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Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 3

, | Boise, ID, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(I work at a call center for a bank that finances credit cards for several companies: anything from jewelry to gasoline. We handle both consumer and business cards. The craziest call I ever get is from a business account for office supplies.)

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

Customer: “Yes, my name is [Customer] and I am authorized by [Accounts Payable] to pay $140.”

(I verify them as authorized on the account. The balance is over $800.)

Me: “I can certainly run that payment for you, but that amount will not postpone further collections activity. The balance is [amount #1] and is five months past due. We need a payment of [amount #2] to prevent the account going to third party collections.”

Customer: “I don’t think you understand; I will only pay you $140. If I make this payment, you have to forgive the rest of the debt. I WILL NOT pay you any more, and you WILL NOT charge me any more late fees.”

Me: “I can’t do that. This is a balance that has been accrued on this credit card. It needs to be paid in full or at least paid on time to prevent further fees.”

(Customer ranted on and on about how it wasn’t fair of us to charge him and that he would speak with accounts payable. Then he hung up.)

Related:
Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 2
Got To Give Him Credit For Trying

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I Don’t Have The Energy To Explain The Energy

| Hampshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(I work for a major energy supplier in the department that deals with accounts where the customer hasn’t paid for at least 18 months. Most people we talk to haven’t paid for two to three years and we are in the process of taking legal action.)

Customer: “Yeah, I have a letter saying you’re going to court. How do I stop it?”

(I tell the customer all her options and she decides she’d like to arrange a payment plan where she pays for her usage and her debt every month. I tell her that the amount she must pay is £100 which includes her monthly usage and her debt, which is two years worth of unpaid gas and electric bills.)

Customer: “That’s a lot. Are you sure that’s right? I’m hardly ever home. I think your meter is broken.”

Me: “No, your usage is only £50, but you have to also pay the debt on your account, so your usage is £50 but in order to pay back what you owe over the period of a year, your plan will be set to £100. This is £50 for what you use every month and £50 to clear your balance.”

Customer: “But you just said I only use £50. Why are you charging me double? You can’t do that.”

Me: “We’re not charging you double, ma’am. Like I explained, your usage is £50, but you haven’t paid anything for two years. You have to also clear that balance off, too.”

Customer: “I understand I have to clear my balance but why are you charging me double?”

Me: “If you just paid your usage, you wouldn’t clear your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But surely just paying something would bring my balance down.”

Me: “Well, no, because as you pay, you would continue using gas and electric which, of course, you have to pay for, so you need to pay enough money for that as well as a little extra to cover your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But I told you, I’m hardly home! I work lots of hours.”

Me: “Do you have a fridge?”

Customer: “Well, of course I have a fridge and a freezer.”

Me: “Do you turn them off when you go to work?”

Customer: “No, that’s stupid. They wouldn’t work and all my food would be ruined.”

Me: “Okay, do you cook your own meals when you get back from work?”

Customer: “Yes. Most days.”

Me: “Do you do your own laundry or do you go to a launderette?”

Customer: “I do my washing at home; I have a washer and a dryer and a dishwasher, too.”

Me: “So what you are telling me is that even while you are working, you are using energy because your fridge and freezer are on while you are out and when you get back, you use your gas and electric. Whether you use a little or a lot of energy, you still have to pay for it. For the past two years, you haven’t been paying for any of it, so you have built up a debt on your account, so not only do you have to pay for your usage going forwards, but also for the energy you haven’t been paying for the past two years. This is why the minimum you have to pay for the next 12 months is £100. After that, your payments should go down to £50 because you will have cleared your outstanding balance and then only have to pay for what you are using.”

Customer: “…but I still don’t understand why you are charging me double; if I only use £50 worth of gas and electric, why do I have to pay £100? Is this a fee for not paying for two years?”

Me: *really wanting to bash my head against the table* “I can send this to you in writing if you like.”

Customer: “Okay, but I want to set up the payment plan today before it goes to court.”

