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    Being Careful With Words Is Now A Mute Point

    , | Tarpon Springs, FL, USA | Geography, Technology

    (I front the calls for an insurance call center. I’m on the phone with a customer, chit-chatting a little about the weather difference, since he is from California. I put my mic on mute while I try to see which agents are free to transfer the call to. In the meantime, I hear the customer talking to his friend in the background.)

    Friend: “What’s that about?”

    Customer: “Something about life insurance. But you should hear her. She sounds hot! I wish I had it on speaker. She sounded really hot! Like seriously, you should hear her! Too bad we’re on opposite ends of the country. She’s in Florida. I guess she just moved from Minnesota.”

    (The entire time I can feel myself turning red, and debate on letting him know I can hear him, but I decide it’s time.)

    Me: “Actually, from Michigan! But close!”

    Customer: “Oh, from Michigan!”

    (At this point you can hear the realization in his voice.)

    Customer: “Oh, crap! You can hear everything? Oh, jeez! You should warn people! Like ‘I’m going to put you on hold but I can still hear you’!”

    Me: “Yeah, but that would take out all the fun!”

    Customer: “Oh man, this is so embarrassing! Well, at least you know somebody thinks you sound hot!”

    (I could hear both him and his friend crack up. It made my day!)

    Eventually Made The Right Decision

    | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Bizarre, Money

    (I work as a claims adjuster for a major insurance company and have made a liability decision on a minor parking lot accident in which both parties told the exact same story. Unfortunately my client was majority at fault, but we would only be paying 60% of the other party’s repairs. I call my customer and leave a message regarding the liability decision and my phone number. He calls me back a short time later.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you did this!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir?”

    Customer: “How could you do this without calling me first! You decided I was at fault!”

    Me: “Sir, I took a recorded statement from you and from the other party and outlined exactly the kinds of things would factor into the decision.”

    Customer: “But you didn’t call me first!”

    Me: “I did call you; I took your statement.”

    Customer: “But then you made a decision!”

    Me: “Sir, it’s my job to make a decision, as you know, and I don’t need your permission or approval to do so.”

    Customer: “I know! But I can’t believe you did that!”

    Me: “Sir, are you contesting liability? You both told the exact same story and given the facts and damage to both vehicles, you’re both telling the truth. No matter how we look at it, you were backing out and didn’t pay attention to what was behind you.”

    Customer: “I know! I agree that’s what happened!”

    Me: “Then why are you upset? How can we resolve this?”

    Customer: “You made this decision!”

    Me: “Sir, I had to make a decision. Again, are you questioning the liability decision? Do you have other information to add?”

    Customer: “No!”

    Me: “Sir, then please tell me what you want me to say because I simply don’t understand how to resolve this for you.”

    Customer: *pauses* “Well, you know what? I’m just mad about the whole thing. You haven’t done anything wrong.”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Customer: “I’m really sorry. I work in customer service and I hate when people call and yell at me, and that’s what I’m doing to you. You made the right decision, I accept it, and I’m sorry for yelling at you. I just… needed to yell at someone.”

    Me: *trying not to laugh* “Well… thank you, then. I can definitely understand that!”

    Customer: “Thank you for being so patient with me. I’m really sorry, again, to have yelled at you and hope the rest of your day goes better.”

    Me: “Thank you.” *we go on to resolve claim payment and I explain repair procedures, etc.*

    Manager: “I heard you talking and picked up to listen in. I didn’t know what he was angry about either!” *laughing* “I’ll put a few notes in file about how you handled the call.”

    (A few minutes later, a team leader comes up to my desk.)

    Team Leader: “Hey, I just wanted to let you know I just took a call from a guy who said he just yelled at you for no reason. He wanted to make sure your supervisor knows he thinks you’re excellent at your job, you’ve provided great customer service and he’s happy with the outcome of his claim. I’m passing this on to your team leader and manager.”

