Can Always Stretch To Curse You Out

, , , | Right | April 22, 2020

I work at a call center selling jewelry you see on the TV. We have a thing called StretchPay, which is basically self-explainable. However, if you don’t pay that StretchPay, or rack up multiples and don’t pay for any of them, we can close your account in our system. That basically lets employees know that you cannot order on that account, nor can you create a new account and order on that one, or order online with this account.

I get a call from an older lady who wants to order a pair of earrings, but when I pull up her account I see it’s closed, and that she hasn’t paid a StretchPay in at least a year or more.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but due to your account being closed for non-payment, I cannot place your order.”

Cue the b****ing at me, because how dare I let her get herself into more debt? It’s obviously all my fault for letting her order all this stuff. After a minute or so of her yelling at me, I get a word in edgewise.

Me: “Ma’am, I cannot place this order, nor will I be making a new account for you. I’m going to document this as such, and just so you know, these calls can be pulled and listened to.”

Caller: “You can shove those earrings up your a**!” *Click*

Unfortunately, I heard so many of the above situations that this was one of the tame ones. Fortunately, I don’t work with customers now.

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Adulting Is A Math Problem No One Likes

, , , , , | Legal | April 18, 2020

I am thirty and I just decided to start going to college. For what I want to do, I need so many math classes. In my class, the oldest person is the teacher, who told us she was eighty, and then me. Everyone else is between seventeen and nineteen.

I’m sitting at my table with a few of these teens and they’re talking about how long they spend on a math problem. Then, they ask me:

Kid #1: “Hey, how long do you spend on a math problem?”

Me: “It depends on the problem. Some of them are only a few seconds, and others can be like 45 minutes.”

Kid #2: “Really?! You spend 45 minutes on a problem?! I just skip it!”

Me: “Do you pay rent?”

Kid #1 & #2: “No.”

Me: “Do you pay credit card bills, phone bills, medical bills, or your car insurance?”

Kid #1 & #2: “No.”

Me: “Are you paying for college on your own?”

Kid #1 & #2: “No.”

Me: “I am. I have no choice but to get good grades.”

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America, Ladies And Gents!

, , , , , , , | Healthy | April 6, 2020

My dad needed to get his physical done and went to our family doctor. The doctor’s office was located in a sort of strip mall setup along with other private practitioners and specialists. This building was, in turn, located directly adjacent to the actual local hospital, even sharing the same parking lot.

As part of the physical, my dad was getting blood drawn but the nurse had difficulty getting their needle into his veins, meaning he had a needle probing in his body much longer than usual. Eventually, his body decided enough was enough and he seized.

Worried for his health, they quickly loaded my dad onto a gurney and wheeled him across the parking lot to the ER where he was quickly diagnosed as being fine. After he recovered, the blood draw was rescheduled and he headed home.

Fast forward a few weeks: a bill from the hospital arrived. Since he’d gone to the ER, my dad was expecting a high price, but this proved to be even more than expected by several hundred dollars.

Looking through the itemized bill, it was mostly the expected expenses: ER visit, fluids, etc. What stuck out was the several-hundred-dollar ambulance service my dad apparently got from being wheeled across the parking lot on a gurney.

He fought the bill, saying he might have paid if they’d at least put him in an ambulance and let him turn on the siren.

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No Voice To Help With The Invoice

, , , , | Working | February 17, 2020

(I have some blood work done by being a walk-in at the lab. I pay, leave, and await results. What I get is a large invoice a month later. If I get blood work through my doctor, I prepay for that. I call the number to find out exactly what this was for. My doctor’s name is not listed in the spot for the physician. Something is fishy. I am omitting the twenty-five minutes spent on hold and five minutes re-explaining the above.)

CSR #1: “Let me look into that.”

(There is silence for several minutes until I realize I’ve been disconnected. I try again.)

CSR #2: “Your doctor would have ordered the tests.”

Me: “But there is nothing on the invoice but codes. What are they?”

CSR #2: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Are they listed online somewhere?”

CSR #2: “Huh? Oh, yes. Try that.”

(I try that and Google confirms my suspicions: they are not tests ordered by my doctor, but the ones I requested personally. I call again to confront.)

