Customer Service: A Tale of Two Cities

So while I’ve been in merry olde England, I’ve actually had to deal with several customer service representatives (as you do when changing places of residence). It is TEH WORST dealing with such people in any country, but I’ve decided to helpfully outline for you the difference between a call to an American customer service rep and a British “customer service” representative. (These are based on actual calls, almost a complete transcript.


Rep: Hallo! Claire here from whatever company you called! How can I be of service today?

Me (assuming that this politeness will translate to helpfulness): Hi Claire! I called about a package inquiry. I was supposed to get it three days ago, but they keep pushing back the date of arrival…

Claire: Oh no! Terribly sorry about that! Let me just get the tracking number up, and we’ll see what we can do!

Me: Blah blah, tracking number, etc.

Claire: Okay, so here’s what I can do. I’m going to message our drivers to see if they have it in their trucks.

Me: Wait, so you can’t just pull it up on the computer to see if they have it?

Claire: ‘Fraid not! I’ll just message them, won’t be a mom-

Me: Well, do you have any idea if the package is there? Where you are?

Claire: ….erm, I don’t believe so. It hasn’t been scanned in here.

Me: It sounds like you’re telling me it’s lost. It’s lost, isn’t it.

Claire: I’m SURE that’s not the case! I’ll just search ’round for it here, message those drivers and get back to you in no later than 60 minutes! We’ll figure this out.


Me: Thanks for calling. So did you find it?

Claire: I do apologize for the delay. Here’s the problem….we seem to have lost it. It was scanned into two different places and we can’t seem to find it. Again, I do apologize.




(REP ANSWERS IN CHARMING SOUTHERN ACCENT): Hi! I’m Tim or something! How can I help you today?

Me: Hi Tim! So I have a big problem, that package your company sent didn’t arrive. I need to cancel the first one right away-

Tim: (clicks keyboard) Done! We’re all set! Anything else, y’all?

Me: …Wow. That was fast. And suspiciously helpful. Actually, I was wondering if you could resend it? Overnight? Overseas?

Tim: Let me see what I can do for you here. (short pause) Looks like we can do that right now and have it for you in two days or less! Does that work okay?

Me: (near tears at Tim’s kindness and actual helpfulness) Oh wow, thank you Tim! It actually means so much that you’ve been so kind and helpful about this!

Tim: (completely creeped out by my overreaction) ….It’s no problem ma’am, just doing my job! Anything else I can get you?

Me: (Attempts to play ‘Simply The Best’ into the phone, causing him to silently hang up.)


Real life interactions.

Let’s add up the totals:

America: 1.

England: Terribly sorry, we couldn’t find the British score. We do apologise, it appears to be lost.


Posted on 01/31/2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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