    (I STILL laugh about that call, and think it’s one of the reasons I was promoted shortly afterward. Thank you, sir!)

    Put Them On The Wailing List

    | CT, USA | Crazy Requests

    (I work in a call center as a sales agent for a local insurance agency.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [Name] and I’m a licensed insurance agent. I see here that you’re calling in to get a quote.”

    Customer: “I certainly am not! I keep getting all you god-d*** junk mail and I want it to stop! I don’t want your stupid insurance!”

    Me: “Well, I’m so sorry about that, sir. I can definitely understand how frustrating it is to have a mailbox full of junk mail. Can I have your last name, state, and zip code?”

    Customer: “What the f*** do you need that for? I’m not giving you ANYTHING! Just take me off your d*** mailing list!”

    Me: “Sir, in order to remove you from our mailing list, I need to find the file we’ve opened for you so we know WHERE to stop sending the mail.”

    Customer: “No, you don’t! This is ridiculous! Just take me off the f****** list!”

    Me: “Again, sir, I can’t stop sending mail to your address unless I actually have it and I can’t find any of your information without your last name, your state, and your zip code.”

    Customer: “F*** you!” *click*

    First Get Assurance You Have The Right Insurance

    , | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    Me: “Motor Claims, this is [my name].”

    Customer: “God, finally. I’ve been on hold to you for ages! My claim number is [insert number].”

    Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. Here, let me ring this up for you.”

    (I get halfway through before I realize something is off about the number the customer has given me.)

    Customer: “I’m sick to the teeth! I need to know what you guys are doing with my car!”

    Me: “Uhm, ma’am—”

    Customer: “You keep telling me it will be ready this week! Someone will call me back! Blah blah blah!”

    Me: “Ma—”

    Customer: “Just tell me what’s going on with my car!”

    Me: “I… can’t.”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “I can’t tell you what’s going on with your car.”

    Customer: “Wait, why not?!”

    Me: “This isn’t one of our claim numbers.”

    Customer: “Is this [other insurance company]?”

    Me: “No, madam. This is [insurance company].”

    Customer: “Well f***. I just wasted half an hour of my life.” *click*

    Being Nice Is Good For Your Health (Insurance)

    | Tampa, FL, USA | Health & Body, Money, Top

    (My insurance company is supposed to cover one physical per calendar year. However, I am surprised to receive a bill from my doctor’s office. With it is a letter from the insurance company stating that they will not cover because I’ve had two physicals in one year. Since I know this is not true, I decide to call.)

    Customer Service Rep: “Hello, this is [name]; how can I help you?”

    Me: “I’m calling to dispute a denied claim. My name is [name] and my birth date is [birthday].”

    Customer Service Rep: “Okay, I’m looking at your information now. Looks like you were denied coverage because you had two physicals in one year, and we only cover one per year.”

    Me: “Yes, I know that. But I didn’t have two in one year. I’m looking at my records and the appointments were a year and a day apart.”

    Customer Service Rep: “Hmm. Let me look at that again. Okay, according to what your doctor sent us, your most recent appointment was December 6th, and last year’s was December 5th. Oh, that is over a year. I’m so sorry!”

    Me: “No worries. So what happened?”

    Customer Service Rep: “Looks like someone on our end entered this year’s appointment as December 4th, which caused the system to reject the claim. I will fix that and re-submit it for you. I am so sorry!”

    Me: “Hey, it’s all right.”

    Customer Service Rep: “I wish I knew who did that! I’m really sorry, it wasn’t me…”

    Me: “I’m not blaming you. I used to work in retail, so I know how it feels to get yelled at by a customer for something that’s out of your control.”

    Customer Service Rep: “Oh! You understand!”

    Me: “The stories I could tell… so do I need to call my doctor or anything?”

    Customer Service Rep: “Nope. I just resubmitted it with the correct dates. There shouldn’t be any more issues. Thank you for being so nice!”

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