Going Toe To Toe With Payday

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2018

(I am working the reception desk at my vet clinic. Our policy is to not schedule appointments for clients who have large outstanding bills. I am relatively inexperienced at appointment scheduling, and I really should have asked the client’s name before telling her what we had available. This happens on a Wednesday. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Clinic]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. My cat may have injured his toe; do you have any openings on Saturday?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we are closed this Saturday, but we do have an opening on Monday morning at eight o’clock.”

Client: “I’ll take it.”

Me: “Great. Can I have your name, please?”

Client: “It’s [Client].”

(I pull up her account and see that she has an outstanding balance of well over $1000. Someone even flagged her account to make sure we don’t provide any more services to her until she pays us.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we unfortunately cannot schedule an appointment for you until you pay off a significant portion of your balance.”

Client: “I’m going to make a payment on Friday.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t schedule you until that payment is made.”

Client: “But I don’t get paid until Friday, and by then, that Monday opening will be taken!”

Me: “While that particular appointment may be taken by Friday, we have other openings next week. However, I cannot schedule you until you have paid off a significant portion of your balance.”

(This goes on for another two or three rounds of her saying she’ll make a payment on Friday and me reiterating that I can’t schedule her until she pays. Finally, I convince her that I’m really not going to schedule her appointment until she pays us.)

Client: “Well, I guess my cat will just have to suffer, then!”

Me: “Goodbye, ma’am.”

Blue Screen Is Caused By Lack Of Green

, , , | Right | December 6, 2018

(Before my recent retirement, I spent about three decades at a local TV station as an engineer. Viewer calls concerning reception problems usually get transferred to the engineering department. I take this call one day from a very nice, older lady.)

Caller: “Hello. Are you the engineer?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?”

Caller: “I’m trying to watch your station, but all I see is a blue screen and no sound.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, so that I can narrow the problem down, are you watching us over the air with an antenna, or are you a subscriber to one of the cable or satellite companies?”

Caller: “I watch over [Cable Company].”

Me: “Okay. I’m looking at a TV set connected to an antenna, and our signal is fine there, so let me check with [Cable Company] and see if they’re having problems.”

(Fifteen or twenty minutes later, after a call to the cable provider, I call the lady back.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is [My Name] at [TV Station].”

Caller: “Oh, I’m so glad you called back. I found out what the problem was!”

Me: “Well, that’s great, ma’am. What was it?”

Caller: “I realized I hadn’t paid my cable bill in three months; they cut me off!”

Divorcing Yourself From Your TV

, , , , , | Right | November 25, 2018

(I work for a large TV provider in their billing department.)

Customer: “All of my TVs are showing [common error code that comes up for a variety of reasons].”

Me: “Well, that’s definitely something I can help with. Can I get your phone number so I can bring up your account?”

(I verify account information and see the account status is disconnected.)

Me: “It seems your account is disconnected; give me a moment to read some of the notes and see if I can’t find out what’s going on.”

Customer: “That’s weird. I just paid the bill and everything.”

Me: “I don’t see a balance due, so we definitely received the payment.”

(I begin explaining as I’m reading the notes, which in hindsight is a terrible idea.)

Me: “It looks here like a woman called in earlier and requested the disconnect for… oh.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The note says she turned it off as part of a… divorce?”

(There is a long pause, where I can almost hear his heart breaking at the news.)

Customer: “W-what? I had no idea. That’s what it says?”

Me: “I’m so sorry. That’s what the previous rep said in their note.”

Customer: “She didn’t say anything. I can’t believe it. You sure that’s what it says?”

Me: “That’s all it says.” *awkward pause* “If you’d like, I can reactivate the account, or you can call back later. Whatever works for you; we are available 24/7.”

Customer: “Yeah, I’ll just call back later when I figure this out.”

Me: “I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “Don’t be. You didn’t know. Thanks for your help.”

(To the customer: prior notes on the account showed you were a pretty nice guy and treated my fellow reps well. I am truly sorry about how I ham-fistedly broke the news of the divorce, and I hope you found someone more worthy of your affections!)

