How do you explain satellites to a flat Earth believer?


I manage a small team of contact center folks for a specialized tech company that uses GPS satellites to help position and find stuff. It’s not uncommon for our customers to get confused by all the tech that goes into our product, and explaining GPS drift has been on page 1 of the common responses since I arrived.

One customer called into a team member complaining that his device never worked right and was a foot off location about half the time. For any GPS device, that’s amazing performance, since drift can be 10 or 20 feet, depending on conditions.

Of course, customer wasn’t having it. He paid for a product and was convinced this one was defective and we needed to send him a new one RIGHT NOW or he would be leaving reviews everywhere. Of course we weren’t going to do that; no reason to send new product out the door when the one he had was functioning within the parameters. We tried to explain how GPS drift works: that as satellites orbit the earth they can wobble a bit and have minor errors in location triangulation.

That’s when he lost it. We are now part of the conspiracy, satellites don’t orbit anything and we are trying to scam him out of his money. Apparently he thinks satellites just sit up there?

The rep asks me what to do. I authorize sending him a label to return the product even though he is well outside the period. Clearly the fairy dust had run out on his product, so he should just send it back and use something else. We will be fine never talking again.


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Confidence on the phone

I just don’t understand why people think this is acceptable