There Can Be Only One… Person To Help Me

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2019

(I work in an insurance office as an office staff member, meaning I don’t sell policies, but I service them. My coworker has been with the office for many years and knows our customers well. A customer walks in and approaches my desk:)

Customer: “Hi, is [Coworker] in?”

Me: “Yes, but she’s at lunch right now. I would be happy to help you, though.”

Customer: “No, thanks. [Coworker] called me earlier, and I’ve been working with her for years! She sold me my original policy, you know!”

Me: “That’s great! We love our long-term customers! She’s probably going to be out for twenty minutes or so. Do you want me to leave her a message, or perhaps I could look up something for you?”

Customer: “Oh, no. I’ll just wait for her.”

Me: “Are you sure? I’d feel bad for keeping you.”

Customer: “It’s no problem.”

Me: “All righty. Can I get you water or coffee while you wait?”

Customer: “Oh, no, thanks. I’ll just play with my phone a bit.”

Me: “Can I get your name, then, so I can have your file ready for [Coworker] when she gets back?”

Customer: “Oh, no, she’ll know who I am.”

Me: “I’m sure she will, but if I can grab your file, she’ll be able to get right to you.”

(The customer waves me off and sits in the lobby, playing with his phone. Approximately every five minutes, he grumbles about having to wait, and ponders why we’re given such long lunch breaks when we’re supposed to be working. Each time, I politely inform him that [Coworker] will return, and ask him if he’s sure I can’t help him. After approximately twenty minutes, [Coworker] does, indeed, return.)

Coworker: “Hey, [Customer]! How are you?”

Customer: “It’s about time you got back! I have been sitting here this whole time!”

Coworker: “Well, you know, I had to run some errands! What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Well, you called me this morning, and I didn’t understand the message!”

Coworker: *confused* “I haven’t called you today. Are you sure it wasn’t [My Name]?”

Customer: “It couldn’t have been her.”

Coworker: *to me* “Did you call [Customer’s Full Name]?”

Me: “Yes, I did. I wanted to let him know his payment had gone through, as he requested yesterday.”

Customer: “That’s not right! I’ve never spoken to you in my life! I only speak to [Coworker]!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I spoke to [Customer’s Full Name] yesterday, who requested I keep an eye on his automatic payment, as he had just updated his credit card info online, and I called to confirm it was posted to a card ending in [digits]. Was that not you?”

Customer: “That was me, but I never talked to you! I talked to [Coworker]! I never talk to anyone else, ever!”

Coworker: *reviewing our interaction notes* “I’m sorry, [Customer], but I haven’t spoken to you since last year. You’ve worked with [My Name] five times over the past several months.”

Customer: “Well, this isn’t right. I shouldn’t be tricked like this! I expect to talk to [Coworker] every time!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but sometimes I’m not available. [My Name] is just as licensed and knows what I do.”

Customer: “What am I paying for if I don’t get to talk to [Coworker]? This is ridiculous!”

Coworker: “You are paying for an insurance product. We are the staff that advises and guides you. Everyone in this office is licensed by the state and bonded by the company to help you.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. You’ve been lying to me all year. I wait all day to talk to you, and you tell me I can’t even talk to you. SHE—” *pointing to me* “—can’t even help me!”

([Coworker] started to explain, again, that she is not always available, but [Customer] had had enough, and left with a slam of the door. He later called to cancel all of his policies, but never completed the process. Sadly, this was a pretty common occurrence in our small town.)

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His Reason To Be Angry Has Been Cancelled

, , , | Right | October 10, 2019

(I work in a call center for a government agency that helps people pay for their health insurance plans. It’s not uncommon for people to be confused about how to cancel insurance, to make mistakes, and to blame us when they make those mistakes, so I dread whenever someone calls and says they have an issue with a cancellation.)

Me: “Hello! Thank you for calling [Government Agency]! What can I do to assist you today?”

Caller: “I’m still being charged for insurance I cancelled four months ago! I’m getting really angry now and I want you to stop billing me!”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that, sir. We are not the insurance company, so we aren’t involved with sending you bills, but I’m happy to do whatever I can do to help you!”

(I ask for his information and find his account.)

Me: “Oh, well, I don’t see that you called to cancel your insurance plan and it’s still active. When did you call us to cancel?”

Caller: “D*** it, are you calling me a liar?! I cancelled my plan and I want you to stop f****** billing me!”

