A Taxing Conversation

| Norwich, England, UK | Money, Top

(My colleague is the customer in this transaction. He has received a letter from HM Revenue (British tax authority).)

Colleague: “Hello, I am ringing about the letter I received stating the amount due to you is £1,400!”

Tax assistant: “Well, I can help you with that. What seems to be the issue?”

Colleague: *angry at this point* “The issue is that I have just received a letter telling me that I have to pay you £1400!”

Tax assistant: *still being very polite* “Well, sir. Please calm down, let me say something.”

Colleague: “Say something? What can you say that’s going to resolve this problem?”

Tax assistant: “How about, the check is in the post and you don’t owe us a penny?”

Colleague: “Oh.”

Tax assistant: “I thought that might help a little. If you had read the letter clearly you would have seen that it says ‘Amount due to you is £1,400.’”

Colleague: “Oh… erm… I’m really sorry for being a jerk.”

(I have never laughed so hard in my life.)

Throwing Trash Is Pay Dirt

| Seattle, WA, USA | Bad Behavior

(I work in a customer service call center for a health plan that is also a cooperative; it’s the kind where it’s both your insurance and your doctors. On this particular call, a woman is upset because one of her claims was denied, after the referral she’d requested for the service had also been denied.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why my claims are denying.”

Me: “Ma’am, did you receive the referral letter we sent you that said that this service was denied?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but it seemed like there was a mistake, so I just threw it out!”

Me: “You threw it out?! Ma’am do you understand that that denial letter is a legal document that states we are in no way going to cover these services? Why didn’t you call us if you thought it was mistake?”

Customer: “Well I figured if it was a mistake, you guys would just find it and then I could go have this done and it would be covered!”

Me: “Do you realize that we process thousands of referrals to authorize a day? How are we supposed to know that what you requested is wrong, if you don’t tell us?”

Customer: “Don’t put this on me! You denied the referral! It was a mistake! I don’t have to pay! You have to pay!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s not our fault you threw it away and did nothing about it. We are not going to pay for these services.”

Customer: “You are going to pay! You should have known I would throw it in the trash! You will pay! You will pay!” *click*

Taking Account Of Your Actions

| VA, USA | Awesome Workers, Holidays, Money, Theme Of The Month

(I have been recently hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery, and my husband and I lost a lot of work because of it. I’m a little behind on bills but doing what I can. I come to payment arrangements with multiple creditors, including one I have been continuing to receive phone calls from.)

Caller: “Hi, this is [Caller] from [Credit Card Company] looking for [My Name].”

Me: “Hi. Yeah, this is she. I think I know why you’re calling.”

Caller: “Yes, ma’am. I see here that—”

Me: “You know, I’ve been getting calls from just this company for almost two weeks. We have a payment arrangement. I’ve talked to just about every branch over there.”

Caller: “Yes, I understand—”

Me: “And you are still coming after me! I’m giving you what money I’ve got when I can! Don’t you even read the notes on the account before you call? Do you even know anything about this? Or are you just an air-headed vampire that doesn’t give a d*** whose blood you’re sucking out?”

Caller: “Ma’am, I am sorry to bother you, but I am calling regarding a broken agreement.”

Me: “Uh… pardon?”

Caller: “Yes, ma’am. It appears we tried to follow through on your previous payment agreement, but your bank indicates that checking account was closed. Have you changed banks recently?”

Me: “Um, yeah. I thought I changed everything over, though.”

Caller: “That’s understandable. There’s a lot to think about when opening new accounts. So I’m just calling to see if you wanted to reset the payment arrangement with your new account.”

Me: “Yes, absolutely!”

(After several minutes of setting up the new checking account with the credit card, during which time the caller was amazingly polite, funny, and understanding, we got everything straight. I then asked to speak to her supervisor.)

Supervisor: “Yes, ma’am! What can I do for you?”

Me: “I spoke with [Caller] and she was just amazing. I treated her like crap and she remained respectful and courteous. She was very professional and didn’t belittle me. She was awesome. In the end, I’m giving you money, and I’m happy about it. You have some great people over there. So please give her some recognition or something, because I was a b***, and I can’t say that I would’ve treated me as graciously as she did. Thumbs up, sir!”

Supervisor: “Thanks for the feedback. Have a great day, ma’am!”

(Suffice to say, that lesson was my Christmas present.)

Scream If You Wanna Hang Up Faster

| Plymouth, England, UK | Bizarre, Top

Me: “Hello, you’re through to the billing department. How can I help you?”

(All I hear from the customer is a high-pitched, incoherent screaming.)

Me: “Sir? Hello? I can’t understand what you are saying.”

(Still screaming.)

Me: “Sir, if you could just calm down and tell me the problem, I’m sure I can figure it out.”

(The customer keeps screaming. I hang up. Two minutes later, my colleague takes a call.)

Colleague: “Hello, you’re through to the billing department, how can I help you?”

(Incoherent screaming.)

Colleague: *looks at me* “It’s for you.”

A Higher Voice Is Not A Higher Power

| IL, USA | Liars & Scammers, Top

(I overhear my coworker’s portion of a call.)

Coworker: “Thank you for calling [account name]. My name is [name]. May I have your name and membership number, please?”

(Looking at his screen, I can tell the account information he’s given pulls up a woman’s account.)

Coworker: “Thank you, sir. Now, I see that this account is under a woman’s name. Are you calling for a wife or family member?”

(While he does this, he’s checking the account to see if anyone besides the account holder has permission to speak.)

Coworker: “Okay, well, I’m very sorry to say this sir, but you are not authorized to speak on this account. Your wife would need to contact us.”

(A moment or two passes.)

Coworker: “Sir, placing me on hold for a few seconds, and then trying to speak in a higher voice will not fool me into thinking you are your wife. Especially as you already told me that she is out of town, in a meeting, and cannot call us herself.”

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