How Very Provincial

, , , , | | Right | May 25, 2018

(A few months ago, I was in a car accident where I had to write off my car, and I ended up getting severe whiplash. I took a month and a half off of work to recuperate. This is my first day back at a call centre where I work taking calls for members who need roadside assistance within the province of Alberta. Everything seems to be going well until I get this call.)

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

Member: “Hi, my card number is [number], and I need fuel to be delivered for my vehicle.”

Me: “Absolutely, what kind of car is it?”

Member: “Where are you located? Are you in Grande Prairie?”

Me: “I’m based in Edmonton, actually.”

Member: “So, you’re not in Edmonton, then? Are you in Grande Prairie?”

Me: “I’m based in Edmonton. The call centre is in Edmonton.”

Member: “But you’re not in Edmonton, though.”

Me: “No, I’m in Edmonton.”

Member: “I think you’re lying.”

Me: “Okay… I live in Edmonton; do you want me to name some landmarks or something? Are you familiar with the landmarks in Edmonton?”

Member: “No… but I still think you’re lying.”

Me: “Okay… Well, I just need the year, make, and model of the vehicle for the tow driver.”

Member: “It should be on file there.”

Me: “Well, we have a car on your past history, but we don’t keep cars on file since the membership follows members, not vehicles. We don’t know if you’re travelling with your friend, or if you’ve bought a new vehicle, so we always ask just to make sure.”

Member: “You guys are always reading off of scripts. Do you have a big script in front of you?”

Me: “We have prompts to remind us what we need to ask for, but we don’t have scripts. We also have a program where everything needs to be filled out or else we can’t submit the calls for the tow drivers. Can I have the year, make, and model of the car, please?”

Member: “It should be on file.”

(I go through the past history and I randomly guess it’s the same car from her last call on her history.)

Me: “Is it this 1999 LeSabre?”

(I over pronounce “LeSabre” since I was raised to read thing phonetically and it’s stuck with me my entire life, and LeSabres aren’t very common.)

Member: *corrects my pronunciation* “How can you work at [Company] and not pronounce ‘LeSabre’ properly?”

Me: “I was raised on phonics and sometimes butcher pronunciations. Okay, so, you need fuel, right? I’m assuming you need gas, not diesel, right?”

Member: “No, I need fuel.”

Me: “Gas or diesel?”

Member: “No, my car needs fuel.”

Me: “Okay, is gas okay for fuel? Do you need regular or premium?”

Member: “Premium. Normally, I use regular, but since it’s all covered under my membership, I want premium.”

Me: “No problem. We’ll be sending out [local contracted Towing Company that provides all the services our company advertises] within 60 minutes.”

Member: “I don’t need a tow truck. Don’t send those guys.”

Me: “That’s our contractor for the area. We send him out regardless of what service is being provided.”

Member: “Fine, but send him out when it gets dark.”

Me: “Okay… No problem. I can send him out later. What time should I set the appointment for?”

Member: “Never mind.” *sigh* “Just send him out now.”

Me: “Absolutely. Everything is good to go; you’ll just have to show your membership card and picture ID to the driver. Have a goo—”

Member: “Fine.” *click*

Me: “—d day?”

(I’m not sure why she was so distrusting of me, considering none of the information members give us is useful besides for getting roadside assistance. I also have no foreign accent, as I was born and raised in Edmonton, and even if the call centre was based somewhere else, even internationally, it wouldn’t have made a difference in the service being provided. Regardless, it really made going back to work just that much more frustrating.)

Notified Defied

, , , , | | Right | May 24, 2018

(I work for a very large banking company in their call center. My job includes calling customers who are past due on their retail store credit cards to attempt to collect payment.)

Me: “Hello, may I please speak to [Card Member]?”

Client: “This is he.”

Me: “This is [My Name] calling from [Bank] on behalf of [Store]. It seems your payment is a little past due, so we just wanted to see if you could make a payment today for [amount].”

Client: “I made a payment. It shouldn’t be past due. I have my bank’s bill pay set up to send you a payment every month.”

Me: “I do see we received a payment from you. However, the payment you sent was less than the minimum due. The unpaid amount is unfortunately past due.”

Client: “But [amount paid] has always been the amount due each month!”

Me: “I apologize for the confusion. Your minimum payment amount is a percentage of your total account balance. I see you had a lower balance in the past, but you recently made additional purchases, which increased your card balance, which increased your minimum payment. Would you be able to take care of that payment today?”

Client: “But why didn’t anyone tell me the minimum payment increased?!”

Me: “I see we did send you out a statement to the address on file, so I apologize if you did not see the statement. Has your address changed?”

Client: “No, I received the statement. But no one reads paper statements anymore! Why didn’t you call or text me to notify me of the increase?”

