Send, Wait, Ask, Repeat

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2018

Me: “Okay, so I just sent you out an email. There are a few steps within that email we need to complete now. Let me know when you receive it, so I can walk you through the steps.”

Caller: “Okay, I’m waiting for it now.”

(A few minutes will pass without hearing anything.)

Me: “Have you received the email yet?”

Caller: “Oh! I was supposed to open that now? Let me log into my email.”

Unfiltered Story #123686

, , | Unfiltered | October 18, 2018

Just as an intro, I work for as quality assessment (I listen to calls to make sure the employees aren’t fooling around) for a cellphone company, sometimes I hear funny calls.

Coworker : “My name is [Name], how I can help you?”
Customer : “Hey, my name is [Name], I want to pay my bill.”
Coworker : “Okay sir, could you give me your phone number to see the account?”
Customer : “Yes it’s [his number]”
Coworker : “Good, and the password on the account?” (We need the name and either a password the client sets or two infos about the client to validate them)
Customer : “WHAT?! No, I don’t want you to see my account!”
And the client hung up angrily

This one I overheard from my coworker who’s sitting next to me :
Coworker : “Hi my name Ahmed, how I can help you?”
The caller says something.
Coworker : “Okay sir, but before I’d need your cellphone number and the reason why you want to speak to a supervisor.”
Our supervisor hears it and gets ready to take the call.
Coworker : “Hold the line, I’ll get you my supervisor.” He then explains the issue and transfers the call to our supervisor.
Supervisor : “Hello, my name is Mehdi, my agent told…” then I just hear the client yelling something.
Supervisor : “No sir, you’re not calling in Arabia.”
All the agents around had a good laugh when he said that.

Totally Estúpido! Part 5

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(I work at a call center for a popular vacation company. I am trained to take calls from guests and travel agents in English. Even though I have an obviously Spanish name — which I have to say in full when answering calls — and can speak Spanish pretty well, I don’t feel confident enough to take Spanish calls. Once I am done training, I request to not have Spanish calls come to me. The company is happy to oblige and removes my phone from that list.)

Me: *in English* “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [Obviously Spanish Name]. How may I help you?”

Travel Agent: *in English with heavy Spanish accent* “Oh, you speak Spanish! Perfect! I was wondering if you could…” *trails off into Spanish*

Me: *still in English* “I’m happy to help you; however, please know that I am not trained in Spanish and may need you to repeat yourself in English if I don’t understand something.”

Travel Agent: *back to English* “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll speak to you in English, then. So, my client needs…” *trails off into Spanish again…*

Me: *English* “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Would you mind saying it in English? Or I can transfer you to our Spanish desk, and they’ll be happy to help you.”

Travel Agent: *English* “I’m so sorry. Okay, I’ll try in English. The customer needs to know when…” *trails off into Spanish… AGAIN*

Me: *English* “Ma’am, I’m more than happy to transfer you to our Spanish desk if it’s easier for you to communicate that way. It’s really no trouble at all. They’re very quick to pick up, since we don’t get many Spanish calls.”

Travel Agent: *in Spanish* “But you speak Spanish, right? You have a Spanish name. So why don’t you speak in Spanish to me?”

Me: *English* “Because I wasn’t trained to take calls in Spanish. Some terminology used in [Our Industry] are unknown to me, so I wouldn’t know how to explain something if I needed to.”

Travel Agent: *Spanish* “This is ridiculous. You should speak Spanish to me if you have a Spanish name. How can you not speak Spanish?”

Me: *English* “I do speak Spanish, but my [Industry] vocabulary is limited, and I’d hate to say something incorrectly. As I stated before, I’m more than happy to get you someone from our Spanish desk. I’ll even gladly stay on the line with you until someone comes on. Would you like me to do that?”

Travel Agent: *Spanish* “No. I want you to speak to me in Spanish. Why are you not speaking to me in Spanish? Aren’t you required to speak Spanish?”

Me: *English* “It’s not my job here to speak in Spanish. So, no, I am not required to speak to you in Spanish. As you wish to continue speaking in Spanish, I will transfer you now to the Spanish desk. Thank you and have a pleasant day.”

(After I transferred the call, I got my Q&A evaluation with a zero score because I said it was “not my job here to speak in Spanish,” even though they knew I was not on the Spanish desk. Needless to say, I fought to get reevaluated by my direct supervisor and the Q&A management. The score was removed, and I asked to be allowed to use my English, no-trace-of-Spanish-in-sight nickname for the duration of my time with the company. They approved that request without resistance!)

