Lose Your Card, Not Your Manners

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I work in a call centre and I’m well used to abusive customers. Normally, I ignore them because I know they’re just trying to push my buttons. However, if a customer starts being abusive to me for no reason, I won’t take it for a second.)

Me: “Good evening. Lost & Stolen Cards. How can I help?

Customer: “Finally someone answers. I got to Spain an hour ago and I lost my debit card. You are going to cancel it immediately.”

Me: “Of course. Can I take your account number?”

Customer: “I don’t have that. Who brings their f****** account number on holiday? For f***’s sake, how hard is it to cancel a card?”

Me: “If you don’t have your account number I can search for you. I just need your name and the bank you opened your account with.”

Customer: “Are. You. F******. Stupid? I don’t have any of my account information because I’m not in the f****** country. Is that too hard for you to understand or do I need to speak slowly?”

Me: “Don’t speak to me like that when I’m trying to help you.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not the f****** idiot who keeps asking me for account information.”

Me: “And I’m also not the idiot who lost their card within minutes of arriving in a foreign country and now can’t understand that it’s impossible to find their account if they don’t give me any account information. I’m not bloody psychic.”

Customer: “You can’t speak to me like that!”

Me: “I think you’ll find I can, because I just did.”

(About fifteen seconds of silence and then…)

Customer: “My name is [Customer] and I opened my account in [Bank].”

(I found the customer’s account, and for the rest of the call he couldn’t have been more polite. He also apologised for being so rude and said he was just frustrated at losing his card. I accepted his apology but asked him in future to remember that the person he’s talking to is human, too, and it’s not acceptable to take his frustration out on someone who is doing their best to help him. I flagged the call to my team leader, and since I usually have a spotless record, she agreed to avoid that call when marking my performance that week.)

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