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No Pay, No Port

| WI, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Popular, Technology

(I work for a small wireless company. A caller is trying to port her numbers over to a competitor. Her account with us was suspended due to non-payment, about $1400 past due, and she hasn’t paid anything in four months. Once an account is suspended, there’s no way we can port a number over unless we get a payment.)

Customer: “You people always put in your port orders a day after I call. One number came through, but the others didn’t!”

Me: “That happened because your account was suspended on that day when the other numbers were ordered to be ported. It was a four-hour difference between being suspended and went the port request was made.”

Customer: “Well, if your dumb port department would do their jobs and put the request in the day I called, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”

(She goes on 20-minute tangents and doesn’t allow me to get any words in for the most part. One of the leaders comes by and sees me struggling, so she gets a cord and plugs in on the call to help me.)

Me: “Ma’am, the simple fact of the matter is there is no way we can port these numbers over unless we get a payment. I see you did talk to the financial department earlier, and they agreed to take $650 to get your services resumed. That is the amount we need today to do this process.”

Customer: “NO! I know there is a way you can turn on my account for two minutes, get those numbers over, and suspend it again. All you people want is your money, and I’m not paying for something I’m not using. I want to speak to a supervisor!”

(I put her on hold and the leader who plugged in with me takes over. By now, the call has lasted about 45 minutes. I stay and listen.)

Leader: “Hello, ma’am? I am a supervisor; the previous associate you talked with told me what’s going on with your porting issues.”

Customer: “Yes, all I want to do is get those numbers over. I refuse to pay anything. Why should I pay for something that I own? Those are MY numbers.”

Leader: “I hear what you’re saying, ma’am, and we do want to get this issue resolved today. Your only option to get those numbers over is to make that payment. I cannot resume service for two minutes because it’s all done automatically. The system will only resume your service when that payment is made. We cannot hack it…”

Customer: “YES, YOU CAN! How difficult is it to do something so simple. Call your IT guys, tell them to turn me on for two minutes, and get those numbers over!”

Leader: “Ma’am, that’s illegal. The IT department cannot go into people’s accounts because they don’t have that authority; they fix the computers or the system if it has problems.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not paying anything.”

Leader: “And that’s totally up to you. You don’t pay, you don’t get your numbers, because they are our property. You haven’t paid us anything in four months. We do not make exceptions when someone is severely past due. If you choose not to pay, you will be sent to collections and have to deal with them harassing you for the money, which is 10 times worse than anything we do. I have told you repeatedly what your only option is, and you are not listening. At this point you will have to get new numbers with [Competitor].”

(The leader promptly hung up on her since they have that ability. In all her years there, this is the third person she’s disconnected with. The call came through at 8:45 and didn’t end til 10:30. Customer would not let us talk at all. Let’s just say I’m looking for something else already…)

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Disconnected From Humanity

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(I work as a universal consumer specialist in a telco call center in Australia. I get to talk to a lot of people everyday who love to try to endear themselves to us by being racist a**-holes.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Telco]. My name is [My Name]. How can I assist with your enquiry today?”

Old Lady: “Are you Australian? It’s nice to talk to an Australian. I hate talking to all those Asians; they never listen.”

(Already this puts me offside as we’re a very multicultural company and our onshore call centers have people of many backgrounds.)

Me: “I see. Well, I can assure you that I am Australian. How can I help you today?”

Old Lady: “I want to cancel my phone.”

Me: “Okay, I can assist with that. To be able to help, I’ll need to ask you some questions and also need to access your account. Can I have your phone number and [ID questions].”

Old Lady: “My number is [number] and [ID question answers].”

Me: “Thanks for that. I’m pulling up your account now. While that is coming up, can I ask why you want to disconnect your mobile today?”

Old Lady: “My phone isn’t working.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; have you spoken to our faults team?”

Old Lady: “Yes, they said I need a new phone.”

Me: “I see. Sometimes that is the case with an older handset. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t last forever. If you like, I can assist you with options for getting a new handset so you can use your mobile phone service again?”

Old Lady: “No, I just want to cancel it. I tried going into a store to get a new phone. It was full of Chinese. I took a number and waited three hours. They were only interested in serving young Chinese people in there.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Could I confirm that location so I can send some feedback to the regional manager for you? If you would like, I can also assist with new handsets over the phone.”

Old Lady: “It was [Location #1, the same suburb that she lives in, an area that I know is a lower socio-economic area, mostly full of student accommodations] and no, I don’t do these things over the phone.”

Me: “Perhaps I could assist you with finding an alternative store, so you can get a new handset and keep enjoying the service?”

Old Lady: “All right.”

Me: “I have a store at [Location #2]?”

Old Lady: “No, that is full of Asians, too.”

Me: “Okaaaaaay, what about [Location #3]?”

Old Lady: “No, I don’t go there; it is low class.”

Me: “Okay, let’s get you disconnected then.”

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Your Terms And Conditions Have Been Sentenced

| Canada | Crazy Requests, Language & Words

(A customer calls in to cancel a plan. He’s mentioned that one of the reasons why he wants to cancel is because the terms and conditions are too small and “long” when he prints them out. Note that it’s two standard pages when you print it out, and it does depend on which program you print it from. Usually, we don’t have many problems with this, but some customers will call to get a large-type copy, which we mention in our emails and on the terms and conditions as well. This happens when I’m closing my call.)

Me: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that sir, but if it reassures you, we do offer a large type copy can send by snail mail. And I’ve used my personal printer to—”

Caller: “No, that’s just no good. It’s too long. You should tell them to make it twenty words, or two sentences. Thank you, but no. Good bye.

Me: *after he hung up* “Yes, and if you have any questions about your plan, please defer to the vague two sentences and feel free to sue us for ambiguity.”

Coworker: “Did he really just ask you to make the plan 20 words long? He’s aware we have a legal team, right?”

Me: “Wonder what he’d do if he wanted to know what WASN’T covered…”