Imprisoned By The Name

| Washington DC, USA | Right | March 17, 2015

(I work at a call center where we receive in-custody records from county jails and state prisons. Most people who call us or are routed to us by calling the jail think we are the jail they are calling. This call comes in on the DC line.)

Customer: “Um, hi, yes, I have a friend who is missing, and I want to know if he’s in jail there? His name is [Name]. But he could be in there with the last name [Other Name], too.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look.” *runs search* “No, ma’am, there’s no one in the system by either name.”

Customer: “His name has to come up to for him to be in jail there, right?”

Me: “…that’s correct, ma’am.”

Security Disservice

, | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Right | March 11, 2015

(In telephone banking service, one of the most frustrating experiences are people who fail the security questions. They want security, but they also want to be able to access their accounts if they can’t remember things like recent transactions, or the phone number from six houses ago that they didn’t bother to update with us. I am on my train home, and I happen to sit down in front of a man on his phone, obviously answering and then failing security for a bank.)

Caller: “Well, that’s my address NOW! I don’t care what you have there. Look! My name is [Name], I was born on [date]! My mother’s maiden name is [Other Name]! Now, please help me!”

(Silence, presumably a reply from the service rep.)

Caller: “But you need to come up with something to help people when they can’t answer these questions!”

(Some silence.)

Caller: “Well why can’t you sort something out for me?! LOOK! Just send me a new d*** credit card at [address repeated loudly, slowly, and clearly]! Now send it because it expires this month! Send it or I’ll call the Ombudsman!”

(Realising he’s hung up, I spin around.)

Me: “Hi! I work as a banking call centre rep and I often come across this situation. Tell me, what solution do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Uh… what? Solution?”

Me: “You just said that there should be something in place to help people access their accounts when they can’t answer the security questions. Well, now’s your chance. I work as a service agent and I’m also part of the decision making and testing process for new procedures. You want something set up to enable people who can’t answer security questions to be able to access accounts. Now, keeping both fraud compliance and the legal obligation to safeguard people’s information and money, what do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Well, there should be another system…”

Me: “You are absolutely correct. Can you describe it?”

Caller: “I…”

Me: “Where I am, we have some procedures. We can send a One Time PIN to your mobile phone. Does the bank have your current phone number? I gathered they can’t verify your address.”

Caller: “No, I haven’t given out this phone numb—”

Me: “I see. So if I gather correctly, you haven’t updated your address and phone numbers with them in some time. What else did they ask?”

Caller: “My date of birth, and a recent transaction.”

Me: “Okay, did you remember a recent transaction?”

Caller: “No! Why should I be expected to remember that?”

Me: “Why indeed? Tell me, did you give them an account number?”

Caller: “NO! I don’t have any statements from them because I haven’t gotten mail in years!”

Me: “Okay, so let me recap. You’ve called up to ask for a replacement credit card to be sent out to your new address. You weren’t able to provide an account number, the agent found you by name and date of birth. You were unable to provide the address they have on their system, they were unable to confirm your return mobile number because you haven’t given it to them. Moving on, you were unable to name any recent activity on the card that only you have access to. Do you not see how this would trip some red flags for a person who has to remain vigilant for fraud?”

Caller: “Well, yeah… but—”

Me: “But yes, your solution – which is?”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “You said there needs to be another way. So after we’ve recapped your specific situation, what would you suggest?”

(At this point, his eyes narrow and he gives me a filthy look.)

Caller: “Now you listen here, you smart a—”

Me: “Has it occurred to you that the person making your life difficult is you? Have you not realised in that exchange and in this conversation, you are admitting all the areas where you let yourself down and placed all the blame on the person doing their job instead of where it all belongs, with you?”

Caller: “Now just hold on a min—”

Me: “No, you hold on. Maybe take the time to take your card out of your pocket, think about the last time you used it and maybe have a think about your last known address, call back, and be polite instead of a whining jerk.”

(Another intense stink eye, I notice my stop coming up.)

Me: “Catch this train often. I had a great time telling you off. It melted all the day’s stress away! Bye now!”

(I alighted from the train, waving back as I got the most awful glare.)

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The Light-Bulb Moment When Wifi Took Over

| Canada | Right | March 9, 2015

(I do tech support over the phone for a large Internet company. Some of the worst calls are for people’s wifi connections, because there’s so many things that can interfere with it, and people of course try to hook up everything from Blu-ray players to printers, but we’re only trained on (and support) actual computers.)

Me: “…And is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I got these special [Brand] light bulbs; you can control them from your iPhone?”

