Cancel The Late Fee Before It Cancels Itself Out

, , , , | Working | September 16, 2019

Call Centre Guy: “How can I help you today?”

Me: “I’ve had my new mobile phone for two days and you’ve sent me a bill?” *middle of the month is always a time of bad cash flow*

Call Centre Guy: “Yes, you always pay the first month in advance.”

Me: “I cannot afford to pay it until the end of the month.”

Call Centre Guy: “You have to pay it by the 19th. If you don’t, we’ll charge you for a late payment.”

Me: *resignedly* “Okay, so, what’s the late payment fee?”

Call Centre Guy: “Well, as long as it’s no later than fourteen days, which it doesn’t sound like it will be, there’s no late fee.”

Me: “Okay, well, thanks for your help.”

Call Centre Guy: “You’re welcome.”

(It was only later when I recounted this story to a friend of mine that I realised the pointlessness of this conversation.)

It’s Not Exactly The Da Vinci Code

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(I work in a call center for a security company, and I have dealt with my fair share of interesting customers. This one was a first, though.)

Customer: “I need to get some information about my account.”

Me: “All right. Can I verify your code, please?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m not supposed to give that out…”

(Note that at this point, I have the customer’s information pulled up and I am literally staring right at her code. I just need it to verify that she is who she says she is. I’m taken aback by her response, and I say the only thing I can think to say.)

Me: “Um… I won’t tell anyone.”

(She gave me her code after that, but I think someone needs to tell her that it’s okay to give her code to her security company… which assigned her the code in the first place.)

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The Great Filipino State Of Oregon

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2019

(The call center I work at does tech support for software. I am in the USA but customers can be routed to any of our call centers around the world. My specific site has a policy about not telling customers our exact location.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Product] support. My name is [My Name]. Can I get your first name, please?”

Customer: “Where are you located?”

Me: *slightly thrown off by the response* “Um… I’m in the USA.”

Customer: “What part of the USA?”

Me: “I’m in the Pacific Northwest.”

Customer: “No, you’re not.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “No, you’re not. I know you’re in the Philippines.”

Me: “Sorry, but you are mistaken. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life. Besides that, what can I help you with today?”

Customer: *now half shouting* “Don’t lie to me! I can tell from your accent! I am a professional linguist and specialize in accents; I can tell the difference! How dare you lie to me?!” *now full-on shouting* “I want to speak to your manager! I’m going to report you for lying to me and shipping hard-working American jobs overseas!”

Me: “Since you refuse to state what your issue is and are needlessly hostile and insulting, I am going to end this call. Thank you for calling [Company] and have a nice day.”

Customer: “Don’t you dare…” *click*

(Some linguist, if they can’t tell the difference between a Filipino accent and a rural Oregon accent.)

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Scary Things In The Basement

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(My wife and I have just bought our first house. It is relevant to the story that it is a detached home, with a fully furnished basement. Although the basement is set up so that it can potentially be rented out as an apartment, it was not used this way by us or the previous owner. As is common after a move, we get a bit of mail meant for a previous owner. There is one piece of mail from a TV and telephone company addressed to “Resident” at “[Our Address] Bsmnt Apt.” A new envelope comes monthly. I call the company to correct the issue.)

Employee: “How can I help you?” 

Me: “Hi. I’m calling about some mail that is being sent to me in error.”

Employee: “I can help with that. Can I get your phone number or account number to pull up your info?” 

Me: “Actually, I don’t have any services with [Company]. That’s why I’m calling. I’m getting someone else’s info sent to my home.” 

Employee: “I see. Can I have the name on the envelope?” 

Me: “No, it’s just sent to ‘Resident.'” 

Employee: “Well, I can’t change the mailing information on your account if you don’t give me a name or a phone number.” 

Me: “It’s not my account. I just bought the house. It’s not even addressed to a real apartment. It says, ‘Bsmnt apt,’ but there is no basement apartment.” 

Employee: “Can you give me the address? I may be able to get your account from that.” 

Me: *provides my address*

Employee: “Please hold for a moment.” *brief hold music* “Okay, sir, I have the account pulled up now. It looks like you have an outstanding balance of [over $100].” 

Me: “What? No. You’re not understanding me. You have the wrong address on file. Whoever owes that balance doesn’t live here anymore. I just want you to stop sending his mail here.” 

Employee: “Sir, you still have to pay your bill, even if you moved.” 

Me: “But it’s not my bill.” 

Employee: “You live at [address], correct? Then this is your bill.” 

Me: “But I just moved here and have never had any services with you. Just stop sending any correspondence here. There isn’t even a basement apartment! No one lives there separately. You’re records are clearly wrong.” 

Employee: “If you own the house, then you own the basement apartment. You are the ‘Resident’ at [Address]. This is your bill. You have to pay it.” 

Me: “I’m going to make this clear. I do not have any business with your company. You are sending someone else’s bill to my address by mistake. I will not pay a penny. You have no name on file. You have an address that doesn’t exist. If you send me any more mail to this address I will consider it harassment.”

Employee: *long silence* “But this is your bill.” 

Me: “Transfer me to a manager.” 

(I spoke to a manager. She understood what I was saying and corrected the issue in minutes. I now record my calls with an app.)

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The Cost Is Alarming

, , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(I work in an office which supplies personal alarm systems to elderly people. This daughter calls for her mother and she’s already angry at the start of the call.)

Caller: “I just upgraded my mother’s landline to digital and I want to know how much it’ll cost to upgrade her personal alarm system.”

Me: “All right, I can help with that. What are your mother’s birthdate and name?”

Caller: “I’m not going to give you that. I just need to know what it costs!”

Me: “Ma’am, I need to know what type of alarm you mother has before I can answer that.”

(We have a scheme where we replace the oldest systems with new ones whenever someone who has such an old system calls.)

Caller: “Look. I need to know what it costs; it doesn’t matter what type of alarm she has!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t answer…”

Caller: *interrupting me rudely* “I DON’T CARE! JUST GIVE ME THE PRICE!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but the middle of my sentence seemed to interrupt the beginning of yours. But, as I said, I can’t answer your question if I don’t know the brand of the alarm system.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “Because it’s dependent on the brand of alarm.”


(She proceeds to give the info and, lo and behold, her mother actually has the old type of system, so she’ll get a replacement with no costs involved.)

Me: “Well, I can see it’s [Brand]; we can replace that for a new one with no costs for your mother.”

Caller: “Look, she doesn’t need a new one. I want to know WHAT IT’LL COST TO MAKE IT DIGITAL!”

Me: “I understand, but it’ll be free.”

Caller: “But WHAT WILL IT COST? I don’t know why this so difficult for you to understand!”

Me: “Ma’am, I do understand you, but I don’t think you understood me. It’ll be free! As in no cost.”

Caller: “Oh, okay… Thank you.”

(She then hung up! I didn’t have her phone number so I couldn’t call her back to check if all the information we had was still correct. So, I called her mother — we had no other numbers on file — to check. This 89-year-old lady was really polite and so, so happy that she was going to get a new personal alarm system! The daughter called the next day to ask why it hadn’t been replaced yet.)

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