A Bad Case Of Upper Case Lower Case

, , , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

Caller: “Is eight digits okay for my password?”

Me: “Yes, it only has to be six.”

Caller: “Is nine okay?”

Me: “Yes… It only has to be six.”

Caller: “Okay, I used all caps; is that okay?”

Me: “No, there needs to be at least one lower case, and one upper case.”

Caller: “Okay… I used all lowercase. That’s all right, then?”

Me: “No… There needs to be at least one lowercase and at least one uppercase letter.”

Caller: “Okay, but is all lowercase okay?”

Me: “Sir, no… Would you like me to just have a form mailed out to you?”

Help Is Coming Never-lands

, , , | Right | September 3, 2018

Me: “Good morning, [Emergency Centre]. How can I help you?

Client: “Hello, our car broke down here on the German roadside! We need help very quickly! Are you far away?”

Me: “I am in the Netherlands, ma’am, but that doesn’t matter, since I am able to send out an order to the German road guard.”

Client: “Thank God! There’s a lot of smoke coming from the car and it’s not running anymore!”

Me: “All right, I’ll fill in the case file for you, ma’am. Could I have your licence plate number?”

Client: “[Licence plate number].”

Me: “I’ve found the car, I think. Is it a [Brand]?”

Client: “Yes!”

Me: “And your zip code and address?”

Client: “[Zip code and address]”.

(Usually, zip code and address make me able to see the membership number and the insurance policy. But this time, no valid insurance comes up.)

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t see a valid insurance policy. Do I have the right membership? Is it [number]?”

Client: “No, it’s [correct number].”

(There is still no insurance policy.)

Me: “I still don’t see anything, miss. It seems there is no valid insurance.”

Client: “What!? How’s that possible? My husband received help two weeks ago!”

Me: “I believe you, but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have a right policy here.”

Client: “But that has to be a mistake! Can’t you just send help and we will sort it out later?”

Me: “I can’t, miss. I can’t send out an order without a valid policy. Maybe there’s something I can do, but I’ll have to ask my superior. I have to put you on hold.”

Client: “Okay.”

(I go and ask my superior. The answer is that if they don’t have a valid insurance policy, they haven’t got the right to get our help. The only thing I can do is to put them into contact with the German road guard. Costs won’t be covered.)

Me: “Hello, miss. Sorry to keep you waiting. The answer is that I cannot send out the order. The only thing I can do is put you into contact with the German road guard.”

Client: “But we have a policy! Does this mean we don’t get coverage?”

Me: “It seems so, ma’am. I’m very sorry.”

Client: “But I can’t afford that! We already paid a huge sum to get the insurance! Why can’t you just send help and let us sort out things later?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, that’s not how it works. But—”

Client: “But I can’t afford to pay for the road guard!”

Me: “I understand, ma’am. That’s a very unpleasant situation for you, of course. But this is the only thing I can do.”

Client: “Yes, but I can’t afford to pay for the road guard!”

(The conversation starts repeating itself, going in circles several times. Every time when the lady says “Yes, but…” I know we’re back at the sentence that she cannot afford to pay for the road guard. Finally, she snaps and starts getting personal.)

Client: “Sir, I’m getting really sick of this! We… Oh, God! We have been talking for over seventeen minutes. And yet you haven’t done anything to help us!”

(After quite some pointless bickering, I offer to ask for one last option. My superior came with a way to check their membership for any policies at all.)

Superior: “Oh, God, just as I expected. They’ve only got an insurance for the Netherlands. No wonder you can’t help them!”

(I went back on the phone, but I didn’t get any response. My superior told me to hang up. Looking back at the incident, I’m especially wondering why the client blamed me for the long phone call with me “doing nothing,” despite me offering her an alternative after several minutes, while she was the one dragging on and on about the same stuff.)

No Way To Accent Their Bad Behavior

, , , , , | Right | August 28, 2018

(I am working at the help desk. I sit next to a gentleman who speaks three languages fluently. He has a slight accent, but no one in the office has ever had any problem understanding him. I take a call from a customer who, after hearing my rather generic, north-east accent says:)

Customer: “Oh, thank God! Finally, someone from the US! Maybe you can help me.”

(Quickly, I check the account history and find out that they were on a call with my coworker just a few minutes earlier. I review the information we have.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s nothing else we can do. And for the record? You spoke with [Coworker], who sits right next to me here in Pennsylvania.”

(There was some sputtering involved, and the call was “disconnected” on her end.  Never assume that just because someone has an accent that they are overseas somewhere, or that someone without an accent can help you better. My coworker was ten times more knowledgeable about the issue than the caller was!)

