Taking A Price Hike Strike

| UK | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work for one of the major energy suppliers in the UK, in the department that deals with accounts that have not been paid for at least 18 months and are in the process of being taken to court for a warrant. When the energy prices surged, we got a lot of customers calling to complain about it, understandably so, but some customer’s tried to use this to their advantage.)

Customer: “Yeah, I’m calling to say I won’t be paying my bill.”

Me: “Unfortunately you will have to pay it. If you cannot pay it all in one go, I can talk you through various payment plans.”

Customer: “Nope. I’m not paying. You’re charging me too much. I’ve been watching TV. Watchdogs are investigating you lot for charging more than you need to, jacking up your prices too quickly, and not putting them down. I’m not paying these inflated prices!”

Me: “Let me check your account a moment.”

(I check the customer’s account. The price rises happened a few months ago, but the customer hasn’t been paying for about eighteen months. Also, he’s on a fixed price plan which means that his tariff will stay the same even if the energy prices go up and down. I also note his plan should have expired six months ago but due to a system glitch, it has kept him on this low plan.)

Me: “Sir, it appears you have been unaffected by the price increase. You have been on a fixed price plan, which, due to a technical error on our end, has kept you on it six months longer than it should have. As this was our error we will keep the bill at the rate it has been charged up to today, but you must make arrangements for this balance.”

Customer: “But if I’m on the low plan why is my bill so high? It’s £1000!”

Me: “That’s not just one bill, it’s six. You haven’t been paying us anything.”

Customer: “But £1000 is extortion! You must be charging it at the jacked up rate!”

Me: “What kind of home do you have? Is it a flat or a house?”

Customer: “House. Three bedroom.”

Me: “And who lives there with you?”

Customer: “My wife and our two kids.”

Me: “Well, your average monthly usage over those 18 months is about £55 which is excellent for a family of five in a three-bed house. It’s lower than the national average.”

Customer: “But the bill says £1000, not £55.”

Me: “Yes, but that is 18 months worth of bills. it’s six quarters. Six bills. If you divide £1000 by the 18 months it is for, you get £55. That’s your average. You haven’t cleared any of the balance so it keeps going up and up. Now, would you like to discuss any payment plans?”

Customer: “No! I’m not paying! This is too high. It’s too much. You jacked up your prices and in protest, I am not paying.”

Me: “I just explained you have been unaffected by the price changes.”

Customer: “So? It’s the principle of the thing. You can’t just hike up prices and expect people to pay them. I won’t pay in protest.”

Me: “Would you at least consider paying the bills that came out before the price increase?”

Customer: “Nope. I won’t pay you a penny until you lower your prices.”

Me: “This is going to court for a warrant in a few months. If you do not resolve your account before then, the warrant allows them to come into your property and fit you a prepayment meter to control the debt.”

Customer: “When is the court date?”

(I give the customer the court date on the system.)

Customer: “Good, I’ll go to the court and explain to the judge.”

Me: “The judge will not accept you are protesting price increases that you have not been affected by, or that you are refusing to pay bills that have been outstanding way before these price increases. If it goes to court, fees will be added to your account – these can be up to £300.”

Customer: “Don’t worry, the judge will take my side. They know what crooks you all are. By the end, you’ll have wiped off all my debt and be paying me money.”

Me: “The judge will not find in your favour because as I said you have been unaffected by the energy price changes, and even if they did, you’d still be expected to pay for the energy you used before the price increase.”

Customer: “We’ll see about that.”  *hangs up*

They’re Out For The Count(y)

, | TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography

(I work for a call center for a well know bank. Due to concerns about fraud, for any transaction that the bank deems ‘high risk’ we have to verify our customers further before we do a transaction. One of the ways to do it is to ask questions that are pulled from their credit report.)

Customer: “I need to change my address; I am moving Tuesday.”

Me: “Ok, sir, I can understand why that would be important to you. I will need to verify you more fully before we proceed. I will ask you a couple of public record questions, followed by a ‘none of the above’ or ‘does not apply’. Please select which opens fits you best, okay?”

Customer: “Go ahead.”

Me: “What county is on record with [Bank] for your residential address?” *I read the options*

Customer: “I don’t have a county. I live in a city.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand that. Do you live in the United States?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “Then you do live in a county; what county do you live in?”

Customer: “OH! I heard you wrong. You said country! I live in the United States.”

Me: “No, sir. That is not a county. You know, like, Orange County in California?”

Customer: “Wait, the color or the food?”

(Needless to say the customer didn’t pass the authentication and ended up needing to go to the branch. I wonder if that guy ever found out what a county was…)

My English Is Bad (Language)

| NV, USA | Language & Words

Me: “[Call Center], this is [My Name]. May I help you?”

Caller: “Is there someone who speaks Spanish?” *this is a frequent request, but one we cannot fulfill at this time*

Me: “No, I’m sorry. I do not, and neither does anyone else here in the call center.”

Caller: “F***!” *hangs up*

(At least he knew that much English!)

It’s A Good Thing They’re Going Back To School

| Beaverton, OR, USA | Extra Stupid

(We call people who have submitted requests for more information about going back to school. I’ve worked at this call center for a little under a week and these are just a couple of things I’ve heard.)

First Story:

Me: “What is your age?”

Caller #1: “Huh? You mean right now?”

Me: “Yes?”

Second Story:

Me: “Are you currently enrolled in school?”

Caller #2: “Um, I don’t know.”

Third Story:

Caller #3: “Are you one of those smart robot thingies?”

Sweet Suite Karma

| IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Hotels & Lodging

(I work at a small call center for a catalog company. A well known hotel chain’s toll free phone number is one digit different than ours. They printed out an advertisement and accidently put our phone number on it instead of theirs, so we’d get a couple of calls a day where we had to explain to a customer the mistake and give them the correct number. Most people were understanding, but then I took a call from this particular person:)

Me: “Thank you for calling; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I want to book a room at your Orlando location.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, there was a misprint in a recent advertisement of [Hotels]. You dialed the wrong number. You want [correct number].”

Customer: Excuse me?

Me: “There was a misprint in a recent advertisement of theirs. You dialed the wrong number. You want [correct number].”

Customer: “No, I know I dialed correctly. Now, I need to book a room. ”

(The conversation catches the ear of the president of the company who is walking by. He stops at my desk. I shrug my shoulders at him and show him the hotel ad. He nods, understanding what’s happening.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. This is [Company], not [Hotels]. The correct number is—”

Customer: “Now, you listen here. I’m not an idiot! I dialed the correct phone number. Now, are you going to take my reservation or not?!”

(The president gets my attention again.)

President: *quietly* “Put him on hold; I’ll talk to him.”

Me: “Sir, would you like to talk to my boss?”

Customer: “YES, I would!”

(I put the customer on hold and poke my head in the president’s office. I tell him what line he is on. The president motions for me to stay.)

President: “Hello, I understand you are trying to book a room? Uh-huh. Okay. What weekend are you and your family coming down? Uh-huh. OK, because of your inconvenience, we will upgrade you to the president’s suite at no extra charge. Here is your confirmation number—” *rattles off a meaningless number* “Thank you, and we’ll see you on the 30th. Goodbye.”

(I am wide-eyed in shock and holding back my laughter.)

President: “That’ll teach him to open his ears…”

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