Loves To Follow Orders – If They Have One

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I do data entry for a company that supplies drug stores with their merchandise. The way our system works is that the customer will phone our office, get our answering machine, and leave a recorded message with their order. I will then play the message later and enter the order on my computer. I can count on the following happening at least once a week:)

Person On Recording: “Hi, [Company]. Here’s my order…” *gives order*

Me: “Oh, great. They didn’t give their name or their store, and the computer won’t let me start entering their order unless we know who it’s for.”

Person On Recording: *continues*

Me: “I hope this is a short order…”

Person On Recording: *keeps talking*

Me: “Maybe I can recognize their voice? …Nope.”

Person On Recording: *keeps talking*

Me: “Please, please, have them say who they are at the end of the message! I’ll have to rewind and listen to the whole thing again, but at least I’ll be able to enter it.”

Person On Recording: “…and that’s it. Thanks!” *hangs up*

Me: “Aw, crap.”

(We don’t have call display in these days, so I have no hope of knowing who the order is for. Then, the next day, this usually happens.)

Caller: “WHERE’S MY ORDER?!”

Return To Sender

, , , , | Right | April 16, 2019

(I work for a bank’s call centre, and while it’s not what I primarily deal with, once in a while I handle mortgage problems. It is important to note that in Canada, if you have a mortgage you have to show proof of house insurance or else the bank will automatically add their insurance to your mortgage payment. Without house insurance, you could lose your mortgage with the bank. Their insurance is not cheap. It is also important to note that for privacy reasons, most insurance companies won’t send proof of insurance — which they usually send out yearly — directly to any mortgage holder. On this call, I am transferred an irate customer from a new hire who has no idea how to help him.)

Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling [Bank]; how may I assist you?”

Customer: “I just got a notification that you’re going to charge me for insurance. I already have insurance from [Outside Insurance Broker].”

Me: “All right, let me look into this for you. It seems like we need you to send in a new proof that your insurance is being continued on your house.”

Customer: “Why can’t you get it from my insurance broker? It’s a pain to have to send it in every year.”

Me: “Insurance companies won’t send proof of insurance directly to us without your permission, as they want to maintain your privacy. They should have sent the renewal to you so that you could forward it to us.”

Customer: “I don’t want to do this every year. I have insurance. Why can’t you ask them for the proof that my insurance has been renewed?”

Me: “I’m sorry if I didn’t explain this well. Even if we did ask your insurance company, they would not give us the information. I know that it is an extra step, but in order to not have to pay the bank’s insurance, you just have to send us the renewal information. Would you like me to provide you the information on where to send it?”

Customer: “No, I have it. I just don’t think I should have to send this. It should be up to you to get it. Having to do this every year is an inconvenience!”

Me: “It’s not us stopping us from getting the information. Have you tried asking your insurance company to provide us with the information directly?”

Customer: “I asked. They won’t do it.”

(I pause.)

Me: “So, you are aware that it is not us stopping the information from being sent directly to us?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “And you have the information on where to send the proof of insurance?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Sir, if you know that it is your insurance company who won’t send us the proof of insurance, and you have the information on how to get it to us, and you understand that all of this is completely out of our control, I have to ask: what were you hoping to accomplish with this call?”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to send this in!”

Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 5

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My husband retired from the military with twenty years of service in the military version of customer service for various functions last year. He currently is an operations manager for the contractor that provides housekeeping and food service for the local hospital. All told, he has over forty direct reports. He is shopping at a major general store type retailer before work one day. The store manager is the only one on duty and she refuses to check him out before she does anything else. My husband walks up to the counter and no one is there for several minutes.)

Husband: “Can I get some help here?”

Store Manager: “Just a minute!”

([Husband] patiently waits. Five minutes pass by and no one has come to the counter. He asks again, a little more forcefully.)

Store Manager: “Can’t you wait?!”

Husband: “No! I am going to be late for work!”

(The store manager then proceeds to come to the front of the store and goes into an office to count tills instead of servicing my husband.)

Husband: “This is poor customer service! What could be more important than servicing a paying customer?”

Store Manager: “What is wrong with you? Don’t you know how customer service works?!”

Husband: “Uh… yeah, I do! I spent twenty years in the military doing customer service for shipping and receiving, and I would never treat a customer the way you did to me!”

Store Manager: “But you didn’t supervise anyone!”