Me: “I apologize, sir. We do have a very large number of cardholders and don’t have the ability to call or text every one of them every time their minimum payment changes. I certainly apologize. Would you be able to make a payment today?”

Client: “But no one reads paper statements anymore!”

Me: “You do have the option to sign up for e-billing so you’ll receive your statements via email. But by law, we are required to send out a paper statement each month to the mailing address on file, unless and until the card holder personally requests to change their statement method to paperless.”

Client: “But no one reads paper statements anymore!”

Me: “Again, I apologize sir. Would you be able to take care of a payment today, or do you know when you’d be able to?”

Client: “But this isn’t fair! No one reads paper statements anymore! How was I supposed to know?! Why didn’t anyone call or text me?!”

Me: “Again, I apologize, sir. Unfortunately, that’s not something we’re set up for. Would I be able to take care of that payment today?”

(This back-and-forth went on for quite awhile, with the customer just unable to comprehend why we “didn’t notify him” of the amount he owed. I never was able to collect any payment from him.)

The Use And Abuse Policy

, , | | Right | May 23, 2018

Customer: “I hardly ever use this, just a little during the holidays. I have no idea why it needs to be repaired.”

Me: “Okay, well, it’s still under warranty, so we can certainly cover that for you. Now, the turnaround time for the repair is going to be at most four weeks.”

Customer: “Woah, wait that long? That’s a long time to go without using it, don’t you think? Why so long?”

A Beautiful Siren Song

, , , , , | | Right | May 23, 2018

(Our auto insurance call center shuts down at 10:00 pm everyday. It is 9:55 pm.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Call Center]. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you today?”

Customer: “I don’t care who you are. I hope this is being recorded. I have called in multiple times and no one has helped me yet!”

Me: “I apologize for your experience, sir. If you want, I can get my manager on the phone to help you out.”

Customer: “No, you will do my claim and no one else.”

Me: “All righty then, sir. Let’s get started.”

(I continue to take his information to finish his claim. We are one step from being completed with his claim when I hear the customer cursing someone else out on the other side of the line and then a loud bang.)

Me: “Sir, is everything, okay?”

Customer: “Why are you worried about what’s going on over here? Aren’t you supposed to be taking my information for the claim?”

Me: “Sir, I heard a loud bang and was just wanting to make sure everything or everyone was all right.”

Customer: “Mind your own d*** business, you piece of s***!”

(Little do I know that my manager is shadowing my call and has already called the police to trace the number.)

Manager: *pulls one earphone off my head and mutes my call* “Keep him on the phone for a few more minutes.”

Customer: “Excuse me, are you even listening? I thought it was your job to take my call,and listen to what I say, and take my information.”

Me: “I have been listening, sir, and we have one more step to do. Here are the dates that are available to get your vehicle in the shop.” *tells customer the dates* “Which would work best for you?”

Customer: “Let’s go with [date].” *sirens in the background*

Me: “Thank you, sir. Would you like this information to be sent to you via email or via text?”

Customer: “Here’s my phone number for the text. I have to go now; I’m in trouble.”

Me: “Thank you for calling [Call Center]. Again my name is [My Name], and I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day, sir.”

This Behavior Is Foreign To Me

, , , , | | Right | May 22, 2018

(We have a notoriously nasty client who calls about once or twice a week, known as “Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy.” He basically calls to yell and scream at the person he gets through to, stating that he will not talk to f****** foreigners who take Norwegian people’s jobs and ruin Norway. The kicker is, however, that almost every single person he has talked to at our call center is a native Norwegian with a very common Norwegian name. We also know what his problem is, and what is causing it, but none of us have been able to get through to him as he just yells and screams. This day, I am training a new hire. He is originally from Iraq, and he has a very foreign-sounding name. However, he grew up in Sweden and he speaks Swedish. Note that Swedish and Norwegian are similar languages, and we understand each other well, but it is still VERY clear that it is not the same language. I’m listening to the new hire’s calls when we get Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy on the phone.)

New Hire: *in Swedish* “Welcome to [Company]! My name is [New Hire]. How can I help you?”

F****** Foreigners Guy: “OH. MY. GOD. I can’t f****** believe this!”

(I immediately recognize his voice and get ready to terminate the call. However:)

F****** Foreigners Guy:Finally, a true Norwegian person! With a real Norwegian name and all! You have no idea how many times I had to talk to all these f****** foreigners just to get to you!”

New Hire: *confused out of this world, still speaking Swedish* “Uh… I’m sorry to hear that, sir. What can I help you with?

(And just like that, Mr. F****** Foreigners Guy was the nicest person ever, and got his problem fixed by our new hire. We never heard from him after that, and to this day we still have no idea how a self proclaimed “Norwegian Nationalist” could not tell the difference between Norwegian and Swedish!)

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