This Guy Hilariously Live-Tweeted A Huge Customer Service Fail

This will put your holiday customer service struggles in perspective.

1. Corbin Smith ordered a laptop accessory for his dad from for Christmas. The next morning he got an email from the site telling him they had to cancel the order. He called customer service, and that’s when the nightmare began.

Lodoe Laura Photography / Via

“I called these guys and figured I’d ask them to send a similar thing and get it to my dad by Christmas,” he told BuzzFeed Canada. “Super easy, right?

Not super easy.”

2. He placed the call just before 3:30 p.m. and stepped out of his Toronto office to not disturb any colleagues while he was on the phone. Smith initially spoke to someone who checked his account and then placed him on hold. The one-hour mark approached…

3. By the second hour, the emojiis came out.

4. Hour three: “This is absolutely nuts.”

He kept tagging the company in tweets, but says he never received a reply.

5. Two hours later, Smith found a news story that said the record for longest customer support call was 10 hours. He was halfway to history.


"Please hold. Your call will be answered by the next available representative." @TigerDirect @TigerDirectca

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

7. Smith spent the rest of the afternoon with one earbud in his ear to stay on the call. He kept it in as he biked home. “As if I wasn’t in a foul mood already, there were like five or six cars parked in bike lanes on the way home,” he said.

#WhileOnHold, I rode by bicycle home from work, 8KMs.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

8. He took care of other tasks.

#WhileOnHold, I had a number of important business meetings.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

#WhileOnHold, I pooped once and peed three times.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

TMI dude.

10. People started following his tweets, and commending his patience.

@cjohnson202 @TigerDirect @TigerDirectca at this point I need to know how ridiculous this is going to get. I'm too far in now.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

At this point, @cjohnson202, I'm on hold w @TigerDirect not just for myself, but for all those on hold customer service this holiday season.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

“At a certain point it was no longer for my dad — it’s for me now,” Smith said.

12. Nearly seven hours after first placing the call, he was still on hold. Smith made himself a pizza.

#WhileOnHold with @TigerDirect, I made this flatbread pizza thing. [06:48:04]

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

13. It was delicious. Still on hold.

#WhileOnHold with @TigerDirect customer service, I ate the flatbread pizza thing. [07:01:04]

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

14. Smith gave a shout-out to the provider of the holiday on-hold music for TigerDirect.

Thank you @SiriusXMHolly for getting me into the Christmas spirit as the official #WhileOnHold music of @TigerDirect customer service.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

15. This is accurate.

Seriously tho, @SiriusXMHolly, "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" is garbage. The hour of static was better #WhileOnHold listening.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

16. Late in the evening Smith told his roommate about the saga. He was immediately concerned…about TigerDirect’s customer service team. Were they OK?

My roommate @McGeeMaddox just got filled in about #WhileOnHold and he's assuming a lot of worst case scenarios on the other end of the line.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

17. The eighth hour of being on hold approached and Smith’s energy began to flag. It was after 11 p.m. So he started a crowdfunding campaign to get himself some more pizza.

It's happening. Crowdfunding some pizza to keep the #WhileOnHold fight alive as I'm on the cusp of hour eight.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

But he only raised $5 because…

18. Then, to his shock, Smith’s iPhone abruptly ended the call after exactly eight hours.

#WhileOnHold I learned that my cellphone cuts itself off at exactly the 8th hour of a call. Looks like this will start again in the morning.

— Corbin Smith (@corbinsmith)

19. Now he has no choice but to call TigerDirect again. “I hate that I have to do this,” Smith said. “I feel like I’ve started something that I have to see to the end. If I don’t call them back today I’m letting The Man win.”

“I feel that really and truly a lot of people will really relate to the frustration and hopelessness of dealing with customer service in general,” he said, “but especially during the holiday season.”

BuzzFeed Canada has reached out to TigerDirect for comment.


TigerDirect called to apologize to Smith five days after his live tweeting session. He tells BuzzFeed Canada they’re puzzled at how he ended up being on hold for so long.

“No amount of saying sorry could make up for our mistake,” a company representative told him.

They are also shipping him the product he’d ordered for free.

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Craig Silverman is the founding editor for BuzzFeed Canada and is based in Toronto.
Contact Craig Silverman at

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