Me: “I understand you’re frustrated, sir, but I am trying to help you. Do you remember approximately when you called us to cancel? Or did you maybe call the insurance company?”

(At this point, I’m thinking he accidentally called the insurance company to cancel, because that’s a common mistake. When someone’s insurance is partially financed through our agency, they can only cancel by calling us directly.)

Caller: “I didn’t call anyone, d*** it! I did what anyone does to cancel a service! I wrote ‘cancel’ on the bill’s envelope and had it mailed back return-to-sender!”

(Well, that’s a new one. I try very patiently to explain that that is not a valid method of making a cancellation and that those automated billing statements from insurance companies aren’t sent from an address where people can receive mail. I also gently explain that even if the insurance company had gotten the letter, they couldn’t have done anything with it. To cancel, a person needs to either call us directly and validate their identity or to go online and cancel using their password-protected account. This goes on for twenty-five minutes.)

Me: “Again, I do understand that you feel frustrated with this situation, sir, but that was not an accepted method of cancelling. I can cancel your insurance moving forward, but you will still be responsible for the past month’s premiums.”

Caller: “How stupid can you be?! This is how I’ve always cancelled things in the past! I don’t owe anything! Did you even graduate high school?! Give me someone with a brain! I want a supervisor!”

(I seriously doubt most places would accept what he did as a valid cancellation, but I apologized once again for his frustration and connected him with a supervisor who told him the exact same thing. He called back four times that day, trying to find someone who could give him a different answer.)

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You Need To Ask Him To Ask You If It’s Okay To Ask Him To Ask You

, , , , | Working | September 26, 2019

(I receive a call from a surgery about an insurance claim where we have emailed the client for more medical information. On the original report, the surgery has mentioned other conditions which would support his claim, but they have not given all the dates we need.)

Caller: “Yes, I’m calling in relation to [case]. [Customer] has emailed us the email you sent him, and we are going to need his consent to send that information to you.”

(I pull up the case and see that we have emailed a few questions to the customer asking him to get the GP to answer, and then send it back to him so he can send it to us. This might seem like a long way around but Data Protection Laws mean we have to do this.)

Me: “I can see we asked Mr. [Customer] to get some further information. Please provide that to the customer, and then they can send it to us if they wish to continue with the claim.”

Caller: “No, due to Data Protection we can’t, not without his permission.”

Me: “You can’t provide the customer with his information?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “But by him asking you for that information, he has asked you to provide it to him. That is permission.”

Caller: “Well, we can’t. He has to give his permission.”

(This went on for quite a while with me hopelessly trying to point out by sending the email, the customer had, in fact, asked for this info to be sent. They could send it to him and this wouldn’t breach the Data Protection Act, since he can — you know — KNOW about himself. Eventually, I had to send an agreement to the customer to sign so they would release the information which has delayed the claim by almost two months. And I thought the admin at my surgery were incompetent!)

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Unfiltered Story #168388

, , , | Unfiltered | September 26, 2019

Me: Good morning, thank you for call my * what can I do for you today?

Customer: I need to be added back onto my parent’s policy

Me: Certainly, Are you still in school?

Customer: No

Me: Ok and how old are you?


Me: I’m sorry, but once you turn 25 you are not longer able to remain on you r parent’s policy.

Customer: That’s Bull *! I want to go back on my parent’s policy.

Me: I sorry but Australian Law says once you turn 25 you need to purchase you own private health cover.

Customer: Well fine then I wan to cancel the policy.

Me: Sir, only the policy holder can cancel a policy.

Customer (more frustrated): No, no, no you need to cancel my policy right now.

Me: I am afraid it’s not your policy to close

Unfiltered Story #163215

, , | Unfiltered | September 12, 2019

*Sitting at my desk loading up my emails to prepare for the work day. Saw an email from a client who needed to know what the price would be per 6 months to add her child. I had emailed her the price in the body of the email.*

Email to me: There might be a connection problem. Didn’t get your attachment, can you resend?

Email to her: *copied and pasted what I sent before and sends*

*phone rings* *answers*

Me: thank you for calling your insurance office, me speaking.

Them: hello! I didn’t get your attachment, what is the price again?

Me: I’m sorry. I didn’t send an attachment, I wrote down wha–

Them: oh okay okay. Okay so hold on wait wait wait… Okay so its this much every month?

(Agiain I specified every 6 months…)

Me: no.

Them: every 12 months?

Me: no…

Them: every 6 months?

Me: yes…

Them: oh okay!