I work in an office where I have to pick up calls and help customers use a program.

Many times when people call in, they feel that is the perfect time to start their lunch/snack. I am using a headset so all the slmammermush goes directly into my ear.

Is there a nice way to tell a customer to please stop chewing in my ear?

  • This might have a home on the Interpersonal SE. I would recommend posting over there as this question seems like a better fit for that site than here. Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 2:14
  • How long are they on hold before someone talks to them?
    – Ben Mz
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 1:23
  • I'm most cases within 60 seconds Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 3:01

3 Answers 3


Is there a nice way to tell a customer to please stop chewing in my ear?

No, not really.

You could, however, emphasize the problems you are having, and try to change their behavior indirectly.

You might say "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that" or "Could you please repeat that" as many times as it takes to get them to stop eating.

  • 1
    Thanks for that idea, I'll try it next week. Would that be acceptable if the customers are not random people? That are using a program and can call in a few times a day. Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 19:50
  • 1
    I would say use your best judgement -- you may find, after a couple of calls from the same person, that the person stops eating when they call you. You certainly don't want to irritate anyone, so it's a balancing act.
    – mcknz
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 20:00
  • 2
    You also don't know that the customers are eating. They might have a speech impediment, may have just been to the dentist, or some other reason not relating to eating. The good thing about this answer is not calling out your interpretation of why they're not understandable, just the fact that you can't make their words out. It's up to the customer to make themselves understood.
    – user44108
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 14:03
  • the key is to focus on your side of the problem. Do not make any interpretation of what the cause is. Simply state that you are having trouble hearing. You can gauge what the actual problem is from their response.
    – Nelson
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 15:41

Is there a nice way to tell a customer to please stop chewing in my ear?

No. Your job is to deal with customers as they are, not to change their habits.

  • 1
    You and my manager :). Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 19:53
  • My manager did not mean it in a disciplining way, he said it since he did not have a better solution. Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 19:19

I would simply ask them in this siutation. No need to be rude about it but a simple ' Would you mind not chewing as i am having trouble understanding you Thank You'.

Most reasonable people would simply stop eating at that point unless they are really rude.

  • 1
    It could be but what if I am wrong and there is something wrong on the line? Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 22:49

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