Not Only Calling About The Color Of Money

| USA | Right | April 13, 2017

(I’m speaking with a customer whose card was temporarily blocked for suspicious activity. I’m trying to verify her identity.)

Women: “Why should I have to know my old address? No one ever asked me for that before! Why does it matter?”

Me: “Identity thieves will often change the address on a card before using it, so we watch for address changes. Asking for the old address helps us because an identity thief may not have known the old address before he changed it. It’s an effective means of protecting your identity.”

Women: “I’m not an identity thief. Why would you think I was?”

Me: “I did not say you were, ma’am. I’m only explaining that asking for an old address is a great way of verifying you while protecting your identity.”

Women: “Why would you think I stole something? You think any [race] women with a credit card had to steal it? Or you just think I can’t afford a computer?”

Me: “We are not worried about your being able to afford anything. We simply wanted to verify a charge that was unusual for this card to make sure it is one you authorized. Once we have verified the charge…”

Women: *cutting me off* “You wouldn’t be harassing me if I wasn’t [race]!”

Me: “Our policies are the same for all races, ma’am. I didn’t even know your race until you told me.”

Women: “Don’t give me that s***! You can tell. You wouldn’t be harassing me for buying a computer if I was white. You’re just racist!”

Me: “Our system flagged your account because of the address change and large purchase before I ever spoke to you. The system doesn’t know your race either. It’s illegal for us to store that information and our applications don’t ask you to disclose it. There is literally no way that your race could play any role in the system’s decision to flag this account. I certainly hope I’m not racist either. I would hate to find out I had an issue with my little brother.”

Women: “Don’t you lie to me. You’re not [race] and neither is your bother, unless your mother’s…”

Me: *cutting in as politely as I can* “Not my biological brother. My little brother from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. I visit him in school every Monday for lunch and recess. It’s my favorite time of the week.”

(She didn’t seem to know how to respond to that. She made a few attempts to catch me in a ‘lie,’ made me explain I that had Sundays and Mondays off so I could visit him and why it was only in-school, etc. but generally wasn’t yelling at me as much. Next time I mentioned her address she gave it to me. Yes, she did end up verifying the charges and having the card unblocked.)

Hammering The Point Home

| Sweden | Right | April 6, 2017

Me: “Welcome to [Phone Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “You guys broke my new tablet I got from you! I demand a replacement!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that; how is it broken?”

Customer: “I tried to insert the sim card I got with it but it wouldn’t fit!”

Me: “We can absolutely send you a new sim card for free if you have gotten the wrong size, but how—”

Customer: “It’s your fault! You tricked me with the sim card! It wouldn’t fit no matter how much I pressed so I took a hammer to get it in and now it’s stuck in the tablet and it’s not working at all!”

Me: “You… used a hammer to insert the sim card?”

Customer: “Yes, it wouldn’t fit! How else would I have gotten it inside the tablet?”

Me: “Sir, you could have called us and we would have sent a new card in the correct size or we could have reimbursed you if you wanted to buy a card in a store.”

Customer: “How could I have known there are different sizes? I want you to send me a new tablet!”

Me: “You just admitted you smashed it with a hammer yourself. The warranty does not cover self-inflicted damage.”

Customer: “I’m not the one responsible for it breaking! You sent the card! If you don’t give me a new tablet now I’m going to call the police!” *hangs up*

(The best part? A few days later, I have this call:)

Customer #2: “Hey, I think I got the wrong type of sim card to my tablet. Could you send me a smaller one?”

Me: “Sure, no problem!”

Customer #2: “Oh, good; I didn’t want to hammer it in or something.”

Me: *aghast remembering the other customer* “Please don’t do that! We’ll send the new card with express for free!”

Customer #2: “You do realize I’m joking, right?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but earlier this week I had a customer who actually did that.”

Customer #2: “Seriously?!”

(Customer #2 couldn’t stop laughing about it while I was confirming his address.)

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That Wasn’t Part Of The Plan

| NSW, Australia | Right | April 5, 2017

(I work in the moving-home call center for Australia’s biggest pay TV/phone company as a team leader. A customer calls in wanting to move their services to a new address. I notice that because of a billing error she hasn’t been paying anything for her services since she got them.)

Me: “I’ve noticed that you haven’t been charged for your phone/Internet/pay TV at all for the five years you’ve been with us?”

Customer: “Yes. Don’t you dare change that.”

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, I have to change it to a current in-market plan to move your services.”

Customer: “We’ll, I’m already in my new house but if that’s the case I guess I’ll just move back to my old one.”

Me: “Regardless, I’m going to have to change your plan.”

Customer: “No, you won’t.” *hangs up*

(As per our policy, I change her to an in-market plan and send her an email with details. Five minutes later, one of my staff escalates a call to me from the same woman. I take the call and she immediately starts yelling at me.)

Customer: “I was just speaking to someone and they told me that if I move you will start to charge me for my services. I just called and the landlord told me it’s too late and I can’t move back in, and I just got an email saying that you have changed it anyway. You can’t do that!”

Me: “Ma’am, you actually spoke to me before and as I explained I have to change your plan anyway. It’s out of my control.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable; I want to speak to a manager!”

Me: “I am the manager.”

Customer: “Well, listen here, buddy… I’m going to make your life h***. You can’t hang up on a customer, so I’m just going to bang the phone on the table until you change it back.” *starts banging phone on the table*

Me: “Watch me.” *plays call termination script and hangs up*

(She then called back to our warranty team saying her phone randomly broke and she wanted a new one… Her claim was denied.)

