• Lifestyle

Telemarketers Describe The Biggest Freakouts They've Experienced On The Job

There are many difficult jobs out there. As anyone who has worked in the service industry knows, it's tough to find an easy, safe, and rewarding way to make a buck. But few career paths are as challenging as telemarketing.

Telemarketers have a notoriously bad rap for interrupting people's dinner or TV time. Everyone needs to make a living, though, and telemarketers are merely trying to do their jobs like everyone else. Plus, besides experiencing rudeness, telemarketers sometimes must deal with aggressive prospective clients.

These hilarious and cringe-worthy telemarketer horror stories from Reddit entail people in the industry describing their worst yet most memorable calls. These may not compel you to join their profession, but should at least help you sympathize with our telemarketing brethren. 

  • The Adult-Film Fan

    From Redditor /u/neureaucrat:

    Part of my job was updating TV packages and managing VOD services. Got a call from a lady asking me to reset her VOD password so she could "order some adult films." She was very obviously getting plowed during the call. Heavy breathing... grunting. I guess I didn't lose it. It was pretty hilarious.

  • Death Threats Over A $2,000 Bill

    From Redditor /u/crustyruffles:

    I worked for a health insurance company. It was entry-level stuff. I'd basically take calls all day and go over benefits, answer questions on claims, and help people find doctors for their plan.

    I got a call from a woman around mid-day wanting to know why she got a $2,000 bill for a procedure. I looked everything over and explained to her that it was her deductible, and the insurance company paid the rest of the bill.

    She immediately loses it on me in some kind of combination of crying and screaming. The gist of it basically amounts to how she has insurance, so it should pay for everything. Not uncommon to hear. So I started to explain that her insurance was paying over $9,000 for this service, but she had to pay a bit also.

    Now the hysterics go into overdrive. She's wailing about losing her house because of this. She's going to have to file bankruptcy. And this is all because of kidney stones. I do my best empathy bit and tell her most places will work with her and make payment plans for balances, some even do more for those with lower incomes. I tell her I can get the hospital's billing department on the line for her and see what we can get done for her... which is way beyond what the company would ever want us to do, but I wanted to help.

    Woman finally starts to calm down a bit and asks me, since I work for the insurance company, if I have the same insurance she does. I tell her I do.

    She then tells me she hopes I die before I ever think of using the health insurance. At that point I'm being cussed out like no other, so I hung up on her.

    After the call I sat there for a second to collect my thoughts. I'd been yelled at and called all sorts of names before, but my mind immediately went to my mother. She had just finished radiation and chemo after a double mastectomy. She had over $300,000 in medical bills. She never complained once about them... She was just happy to be here and be better. Never did she pick up the phone and randomly start screaming a death wish at a total stranger that was trying to help her, no matter how upset she was.

    That was enough for me. On top of the usual bullsh*t of a call center (awful management, unrealistic productivity expectations, and a shark tank environment among peers) I was done. By that time I was able to apply for non-phone jobs at the company and I got the f*ck out of there. Almost three years later I've never been back in a call center and am much happier.

  • Quittin' Time

    From Redditor /u/Blargmode:

    Boss insisted that we'd call people on a Friday from 17:00 to 22:00 [5:00 pm 10 10:00 pm] to do a 30-minute-long market survey. We argued that we'd only be yelled at for calling in the middle of dinner.
    And sure enough, we spent five awful hours being yelled at by angry people.

    After, when the shift was over, our boss was angry with how few answers we had managed to get and was giving us sh*t for it. That's when I quit.

  • The Dutch Retaliation

    From Redditor /u/SebboNL:

    I was sent to do systems administration and support for a large Dutch TV production company. One day we had a MAJOR outage on our Citrix-environment, which brought the entire company to a stand-still.

    All users were understanding, save one. A former-paparazzo-turned-investigative-journalist known for his amoral tactics, which turned him into the flavor-du-jour, was somewhat pissed off with our perceived lackluster performance when it came to getting his team back online. Luckily (NOT!), this happened on the day of the week that it was my turn to man the phone lines.

    So, after an hour of, "Yeah, the cluster is down. We're working on it. Sorry!" and users voicing their discontent in a cool, calm, and collected way, this sh*tstain decides to grace me with a telephone call. It took three seconds for his condescension to turn into hostility, and another three seconds for this hostility to turn into plain abuse.

    After having been called such things as a "hoerenjong" ("whore's son"), a "randdebiel" ("borderline ret*rd"), and a "stomme klootzak" ("dumb son of a b*tch"); having my (and my co-workers) professionalism, ethics, intelligence, and pedigree questioned; and having my eardrums violated, I decided to call my boss and tell him there'd be NO way I'd be staying there any longer - but not before looking up the guy's cellphone number and anonymously posting it on an internet message board.

    And since it took me three weeks to train my replacement, I repeated this every time he got fed up with random people calling him day and night, and requested yet another new telephone number.