Breaking Down Your Breakdown

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2018

(I work in the complaints department for a telephone company. The customer is escalated to me after the initial agent can’t resolve the query.)

Me: “Good afternoon. My name is [My Name] in [Company]’s complaints department. How can I help?”

Customer: “I’m really f****** annoyed. I saw on your website that there were service issues a few days ago.”

Me: “Mr. [Customer], I’d appreciate if you could refrain from cursing—”

Customer: *interrupting* “Don’t tell me what how to f****** talk.”

Me: *deciding to ignore his language* “I can confirm we did experience a network outage last Tuesday around 2:00 am. Our technical team is available 24 hours and they were able to resolve the issue in under an hour. Because of the time, most customers were unaffected.”

Customer: “That’s f****** ridiculous. What if I had an emergency?”

Me: “I do apologise for the inconvenience, Mr. [Customer]. Were you trying to use your phone at the time?”

Customer: “Of course not. I was asleep! But what if I had? I wouldn’t have been able to because your stupid network was down. I’m paying for a service that I couldn’t use.”

Me: “Again, I sincerely apologise. As I advised, the network outage lasted less than an hour so the interruption was minimal.”

Customer: “I don’t f****** care. I’m not paying for something I didn’t get. I want to be refunded for the time I was without service.”

(An idea starts to form in my mind. I put the customer on hold and check with my manager. Laughing at my plan, the manager gives me approval to go ahead.)

Me: “Apologies for the delay, Mr. [Customer]. I understand you are unhappy and would like to resolve this for you. Just so I’m clear, you want to be refunded for the time you were without service. Is that correct?”

Customer: “Yes. I don’t think I should have to pay for service I’m not getting.”

Me: “Of course. I can see you’re on [Phone Plan], which costs €40 a month. Assuming a month is 30 days, that works out at €1.37 a day or 6c an hour. As our network was unavailable for just under an hour, I have applied a refund for 6c to your account now. That reimburses you for the time you were without service. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Uh…”

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