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Okay, What DIDN’T Happen To The Phone?

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

Back in the day, I worked in a call center processing cell phone insurance claims. Most issues were covered, except for water damage. We were required to get a description of what happened, though, even if the phone was lost. The management was pretty relaxed about it, but you did need to provide a description that fell within the allowed coverage reasons. I could give a brief overview of what their policy covered before I took their description, and most people were smart enough to understand that if their phone had water damage, it was better to just say it was at the bottom of a lake, i.e., lost. “It just stopped working” wasn’t covered, but “I dropped it and it doesn’t work anymore” was covered. You get the idea.

One guy thought it was ridiculous that he needed to tell us what happened to the phone. I reiterated the policy summary, hoping he’d take the hint and make up a story, and we could both move on with our day. He did… in the least effective way possible.

Me: “Could you please describe what happened that caused the phone to stop working? Please keep in mind that I cannot make any changes to your statement once you provide it.”

Caller: “I dropped it. My toddler hit it with an axe. It got left in the rain. I stopped quickly and it flew off the dashboard and out the window of the car.” *Insert several more unlikely scenarios here.*

Me: “To clarify, all of these things happened to the same phone on the same day, just before it stopped working, and this is the source of the damage? It wasn’t just one thing?”

Caller: “Yes. All of those things.”

I typed furiously because I was required to document all of the incidents. I read the summary back to him, asking if this was complete and correct, and reminded him again that once he agreed, I couldn’t change his statement.

Caller: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Me: “Based on your description, sir, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to approve your cell phone insurance claim today. As I mentioned earlier, any water damage is excluded from your coverage, and as you described water damage as part of the incident, I’m not able to approve the claim. I’ve also consulted with my supervisor, who has advised that we aren’t able to distinguish the cause of the damage based on your description of events.”

Caller: “I want to change my statement of what happened.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that isn’t possible. As I stated, no changes are possible once I’ve read the summary back to you and you agreed that it was correct.”

Caller: “Fine. I’ll call back later and start over.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as you’ll recall, we gathered details about your phone, including the serial number, before you described the damage. We have a record that you attempted to make a claim, and no further claims on this phone will be possible.”

Caller: “You’re the rudest customer service representative I’ve ever encountered! Get me your supervisor!”

Me: “Certainly, sir.”

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