A Serious Error In Judgment

| Right | March 3, 2016

(I work in a call center for a large trucking company. It’s mainly customer service, but we also make collection calls when a client’s invoice has gone past due.)

Me: “Good day, ma’am. This is [My Name] from [Company]. We are looking for payment on an invoice that has gone past due.”

Client: “Yes, we’re aware. We are refusing payment. You didn’t deliver the materials on time.”

Me: “I’m so sorry that happened! Do you mind holding a moment so I can look into this a bit further and credit your account?”

Client: “No problem.”

(I put the client on hold and review the shipping papers. The client did ask for a specific delivery day of Tuesday on the paperwork… However, that’s exactly when we delivered, at 10:00 am, a full two hours before the guaranteed time of noon.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. But it shows here that you requested a delivery date of Tuesday by noon and we actually delivered at 10:00 am.”

Client: “Yes, I know, but you were still a day late.”

Me: “No, ma’am. It delivered Tuesday as requested on the shipping papers.”

Client: “Yes, but it supposed to be there Monday.”

Me: “But that’s not what the shipping paper says.”

Client: “I already said I know that. But it was supposed to be there Monday. Now my customer will not pay us because of it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but how are we to know that the goods had to be there Monday if you put Tuesday on the paperwork?”

Client: “Well, because I didn’t want to pay for the two-day service. I expected your driver to get it there ahead of schedule.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight. You asked us to deliver Tuesday, but you are withholding payment because you really wanted it there Monday? And now you’re trying to hold us responsible for delivering late after you just admitted you were trying to avoid paying extra costs for expedited service?”

Client: “Um… well… you still should have gotten it there Monday. Isn’t it your job to exceed the customer’s expectations?”

Me: “Actually, we did just that… by delivering a full two hours before the time documented on the papers.”

Client: “Well, I can’t pay you. I won’t be paid, so I can’t pay you.”

Me: “So, essentially, you want my company to pay for your error?”

Client: “Yes. I think it’s only fair.”

Me: “Ma’am, if this invoice is not paid in full by the end of today, based on the information you’ve admitted to me here, I will have no choice but to file a theft-of-service report with my headquarters and cut off service to your location. At that time, the company attorney will be in contact with your owner to discuss litigation. Further, we will also send notification to the credit bureaus that will ding your company’s credit score which will make it difficult to obtain credit with another freight carrier. Do you have any other questions before I termination this call?”

Client: “I… um… that’s not… um… necessary. Do you take company credit cards?”


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