A Badly Timed Period

| New Zealand | Working | April 29, 2015

(My workplace tries to get every second out of us on the phones. They are pedantic about breaks down to the second, and you will often get grilled about those ‘two minutes’ over a day that you weren’t speaking to a customer. In light of this, they are always developing schemes to ensure they are getting precisely 7.5 hours from us per day. We are called into a meeting in shifts, and I am in the last meeting of the day.)

Centre Manager: “So, between us and our sister call centre in [City] we’ve developed a new way of using the bathroom quickly!”

Head Of Call Centre: “I have made it my personal mission to time people using the bathrooms, and I have planned out how long each person needs in the bathroom. If you’re doing number 1’s, you only need one minute. If you’re doing number 2’s, you need 2 minutes and 20 seconds. So in future, we’re going to expect you to follow these guidelines, and aim for these times when using the bathrooms.”

(I’ve worked with lawyers for years, and am known for being a bit of a smart-a**.)

Me: “Um, what about those of us who need to have ‘number 3’s?'”

Centre Manager & Head Of Call Centre: “What?”

Me: “Well, you said you’ve monitored people using the bathrooms, so you can get an average time, right?”

Head Of Call Centre: “Yes.”

Me: “Did you only monitor the men?”

Centre Manager & Head Of Call Centre: *worried glances* “Yes…”

Me: “So, it never occurred to you that women have an issue once a month that they can’t control? And that issue may take more than a minute in the bathroom?”

Centre Manager: *both go pale* “Um, surely, that’s not an issue?”

Me: “Surely, you’ve never been women, and only surveyed half of the centre’s population. And I suspect that the union would be furious if they knew you were timing our bathroom breaks!”

(Funnily enough, no one else had brought this up, and when the suggestion got around to the other female staff, they backed me up. The policy was dropped by the end of the week. It turned out they were trying to prevent people using their smart devices in the bathrooms, which was fair, but why not just say so?)

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Had A Mourn-day Thursday

| Europe | Right | April 29, 2015

(I am working in a call centre for a large company. This weekend was our weekend off because of the Easter celebration. A colleague, located somewhere else in Europe, is backing our line while we are away.)

Customer: “Hello, I am looking for [My Name]. I have talked to him before and need help from him.”

Coworker: “Well, [My Name] has his day off because of Easter.”

Customer: “GOD D*** IT! Why should he celebrate Easter? I need help with my product NOW!”

Coworker: *pulls up the file* “Well, I can see here that you were supposed to call him on Thursday to let him know about the issue.”

Customer: “Thursday? No, I couldn’t. I took the day off because of Easter.”

Not Much Assurance About Insurance

| Kansas City, KS, USA | Right | April 22, 2015

(I work for a call center for a nationally known insurance company handling investigations for claims filed on policies that are no longer active.)

Me: “Hello, I’m calling from [Company] regarding the claim you filed for your auto accident. Am I speaking to [Customer]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Good afternoon, I was calling to discuss your policy with you. Your claim was filed for an accident that happened yesterday, however it looks like your policy with us ended last year.”

Customer: “What do you mean, it ended? I thought I had insurance with you guys!”

Me: “Well, according to our records, your policy expired in June of last year and you never sent in a payment to restart your policy when we sent you our offer to renew.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Since you didn’t ever send in a payment, then your policy wouldn’t restart.”

Customer: “What do you mean? I never knew I had to send in a payment!”

Me: “Well, let me check on something. Is your address [address on file]?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Was that your address last year as well?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I am showing that we sent the offer to that address. Do you recall if you received anything from us?”

Customer: “Yeah, I used to get things from you guys all the time, but then they just stopped.”

Me: “Well, did you read any of them?”

Customer: “No! Why would I read your junk mail? I’m already a customer!”

Me: “That wasn’t junk mail! That was your policy paperwork and your bill.”

Customer: “How was I supposed to know that?”

Me: “The envelope says on the outside that there is important information inside pertaining to your policy and even says on the back to not discard the letter until you’ve read it.”

Customer: “I don’t pay attention to any of that; it’s all junk mail. You’re just trying to get me to buy new things!”

