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Clients from Hell

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My husband and I ran a small computer repair business out of our home. As we offered 24-hour...

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My husband and I ran a small computer repair business out of our home. As we offered 24-hour emergency service for businesses in our area, we had a phone directly by our bed.

We set up a new system to do daily and weekly backups for a hotel in the area, timed to happen at 2:00 am when things should have been very slow. We made sure the daily backups were happening properly, told them we’d be back in a week to double-check that the weekly backups were backing up correctly too, and asked them to contact us in the meantime if anything weird happened or if they got any error messages or anything.

Client: Great! Thank you.

That night, 2:30 am or so, we get a call from him.

Client: Hi! Just wanted to let you know that the daily backup happened just fine!

Me: Um, that’s good. But it looks like there might have been a slight communication error. We’ve already confirmed that the daily backups are happening properly, so you don’t need to let us know when they do. Just let us know if you see any error messages about them, or if you have any reason to think something isn’t working properly, okay?

Client: Oh, okay, sure!

The next night at 2:30 am, the phone rings again:

Me: Hello?

Client: Hi! Just wanted to let you know that the backups are still working just fine!

Me: Great. Thanks. Listen, please don’t call us to let us know it IS working; that just wastes your time. We know it’s working; just let us know IF something goes wrong, okay? Otherwise you don’t need to call us, and we’ll see you on Friday.

Manager: “Oh, sorry, okay, no problem!”

Next bloody night, the phone rings again, and the Caller ID shows it’s the client again.

Me: Are you serious?

My husband said I should just let it go to answering machine.

Client: (on answering machine) Daily backups are still working great! Just wanted to let you know.

Great. Good. But the phone rings AGAIN, five minutes later. I answered it.

Client: Hi! Glad I got you! I left a message when no one answered but I wanted to make sure that you got it. The backups are still working fine. Everything’s good.

Me: Okay. Great. Listen, you DO NOT NEED TO CALL US to tell us that everything is working okay. It’s SUPPOSED to be working okay. We don’t need confirmation each night that everything is working the way it’s supposed to, okay? I know you’re trying to help, but the phone is right by our bed, it’s the middle of the night, and you’re waking us up each night for something that is just the normal operation, not an emergency. Please. If there is a problem, absolutely call us; but if everything is working okay, then please don’t call and tell us that. Okay?

Client: Oh, sorry! I didn’t realize. Sorry for waking you up each night! Don’t worry, I won’t call again. Unless something goes wrong. Heh.

Me: Great, thanks. Goodnight.

And yet, the next bloody night, the phone rings. I answered it, and got a pre-recorded message.

He sent us a fax. I accepted it, and our printer spit out a piece of paper.

Sure enough, the fax read “Daily backups worked fine.”

Source: Clients from Hell

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