Me: “Uh… light bulbs?”

Customer: “Yeah. Except I can’t make it work.”

Me: “So… these light bulbs connect to your home wifi and then you use the iPhone to turn them on and off and things?”

Customer: “Yeah. Can you help me?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I don’t have a clue what to do with that. You have your wifi name and password now; I’d suggest talking to [Manufacturer] directly because I’m afraid I’m only trained on computers. I honestly have no idea how to connect your light bulbs to your wifi.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. Thanks.”

Me: *to coworker* “…and a little piece of my soul just died just from having to say that.”

How To Give Someone A God Complex

| The Philippines | Right | February 27, 2015

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. [My Name] speaking. Can I have your full name, please?”

Customer: “[Customer].”

Me: “Thank you. How can I be of assistance to you today?”

Customer: “I need you to take of the late fees and overdraft fees off of my account! RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “Well, I’ll be glad to take a look into your account and review the probability of removing the fees but I’m going to need to review it thoroughly, okay?”

Customer: “Yeah, whatever.”

(After a good minute of pause…)

Me: “I’m sorry Ms. [Customer], but it seems that the charges are all valid; I won’t be able to remove them this time.”

Customer: “You f****** b****! You had me waiting for 15 long minutes while you were doing your s*** on your computer and now you’re telling me you cannot take these f***** fees off?!”

(I have her account pulled up and it didn’t take me 15 minutes to see the late and overdraft fees on her account.)

Me: “I’m sorry this upsets you, ma’am, and as much as I would like to remove these fees for you, I won’t have the capability because our system recognizes valid charges and won’t let us modify it.”

Customer: “I don’t f****** care! Remove them or I will call the police!”

Me: “What can the police do?”

Customer: “You people are stealing my money! I will sue you and your company for this, lady!”

Me: “I understand your frustration, but we have sent you multiple notices reminding you of your payment and we haven’t received any amount for the past five months. The late fess piled up, over-drafting your account. I really do apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.”

Customer: “Don’t give me that s***! I f****** want you to f****** remove these fees off of my account! Don’t be stupid! I know you can do it! You just don’t want to, because you are too lazy to do it!”

Me: “Ms. [Customer], please avoid using profanity. This is a professional institution and we don’t tolerate such language. If it happens again, I will have to disconnect the call.”

Customer: “F*** you, you f****** b****! Give me your f***** supervisor! Wait, no. I want someone higher that your supervisor: your manager, or your CEO! No, I want the president of your company, or the higher person above your president!”

(After multiple attempts to calm the customer down and my warnings for her vulgar language, I am kind of ticked off already.)

Me: “Ma’am, I definitely can hand you over to my supervisor—”

Customer: “Didn’t you f****** hear me, you s***?! I want the person higher than the president of your company!”

Me: “I believe that wouldn’t be possible; there is no one higher than the president of this company. He owns the business.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you! Hand me over to someone higher than him!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you want someone higher than the person who owns this company, then PRAY. Talk to God. He is the highest being you could talk to. You can also ask for forgiveness for that bad language and have Him bless you more for you to have the money to pay for your dues. And since you didn’t listen when I asked you to stay professional, I will now disconnect this call. I hope you have a nice day and thank you for calling [Bank]. Good bye.” *click*

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Abroadly Lying

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Right | February 21, 2015

(I work in a cancellations department for a high end TV provider. On a day where I’ve had decent customers, I get one who has a discounted service and the following happens:)

Me: “You’re through to [cancellations]. How can I help?”

Customer: “Hi, there. I need to cancel my account. I’m moving abroad.”

Me: “No worries. Your account will cancel in 31 days and you will pay one last bill.”

Customer: “Wait, why didn’t you offer me a discount to stay?”

Me: “Because you can’t take your service abroad with you.”

Customer: “My friend said if I try to cancel you’ll give me a discount.”

Me: “Well, your friend was wrong. We can’t transmit the service outside the UK.”

Customer: “But I want one!”

Me: “Are you moving out of the UK?”

Customer: “No. I lied. Can I have my discount, please?”

Me: “We are a business, not a charity. We provide a service that you pay for. That doesn’t make you entitled to a discount. Plus you’re getting 75% off your package so you’re not getting another discount.”

Customer: “I will go to [Competitor] if you don’t make it cheaper than what I’m paying for the same service.”

Me: “They aren’t available in your area and you’re currently tied to a contract.”

Customer: *screams and hangs up*

(Cheeky cancellation save!)

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