It Pays To Check The D

, , | Working | October 14, 2020

I work for an ISP. A customer calls in, polite but very direct.

Caller: “I’ve had an internet problem that I haven’t been able to get fixed. I’ve called you repeatedly, and I’ve called my computer manufacturer who says it’s your fault.”

The notes on his account back it up, it appears previous reps have made a worthwhile effort at trying to solve it.

Caller: “This is the last chance you have before I cancel and go elsewhere.”

This doesn’t bother me, but I try to do my job right.

Me: “I promise to take every step in the book with you to check everything we possibly can.”

He agrees to let me try, and to his credit, he does every single thing I ask him. We cut zero corners on the steps. He checks every cable, removes and replaces them as asked, clicks everything I tell him to click and nothing else, reads everything he sees on his screen right to me. He is an excellent customer.

Me: “So, the modem is getting everything it needs. Looks correct through my tools and the lights on your end. Computer is pulling an IP address valid for our network. Browser comes up with being unable to connect to anything. We’ve cleared every cache and cookie and thing I can think of, still no go.”

I’m following our ticketing system (which includes a troubleshooting tree) to the letter, looking at my reference material as to what he should be seeing. We’re getting down to one of the final steps before my system says “not our problem.”

We get to checking the tcp/ip settings. This is where my tech support memory fails me as to exactly what tcp/ip settings so don’t ask but I’ll approximate it:

Me: “Okay, so can you check that settings A, B, and C say [this]?”

Caller: “Yep, A, B, and C are exactly that. And Box D is unchecked.”

Wait a sec. Box D isn’t in the troubleshooting tree, but my reference material shows Box D being checked… it sounds somewhat relevant, I guess?

Me: “Um, can you check Box D for me? And now, check your internet?”

Caller: “OH MY GOD THE INTERNET WORKS!”

The customer then goes on and on about how thrilled he is that his problem is finally solved, and how much work I put into checking every last thing for him, how I solved it after all the hours he spent trying to get this fixed. He asks to speak to my manager, which I of course let him do, stayed on the line and heard him gush to my boss for a solid ten minutes.

A couple of hours later, the Quality Assurance guy (the guy that listens to recordings to make sure we’re doing our job right and scores them) comes over and tells me he listened to that call, and then presents me with my scoresheet. A big fat zero; lowest score possible.

Score Sheet: “You went out of scope, Box D isn’t in the troubleshooting tree. Zero.”

My boss lost his mind before I could. No appeal, no second opinions allowed under our system. Happiest customer I ever had, and scored zero. This is the exact moment that I decided “work to rule” was going to be the status quo from now on.

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