Me: “Okay.” *I take down all her details and then confirm the amount*

Customer: “Wait! I said £50, not £100! Stop trying to take all my money! That’s illegal – it’s theft. Maybe I will go to court after all and tell them that you are trying to rob me!”

(At this point I have zero patience left. I have been on the phone explaining the same thing over and over for what feels like forever.)

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it is you who have been stealing from us. We have been providing you with energy that you have not paid for. If you go to court, you will have court fees added to your account as well. The judge will not rule in your favour because you haven’t paid a penny in two years, despite our regular communications, and now that you are calling today, you are still refusing to pay for your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll go to court. See you there. We’ll see what the judge thinks of your sneaky extra charges!” *click*

(Customer called up several times after, trying to get a different agent, and they all told her the same thing, so she asked to speak to a manager. In the end she decided she would go to court. The court ordered her to pay, and she had to also pay court costs on top of it all just like I warned her, so her payment plan ended up being more. Last I heard she was writing to the ombudsman saying we were operating illegally. Y’know, because asking customers to pay for the electric and gas they used is illegal.)

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The Name Game(show)

| USA | Crazy Requests, Movies & TV, Popular

(I take complaints and record feedback for a well-known TV channel.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

Caller: “This is unacceptable! Your game show last night was incredibly racist!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I appreciate your call. What show are you talking about and what seems to be the problem!”

Caller: “Last night on [Game Show], an African-American woman was named Ebony! That’s racist! Just because she’s black doesn’t mean you can name her Ebony!”

Me: “Uh… what?”

Caller: “You heard me!”

Me: “Ma’am, let me get this straight; you are complaining about a contestant’s name?”

Caller: “Yes! On [Game Show] last night!”

Me: “[Game Show]? You mean on [Competitor’s Channel]?”

Caller: “Of course! Are you an idiot!”

Me: “You do realize this is [Other Channel], and we don’t play episodes of [Game Show]?”

Caller: “Do something! Her name is completely racist! Think of all of the children that were watching! How could you name someone that?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m going to say this once. You have called the wrong channel, complained about a show we don’t even host, and want us to do something about a contestant’s name, which is given to them by their parents?”

Caller: “Yes! Why aren’t you doing anything?”

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Rage Against The Machine

| NC, USA | Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(I work for a debt relief company, and due to that, we get many angry callers demanding to know how we “found their number” (we got it from that Get Debt Relief application you filled out yesterday) and those who think we’re either collectors or scammers. I had a great conversation today with a woman who thought I was a robot.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Debt Relief Company]. This is [My Name] speaking; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Are you one of those robots?”

Me: “No, my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “You sound like a robot.”

Me: “I assure you that I am a real person. My name is [My Name]. How can I be of assistance?”

Caller: “They could have recorded that!”

Me: “I am not a recording.”

Caller: “Of course the recording would say that!”

Me: “You’re wasting my time. Goodbye.”

(I disconnected the call as, fortunately, we are allowed to do. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky, and many jobs expect you to put up with that crap.)

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Has Ground-Zero Excuse To Behave That Way

| New York City, NY, USA | Bad Behavior

(This takes place in 2001. I’m a bill collector for a clothing store. After the 9/11 attacks, we stop calling New York and other affected areas for a few weeks. It is now early October:)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] calling from [Company]. May I speak to [Customer], please?”

Customer: “Yes, this is [Customer], but I can’t talk right now. My roommate is missing in the WTC attack.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that! I’ll try back later.”

(One week later:)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] calling from [Company]. May I speak to [Customer], please?”

Unidentified Female: “Oh, that’s my roommate! She’s missing in the WTC attack.”

(There was a website with a list of missing/deceased people in the attacked areas and luckily she wasn’t on it. She was fine when I spoke to her in early October, but the next week she was missing due to the September attacks. This was the most reprehensible way someone had tried to dodge my collection call.)

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