Let Me Educate You On Politeness

, , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(While the company I work for is country-wide, customer service is mostly province-based, so as customer service agents, we normally don’t deal with calls from or about a province outside our own. A guy from one of our suppliers calls the English-speaking line, but speaks to me in French.)

Caller: “Hi, could you transfer me to the service line closest to Mississauga?”

(That’s in Ontario. Unfamiliar with that particular city, or where it is exactly, I try to deduce which center would be closest.)

Me: “Is that near Ottawa?”

(He speaks French and reached the Quebec line, so I think he might be based near the capital, which is very bilingual and close to the provincial border.)

Caller: *laughs* “That’s kind of right next to Toronto! My brother used to be minister for the education; guess he did his job wrong!”

Me: *silent and unimpressed, looking for the right number to transfer him*

Caller: *after a moment not awkward enough for how rude he just was* “Well, it’s a beautiful place.”

Me: “I’m sure it is. Let me put you on hold to transfer you.”

(I’m guessing he didn’t realize he had gotten a line in another province, but it was still incredibly rude. I got a call from a different guy from the same supplier right after, and he was super pleasant.)


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Not Indebted To That Refund

, , , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(I work for a utility company in a department called “aged debt.” Basically we handle all accounts where we have not had payment for 18 months or longer.)

Customer: “I want to speak to a manager right now!” *continues shouting incoherently so I have no idea what is actually wrong*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to put you through to a manager, but I need to know what the problem is first, or they won’t take the call.”

Customer: *sighing irritably* “Fine. I got a nasty letter from you saying I haven’t paid my bill and I owe you all this money, but I paid you. How dare you send me threatening letters telling customers they haven’t paid when they have?! I’m going to sue you for harassment and defamation!”

Me: “Oh. I’m terribly sorry, sir. Can I get your account number so I can look into this?”

(The customer begrudgingly gives me details, and I see that, true to his word, his balance is at zero.)

Me: “Yes, I can see your balance is paid. Do you have the letter with you?”

Customer: “Yes, I have it in my hand right now.”

Me: “What is the date on the top corner of the letter?”

(The customer reads the date and it turns out that it was sent out the day before he paid the bill off in full.)

Me: “The letter was sent the day before you paid. It can take three to five days to receive them. It just crossed in the post. I’m very sorry, sir. Please disregard it. I can confirm your account is all paid and up to date, and no further letters have been issued.”

Customer: “So, you think it’s okay to threaten customers who paid?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as I said, the letter left our office the day before you paid. At that time, you did have a balance.”

Customer: “Well, I want to be refunded all the money I paid, to compensate me for the stress of having to read a letter that you never should have sent.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but as I said, that letter went out the day before you paid the bill. By the time you did pay it, it had already left the office.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I demand compensation!”

Me: *now getting a little irritated at the cyclical conversation* “There wasn’t anything we could have done, unless you think we should have chased the mailman and taken it from him before it got delivered to you.”

Customer: “Don’t be f****** stupid. Just don’t send out letters that say customers haven’t paid when they f****** have.” *hangs up*

Losing A Handle On Your Handle Time

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(I work in online chat support for a famous gaming and console company. We can do many things on chat, from sending you a password reset email, to light tech support and troubleshooting for your console, and setting you up for service if need be. We take two chats at a time to help as many people as possible. In this particular story, I am assisting with a refund. Generally, things go well, but when consumers are angry, they are hellions.)

Me: “Thank you for contacting [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?”

Consumer: “Refund.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear you’re having an issue with your account; I’ll be happy to assist you with that. May I have the email, username, and first and last name of the exact account that you need assistance with?”

Consumer: “Oh, I don’t have an account; it’s my son’s account. He used my credit card and bought some game. I want the charge reversed, now.”

Me: “I understand, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you with that, but I need the account information. That way I can find the charge.”

(She doesn’t know the information offhand, and we dance around for ten minutes while she figures it out. She’s upset, but she’s being pleasant and I’m doing my best to help her. She finally gets the info, I see the charge, and I check our guidelines to make sure it qualifies.)

