A New President Precedent

, , , , , | Right | August 21, 2019

(I work at a call center for a major US bank.)

Elderly Customer: “Hello. I would like to speak to the president of the bank.”

Me: *thinking she’s confused* “Do you mean the branch manager, ma’am?”

Elderly Customer: “NO! I meant what I said; I demand to speak to the president of the bank!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the president doesn’t take customer phone calls. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Elderly Customer: “PRESIDENT! NOW!”

Me: “Ma’am, again, I apologize but the president doesn’t have time to—”

Elderly Customer: *cuts me off* “GASP! He doesn’t have time for me?!”

(I could hear her sobbing as she hung up the phone.)

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Behind Every Successful Man, Is A Woman With A Password

, , , | Romantic | August 20, 2019

(I work at a bank call center. The accounts have security phrases that the customers need to confirm when they call so they can get assistance. I receive a call from a man who hasn’t called since 2016; he doesn’t remember his phrase. They can check and change this phrase in their accounts online, so he has his wife go and check. The phrase was, “I love my wife.”)

Wife: *while laughing* “I’ll make sure he doesn’t forget that.”

(It was one of the sweetest calls I’ve had.)

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Has Some Hang-Ups About The Hang-Ups

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2019

(I am in a specialty department for a major US auto insurance company and I’ve successfully talked to many callers prior to this one with no phone issues. A call has been transferred to me. The number appearing on the caller ID always shows as the transferring customer service rep, not the actual caller, and that rep indicates that the caller refused to give her name or policy number but asked for my department. This occurs after my initial greeting, which includes asking the caller their name and policy number. Instead of providing any such information, I get…)

Caller: “Why does everyone keep hanging up on me? The power company, the bank, the city clerk, everyone! This is the third time I’ve called your company and I’ve been hung up on twice; don’t you dare hang up on me, too!”

Me: “May I please take your number so I can return the call if we are disconnected?”

Caller: “No, I’m not giving that to you. Just don’t hang up!”

Me: “We aren’t permitted to disconnect callers. If the call is dropped, it’s not something we can control. Perhaps, since it’s happening whenever you make a call, there’s an issue with your phone? Do you have another available to use?”

Caller: “Just do your job! Everyone says the same thing. It’s your phone.” *shouting* “It’s not my f****** phone! Don’t you think I’d know it if it was my own phone?”

Me: “I’ll do my best to assist you. May I have your name and policy number, please?”

Caller: “Don’t you dare hang up! My name is Mar—” *click*

(I’m pretty sure it was her phone. I hope she got the assistance she needed, both with the phone and her insurance issue.)

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Listen To My Eyes!

, , , , , | Right | August 16, 2019

(I do telephone surveys for patients who’ve recently visited their health center. I work with a headset.)

Me: “We’d like your feedback to improve future care; will that be okay?”

Patient: “Sure!”

Me: *reads the first question*

Patient: “What? What was that?”

(I repeat it louder and clearer and he responds. The same thing happens for the next two questions.)

Patient: “Stop speaking so close into the microphone. You’re spitting and breaking up; I can hardly hear you!”

(I oblige and slightly adjust my mouthpiece so it’s slightly above my mouth, although since I hear some static on his end, I’m not sure if he’s correct that I’m “spitting.” This cycle continues a few more times, with him asking me to repeat, and me gradually moving my mouthpiece farther and farther up to the point where I wonder how he can hear me at all, especially since I have a hoarse throat today.)

Me: *asks another question*

Patient: “You know, if you’re going to work on the phone, you should really get some phone skills! You shouldn’t be talking with your mouth so close to the phone!”

(Sick of straining my voice and fed up with his ridiculous assertions but trying to maintain professionalism and a friendly manner, I say:)

Me: “Sir, my microphone is at my eyes right now… so I’m definitely not talking into the phone. I apologize that you’re unable to hear me well.”

(Cue five seconds of silence.)

Patient: “Well, what was your question again?”

(The rest of the call proceeded smoother, although I did take to bending the microphone even further from my eyes when I had to repeat myself again. Crazy!)

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Should Have Gotten Insurance Against Making Stupid Threats

, , , , , | Right | August 15, 2019

(I work in a call center that handles enrollment for subsidized insurance. As the application is for government assistance, it is very thorough, and if the information doesn’t match what is in the State and Federal Data Sources, such as your tax return, you must send documentation as proof by a specific date. This is normal for income documentation. Toward the end of a call:)


Me: “We need to verify your income, because the income you stated does not match what is in the state a federal data sources. We need you to send your last four paystubs to verify your eligibility.”

Caller: “Why wasn’t I ever told about this?”

Me: “We have sent you multiple notices for the past two months and your account has been notated by multiple representatives that you have refused to send documentation.”

Caller: “Fine. When do I need to get the documents in by?”

(I see the due date is one day away and start to provide him with a fifteen-day extension of the due date.)

Me: “I see your due date is for tomorrow, so I’m—”


Me: “Sir, one moment, I’m…”

Caller: “No, I’ll tell you what, sir. I have a smartphone, a really, really smart phone.”

Me: “Okay.”

Caller: “My phone shows me exactly where you are located and I’m going to come down to your office, beat the s*** out of you, and shoot up your office if you don’t activate this insurance now.”

(We take threats very seriously and are told to report them to security and remain on the line with callers.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know if we are in New York, Texas, or Saudi Arabia. But what I do know is that I have your name, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, and your address. That’s all the information I need to file a police report; in this instance, you are threatening a government facility and I’m required to do so. However, because of your situation, I’m going to give you a choice. Number one: you can apologize, let me finish my sentence, and I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that, or number two: I’ll disconnect and file that police report.”

(The client is now dead silent.)

Client: *stuttering* “I’m sorry. I’m just really nervous with my daughter.”

Me: “I understand that — I would be, too — but please think before threatening a government facility in the future. I was going to tell you that while the due date is for tomorrow, I’ve gone ahead and provided you with a fifteen-day extension of the due date and you can call back in eight days to ask for an additional one. Do you have any other questions for me?”

(We wrapped up the call and I never got talked to about it, even though the majority of our calls are monitored by quality assurance.)

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