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Broken By The Brokerage

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: hyacinth-wine | January 12, 2022

I work in a bank’s call centre. It’s pretty rough at the start of the month, so I am gearing up for some weird cases.

A customer calls in, enquiring about a payment that didn’t go through to a brokerage firm. While he talks, I go through his last calls and find that he is, unfortunately, a pretty entitled customer. Uh-oh. I do my best to be chipper.

Me: “Okay, sir! It seems like your payment has made it through on our end. In this case, I would advise you to check with the brokerage if there’ve been any problems.”

Customer: “Look, I just checked with them. They said to call my bank.”

Me: “I see. Did they mention anything about the status of the payment on their end?”

Customer: “They said it’s pending. That’s definitely on you.”

It isn’t. This particular payment type is usually instant, and it sure as h*** looks like it is through on our system. I do my best to explain to him how it works and to let him know he can try and check with the brokerage again.

Customer: “Fine. If you’re so insistent on brushing me off, I’ll call them now. Stay on the line.”

The customer, to my dismay, proceeds to ring the brokerage up on his landline while I am still with him on the phone. I sit through the dial tone and the hold music.

The call is picked up by this guy who sounds like I feel. He has the unfortunate job of confirming that the issue is on the brokerage’s end.

The customer proceeds to go ballistic on him, shouting about how it is ridiculous that his payment is being held for no reason. The line begins cutting off at several points, and [Brokerage Employee]’s voice is pretty muffled on my end. I cringe for him the entire time.

Customer: “HELLO?”

Me: “Yes, hello.”

Customer: “Tell this b*****d it went through on the bank’s end!”

Me: *Slightly panicked* “Sir, I’m sure they’re doing their best to work on the problem—”

Customer: “JUST TELL HIM!”

I kept up my customer service voice, got the customer’s permission to reveal his account information to [Brokerage Employee], and proceeded to convey what I saw to him.

[Brokerage Employee] sounded a bit drained, and I wanted badly to give him the encouragement he needed. The best I could do was an apology for the trouble that sounded sickeningly scripted as ever. [Brokerage Employee] gave me an equally professional, “No worries.”

The customer curtly ended the call with me after. I hope [Brokerage Employee] had a smooth shift after that.