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.)

Should Be Using Your Bank Card, Not Your Debt Card

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

(I work for a debt collection company who mostly works on behalf of other companies. Basically, if a company has no luck getting a customer to pay, they get us to chase it for a short while. If we are unsuccessful, the account is passed back and usually goes to court, which is when bailiffs get involved. I get a call from a customer who is unhappy about getting letters demanding payment on a credit card balance; he hasn’t made a single payment in 18 months. Looking at the notes, we’re not the first company they’ve passed it to, but a note says if we don’t resolve it, this is going straight to court and bailiffs.)

Customer: “This letter says you’re taking me to court.”

Me: “If your debt cannot be resolved with us, then yes, [Company] will be taking it to court. If you can’t pay the balance today, I can set up a payment plan, but I will need a token payment today in order to set it up.”

(When accounts are marked as “high risk” — i.e. the customer has already set up but never stuck to payment plans with the original company — we cannot set up anything without some kind of token payment up front.)

Customer: “This is because I’m black, isn’t it?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Yeah, because I’m black you think I’m going to steal stuff, so you’re getting a judge involved.”

Me: “First, [Company] will take you to court because you haven’t paid the balance owing. Second, how would they know you were black?”

(Please note that the customer has a very generic name like “John Smith.” I had no way of knowing his ethnicity.)

Customer: “Well, duh! The colour of my skin. Are you blind?!”

Me: “Sir, this is a telephone conversation. I can’t see you.”

Customer: *long pause* “Oh. Okay. So, uh… how much would I have to pay to set up a payment plan today?”

(I took a payment and set up a payment plan. Surprise, surprise, the customer didn’t stick to it. The customer made a complaint claiming I was a racist and called him a racial slur and threatened him on the phone in order to get him to pay. He also wanted the money he paid back. He demanded his balance be written off because of this. Obviously, the complaint didn’t go anywhere because the calls are recorded and proved it didn’t happen, but the customer still kept calling to say I was being racist. His account got passed back to the client, which meant only one thing: bailiffs were headed his way.)

Should Have Settled Down After The First Time

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

(I get a call from a woman who hasn’t paid her gas and electric account in twelve months. We are starting the process of taking the account to court to obtain a warrant to forcibly fit a prepayment meter.)

Customer: “Hi. I was calling to make a payment, but I wanted to ask for a settlement. My credit card company offered me a settlement; they took off 50%. If you take that off, I will pay you now in full.”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t do settlements.”

Customer: “Don’t lie. Every company does settlements.”

Me: “I’m afraid not, ma’am. You can only get settlements on certain types of debt, and utility bill debt is not one of them. If you can only afford to pay half, I can put the remaining balance on a payment plan.”

Customer: “I’ll have to look at my finances and call you back later.”

(The customer hangs up. Thirty minutes later, she calls back and gets through to me again.)

Customer: “Hi, I was speaking to a young lady a while ago ,and I’m calling to take up her offer of settlement; she said if I paid in full today you would take 50% off.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid that’s not possible. We do not do settlements.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not what the young lady I spoke to earlier said. I was promised a settlement. If you promise something you have to do it; now I demand my settlement!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is no way you were promised a settlement.”

Customer: “Oh, so, you’re calling me a liar? I know what I was told. The girl I spoke to promised me a settlement if I paid in full today. So, you either give me what you promised, or I never pay a single penny.”

Me: “Ma’am, I am the person you spoke to thirty minutes ago, and I know for a fact that I told you several times that you cannot have a settlement on an outstanding utility bill. I am looking at my notes right now.”

Customer: “Liar! You promised a settlement.”

Me: “These calls are recorded. I can prove exactly what I told you.”

(The customer hung up. I made my notes and informed my manager of the call, because I suspected the customer would call back and try and pull a fast one. I was right. The customer called back all day trying to get through to a different advisor, each time claiming somebody promised her a settlement. She paid in full about a week later, but lodged a huge complaint, claiming that everyone was lying to her and that I should be fired for making false promises. She even tried to say one of the advisors called her a b**** when they thought they had put her on hold. Call recordings and extensive notes came to the rescue and we were able to refute every claim she made. Eventually she gave up.)

 

Making This Whole Process Overdrawn

, , , , , , | Right | October 4, 2018

(A policyholder has recently purchased an insurance policy and chosen the monthly payment option with payments withdrawn automatically from his checking account.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. [My Name] speaking; how can I assist you today?”

Customer: “My name is [Customer], and you people have really messed up, and I’m mad! You need to fix this right now!”

Me: “I have your policy information pulled up and would be glad to help in any way I can. Please explain what has happened.”

Customer: “I’ve only had my policy a month, and you’ve already taken another payment from my checking account. Why did you take more money? I already paid for my policy!”

Me: “You purchased the policy just over a month ago, and your payments are due each month on the same day as your policy started. We submitted the request on [date], as per the agreement. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “My checking account is now overdrawn, and it’s your fault. I didn’t give you permission to take any money!”

Me: “Actually, you did. When you signed up for insurance, you paid for only one month of coverage, agreed to monthly payments, provided the routing number and account number for your checking account, and signed a form agreeing to the terms for electronic payments. You were also provided with a schedule, and we sent you email reminders of the date and amount both ten days and three days prior to the withdrawal, even though we are not required by the contract to do so. It is not our error that your account is now overdrawn, and there is nothing I can do to fix it.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah, I get all that, but why did you take money from my account?”

Me: “Because that’s the way monthly automatic payments work?!”

Customer: “F*** you!”

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