"People may think that irate customers are the most difficult to deal with, but this is not the case. The irate customer is either just looking for some outlet for their frustrations, or some resolution to their issue. The crazy customer never knows when to stop, and they don't know when it is appropriate to leave. Crazy people are definitely hard to get rid of..."
CUSTOMER (Confused old lady): Hello, I was calling to notify you of a problem. I want to let someone know that I keep having this same issue, and that you people need to fix it.
ME: (Bristling at the term "you people") What is it?
CUSTOMER: Well, I live closer to your other branch, so I usually order my books there. But whenever I do that, they always send them to your store.
ME: Ma'am, there's no way that could possibly happen...
CUSTOMER: But it did! It does all the time. In fact, my friends have been complaining about this very problem. I called your other store a few days ago, and ordered this book (she reads the title), and then I got a call from you guys saying that the book was ready for me. Now, I don't mind driving the extra distance sometimes, but this has gotten to be a habit, and I'd much rather pick the book up at the place where I ordered it.
ME: Are you sure you called the right store? Because there is no way that that could have happened, Ma'am... if they ordered a book for you there, then it would be shipped to that store. We don't ship books between stores. In fact, your order wouldn't even show up in my system if you ordered it at the other store.
CUSTOMER: No, no-- I'm telling you, that I walked into your other branch
, and I talked to a customer service person, and stood there at the counter and ordered this book. I know for a fact that I was there to order it, my husband was there with me.
ME (scratching my head, wondering why she's now saying that she walked in, when at first, she said that she'd called): Well, Ma'am...
CUSTOMER: It was a young girl who helped me-- I can't remember her name, but she was very helpful... more helpful than you're being... you can call the store and ask her.
ME: I'm not disputing whether you were there or not, I'm just trying to tell you that when you order a book at one store, there is no way that it would be shipped to another...
CUSTOMER: You're telling me that I'm wrong?! The customer is always
ME: No, Ma'am... the customer is not always right-- and in this case, you're wrong.
CUSTOMER: What? You're telling me that I'm wrong?
ME: Yes. Now, in order for us to have this book for you, you must have either come in here to order it, or called us on the phone. Is it possible that you might have called both stores?
CUSTOMER: No! I TOLD you! I went to your other store, and I WALKED IN, and I TALKED TO THE GIRL, and my husband was right there next to me... hold on-- if you won't believe me, maybe you'll believe him. If he was here right now, I'd put him on the phone so that he could prove it to you, but I'll just tell him to call back when he gets home. What is your name?
ME: Ima... Look, do you want the book?
CUSTOMER: Of course, I want the book! What has the whole thing been about? I want you to send it to the right store, and tell your people to stop sending it to the wrong place!
ME: Let me try this again... if the book you ordered came to this store, that means that you either called us on the phone to order it, or you walked in to order it. There is no way that the people at the other store could have it sent here, and the computer system is not set up to send books to different stores...
CUSTOMER: This is ridiculous! I can't believe that you keep telling me that I'm wrong! I'll just have my husband call back to deal with you! (hangs up).
-- I called the other store, to see if this woman had actually ordered a book from them at all, and found out that she had. They had the same book on hold for her there. I investigated further, and found that she had ordered this same book in at least 2 other stores-- maybe she'd gotten confused and forgotten if she'd ordered it at all, or maybe she was afraid that she would forget which one she'd ordered it from, so she decided to order it in multiple places.
Or maybe her "friends" that she'd been commiserating with were actually her other personalities...