Me: “In this case, we were trying to prevent your policy from ending.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you say something to me?”

Me: “We did! In fact, we send the first notice two months out to give you a warning that the policy is going to end soon, then another one a month out giving you a 30 day notice…Then we sent one after it ended to remind you to purchase new insurance or to contact us to restart your policy with us. I also show that your agent called you twice before it ended to see if you wanted to come by his office to pay it.”

Customer: “Well, I never got any of them!”

Me: “You just told me that you had, but you didn’t read them.”

Customer: “I didn’t! So, I never got them, because I didn’t know that’s what they were!”

Me: “I’m sorry… but you’re saying that because you threw away our letters reminding you to pay that it means you never got them?”

Customer: “Exactly! I shouldn’t have to read mail from you guys. You should just tell me when I need to pay something!”

Me: “We did… like I said, your agent also called you. Did you get his calls?”

Customer: “I was busy, so I never called him back.”

Me: “And this was all a year and a half ago. Your insurance card says that the policy period would end.”

Customer: “I thought it was just old, but that you’d send me a new one.”

Me: “If you don’t open our mail, how would we send you a new one?”

Customer: “By CALLING me first and telling me you were sending it.”

Me: “But you hadn’t paid, and you weren’t returning the agent’s calls!”

Customer: “So? It’s not my fault that you guys don’t know how to get it to me!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re not going to be able to cover this. You haven’t had insurance with us for almost a year and a half. You’ve confirmed that you got our mail, you got the agent’s calls, and you never responded. You’ve not been paying insurance with us.”

Customer: “And?”

Me: “So, we’re going to be denying this. I suggest you contact your agent if you want to restart your policy, but we cannot do anything for this accident.”

Customer: “So what about my car? Can I get it fixed now?”

(Face to desk.)

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This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 40

, | Manchester, England, UK | Right | April 21, 2015

(I work full time in a call centre for a major UK Bank.)

Me: “Hello, you’re speaking to [My Name]. How I can help?”

Customer: “I am mad about this!”

Me: “I am sorry to hear that. How can I help?”

Customer: “Well, frankly [My Name], I understand how you can justify this! You have ruined my day completely!”

Me: “Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Well, like I said, I don’t understand this. I spent all the money on my credit card and I cut it up. WHY DID I RECEIVE A BILL FOR IT?!”

(There is a long pause while I attempt not to laugh at this.)

Me: “You do realize that this is money you have borrowed from the bank? It is isn’t free money!”

Customer: “But why do I have to pay? I cut it up!”

Me: “That doesn’t invalidate the bill; this is an amount you have borrowed from the bank which needs to be repaid. Just because you throw it away doesn’t cancel the debt!”

(After several attempts to explaining to customer that she needs to pay and the customer screaming like a banshee:)

Customer: “But how will I pay this? Absolutely ludicrous. You people didn’t make aware of this at all! I thought it all ended if I just cut up the card. I shouldn’t have to pay this debt if I don’t have the card! I want to make a complaint about this.”

Me: “Okay, hold the line. I will put you through to complaints.”

(I could only imagine the pain the poor man went through on the other line, and I could only hope the customer learned a valuable lesson!)

 

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Taxing Faxing, Part 15

| Charlotte, NC, USA | Right | April 17, 2015

(Callers place orders for a certain drinkable product. They can also call in to track their orders. One such customer places her order and calls back a few days later to see where her package is.)

Me: “I’m showing it was delivered via UPS this afternoon.”

Caller: “It was MAILED?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Caller: “Why wasn’t it faxed? You all did this every other time! I want a refund, now! I have a dinner party and I am so embarrassed! I bragged on this and you failed horribly!”

Me: “Ma’am, we aren’t able to fax this order, I am sorry. We can send a new order out if needed but it won’t arrive until day after tomorrow at the earliest. Have you checked everywhere, or asked your neighbors?”

Caller: “I don’t need to! It’s not my fault you all are incompetent morons… Oh! I’m pulling up to my house now, and I see it! Still refund me, as I have a headache from this call!” *click*

 

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