CSR #3: “We don’t have any record of you paying. We’re not the lab. We only handle billing. We’re located in Pennsylvania. You need to contact them directly.”

(I contact the lab directly.)

Lab Operator: “Well, sir, you’ll need to talk to our billing department about that. I can transfer you.”

Me: “If you’re going to transfer me back to the people who told me to call you, this won’t be helpful.”

Lab Operator: “Oh, but there’s nobody else I can transfer you to.”

(I’m transferred and I can tell from the recordings that I’m back at square one.)

Me: “I think we may have to escalate this.”

(I re-explain all.)

CSR #4: “Yes, I can see all the tests here and that you already paid. I’m not sure why you were sent that invoice. Disregard it. I’ll take care of this.”

Me: “Why did the others tell me to contact my doctor and the lab?”

CSR #4: “I have no idea. They should be able to see what I’m looking at.”

(Well, at least one of the four knew what he was doing.)

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Not In The Zone Of Waiving The Fee

, , , , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(I work in the treasurer and collector’s office for a town. We have a pretty strict payment policy. We have a one-day grace period after the due date, after which we charge interest. State law allows us to waive up to $15.00 of interest and/or fees. Sometimes, if the customer is sincere enough in their excuse why they didn’t pay their bill on time, we will waive the interest and/or late fee, but not more than the legal amount. I do have some authority over these instances, but if I don’t like the customer’s attitude or if I’m unsure if I should do it — we also look into payment history — I ask my manager for approval with the excuse given. Real estate tax bills were due on the first of the month. It is currently the ninth. A woman who doesn’t seem familiar brings in her bill with her check already written out for the original amount. I look up the bill for the current amount with interest.)

Me: “Okay, so, after this payment, the balance will be $4.59, which we can put on the next bill if you’d like.”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Me: “Because it was due last week on the first. It’s now the ninth.”

Customer: “Listen. My husband volunteers for the town.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “He is on the zoning board.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “So, can’t you give us a break?”

(I think, “Did she actually just ask us to waive her interest because her husband is on a board? Isn’t that unethical?”)

Me: “No, sorry.”

Customer: *angrily* “Well, why not? He volunteers for the town.”

Me: “We don’t waive interest for any reason.” *especially name-dropping!*

Customer: “Can you ask your manager?”

Me: “Sure.” *to my manager* “This customer just asked us to waive her interest of about $5 because her husband is on the zoning board.”

Manager:What?! No. Absolutely not. I can’t believe she would even ask that. No, tell her we can’t do that.”

Me: *to the customer* “Sorry, my manager says we can’t do that.”

Customer: “I don’t believe that. My husband volunteers for the town! He doesn’t get paid! And you can’t waive $5 of interest?”

Me: “No, we can’t.”

Customer: “Unbelievable.”

Me: *knowing this isn’t going to go anywhere* “[Manager], can you come here, please?”

Manager: “No, we absolutely cannot waive interest just because your husband is on the zoning board, or any board or committee, for that matter. It’s against the code of ethics.”

Customer: “But I don’t understand why you can’t waive it. It’s just $5. He volunteers for the town. As in, he doesn’t get paid. And you can’t give us a break for $5.”

Manager: “No. It’s unethical, and frankly, I’m surprised you’d even ask. Your husband signed a code of ethics, and this would violate that code. So, no, I’m not going to waive it.”

(The customer then stormed out and tried to slam our self-closing doors on her way out. My manager talked to the town clerk, who would have sworn the husband in to his position and given him the code of ethics. The clerk said the husband may have known not to do it, but the wife may not have known. My manager cooled off a little after that. She told me that if the customer had come in with almost any other excuse, like it got buried in a pile and she just now found it, she may have waived the interest, but because she asked in that manner, it wasn’t going to happen. I also noted that one of the Select Board members makes late payments for almost every bill, and he always pays interest, so why would we waive it for a zoning board member? Update: While typing this out, the customer called back to apologize to my manager. She thought about what she had said regarding ethics violations, and she agreed that wasn’t the best course of action to take. She said her husband had buried the bill in a pile of mail, and she would be talking to him later.)

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