PC)

    Me: OK I have pointlessly rebooted my PC.

    ISP: What lights are lit on your modem now, dir?

    Me: Are you dead? I have a router. It maintains my network.

    ISP: We don’t support routers, only the equipment that we sent you. Can you set that up please sir?

    Me: No, because you never sent me any equipment. Please read my file.

    ISP: Please hold.

    ISP: Thank you for holding sir. Could you tell me what opperating system you are using.

    …at this stage I through a tantrum demanded the line manager and insisted on a report to BT-Wholesale.

    Threemonths later (with little or no internet access) BT made some upgrades to the local exchange which fixed the issue. In all that time I had been asked to reset my router and reconfiger it 8 times. Rebot the nearest computer countless times and told that I had to take the issue up with BT (who will tell you that it is an ISP issue). I had two changes of filter weekly line tests, two engineer visits from BT guys I’d talked into coming out (both of whom admitted there was an issue and told me to contact my ISP).

    In all that time they simply needed to file a support ticket with BT-Wholesale and wait the obligitor four days after which a repair request would be filed and the local engineer would get out his multi-meter and go figure out who was jacking themselves free use of the telephone system (or a cable next to power line).

    My line attenuation is still 200% of normal but my router manages to run at an amazing SNR Magine of less than 10 Db many boxes fail at anything under 15 to 25.

    The only thing I can now do every time without fail is go on hold for 35+ minuets by asking them to read my WHOLE file.

    They then ask me what OS I have.

    The company is

    Current score: 0
  • Dean Hunt

    Lord Matt – It was great to hear the other end of the customer service industry.

    I have had some similar experiences as well.

    Thanks for posting Matt.

    Current score: 0
  • Daria

    I used to work at a coffee cart. My two favorite questions:

    [There was a sign that said Coffee in big letters on the front of the cart]

    Me: Can I help you?
    Customer: Do you sell coffee here?

    Then there are the people who order lattes:

    Me: What kind of milk would you like for your latte, skim or whole?
    Customer: White.

    Then there are the people who think they get personal therapy services with each cup of coffee.

    Me: Is there anything else I can get for you today?
    Customer: Well my husband left me for a younger woman. I just got around to filing the divorce papers…
    Me: Please shoot me.

    The nice thing about it is, as a writer, I have no want of characters for my stories :)

    Current score: 0
  • frankie

    What’s worst than a customer who knew nothing and clueless? a customer who is arrogant! I work at a jail system as a helpdesk support to the healthcare professionals(cough cough)! These practitioners are working in a terrible environment and sometimes it does get to them when the immates yell and scream. So what do they do? They take it out on me when computers don’t work perfectly. Case in point, today I got a call from a PA who complainted about why he has to select a particular printer that he knows everytime he print something. He said why he has to click 6 to 7 times just to print. I remote view his screen and check what default printer he was on. I asked if the such and such name was his printer, he said yes. I saw that it was already the default, I printed out 2 copies and asked him to check to verify. He said it’s a long way. I then said to him that if that was the printer than it was already set as default which means he doesn’t have to keep choosing which printer. He just kept on complainting the extra steps he has to take to print and that if it wasn’t because we are in christmas and new year now, he would’ve curse out!! He would also like to throw the computer across the hall. He then asked if I am feeling him. I then made a comment also and said that I would throw my phone across the room.

    Current score: 0