But I Would Charge £10,000, And I Would Charge £10,000 More

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2019

(I start work in an office which sells engineering components. There are no set prices and we discount prices based on bulk buys, availability, customer loyalty, etc. Having just started, I am assigned a phone which, unfortunately, has an awful connection and constant buzz when in use. The system we use won’t let you do anything without assigning it to a customer’s account. It is about three days into my job.)

Caller: “Yeah, this is [Caller] from [something that sounds like G&M]. Can I get five of [item #1], two of [item #2], and some of [item #3]? And what have I already got on order?”

Me: “Sorry, you broke up there. Where are you calling from?”

Caller: “What? I have an account with you.”

Me: “Yes, the line is quite bad; was that G&M or G&N? Just so I can bring up your account.”

Caller: “Yeah, that’s it. So, what have I got on order?”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t bring up your orders without your account, and it’s a very bad line. Where are you calling from?”

Caller: “I just want a price. We have an account with you.”

(My colleague hears me having some issues and comes over.)

Colleague: “Who is it?”

Me: *mouths that I don’t know yet* “Can you just repeat where you are calling from so I can find your account?”

Caller: “Oh, I’m near London; it was five of [item #1], two of [item #2], and just a few of [item #3].”

Me: “No, your company, just so I can find your account. Was it G&M, G&N, or GNM?” *thinking it’s got to be one of them*

Caller: “Look. I just want a price.”

Me: “I understand, but I need to know where you are calling from so I can find your account.”

Caller: “Why is it so hard to give me a price?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but our system won’t let me give you a price without your account. Can you please tell me which company you are calling from?”

Caller: *sighs* “D&M. So, can I have a price?”

Colleague: “Who is it?” *comes to watch over my shoulder as I search for the account* “We don’t have a D&M!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I am not finding that account; would you be under anything else?”

Caller: “D&M!”

Colleague: “Search by his postcode.”

Me: “Can I just get your postcode and I can find your account by that?”

Caller: *reels off postcode at lightning speed, all the while moaning how he just wants a price*

Me: “Okay, I have three companies at that postcode, none of which are D&M. Are you sure you wouldn’t be under another name?” *lists the three companies we have on the system*

Caller: “Yeah, we used to be [Company #2], but we changed names about a month ago.”

Me: “Okay, that’s why I couldn’t find you. Sorry about that. Let me just bring up your account.”

(There is an on-screen error as I die inside.)

Me: “Oh, okay, I am showing that account is locked out on my system with just over £10,000 of outstanding invoices.”

Caller: “Well, yeah, but that’s not us anymore. We changed names, so I want to place another order.”

Me: “Okay, but you are at the same address, and you are the owner of the previous company, so you would need to clear the invoices before we can deal with you, and then we can change your name on the system.”

Caller: “But that’s not my company; we changed names.”

Me: “Okay, but you still bought goods from us delivered to the same location to a company owned by yourself. Were you declared bankrupt?”

Caller: “No, we just changed names, so can I get a quote now or do I need to set up a new account?”

Me: “Not without clearing the balance on your account.”

Caller: “Whatever, I will go to [Competitor].”

(Yeah, I’m sure they want to have £10,000 worth of unpaid invoices. The customer later tried to claim in court he hadn’t received the goods despite having signed for them. Last I heard he had been declared bankrupt.)

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