Sounds Like They’re Playing A Gaming With You

, , , , | | Working | May 28, 2019

(I enjoy occasional online gaming. During the course of a couple of weeks, my connection’s latency has steadily raised to the point that makes gaming impossible; other than that, though, the Internet works fine. After eliminating the possibility of hardware issues on my side, I call the ISP’s tech support. After a series of tests, the support rep says that there doesn’t seem to be an issue on their end, either. Then, he drops this gem:)

Support Rep: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do. The only thing I can offer is to transfer you to our sales department, where they can upgrade you to a gaming plan.”

(This immediately raises a red flag for me. I tend to be VERY short-tempered when I get the feeling that I’m being screwed over; however, they are the best ISP we have, so I don’t want to switch to another. I start recording the call at this point.)

Me: “Hold up. A ‘gaming plan’? How long have you been offering this new ‘plan’?”

Support Rep: “About a month. You should really consider it; it should eliminate this latency issue you’re having, and it would only cost [amount that would significantly raise my Internet bill].”

Me: “Sounds awfully like extortion to me, you know. My Internet connection magically develops issues just as you start offering a new, expensive plan designed to remedy those exact issues? Do you think your customers are morons?”

Support Rep: “What?! Are you suggesting that we purposely slow you down?!”

Me: “I don’t know. Do you?”

Support Rep: “No! We’d never do that! I can assure you, sir, that we did not alter your connection in any way. All we did was to add plans with high-priority routing, for customers who need that.”

Me: “So, before those new plans came about, everyone simply had ‘normal’ priority routing, and now some of your customers have ‘high’ priority?”

Support Rep: *sounding relieved* “Yes, that’s it.”

Me: “But doesn’t this make the rest of your customers ‘low’ priority now?”

Support Rep: “Um…”

Me: “So, basically, you’ve downgraded my service, without my consent or even notifying me, while charging me the same price you used to. I’ll tell you what: clue in one of your supervisors — one who knows what a class-action lawsuit is — on this conversation. I’ll wait.”

(I get hold music for a while. Then I hear a different voice, who I assume to be a supervisor:)

Supervisor: “After reviewing the issues you were having, we’ve decided to offer you a free upgrade to a gaming plan.”

Me: “And a refund for the last two weeks, because I paid you for a service which you weren’t providing properly?”

Supervisor: *after a brief silence* “Yes.”

Me: “I thought so. Thank you and have a good day.”

(I didn’t have any issues for the rest of the years I was with them, until better ISPs emerged and I switched to one of those.)

They Don’t “Do” Paying

, , , , | | Healthy | May 28, 2019

(I used to work for a medical insurance company. I answered phone calls and emails from customers who had questions about their insurance policy or reimbursements. In this case, the customer had a coverage of 80%, meaning that he had to pay for 20% of the amount himself. The following is an exchange over email.)

Customer: “I saw that 80% of my invoice was paid, but what do I have to do about the remaining balance?”

Me: “The coverage for this type of expense is 80%. This means that we have paid for 80% of your expenses to the hospital directly. The other 20% should be paid by you, yourself.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. What do I have to do?”

Me: “Since the coverage is not at 100%, this means that we cannot pay for 100%. We have paid our share to the hospital. The remaining balance of [amount] should be paid to the hospital by you, yourself. If you have already paid this to the hospital, everything is fine and no further action is required. If you want, you can give me a phone call or provide me with your phone number, so I can give you a call, so I can explain this to you by phone.”

Customer: “I really don’t understand. What do you want me to do?”

(He has given me no phone number and no other option than to send another email.)

Me: “The amount of [amount] has to be paid to the hospital by you, yourself. If you have already paid [amount] to the hospital, you should do nothing. If you have not yet paid [amount] to the hospital, you need to pay [amount] to the hospital. If you are unsure whether you have paid or not, please contact the hospital’s billing department.”

Customer: “I am [Customer]’s manager and I have been over these emails with him. We both do not understand what he needs to do.”

(Again, I was given no phone number. At that point, I decided to break the rules and put the email back in the general mailbox instead of my personal one to let someone else deal with it. The worst part is that these people work for the United Nations.)

Un-Fee-sably Expensive

, , , , | | Working | May 23, 2019

(I have a flight to the US on this airline booked for early this year. I have been trying to reserve an exit row seat — one of the ones that costs a ludicrous amount of money to reserve — since late 2018, to no avail. After another failed attempt, I decide to call the airline. I explain the problem…)

Agent: “What’s your booking reference?”

