Category: Top

Security Disservice

, | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Awesome Workers, Top

(In telephone banking service, one of the most frustrating experiences are people who fail the security questions. They want security, but they also want to be able to access their accounts if they can’t remember things like recent transactions, or the phone number from six houses ago that they didn’t bother to update with us. I am on my train home, and I happen to sit down in front of a man on his phone, obviously answering and then failing security for a bank.)

Caller: “Well, that’s my address NOW! I don’t care what you have there. Look! My name is [Name], I was born on [date]! My mother’s maiden name is [Other Name]! Now, please help me!”

(Silence, presumably a reply from the service rep.)

Caller: “But you need to come up with something to help people when they can’t answer these questions!”

(Some silence.)

Caller: “Well why can’t you sort something out for me?! LOOK! Just send me a new d*** credit card at [address repeated loudly, slowly, and clearly]! Now send it because it expires this month! Send it or I’ll call the Ombudsman!”

(Realising he’s hung up, I spin around.)

Me: “Hi! I work as a banking call centre rep and I often come across this situation. Tell me, what solution do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Uh… what? Solution?”

Me: “You just said that there should be something in place to help people access their accounts when they can’t answer the security questions. Well, now’s your chance. I work as a service agent and I’m also part of the decision making and testing process for new procedures. You want something set up to enable people who can’t answer security questions to be able to access accounts. Now, keeping both fraud compliance and the legal obligation to safeguard people’s information and money, what do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Well, there should be another system…”

Me: “You are absolutely correct. Can you describe it?”

Caller: “I…”

Me: “Where I am, we have some procedures. We can send a One Time PIN to your mobile phone. Does the bank have your current phone number? I gathered they can’t verify your address.”

Caller: “No, I haven’t given out this phone numb—”

Me: “I see. So if I gather correctly, you haven’t updated your address and phone numbers with them in some time. What else did they ask?”

Caller: “My date of birth, and a recent transaction.”

Me: “Okay, did you remember a recent transaction?”

Caller: “No! Why should I be expected to remember that?”

Me: “Why indeed? Tell me, did you give them an account number?”

Caller: “NO! I don’t have any statements from them because I haven’t gotten mail in years!”

Me: “Okay, so let me recap. You’ve called up to ask for a replacement credit card to be sent out to your new address. You weren’t able to provide an account number, the agent found you by name and date of birth. You were unable to provide the address they have on their system, they were unable to confirm your return mobile number because you haven’t given it to them. Moving on, you were unable to name any recent activity on the card that only you have access to. Do you not see how this would trip some red flags for a person who has to remain vigilant for fraud?”

Caller: “Well, yeah… but—”

Me: “But yes, your solution – which is?”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “You said there needs to be another way. So after we’ve recapped your specific situation, what would you suggest?”

(At this point, his eyes narrow and he gives me a filthy look.)

Caller: “Now you listen here, you smart a—”

Me: “Has it occurred to you that the person making your life difficult is you? Have you not realised in that exchange and in this conversation, you are admitting all the areas where you let yourself down and placed all the blame on the person doing their job instead of where it all belongs, with you?”

Caller: “Now just hold on a min—”

Me: “No, you hold on. Maybe take the time to take your card out of your pocket, think about the last time you used it and maybe have a think about your last known address, call back, and be polite instead of a whining jerk.”

(Another intense stink eye, I notice my stop coming up.)

Me: “Catch this train often. I had a great time telling you off. It melted all the day’s stress away! Bye now!”

(I alighted from the train, waving back as I got the most awful glare.)

Enough To Bring A Teal To Your Eyes

| WI, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top

(I volunteer for our local museum during a popular traveling Sherlock Holmes exhibit. When it is slow, I will walk along with visitors and chat. I am walking with a young mom and her four-year-old daughter. They love the exhibit, and go to the gift shop. I am on a break and stop by the gift shop to say hi to the woman working the register.)

Little Girl: “Hey! You are the lady that helped us!”

Me: “Yes, I am. Did you find anything?”

(She shows me a handful of marbles, one in every color we offered.)

Little Girl: “What is your favorite color?”

Me: “I really like the teal ones.”

(She scampers away, and I don’t think much of it as I have these conversations with kids a lot. I am talking with the mom when her daughter comes back.)

Little Girl: “Here! This is for you!”

(She hands me a teal marble.)

Me: “it’s beautiful, thank you!”

Little Girl: “It’s a friendship marble. Now we’ll always be friends!”

Mom: “[Little Girl] and I are on our own. Her dad left us when she was born and I’ve been trying to make sure she has great values.”

Me: “You’ve done an amazing job! She is a real gem; I loved talking with you today!”

(I slip the cashier money to pay for the girl’s marbles, and when she is told her marbles are free, she tears up.)

Little Girl: “Mom and I don’t have a lot of money; we saved just to come here!”

Me: “Well, in that case…”

(I refunded their admission and paid for it myself. I made sure they got two free passes for the museum for their next visit, and they came and saw me for the next exhibit. The little girl was just as pleasant as she was the first time. And the teal marble? She had it in her pocket, and since I carry mine in my purse, I had mine that day as well.)

Always Time For A Rhyme

| UK | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Language & Words, Top

(Our county council has online web-forms for people to get in touch.)

Customer Email:

“The winds outside blew and blew
and my bin lid verily flew
in a lickety split
I emailed you quick
to request a brand new one from you”

(Since the customer did not tell us whether it was her recycling or refuse bin that broke in the weather I have to contact her back. It is the first time I have EVER received a request in limerick form, so I decide to phone the lady. Unfortunately, it goes to voicemail.)

Me: *to the voicemail*

“The council received your request
but you leave us a little perplexed
Amidst rhyming hype
forgot ye the type
of the bin-lid you meant to suggest”