Unfiltered Story #94362

, , | Unfiltered | September 19, 2017

(I was working in the collections department for an energy supplier when I got a call from a woman regarding a letter she said she received. She said she had a question about it. She gave me a reference number and I pulled up the account.)

Me: “I’ve got the account up. May I ask your name?

*The customer gives me her name and it is the same as on the account. I then ask her to confirm address and DOB, both of which match what is on the account.*

Me: “Thank you for confirming those details. What was your query?”

Woman: “Yes, what is this letter all about?”

Me: “There is a balance on the account. It needs to be paid. You owe [amount].”

Woman: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “I’m not seeing any payments since [date].”

Woman: “No, you don’t understand. This isn’t my account.”

Me: “Your name is on the account and you confirmed the address.”

Woman: “No, no. This letter isn’t for me. This is my friend’s account. My name is [different name].”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I can no longer discuss the account with you without the customer’s permission. Is the customer there?”

Woman: “You just broke the data protection law. You disclosed my friend’s details.”

Me: “Actually, madam, you committed fraud.”

Woman: “No I didn’t. I never said I was the customer. You broke the law, now you’re going to lose your job. I’m going to report you.”

Me: “Actually, madam, when I asked what your name was, you told me it was [customer’s name], when I asked what your address was, you said it was [customers address] and when I asked you to confirm your date of birth, you told me it was [customer’s DOB]. You pretended to be your friend, which is fraud.”

Woman: “No I didn’t. If you heard that, that’s your fault. I’m going to report you!”

Me: “You are welcome to report this to the data commissioner. I’ll get you the details if you like. We are obligated to report this incident as well, and will send the recording of this call to prove what was said.”

Woman: “How dare you say that to me! Get me your manager!”

*I get my manager, who takes over the call. My manager promises to listen to the call and arranged to call the woman back once she has done so. Later that day, my manager came and spoke to me. She listened to the call and confirmed that the customer definitely committed fraud – she clearly said her name, address and DOB was the customer’s. My manager gave me an anti-fraud form to fill in so it could be passed onto the police. During the call the woman gave me her full name and she gave my manager several phone numbers when they arranged the call back, one of which was a work number. My manager also got the woman’s address because the customer wanted me to write her a formal apology for accusing her of committing fraud. All these details went on the form we sent to the police.*

This S*** Just Got Real

, , | Right | September 11, 2017

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company]. My name is [Name]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: “D*** automated systems, I’m tired of talking to computers.”

Me: “Hi, yeah, I’m not a computer. My name is [Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “D*** it, they’re giving the computers names now.” *grumble grumble* “I wish I could speak to a real person.” *click*

Me: *sighs* “But… I am a real person…”

Best To Letter Know

, , , | Right | September 11, 2017


Me: “…is this about your rebate? Would you like me to look up the status for you?”


Me: “Your rebate is approved, ma’am. The letter is to let you know your cheque will be issued in four to eight weeks.”


Me: “Ma’am, ma’am, you are approved—”


Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure you are hearing me. You will be getting a cheque in the mail soon.”

Caller: “NO LETTERS! YOU STOP!” *click*

Out Of State, Out Of Mind

, , , | Right | September 7, 2017

Me: “Good morning, my name is [My Name]. Can I start with your account number please?”

Client: *gives me his account number*

Me: “And what state do you reside in?”

Client: “Well, right now I reside in a state of confusion.”

Me: “I meant what US state do you reside in, sir?”

Client: “Oh! Well, why didn’t you say that?”

Drop Bad Management Or Drop Calls

, , , , | Working | September 7, 2017

I work in a call centre that runs two main services, and our clients pay us to take calls from their customers on their behalf. Service A is very generic, used by most of our clients, and everyone is trained on it by default. Service B is more specialised, and each client has it tailored to their individual business needs, so any agents dealing with service B need in-depth training for the individual client before taking calls for them.

Usually all but two colleagues leave at 6 pm, then the last people leave at 8 pm when the call centre closes. On this Monday afternoon, however, and for the whole week, everyone else was scheduled to leave by 5:30, leaving one colleague dealing with two busy channels, by herself, for two and a half hours. Around mid-afternoon, she started feeling a bit unwell, took some over-the-counter drugs, and hoped for the best. Towards five, she was feeling very unwell, and asked if anyone else would be willing to cover her shift, but as they would be effectively doing 11.5 to 12 hours in a day, no one was willing. She let a manager know, but they, too, were unable to find anyone who could cover the evening shift, and she was told she would just have to deal with it.

By 6:15, she was shaking and holding her head in pain. She put a customer on hold and started crying as she stared at the screen, trembling like crazy, so we decided to call a team leader over, as we weren’t sure if she was able to do so herself. We couldn’t hear much of what she said to the team leader, as we were a bit far away and she was struggling to get words out, but we gathered that her head felt like it was on fire, and she could no longer read what was on the screen. The TL started to panic, as our colleague clearly wasn’t able to continue, all the other service B lines had closed before 6 pm, and there wasn’t anyone else in the call centre who was trained for it. Since this line was for our biggest client, we could not just close it. In the end, the TL found someone who had about half a day’s training on service B for this client, instead of the usual two-week training required, (and no training whatsoever for the other clients our colleague was covering). They were asked to do as much as they could, and arrange callbacks for the rest of the team the next day. Our ill coworker went home and did not return until Wednesday.

Despite this situation, and the importance of this client, when the new rota was released later that week, management refused to go back to the old system of having two people present until 7, and kept arranging for everyone, save one, to leave by 5:30, or 6 pm about twice a week. They also refused to “waste resources” training up late-night back-ups because of the greater call volumes for service A. This pattern continued for another six weeks, with one more person getting ill on the day they were due to do a late shift, and another person quitting because of it. After six weeks, the big client decided to terminate the service B contract with us, due to the number of complaints they had regarding excessive wait times and being an inability to get through to anyone after 6 pm. Most of the team lost their jobs, but the manager responsible for setting rotas and monitoring incoming call wait times and dropped calls did not.

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