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How Low Can You Go?

, , , , , | Right | January 19, 2021

I’ve been working in a call centre for the last two years dealing with very irate customers, to the point that my manager has jokingly referred to me as “stinker magnet”.

Customer: “I think my bill is wrong.”

Me: “Okay, let me load that up to see. Whilst I’m doing so, what isn’t correct about it?”

Customer: “It can’t be correct; it’s too low.”

I look to my colleague beside me with a bewildered look.

Me: “Yes, I can see here your monthly bill is £72, which is pretty average this time of year—”

Customer: “Listen, that is too low. I know it is. For the great inconvenience this has caused me and has screwed up my finances this month, I demand a 50% discount.”

I am stunned, mouthing words I shouldn’t.

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but we are unable to give discounts because a bill is too low. If it was high I would be willing to work something out with you and maybe offer you a discount but I cannot do so if you think it is too low.”

Customer: “No, you will get me that discount because I am a customer and I am right. I am also a very respected accountant so I know I am entitled to this. If you will not do your job, get me your manager.”

I know I won’t get anywhere with this one. I flag a manager over who asks what it was about, and I just tell them to ask.

Manager: “Hello there, my name is [Very Common Name] and I am a manager. How can I help you today?”

I’m biting my lip hard and trying not to burst out laughing.

Manager: “I’m sorry, can you repeat that? Did you just ask for a 50% discount because your bill is lower than you expected and it is causing you a massive inconvenience?”

Everyone in close vicinity turns to listen in. The customer is now screaming obscenities so loudly it can be heard over the headset.

Manager: “No, sir, I can assure you that I nor my employee are incompetent. She has already told you she would’ve been willing to negotiate a discount if you thought it was high, but you cannot get a discount because it is lower than what you expected. Goodbye.”