Me: “It’s [booking reference]. That’s Z for ‘zebra,’ A for’ anaconda,’ P for ‘panther’…”

Agent: “Hold on, hold on, hold on. Your booking reference will be six letters. What are the six letters? “

Me: “They’re [booking reference], but I—“

Agent: “Okay, and can you spell those out with words for me, honey?”

Me: “That’s what I was doing, but okay.”

(I spell it out. She corrects me to the “right” words to spell out letters, because I just made them up as I went along, but I decide to ignore it; it doesn’t bother me.)

Agent: “So, it looks like you’ve booked with an external company, so there’ll be an extra $80 fee for selecting a seat for your flight.”

Me: “Oh. Okay, well, I’m not paying that on top of the fee for the seat, so I’ll wait until the airport. Thanks for your help, bye!”

(I try to hang up, but she keeps talking, rushing to get in extra words before I can hang up.)

Agent:But if you’d booked with us, first, there wouldn’t be that fee.”

Me: “Oh. Well, but I didn’t, though.”

Agent: “Yes, but if you had, you would be saving $80.”

Me: “Well, yes, but that doesn’t really help me at all, because I didn’t. Thank you again for your help. I’m going to hang up now. Goodbye.”

Agent: “Okay, but—“

(I hung up.)


, , , , , | | Right | May 21, 2019

(I work in a call center for a large cable company, mostly in tech support. I am a 23-year-old woman with a very feminine voice. I have just finished explaining to this caller, a middle-aged man, how pay-per-view works and how to order it. Most of our pay-per-views are “adult” themed.)

Caller: “So, um, I just remembered. I can’t read. Can you order one for me?”

Me: *getting nervous, but still friendly* “Of course I can help you with that! Which one did you want to order?”

Caller: “Well… can you just read all of them to me?”

(I hear a distinctive zipping noise in the background.)

Me: *pause* “All of them, sir?”

Caller: “I want to know all of the ones you have.”

(I start reading all of the titles for every channel and every time that we have that day. I get no answer from him, only hearing heavy breathing in the background. Finally…)

Caller: “Can you say that one again, but slower?”

Me: “[Explicit Adult Title].”

Caller: “One more time. Slower. Sound it out.”

Me: *repeats, but slower*

Caller: “One. More. Time.”

Me: *repeats again*

Caller: “Yeeeaaaaah. That’s the one! That’s it!”

Me: “So, this is the one you want to order?”

(His breathing has gotten heavier and heavier during the duration of the call.)

Caller: “Give it to me!” *loud grunt, followed by a sigh*

Me: *absolutely disgusted* “Okay. So, I have that title ordered for you. Is there anything else I can help you with tonight?”

Caller: “What are you doing later?”

Some English Is Not The Same English As Your English

, , , , | | Right | May 20, 2019

(I am trying to explain to the customer that she will have to pay $25 for her service because her insurance only covers half of it, but she is obviously having some difficulty understanding the coverage details. I’ve explained to her about twenty times how it works, lining the details up in the simplest way possible. Throughout the entire call, the customer has been switching between her and a companion. While the customer herself seems to have difficulty giving me the information I need, her companion seems to have trouble hearing me at all. I am speaking to the companion when this happens. Keep in mind that I was born and raised in a family that spoke only English, and do not have a thick accent at all.)

Me: *explaining the situation for the twentieth time*

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Here, ma’am, let me explain it again…”

Customer: “Can I speak to someone who speaks English?”

Me: “I’m sorry? I don’t know what you mean…”

Customer: *very slowly* “English. I want someone who speaks English.”

(I am completely thrown off, as she is treating me as if I’ve been speaking with a very thick, foreign accent when I have been speaking completely normally. I decide to just go with it and get a supervisor to speak to the customer since I’m not having any luck getting through to them.)

Me: “Okay, may I put you on a brief hold while I get someone on the line?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: *slowly* “A brief hold?”

Customer: “Oh. Okay.”

(I found a supervisor and brought them over. The supervisor ended up repeating exactly what I had said and finished up the call. All of my coworkers had a nice laugh about it afterward, as I had clearly spent a long time with the customers trying to explain to them what was going on.)

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