Me: “Thank you so much for your patience. According to our terms of service, all sales are final, but I am going to submit this to our refund specialists as a one-time gesture of goodwill. Refunds take three to five business days to process, and the funds will be returned to your son’s online account if approved. Your case number is [number]. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?”

Consumer: “I want to speak to your supervisor.”

Me: *confused, because I just approved the refund, I check over my previous message to make sure I didn’t leave anything out* “My apologies. I’m going to submit this to our refund specialists, and I’ll make sure I notate this thoroughly to do everything I can to make sure it’s approved by them. May I ask why you would like to speak to the supervisor? That way I can let them know what’s going on.”

Consumer: “No, I want your supervisor now! You can’t help me with my request, anyway!”

Me: “Okay, I can transfer you, but it may take a few minutes because my supervisor is currently helping someone. I may be able to fulfill this request. We are able to help with most things over chat. This will save you some time.”

Consumer: “I don’t care how long it takes. I want your supervisor, because you can’t help me. SUPERVISOR, NOW!”

Me: “Not a problem. I am transferring you; my supervisor will be with you as soon as he is available.”

(I start helping my other consumer. The chat window for a person who is being transferred doesn’t disappear until the supervisor accepts the chat, and we can continue talking to people until they have been accepted by the supervisor. My escalation is waiting patiently, but it is taking the supervisor a long time to accept her chat. Every ten minutes she asks if I’m still there and what’s happening, and I apologize and say the supervisor will be with her as soon as possible. After about thirty minutes, she seems to have calmed down.)

Consumer: “This is taking a long time.”

Me: “I truly apologize for the wait; unfortunately, my supervisor is still helping someone. If I may ask why you would like to speak to him, I can see if I can help.”

Consumer: “Well, I want the money to go back to my credit card. My son doesn’t deserve the money after spending it without permission.”

Me: “Oh! I understand. I can request that the funds are sent back to your card and not back to his account! I do have to advise that it still takes three to five business days for us to process the refund, and if approved, it may take up to two billing cycles for the funds to be sent to your card from your bank. I can definitely request that the funds are sent to your card, though!”

Consumer: “No, it’s okay. I want the supervisor, still.”

Me: “No problem. He’ll be with you as soon as he is available.”

(After that she waited another ten minutes, then got transferred. I checked back in with that case to see how the supervisor handled it. She told him what she wanted, and he requested the refund was sent to her card. I could’ve easily done this and saved us an hour of our time, but no, she just needed a supervisor, and she just had to kill my handle time. I have many stories from this job that I’ll probably submit. It can be such a cool and gratifying job, but when it’s not, it’ll make sure you die at 25 from high blood pressure.)

Wait-Loss

, , , , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I’m working in a call center for a cell phone company. The queues for the phone have been steady, meaning the customers have a wait before getting one of us.)

Me: “Thank you for calling customer service. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?”

Caller: “I was just calling to see how long the wait was.”

Me: “Really?”

Caller: “Yeah, I do this sometimes.”

Me: “Well, how long was it?”

Caller: “About six minutes. That’s better than it usually is on [Day].”

Me: “That’s interesting. Is there anything I can help you with, then?”

Caller: “No, that was all.”

Me: “Well, have a great day.”

Not Thinking Outside The Inbox

, , , | Right | July 17, 2018

Me: “Good afternoon. This is the [Operating System] IT service desk. My name is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “I hope you can. How do I make it so I can’t see my emails when I click on them?”

Me: “Excuse me, sir, but I don’t quite understand. Could you explain this issue to me?”

Caller: “When I click on my emails, it opens them. I don’t want to read them.”

Me: “Sir, if you do not wish to open the emails, the only thing I could suggest would be to not click them.”

Caller: “How do I make it so that I can click on my emails without reading them?”

Me: “What is it that you are wanting to do with the emails?”

Caller: “Nothing!”

Me: *unsure what to say* “Um, if there is nothing you wish to do with the emails, you should just be able to leave them in your inbox without having to click on them.”

Caller: “Will I still be able to open them later?”

Me: “Yes, sir. The emails will remain in your inbox until you choose to delete them.”

Caller: “Oh, okay. Thank you for your help.” *click*

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