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Calling The Correct Number Is Not His Calling

, , , , | Right | March 2, 2021

I work for a pension provider in the finance department. I am not customer-facing and do not usually deal with members of the public as part of my job. I do, however, sit near the customer service team.

I have been off for a few days and on my first day back, I get a call on my telephone from an external number which I answer. I copy the customer service teams’ intro to the best of my ability.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pension Provider]. You are through to the finance department. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Transfer me to the customer service department.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot do that. But if you call [number], they will be able to help you.”

Customer: “No. That telephone number is for [Completely Different Organisation who are in no way related to my company].”

I double-check the website.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is the number on our website. It will take you through to the customer service department; they have been answering calls all day.”

Customer: “You’re not listening to me. Transfer me to the customer service department now.”

Me: “My phone can’t transfer calls, but I assure you that if you call that number, you will speak to our customer service department.”

Customer: “Are you stupid? That number doesn’t work! Are you running a scam or do you just not want to help me?! Transfer the call or click on your computer and help me yourself.”

Me: “I do not have access to the customer service department’s system, but please confirm your query. If it’s something I do not need to use the computer system for, I may be able to help.”

Customer: “None of your business. I want to speak to your manager.”

My manager is the Chief Financial Officer and will not want to speak to him.

Me: “Please hold.”

I put the idiot on hold and go over to speak to the customer service team leader. As soon as I start to explain the situation, she puts her head in her hands and sighs.

It turns out that while I have been off work, this customer has been calling random telephone numbers in our organisation demanding to be transferred to the customer service department. We believe that he does not want to incur charges for calling the customer service team directly — there is no charge — and has obtained a copy of our internal telephone list from a member of staff.

She reluctantly takes the call from me.

Team Leader: “Hello, Mr. [Customer], as I have advised you repeatedly, you need to call [number] to speak to a member of my team. Please stop calling random members of staff.”

Customer: “Are you that girl’s manager?”

Team Leader: “No, sir, I am not. As I have advised you previously, I am the customer service team leader. I am the only manager you need to speak to.”

Customer: “No, I want to speak to her manager. She was very rude and refused to help me in any way.”

Team Leader: “Sir, I cannot keep having this discussion with you. Maybe if you could confirm your query, we could resolve this?”

Customer: “No. Transfer me to the customer service team.”

Team Leader: “Sir, I am the customer service team leader. I can assist with your query and then you won’t need to repeatedly call incorrect numbers.”

Customer: “Fine. Idiots. I need to know the day my pension will be paid.”

Team Leader: “The twenty-fifth. It’s paid on the twenty-fifth of every month except December when it’s paid early, on the eighteenth, to account for the holidays.”

Customer: “Well, that’s all I wanted to know. Why couldn’t anyone else help me?!”

Team Leader: “Sir, I am now ending this call. Please call the correct telephone number in future.”

She hung up on him before he could speak again and walked over to the kitchen to sit in silence for a while. Once she had calmed down, she sent an email to all internal staff advising not to answer calls from that customer’s telephone number.

I later heard that, after my call, he called ten different members of staff on that day alone and continued to call for another week; all of the calls were unanswered. I don’t know what’s wrong with some people!

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