Husband: “I was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. I sure as heck supervised people! At one time I had over sixty people under me. I am now the manager of over forty people who provide services at [Local Hospital]! If any of my employees treated someone the way you have done to me, I would fire them as soon as possible!”

Store Manager: *checks my husband out* “Why don’t you call corporate, then?”

Husband: “I’m not dealing with your attitude! Don’t expect any more business from my wife and me. I am also telling [Local Veterans Group] not to shop here because you are so disrespectful.”

Related:
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 4
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 3
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 2

Getting Mixed Up With The Wrong Kind Of People

, , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My dad works late, and on his way home from work he decides to pull into a fast food drive-thru and order a meal. He orders a fish sandwich, a small coffee, fries, and an apple pie. After paying, he pulls up to the second window, the server gives him his food, and then he realizes that he hasn’t gotten his pie or his sandwich. He explains this to the employee, and they go to get him a new one. The manager, a tall, shaggy-looking man who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else, sticks his head out the window.)

Manager:Why have you not driven off yet?

Dad: “Well, they forgot my pie and my sandwich, and they were just going to go get them for me.”

Manager: “SO? You should drive off because you’re holding up the line!”

(My dad looks over his shoulder to see no line, no cars in the parking lot, no one in the restaurant, and no one on the road. He doesn’t want to start anything, so he just parks in the lot. Eventually, the server comes out with a bag and then goes back into the store. My dad finds out that they’ve given him the wrong sandwich, and it’s probably two dollars more, so he walks into the store to pay the rest of the cost. As soon as he walks in, he notices napkins everywhere, cups strewn on the floor, and only half the lights on, despite the fact that this is a 24-hour establishment and customers could come in at any time. He walks up to the counter and waits quietly until another server starts working with him. The manager comes back.)

Manager: “You again?! What do you want?

Dad: “I’ve got the wrong food, but I was just going to pay for it.”

Manager: “You can’t do that.”

Dad: “Well, what am I going to do?”

Manager: “Just give us back the food and leave!”

Server: “Sir, we aren’t allowed to take back messed up food; that’s company policy!”

(The manager is fuming and yelling at my dad and the server, until another man comes in, also holding a bag of food. He turns to them.)

Manager: “What do you need?”

Man: “I just went the drive-thru, and I got a fish sandwich; I ordered a [sandwich that my dad had gotten].”

Dad: “Hey! I got one, and I ordered a fish sandwich; how about we trade?”

Manager: “No! You’re not allowed to do that!”

Server: “Why not? They paid for them, and the food is theirs now. We can’t take it back.”

(Before the manager can respond, one of the few workers — many of them have stopped to watch — blurts out:)

Worker: “Hey, [Manager], aren’t those the meals that you put together that we told you that’d you mixed up?”

(The man and my dad started laughing and leaving. The workers began to laugh, too, as the manager stormed into the bathroom.)

Mrs. Grumpy-Cheese And The Attack Of The Muenster

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2019

(I’ve had a rough day and am making my last stop to grab lunch supplies for the week. I’ve already waited patiently — and politely, I might add — at the meat section of the deli counter so a different associate can fix a troublesome scale. Now I need to get some cheese and I am directed to speak to her coworker. The exchange goes as follows.)

Me: “Hi. Can I get a quarter-pound of Muenster? Please and thanks!”

Worker: *sighs and rolls her eyes* “Ugh, seriously? Can you get something else? That’s, like, the hardest cheese to cut.”

Me: *shocked* “Um, yeah? I’m sorry to hear that, but it’s my favorite cheese.”

Worker: *sighs again and turns to slice my order* “Wait, how much?”

Me: “A quarter-pound?”

Worker: *sighs AGAIN* “So, like, what? How do I slice that?”

Me: *mouth slightly hanging open* “Uh, I guess, like, ten or so slices thin cut? How would I know?”

Worker: *grunts at me and turns back around to handle my order*

(I wait awkwardly, still a little shocked at her attitude, until she finally turns around and weighs out my cheese. It comes out well over half a pound, which I mention to her.)

Worker: “Well, what do you want me to do about it? Just buy it; it’s not my problem.”

(She then wrapped up and stickered the cheese, roughly shoving the slices into a bag so they got slightly crushed and mangled, before walking off, presumably on a break. I was left standing there with my mouth agape and her coworker from earlier silently giving me a look of apology as she handled a line of customers. I feel so bad for you, Ms. Nice Deli Meat Lady, having to work with Ms. Grumpy-Cheese all day.)

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