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 6

| Norfolk, England, UK | Right | April 4, 2017

(I am working for an insurance company when I get a customer who has fallen behind on his payments. His policy is about to lapse because it has been almost 14 days since his payment was due. He tells me he doesn’t want to pay any more, but still wants to keep his policy and asks if there is anything I can do – some discount or special arrangement we can make.)

Me: “I can place a hold on the account for a week if that helps. It’ll give you more time to get some money together to pay. But that’s all I can do. I should warn you, though, that until you catch up your payments, you are not covered. Should you need to make a claim you will have to clear the outstanding balance first.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not good enough. Look, it’s just insurance. Just let me have it.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. If you do not pay it within a week’s time, your policy will lapse. In other words it will cancel itself—”

Customer: “I don’t want to cancel my policy! I want it but I can’t afford to pay you, so you should let me off.”

Me: “If you want to continue your policy, you must pay the balance you owe. As I said, I am happy to hold your account for a week, but that is the longest I can hold it because it has been almost 14 days since your last payment was due. You need to pay by [Date]. After that, your policy will cancel automatically. If your policy lapses you will not be covered at all and will have to take out a new policy in order to be covered again. Also, if you allow your policy to lapse, you will not be able to open another policy with us unless you pay it annually – meaning you will not be able to spread your payments over the year like with your current policy.”

Customer: “No, no, no. You are not listening to me. I want to be covered; I need my insurance. I just can’t afford to give any more money. Is there some discount I can get?”

Me: “You were given a 15% discount when you signed up. You cannot get any more mid-policy. You must get your payments up to date.”

Customer: “This is terrible customer service. If you want me as a customer, you should let me keep the insurance and write off the rest of the balance.”

Me: “I cannot do that. Your only options are to pay what you owe by [Date], or let the policy lapse and go uninsured.”

Customer: “This is disgusting. The full policy is only £50. I’m a loyal customer! You can let me off the rest. You’re just money grubbing b******s. All you care about is your profits. You don’t care about your customers at all!”

Me: “If you opened a shop, would give away all your goods to anyone who asked?”

Customer: “Of course. It would get the word out about the business and win me lots of customers.”

Me: “How long do you think you’d stay in business if nobody paid for anything?”

Customer: “Well, that’s different. Insurance doesn’t cost you anything.”

Me: “Of course it does. The company has to pay staff like me, and for premises like the one I am working in, and the phone lines you are calling. And most importantly, the whole point of insurance is that if something goes wrong, the insurer will give you money to fix it. Where do you think that money comes from?”

Customer: “Well, just letting me have a free policy won’t hurt. It’s only £50. Besides, I’ve already paid something. You should let me have the rest for free.”

Me: “If we let every customer do that, we wouldn’t make any money.”

Customer: “I’m not asking you to let every customer have it for free! I’m just asking for me! It’s not f****** hard.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t give you your policy for free. You have a week to get the money together, otherwise your policy will lapse and you won’t be covered.”

Customer: “You’re the worst customer service person I have ever dealt with. You should be ashamed of yourself. If I had a business, I’d never hire you. You’ve lost yourself a customer. Give me your name right now!”

Me: “Certainly, sir. It’s [My Name], extension [extension number]; my manager is [Manager]. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Yeah. Go and learn proper customer service and some d*** manners.” *hangs up*

(I put a one-week hold on the account anyway just in case he wanted to call and pay, but added a note detailing our conversation. The customer sent a complaint letter saying I was rude and that our customer service was bad and that we didn’t care about our customers. He then called up a month after the policy expired to pay his balance. As I warned, his policy had lapsed and it could not be re-opened. He shouted at my colleague when they couldn’t re-open his policy, and got angry when he was told the only way he could be insured by us was to open a new policy, and that he would have to pay annually, just as I told him a month ago. He accused my colleague of trying to extort him and said he would go elsewhere. Then he hung up. He sent another complaint letter, saying it was all my fault, that I never told him his policy would lapse, that I promised to hold the account for a month, and that I told him he could pay what he wanted when he wanted. The complaint was not upheld because the recorded call proved I told him several times how long he had to pay, what would happen if he didn’t pay, and also that I had most certainly not told him he could pay what he wanted when he wanted.)

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 5
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 4
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 3

I Dishwash My Hands Of All Responsibility

| UK | Right | March 31, 2017

(I have just bought a new dishwasher and have phoned the manufacturer’s call centre to register my purchase and find out about extended breakdown cover.)

Call Centre Handler: “So, if you want three years’ further warranty it will cost [price], which is just [small amount] per month.”

Me: “Okay, that sounds reasonable enough. I’ll go with that.”

Call Centre Handler: “It includes cover for accidental damage. I had one customer who could have done with that; he called in to have an engineer go out to repair his dishwasher, and it turned out that he had been out hill-walking and his boots were really dirty. He read something on the Internet that said you could wash shoes in a dishwasher, so he had put them in and run it. The laces got tangled up in the arms, stopped them running, and burnt out the motor. The inside was a total mess and covered in mud as well. It cost him [almost full price of a dishwasher] to get it fixed. The company uses that case as an example in customer service training now.”

Me: “Have you ever heard of a website called Not Always Right?”

Call Centre Handler: “Hold on till I get a pen and write that down…”

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