Irate Man Goes Apesh*t Ballistic, Threatens Use of Machine Gun After Being Put on Hold by Customer Service for Three Hours

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Irate Man Goes Apesh*t Ballistic, Threatens Use of Machine Gun After Being Put on Hold by Customer Service for Three Hours

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | September 12, 2013 | Comments ()


There’s more context to this phone call, but I think all you really need to know to understand why the man on the other end is so frustrated as that he had spent over three hours going through the customer service phone system, trying to get in contact with a woman named Michelle, who had left a voicemail message for him.

I don’t condone the behavior from the man, especially the threat to buy a machine gun and mow down the customer service rep’s place of employment, but I we can all sympathize with his frustrations. Most of us would probably give up after 20-30 minutes, tops, but after simmering for over three hours, this guy blew a gasket. Props to the customer service rep, Mark, for somehow keeping his cool.

The phone call, by the way, was uploaded by a former employee of the security systems company, after that company attempted to bury any record of the phone call.

Before hitting play, turn down your speakers if you’re in a public place.

(Source: Reddit via Gawker)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Naye.2 greatatforgettinglogins

    I would never have offered to transfer that man again. At three hours there is now way. If I couldn't help him then, I would have taken his number down, promised to call him back, and gotten onto solving the problem by myself, or tracking down the person that could. That's how you do customer retention.

  • Wrestling Fan


    fake fake fake fake fake

    For one, they almost specifically never actually mention the problem the caller is having. That's a biggie. They go out of their way to avoid mentioning an actual problem. "Can I help you?" "No, only Michelle can help me!" "I can transfer you to her." "NO! Don't transfer me! Only Michelle can help!"

    If at any time he said, "Michelle was helping me with [insert problem here], and I need her to finish it," then I might begin to buy it. But I have spent far too many hours on both sides of calls like that to believe this call is real.

    Additionally, Mark was intentionally oblivious. At no point did he react in anything resembling a human manner. The contents of that call, the yelling, the swearing, the threats, they would not be tolerated. That he didn't even ask the caller to stop swearing is a huge red flag.

    Nothing at all about this feels authentic.

  • I agree.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Yeah, no, this is bullshit behavior. Fuck him. No customer service rep, no ONE deserves to be talked to like that and no company needs this person's money/account that badly.

  • Meg

    Look, I hate customer service. EVERYONE hates customer service. The people who WORK in customer service hate customer service.

    In fact I work as a field technician and rely on our companies customer service to properly create work orders and deal with orders from customers. They fail at this about 40-50% of the time.. No joke, if I have 4 jobs a day, I will have to call CS to fix 1-2 of them without fail. I've lost jobs because customer service has lied to customers and promised them things they weren't eligible for, or misquoted how much something would cost. I've had my metrics continuously screwed over and and over because their mistakes often require having to cancel and rebuild work orders and I get a demerit every time that happens to a job I'm assigned. This can cost me ACTUAL MONEY out of my paycheck.

    So if I can still manage to call customer service everyday and not descend into a hatefull murder-threat-filled tirade than this guy can STFU and learn some god damn coping mechanisms. Buy a stress ball. Go for a walk. Do some fucking yoga. Jesus Christ dude.

  • annie

    I wonder if it was an insurance agency. They've always been the worst for me, but then, I did work at a doctor's office. One of them had a menu so confusing and circular, it literally connected me back to our office's other line after a good 20 minutes of poking the menu buttons and still not talking to a person. That's when I gave up and went home for the day.

  • Ben

    Yeah I work in call centers and customer service and that guy can go fuck himself. No ones holding a gun to your head and forcing you to wait on hte phone for three hours.

  • caragwapa

    I've also worked in call centers and while nobody is literally holding a gun to his head, you sometimes have no other choice when you really need to have something fixed. While there were a lot of really shitty, ragey-for-no reason customers, most of these guys are just trying desperately to get help after being subjected to a shitty system/service.

  • Ben

    "You sometimes have no other choice"
    No other choice then threatening to shoot the people on the phone? Yeah that's never called for. If he'd started that at me I would have hung up on him. Then reported him to the cops.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Jimmy Kimmel?

  • phase10

    I just keep seeing Adam Sandler on the other end. This guy is clearly broken by the run around.

  • AngelenoEwok

    For a second I read the headline as "Iron Man..." and I thought, "Wouldn't Tony just *buy* the call center?"

  • Yocean

    At first I thought, man the guy is crazy, but then I kept listening hearing what he's been put through and how he is really trying manage the situation and be as logical in his rage filled brain in explaining himself I started to tear up. This is so familiar and awful. And to all who'd like to dismiss the guy, it get to the end and you will hear the guy asking customer service agents' name so he does not have to put the poor CS guy through this again. He is self aware of how crazy he sounds. He is just really really pushed to the limit. It's the system's fault and people who creates these faulty bullshit system that betrays the word Customer Service. What they mean and do is We Take Your Money And make Sure We Want Lose Any To You And If You Got Any Complaints That Coud Cost Us We Will Put You Through Rings of Inane Hells Till You Give Up Service, or You've Been Served, Bitch!

  • nosio

    I once spent 2 hours on the phone with Sallie Mae, and by the end of it I was a sobbing, livid, borderline hysterical mess. In my defense, I was 23, unemployed, and facing tens of thousands of dollars of debt with no way to pay it off. I had fallen behind on payments, and SM had taken to harassing my 78-year old grandpa, who had been diagnosed with dementia in the 6 years since I'd initially put him down as a reference. I wasn't machine gun level crazy, but I was in a dark place by the end of the call...

