A Taxing Conversation

| Norwich, England, UK | Right | February 2, 2013

(My colleague is the customer in this transaction. He has received a letter from HM Revenue (British tax authority).)

Colleague: “Hello, I am ringing about the letter I received stating the amount due to you is £1,400!”

Tax assistant: “Well, I can help you with that. What seems to be the issue?”

Colleague: *angry at this point* “The issue is that I have just received a letter telling me that I have to pay you £1400!”

Tax assistant: *still being very polite* “Well, sir. Please calm down, let me say something.”

Colleague: “Say something? What can you say that’s going to resolve this problem?”

Tax assistant: “How about, the check is in the post and you don’t owe us a penny?”

Colleague: “Oh.”

Tax assistant: “I thought that might help a little. If you had read the letter clearly you would have seen that it says ‘Amount due to you is £1,400.’”

Colleague: “Oh… erm… I’m really sorry for being a jerk.”

(I have never laughed so hard in my life.)

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Throwing Trash Is Pay Dirt

| Seattle, WA, USA | Right | February 1, 2013

(I work in a customer service call center for a health plan that is also a cooperative; it’s the kind where it’s both your insurance and your doctors. On this particular call, a woman is upset because one of her claims was denied, after the referral she’d requested for the service had also been denied.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why my claims are denying.”

Me: “Ma’am, did you receive the referral letter we sent you that said that this service was denied?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but it seemed like there was a mistake, so I just threw it out!”

Me: “You threw it out?! Ma’am do you understand that that denial letter is a legal document that states we are in no way going to cover these services? Why didn’t you call us if you thought it was mistake?”

Customer: “Well I figured if it was a mistake, you guys would just find it and then I could go have this done and it would be covered!”

Me: “Do you realize that we process thousands of referrals to authorize a day? How are we supposed to know that what you requested is wrong, if you don’t tell us?”

Customer: “Don’t put this on me! You denied the referral! It was a mistake! I don’t have to pay! You have to pay!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s not our fault you threw it away and did nothing about it. We are not going to pay for these services.”

Customer: “You are going to pay! You should have known I would throw it in the trash! You will pay! You will pay!” *click*

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This Employee’s Days Are Numbered

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Working | February 1, 2013

(I’ve just paid my card off, but the payment isn’t showing up on my account information.)

Agent: “Can I have your payment confirmation number?”

(I start to give him the number, but the agent cuts me off.)

Agent: “That’s not it. Our numbers don’t start that way.”

Me: “I’m reading it directly from the payment screen.”

Agent: “Well, that’s not right, and you need to learn to read more carefully.”

(Eventually, the agent finds the payment using my telephone number.)

Agent: “Okay, I found the payment. You need to write down the confirmation number in case you have to call again. The number is [EXACT same number I gave him earlier]. Can I help you with anything else?”

Me: “No, but you can help yourself by learning to listen.”


Days-ed & Confused

| Malmö, Sweden | Working | January 30, 2013

Coworker: “So, I’ll get access to my new apartment on January 1st. That’s in like… a month?”

Me: “It’s exactly two weeks from today. It’s Tuesday the week after next.”

Coworker: “Oh, that soon? Wait, so is January 1st the day after New Years’ Eve this year?”

Me: “…Yes, the new year kind of always starts with January 1st…”

Bad Customer Service Can Really Do A Number On You

| Sydney, Australia | Working | January 29, 2013

(I am involved in a ongoing dispute with my mobile phone provider. I call them on several occasions, talk to my bank, and send them documents as proof I have paid. However, there is still no movement from them.)

Operator: “Hello, welcome to [mobile phone provider]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve had a bit if an issue here with my mobile phone. I paid $35 towards my prepaid account over the phone with my debit card, but the amount was never credited to my account. You also took the money from my account and never relieved it. It’s still sitting in unallocated funds on my online account.”

Operator: “I can help you, but I need a receipt number to look at the transaction.”

Me: “I was never given a receipt number. After I confirmed the transaction over the phone, there was some sort of error, and the automated system never gave me one.”

Operator: “I can’t help you unless I have a receipt number.”

Me: “But I was never given one! The automated system said there was an error and I was never given one.”

Operator: “I can’t help you unless you give me your receipt number.”

Me: “I just told you; I don’t have one.”

Operator: “Then I can’t do anything for you.”

Me: “But this is my money; you took money from my account and haven’t revived it yet. Am I expected to just leave it in unallocated funds?”

Operator: “You need to take that up with your bank.”

Me: “But I have: I spoke to them personally and emailed you a copy if the online statement showing the unallocated funds.The bank said that it’s your end’s fault for not taking the payment.”

Operator: “What do you expect me to do, then?”

Me: “I need you to either credit my account or refund my money.”

Operator: “But I can’t do that without a receipt number. Without a receipt number, we have no record of the payment.”

Me: “I was never given a receipt number! The only record I have of it is on my online statement. I sent that to you and it has the name of your company and the amount I paid.”

Operator: “There’s nothing more I can do to help you without you giving me a receipt number. If you have an issue with the payment then I suggest you take it up with your bank. Goodbye!” *hangs up*

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