Installation Cost Inflammation

, , | Right | July 16, 2018

(I work in the quotes call centre department of a subcontracting installation company for a major telecommunication and cable company, pricing up any additional works that are required for the installation, such as extra time or materials.)

Me: “For [additional work], that will come up to an extra charge of [amount]; is that okay to proceed?”

Woman: “This is crazy. I’ve spoken directly to your CEO about this installation, and he said there wouldn’t be any extra charge!”

(I know this is almost certainly false. We have had CEO involvement with some VIP customers, and they’re dealt with directly by the managers.)

Me: “Okay, I’ll just need to take a look at the account notes in order to verify this; please hold.”

(Lo and behold, there’s absolutely no mention of CEO involvement on their account.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing written on your account about that. I can only advise you call up [Parent Company] directly to discuss the quote with them; I don’t have authority to waive this sort of thing, as we’re just the sub-contractors.”

(The woman didn’t accept this, and after a few minutes of bluster and complaining, she hung up the call, and I thought that was that. I later found out that she called back through to our other departments several times that day, this time claiming to have the CEO on hold on the other line, and demanding to speak to a manager. We called her bluff, asking to speak to the CEO, but she hung up. Unfortunately, the saga would soon prove to continue. While bored, about two months later, I decided to look into the account notes for this customer, to see what happened. Turns out they did call [Parent Company], and whoever they spoke to bought their story. I refuse to believe they’d ever spoken to the CEO, and will continue to do so until the day I die. The best part, though, is that the customer still ended up paying the exact quote they’d been complaining about, and didn’t get anything free of charge or anything like that. The only thing they got was a delay of their installation by about a month while we sorted this all out, and got to feel important about having the “CEO” excuse to boss us about a bit.)

Won’t Be Credited For Trying

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2018

(I work for a fairly large Internet company who provides free emails addresses for our customers. In customer service, we can only change the email password, nothing else. Tech support actually troubleshoots.)

Me: “Hi, thank you for calling customer service and billing. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I forgot my email password.”

Me: “No problem. Let me secure your account with your username and I’ll give you a temporary password… Okay, so, I’ve got your temp password set up; go ahead and try to log on.”

Customer: “It’s still not working; this is a scam!”

Me: “Go ahead and tell me what the page is showing, and we’ll go from there.”

(Our customer reads off a fairly common system error, which usually happens after his account has been locked out for quite some time. It just needs a simple reset, but only tech support can put in that order. I explain this to the customer.)

Customer: “Well, this is just bulls***! Get me your supervisor. Even better yet, get me my bill for free!”

Me: “Sir, I know this is frustrating, but this will be solved in five minutes if we get you in the correct hands. I can’t credit off your bill, because your free service has been down only because you forgot your password. Tech support will finish what I started with you, okay? I’ll even stay on the line until the issue is resolved.”

Customer: “And you’ll credit my bill?”

Me: “No, I cannot credit your bill.”

Customer: “But it’s only $220 dollars, and today’s my only day off. Your supervisor will credit my bill! Get him on the line!”

Me: “No, we cannot credit for your free service being temporarily down. We cannot credit for inconvenience. We’re a big center, sir; waiting to speak to my supervisor will be approximately a 45-minute wait, and he’ll only reiterate what I said just now. I’m connecting us with tech support. In five minutes, you’ll be on with your day.”

(I called tech and the first thing the customer screamed was, “That b**** in billing didn’t apply my 300-dollar credit!” while I was still on the line. As promised, his email was up in minutes. He’ll never get that credit.)

If You’re White You Can’t Be An Immigrant

, , , | Right | July 16, 2018

(I work in a state call center for tax and finance, mostly dealing with questions regarding tax return statuses. As this is a government office, we get many people complaining to us about government issues that they are unhappy about, as if we had any power to change them. I have answered all of this taxpayer’s relevant questions; however, she has decided to vent to me. I am attempting to end the call, without much luck, as she isn’t giving me a chance to talk. Unfortunately we are not allowed to hang up on callers.)

Caller: *after venting about the governor and the amount of taxes she has to pay* “You know, none of this would be that bad if it wasn’t for all these immigrants, taking our jobs and demanding benefits. Isn’t it just awful, all these people coming in from other countries? Why can’t they just stay in their own countries? It just makes it harder for hard-working Americans like you and me. Don’t you agree?”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, I am an immigrant; my family moved from Germany when I was little. I am not an American citizen, so I guess I am one of those immigrants taking jobs from Americans.”

(We moved when I was very young, so I speak English with a General American Accent — no hint of a German accent.)

Customer: “Well, obviously I don’t mean you; you’re not really an immigrant.”

(Luckily, she was too embarrassed to keep ranting, and allowed me to properly end the call soon after.)

The Snow Comes Down And The Writing Goes Up

, , , , , , | Working | July 14, 2018

I was working overnight shift at a 24-hour call center. My typical commute was about 25 minutes. About an hour and a half before my usual departure time, we were hit with an unexpected, terrible ice storm, making the roads nearly impassable and disabling traffic signals. Knowing that if I was to arrive at work anywhere near on time, I was going to have to leave extra early, I set out. The main roads were practically standstill so I took back roads as much as possible, but even with such an early start I was late arriving. While I was driving, it was announced on the news that the city was in a state of emergency and, unless it was imperative that a person needed to drive, it was advised to stay off the roads. I was already halfway there, so it would have been just as bad to turn back. Although I’d called on the way to advise on the conditions and my slow progress, and only a few of us who were scheduled that night were able to make it in, all of us late, we were all written up the following day for being tardy, or for not showing up. We collectively filed a grievance.

About a week later we were informed that the write-ups were to be removed from our files. It seems the HR review determined that since it took the day shift workers hours to get home, they could not have expected us to be able to make the drive any faster to work, and they were wrong to require that we be there at all when the city was shut down, as we were not considered critical employees. Each of us who did show up that night actually ended up with a commendation and small bonus!

Now I Know My A, B, Woof!

, , , , , | Working | July 13, 2018

(I work in a 24/7 call center, so often the representatives are pretty tired. I can only imagine this is why I overheard this the other day:)

Coworker: “Yes, building C. Like C for dog.”

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