Refund Me For Your TIME

, , , , | Right | August 27, 2018

(I work for one of the biggest energy providers in Germany; the company that employs us to work for them has people based in Germany, and two offices in Bulgaria. Because people tend to react funny when customer service agents are based abroad, we are forbidden from telling people where we are, and instead must name two German cities, according to the customer’s location. This customer has received contract information by mistake, and I’m calling him to ensure him he doesn’t have a contract or anything to pay. We aren’t allowed to hang up unless the customers get offensive.)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name] of [Energy Provider]. Can I speak to Mr. [Customer], please?”

Customer’s Wife: “Sure thing; just hold a bit. [Customer], get over here! It’s for you!”

(Greetings follow.)

Me: “So, Mr. [Customer], apparently you got some contract info which you returned to us with a note that it can’t be right.”

Customer: “That’s right. I don’t live on that address anymore, so it isn’t right.”

Me: “Okay. I’m just calling to tell you it’s been a system error that sent some people contracts for their old addresses, even though the customers have moved out more than two years ago, in most cases. I apologize for that. I want to assure you, though, that there is no new contract for you on that old address, and you don’t have to pay or cancel anything.”

Customer: “This is good to hear, because I wouldn’t have to do it, anyway. If anything, your company owes me money!”

Me: *confused* “Can you tell me more about that?”

(I am seriously thinking he has an incorrect invoice and we might actually have to refund him.)

Customer: “The old house, you know. I sold it to this company, and they use a lot of electricity for their computers and all, and I convinced them to sign up with [Provider]. They’re paying you a lot. So I deserve a bonus!”

Me: “Well, I’m not really authorized…”

(I can give a small bonus if a customer is upset for some reason, or a “loyalty” bonus for long-time customers.)

Customer: “You have to talk to your boss, then. You do have a boss, don’t you?”

Me: *stifling a laugh* “Of course I do.”

Customer: “Good. Then talk to them and tell them I want a thousand euro!”

(I wish I could say this is all of it, but no… He proceeds to tell me about the company that bought his old house, about the transformer built in the town, about the cables in his street AND in his old street, what his son has told him about it, all about his son’s job and where he studied and where he lives… All in all, it takes about fifteen minutes.)

Me: *managing to squeeze a word in* “Okay, Mr. [Customer], now that it’s all clear, I’d like to wish you a nice day. Call us again if you have any questions.”

Customer: “Right, right, will do. Just don’t forget about my bonus. Say, you’re talking funny; where are you from originally?”

(Another five minutes of talking follow…)

Me: “Okay, now I really have to hang up, Mr. [Customer].”

Customer: “Yes, absolutely, we’re hanging up… Where did you say you’re working from?”

Me: “[City not too far from his town].”

Customer: “Oh, right! Tell me, how is the weather there?”

(I look through the window. It is June on the Black Sea coast, so, of course, it is hot enough to fry an egg on the window sill.)

Me: “Well… It’s overcast and a bit rainy.”

Customer: “Oh, just like here. Okay. Thanks a lot!” *hangs up*

(My project manager was nearby and had laughed for the last ten minutes. He didn’t get his bonus, poor chap, although he deserved one for making us laugh. I guess I could say he was bored and wanted to talk to someone, but his wife was also there.)

Just Type In That I Drive A Scooter!

, , , , , | Legal | August 23, 2018

(I’m working in customer retention for a major automobile insurance company. This caller has threatened to cancel her policy because she doesn’t like the price, so she is transferred to me.)

Customer: “I need you to reduce my premium. I was transferred to you because the person I just talked to wouldn’t do it and he said you could. You can start by changing my address from [Inner City Area] to [Residential Suburb] where my sister lives, because she pays less for insurance there.”

Me: “Have you relocated to that address?”

Customer: “Of course not! I don’t want you to change where I live, just the address for my car!”

Me: “Your insurance cost is based in part on where your car is kept for greater than 50% of the time, so the address won’t be updated.”

Customer: “I also need you to change the description of my car from a 2-door to a 4-door, and the year to [a few years’ older].”

Me: “Have you changed vehicles?”

Customer: “No, but I know it costs less to insure an older car; just change it!”

Me: “The insured vehicle will also not be changed on this policy.”

Customer: “Why does everyone keep arguing with me and asking so many questions?! I already explained to that other guy that I know what I’m doing. Just make the changes; he said you could help me!”

Me: “Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number indicates the year, make, and model and can’t be overridden. Our rates and rating factors are filed with the state department of insurance and have been reviewed and approved. All of the information used to rate your policy, including your address, the location of your car, and the vehicle insured need to be accurate to be in compliance. I am not going to falsify information; by asking me to do so you are requesting that I be a party to insurance fraud. If I were to participate, I’d risk losing my insurance license and my job, and face the possibility of a hefty fine against myself and my company. Now, I see your were provided a review which did result in an additional discount added, which will save you [amount], and I can take another look to see if anything was overlooked.

Customer: “It wasn’t enough, and nothing’s really changed. I just want to save more money. Just do your job and make those changes for me; it’s not like I’m asking you to do anything illegal!”

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