I’m Not Paid Enough To Know How Much I’m Paid!

, , , , | Right | May 24, 2021

I work as an employment advisor in the medical industry. In this profession, there is a lot of discrepancy in salary from person to person. Specialist training and performance awards can result in pay increases whilst still remaining on the same employment grade as another person.

Caller: “I just found out that my coworker is getting paid much more than me! I don’t think this is fair. Can you please tell me if I’m on the right salary?

Me: “I can tell you what the normal salary progression for your grade and length of service would be. That won’t take into account any discretionary uplifts or specialist training, but you definitely shouldn’t be getting paid less than that so let’s start there.”

A few minutes later, I’ve done the calculations and advised the doctor that the minimum salary for her should be £[salary].

Me: “Can you tell me if that matches your current salary?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “Okay, can you please tell me what the difference is?”

Caller: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, can you please tell me what your basic salary is at the moment?”

Caller: “No! I just told you that I don’t know what I’m getting paid. I don’t see why you are making this so difficult.”

I take a beat. 

Me: “Okay, let me just summarise where I think we are right now. You have asked me to tell you if you are on the right pay. However, you don’t know what you are getting paid so we don’t actually have a way to confirm if you are or aren’t getting paid correctly.”

Caller: “…”

Me: “…”

Caller: “I don’t see what’s so hard about this.”

1 Thumbs

A “Text” Book Example Of How To Help

, , , , | Right | May 21, 2021

This is before many call centers have textphone-trained staff. I get a tech support call at 20:30 and we close at 21:00.

Customer: “The Internet isn’t working on my phone.”

Me: “I can help with that. Let me run you through security. Can I have your name, please?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “I need your name.”

Customer: “I can’t hear you.”

Me: “What. Is. Your. Name.”

Customer: “What? I can’t hear you.”

Me: “Your N-A-M-E. November Alpha Mike Echo.”

Customer: “Here, I’ll give you my phone number. It’s [telephone number #1].”

I find him on our system.

Me: “Thank you. Name. N-A-M-E.”

Customer: “Here, take down this other number as well. It’s [telephone number #2].”

He has already given me the number that needs fixed, so I don’t understand what I need this phone number for. Anyway, I take it down.

Customer: “You can send me texts on that number. I’m partly deaf.”

That explains our communication problems. However, we are a conventional call centre. Our only means of contacting customers is by telephone.

Me: “Is there someone else I can talk to?”

Customer: “Yeah, I can’t get any Internet on my phone.”

I have a brainwave. We’re able to send texts, so I get [telephone number #2] and start typing on my keyboard.

Me: *Typing* “Hi, this is [My Name] at [Company].”

I hear an SMS being received on their end.

Customer: “Oh… huh? Is that [Company]?”

Me: *Typing* “Yes. :-) I can hear you clearly. I will help you get your Internet working.”

From now on, I send him texts from my computer. He replies by speaking on the phone. It’s slow, but it works.

Me: “What’s your name, please?”

It takes a few seconds for him to get each text message, so I am very concise.

Customer: “I’m [Full Name].”

Me: “And the phone number is [telephone number], correct?”

Customer: “Yes.”

I look up more systems than I usually would because it is an awkward conversation. It turns out to be a common problem; he has taken out a contract for an Android phone and then started using something else.

Me: “Did you get a new phone?”

Customer: “Yes, I bought an iPhone from my friend. The Internet worked on my old phone.”

Me: “I can see the problem. One minute, please.”

I manually switch him to an iPhone-compatible contract. The change will take effect overnight. I send him another text.

Me: “Hello. I think I have fixed the problem. Your Internet should work within twenty-four hours.”

Customer: “Thanks. My friend said you can make it happen straight away.”

It’s now after 21:00.

Me: “That’s possible, but it will take a few minutes to go through. Are you happy to wait?”

Customer: “Yes, that’s fine.”

I explain to him how to make his new iPhone access the Internet. This involves going through several menus and forms. My manager, who can’t go home until I’m finished, is getting impatient.

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], are you finished yet? Time to go home!”

Since he can’t hear me speaking to someone, he isn’t aware I have a customer.

Me: *To the manager* “Yes, I’m actually dealing with a customer at the minute.”

Customer: “Oh, look my Internet is working now. You’re amazing, [My Name]!”

Me: “Just doing my job. Have a great night! Bye!”

I wrote some notes on the account, but I had one more task. I am required to manually enter each customer’s phone number into a database. I entered the customer’s phone number at least eight times, which guaranteed the customer would receive a survey. The customer got a survey, and he replied.

He gave me the maximum possible rating for everything!

1 Thumbs

No Matter The Language, They’re Just Not Getting It

, , , , | Right | May 20, 2021

I work in a multi-national call center in Germany. I’m the only native English speaker; therefore, all UK calls are routed to me.

A customer is trying to get a specific security service with his vehicle that’s incompatible with his specific model. He tries screaming, threatening my job, and…

Caller: “I demand to speak to the manager!”

Me: “There isn’t one; serious concerns are forwarded to the district manager who writes us back and advises which actions we can take.”

After all his attempts prove futile, he finally hangs up and I think that’s the end of it. About twenty minutes later, I get an instant message from a coworker in the French department.

French Coworker: “Hi, I have a UK customer on the line here. I think he dialed the wrong number. Can you take this call, please?”

Me: “Sure thing, put him through.”

It’s the same caller. We go through another ten-minute round, back and forth, with me explaining that his model is in… com… pat… ti… ble with the service he wants before he hangs up. My phone rings later.

Spanish Coworker: “Hi, this is [Spanish Coworker] from the Spanish department. I have a UK customer; can you please help him?”

You can’t be serious! Yeah, it’s him again. Another instant message:

Italian Coworker: “Hi, [Italian Coworker] from the Italian department. I have an English call…”

Don’t worry. It’ll end soon; there are only two more languages left to call and bother only to get bounced back to me AGAIN. And yes, he rings them both.

Thinking it’s the end of it, I have a chuckle before my phone rings again:

Japanese Coworker: “Good afternoon, this is [Company] at the office in Tokyo, Japan. An English-speaking customer has called our number, but we are not qualified to assist in this language. May we transfer this call?”


Yeah, it was him.

1 Thumbs

The Kind Of Banking Transaction You WANT To Interrupt

, , , , , | Right | May 20, 2021

A young-ish guy has an issue with setting up his banking app on his phone. That’s okay; it’s usually a ten-minute walkthrough.

Me: “Can you please tell me your username and memorable answer?”

Caller: “I’ve forgotten the question; what is it?”

Me: “I don’t have that information.”

Caller: “Then how the h*** am I meant to answer a question I’ve forgotten?!”

He goes on a tirade but finally calms down enough and gives me a chance to speak.

Me: “Sir, if you use the website, it will give you the memorable question.”

Caller: “Well, why didn’t you f****** tell me sooner?!”

Me: “I didn’t want to interrupt you, sir.”

He went quiet, apologised, and got on with it.

1 Thumbs

You Just Can’t Win

, , , , | Right | May 19, 2021

Caller: “I want to talk to you about the customer service in your stores.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. If you wish to make a complaint I will need to—”

Caller: “Well, that’s the thing. It was excellent. I mean, it was exceptionally good!”

Me: “Oh! That’s wonderful, ma’am. If you let me know which store you visited I can—”

Caller: “I’m still complaining, though.”

Me: “I see. What is the nature of the complaint, ma’am?

Caller: “Well, you obviously spend too much money on training the staff. Spend less on them — I can live with them being a little rough around the edges — and pass those savings on to the customers!”

1 Thumbs