    As I moved incrementally up the chain of customer service reps and managers I was speaking to, I said a lot of things I now regret. But at the time, I was feeling persecuted for being young and poor, and I felt totally justifed. Like I said: I was young, overwhelmed by the staggering amount of debt I agreed to at *17*, and felt they had crossed a line with harassing my ailing grandpa for money he was not in ANY way responsible for. I closed the conversation with the last manager I spoke to with this, in a dead-calm voice laden with as much guilt-tripping sincerity as possible:

    "[name redacted], can I ask you an honest question? How do you feel about your job? Do you like this? Do you like dealing with desperate, broken people every day? At the end of the day, are you happy with your life, and the choices you've made? Are you proud of yourself for being a voice for this company?" There were a few seconds of silence, and then he said something along the lines of, "I'm happy for any opportunity I have to help someone with their financial future." And I responded with, "This isn't help. You aren't helping," and hung up.

    I'm sure that call is featured on some Sallie Mae training video somewhere on how to deal with lunatics trying to provoke their employees into having an existential crisis.

  • This is what I hate about working in a call center. People call in and say "someone called me" and expect us to know. We try to help but they think that we should just know everything. Is whatever this guy was calling about that important that he couldn't wait for a call back from someone? He is taking years off his life from the stress of all that negativity and anger.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I get what you're saying - and the guy at this point definitely doesn't give Mark a chance to help, but that's because he'd already repeatedly wasted time in that situation. The caller says he had home visits blown off two days in a row - which is a major inconvenience.

  • jon29

    I had a telephone tech support job back in 1999-2000. I still cringe every time the phone rings. Worst job I ever had.

  • BlackRabbit

    Actually, I have that job NOW, and yes we do get angry people. Some justifiably, some not. If your phone just has crappy coverage, or you dropped it in the toilet, then there really isn't anything we can do for you, and telling me I don't care doesn't help matters; I could be weeping tears of blood for the injustice done to you, but to a point there really isn't anything. And every time you get angry at a Customer Service person, remember that the next person they talk to may get a rougher time of it because of your attitude.

    That's not to say that the system is perfect and that people don't get screwed over. Of course it isn't and they do. But sincerity is hard to keep up 8 hours a day. We're only human.

  • Uriah_Creep

    We're only human.

    Well there's your problem.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Customer Service workers have just the worst job ever. It's usually not their fault and they get so much shit.

    I try my best to be as polite as possible to them and waitstaff because dealing with humanity for long hours every day must be the most emotionally taxing job in the world.

    So, Mark, I salute you, because I would have cried or hung up - probably both.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Twice, I have said something really unfortunate to Customer Service people. It's been a long while since it happened and I am still embarrassed. I don't know how those poor people stand it, especially since one of them was with the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles. Non-US residing readers, everything you hear about the DMV on sitcoms and in movies is true, and worse than you can imagine. I couldn't have imagined it before I moved here. Transferring my driver's license took 5 visits to 5 different offices AND included being given an incorrect address by the DMV for one of them. It was worse than Immigration. It's harder to get transfer your driver's license in New Jersey than it is to immigrate here.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Don't feel too bad. It took 6 visits to the DMV and 3 calls to get Mr. Syndrome a new license. It's utterly maddening because there is so much information/steps they don't tell you about.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I must be lucky. I have twice had to replace missing licenses in NJ and managed to do it in/out same day.

  • Slash

    It took me 6 calls to Sprint to get something relatively simple taken care of. I did not yell at any of them (though I was a little impatient with the 3rd or 4th one). The last one was a woman who sounded vaguely Indian, and she's the only who knew what she was doing, apparently.

    The DMV, on the other hand, works pretty well. I had to visit the DMV here (Dallas area) about a month ago, and they were very helpful. But obviously, YMMV.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That doesn't actually make me feel any better.

    I do feel bad. It's a hell of a job and they don't need people being rude to them.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    No, no kudos to Mark. He sounds young (actually, he makes me think of the guy at Tchotchkes) but he also does the very thing customer service reps do that drives people crazy: he's going through a script and not actually hearing what the person is saying. I grant it's a difficult caller, but acknowledging someone's distress instead of the pat "Yeah, I'm sorry about that" goes a long way.

  • jon29

    No, a "difficult" call is one thing.

    The first time he swore at Mark, he deserved a warning to act with a little civility. By the time he started shrieking about machine guns, he deserved to be speaking to a dial-tone - or maybe the police for uttering a death threat.

    This caller acts like a crazy person, but fuck Mark, because Michelle had the temerity to go home at the end of her shift? Nope.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    Bravo to the CS rep for being so patient with that guy. Wow. That was really unpleasant.

  • Feralhousecat

    This man is clearly batshit crazy.

  • Guest

    Mark is the fucking employee of the millennium. Give him a fucking promotion, and huge raise.

    And yeah, everybody turns into a monster with ALL of these kind of companies. I swear I saw a person turning into the Hulk once when I was at Orange.

  • I made it to the machine gun threat and then had to stop listening. Yeah, on a broad level I think we can all relate, but there comes a point where you just cut your losses and take your business elsewhere, which is about 2 hours before threatening to murder a stranger working second shift for minimum wage.

    The bigger issue here - do we really need the text on screen of the Network still at this point?

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