Totally Estupido, Part 4
Totally Estupido, Part 3
Totally Estupido, Part 2

A Hybrid Engine Made Of Hybrid Companies

, , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(I work at a call center where I set appointments for others to have their car maintenance done. I’m already bad with cars, but some customers will not be told they’re wrong about a type of car for anything. This customer wants an oil change for her Prius, only she has no idea the type of car she drives.)

Me: “Hello, and thank you for calling. My name is [My Name] and I’d be happy to help you today.”

Elderly Woman: “Is this the Kia of [Town]?”

Me: Oh, no, this is the Toyota of [Town], but we do sell Kias here. Would you like to have yours serviced?”

Elderly Woman: “Oh, well, yes, please. I need to have an oil change for my car.”

Me: “All right. What is the year, make, and model of the vehicle, ma’am?”

Elderly Woman: “It’s a 2014 Kia Prius.”

Me: “Oh, well, I know Toyota makes a Prius, so I’ll go ahead and—”

Elderly Woman: “It’s not a Toyota; it’s a Kia!”

Me: “But, ma’am, Kia doesn’t make a Prius. Toyota does, though, and we do sell Kia vehicles, so I’m sure this is the correct—”

Elderly Woman: “I’m not driving a Toyota! I bought a Kia! K-I-A!”

Me: “All right, ma’am. Can you please check the license plate on the rear of your vehicle?”

Elderly Woman: “Okay, what am I looking for?”

Me: “Do you see where it says, ‘Toyota,’ in metal letters?”

(She proceeded to yell at me until my manager came and took the call for me. What a lovely woman!)

Unfiltered Story #124880

, , , , | Unfiltered | October 15, 2018

(I am a licensed insurance agent and work in customer retention for a major auto insurance company. Callers are transferred to me if they are dissatisfied with their rate or indicate they are shopping. This takes place after my standard introduction and greeting, including asking the caller how I can be of assistance. It’s the first week in August.)

Caller: “No one told me my rate was going to go up. Aren’t you required to notify me?”

Me: “We’ve just issued your renewal quote, for the term to begin on September 1st, and the quote is your notice.”

Caller: “I don’t accept that. Nothing says that. I’m reading the letter and it doesn’t tell me why it increased. I need a straight answer and a better rate.”

Me: “The renewal quote, is, in fact, the legally required notice. The current term of the policy includes a discount for signing documents online. As was disclosed when you bought the policy, it is a one-term discount and will not continue at renewal, and that’s the only change. I’d be glad to review your policy for accuracy and see if any adjustments can be made to reduce the premium.”

Caller: “You do that, and if I can’t get a better rate I’m leaving for another company.”

(I provide a full review and determine that all the data used to rate the policy is accurate and up to date. The whole time the customer is constantly badgering me, and is really snippy while I am trying to verify and clarify information.)

Me: “The renewal quote is the best rate we have to offer for the renewal term. I have no opportunities to reduce the payments. Should you continue your policy, the next payment will be—”

Caller: *cutting me off* “No, you did nothing more than the previous person. She already reviewed and told me she was transferring me so you could give me a better rate. Neither of you has given me a straight answer about the increase, and you are going to lose a good customer if you don’t do your job and give me lower payments! Now, do what I told you to do!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve explained why the rate increased, and that there are no opportun—”

Caller: *talking over me and again cutting me off* “So, you’re telling me to go to another company, and that you don’t want my business? Because I’ll cancel my policy and leave in a heartbeat if you don’t offer me some savings.”

Me: “No, sir, we do value every one of our customers; that’s why I’m taking the time to speak with you today. Insurance is highly regulated, and the rating factors we use and our rates are filed with the state insurance commission. The policy is accurately rated, and I can’t negotiate for a lower—”

Caller: *talking over me and cutting me off again, as apparently I’m not allowed to complete a sentence* “So, you are telling me that you don’t want my business. Rude, that’s what you are. And unprofessional. Stop interrupting and talking over me! I told you that I want a straight answer and a better rate! Now, do your job, or I’ll leave and go back to [Other Company]. You can’t treat your customers so badly. When I say I will leave if you won’t work with me, I expect you to do your job and give me what I want!”

(The caller continues in this vein for another couple of minutes while I let him rant. When he stops:)

Me: “May I take a few moments now to speak to your concerns?”

Caller: “Yes. I mean, no! That’s it! You are so rude! Give me your boss right now. I’m not talking to you anymore!”

Me: “Please hold for a superv—”

Caller: “Now!”

(Apparently, I am not allowed to answer questions in complete sentences, and when the customer cuts in I am required to immediately stop because I am being rude, interrupting, and over-talking the caller. I don’t give straight answers because I don’t tell callers what they want to hear, and threats to leave for another company are supposed to change what I can and can’t do.)

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