You Can’t Kill The Bill

, , , , , | Right | November 19, 2018

(I am working as a cashier. A customer says that they want to pay their bill for their in-store credit card before checking out. I process the payment and then begin their transaction.)

Me: “Okay, your total today is [amount].”

Customer: “No, I should get a discount for paying my credit card bill up front.”

Me: “Ma’am, it doesn’t matter where you pay your bill. You can pay it at any register, online, or even over the phone. I can’t give you a discount on your transaction for paying your credit card bill.”

Customer: “They have done it before! You just don’t know since you’re new.”

Me: “I am kind of new, but in the six months I’ve been working here, I have never heard of this.”

Customer: “You’re just lying to get more money out of me!”

(An assistant manager thankfully was nearby, and I pawned the customer off on her. I still have no idea why she thought she was entitled to a discount for paying her bill up at the front registers.)

Their Pink Dollar Is Not Worth As Much

, , , , , , | Right | October 25, 2018

(I work for one of the major energy suppliers in the UK. I get a call from a customer who hasn’t paid his bill for three years. He’s gotten away with it by setting up arrangements he never kept, booking appointments to fit a prepayment meter that he either called to reschedule at the last minute and then never remade, or just outright cancelling the appointment the day before. We have been given a warrant and are set to go to his property at the end of the week. As you can imagine, the customer is very unhappy.)

Customer: “Why did you get a warrant? Are you going to take my stuff? You can’t do that!”

Me: “We won’t remove your things; they’re not bailiffs. We need the warrant to gain access to your property to install a prepayment meter—”

Customer: “NO! I don’t want one. Cancel it!”

Me: “The only way I can cancel it is if you pay your balance in full today.”

Customer: “Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

Me: “Very much, sir. The balance has been outstanding for three years now with zero payment. I can take a card payment over the phone.”

Customer: “No. I’m not paying. Besides, this is discrimination!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You’re bullying me because I’m gay!”

Me: “I can assure you this is not the case. Besides, how would we know you were gay?”

Customer: “No, you are picking on me! You’re sending people to my door because I’m gay! That’s discrimination and I’m going to sue! I shouldn’t have to put up with this!”

Me: “Sir, are you saying you should be exempt from paying your bill because you’re gay?”

Customer: “No, I’m saying you shouldn’t send me all these nasty letters and send people to my house!”

Me: “Sir, those letters were sent because you haven’t paid us anything for three years yet you have continued to use energy. We send them to all customers who don’t pay.”

Customer: “Well, I’m telling you now, you can’t come to my house. It’s private property. If you come without my permission, it’ll be counted as trespassing and I’ll sue.”

Me: “We have a warrant issued by a judge; therefore, we have permission.”

Customer: “The judge only gave you that warrant because I’m gay! That’s discrimination.”

Me: “Sir… I can assure you this is not the case. For one, even if judges were allowed to do this, they would have no way of knowing you were gay. You would just be a name on a piece of paper along with hundreds of other names.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want the meter. I’ll wait in and I won’t let them in.”

Me: “The warrant gives them permission to get a locksmith, which will add further charges to your account. It even allows them to request police assistance which, if required, would add yet another charge onto your account.”

Customer: “Oh, so, now you’re admitting you want to put charges on my account because I’m gay?”

Me: “No, sir. These would-be charges have nothing to do with you being gay. They are only if we require a locksmith or police intervention, not because of your sexual preference. Now, are you going to pay the balance, or are you going to wait for them to fit the meter at the end of the week?”

Customer: *pause* “I’ll pay now. But I’m going to complain! You can’t discriminate like this!”

Me: “I can assure you, sir, that [Company] couldn’t care less about your gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; we just care that you pay your bills. Now, let’s sort out that payment.”

(The guy paid his bill in full, which was almost £2,000, all the while rambling about how gay people were constantly persecuted, how this would not stand, how he would go to the news and the papers, and how he was going to sue us for discrimination.)

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