It Literally Pays To Be Nice

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2017

(I’m working customer service for a well-known bank when a young woman in her late teens or early twenties approaches my desk.)

Customer: “I’d like to see about getting overdraft fees removed from my account, please.”

(These types of transactions rarely go well. The customer is almost always angry and agitated, and I’ve been instructed to not write off legitimate overdraft charges unless there’s a really good reason. I’m allowed to use discretion, but if I do it more than once in a great while, I get in trouble. I steel myself for a tense interaction with this customer.)

Me: “Let me see here. It looks as if these overdraft charges are valid. You overdrew your account by [amount #1] on Thursday morning, and then made four more purchases over the next few days totaling [amount #2]. The $175 in overdraft fees you incurred are valid, and I can’t delete them. I could enroll you in overdraft protection though, so you won’t need to worry about this scenario again.”

Customer: “I’d like that, please. To be honest, I know this is my fault. I should have been more careful with my money, and I wasn’t keeping track of what was in my account. The blame is on me. I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to get these charges removed. Can you tell me how to enroll in overdraft protection?”

Me: *flabbergasted* “Wow. You’re the first customer in years to take full responsibility for an overdraft charge. I’ll take care of this for you, and delete the charges. Thanks for being so nice!”

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