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This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 4

, , , | Right | May 12, 2022

I work in customer service for a newspaper subscription. People call in asking to have their address changed fairly often and also sometimes to cancel their subscription. A customer called in two days ago and had me cancel their previous cancellation of the subscription, which I did.

Today, they call in again.

Customer: “Why is my newspaper arriving at the wrong address?!”

I start frantically searching our system to see who messed up their address and find zilch.

Customer: “We cancelled our subscription about a week ago, and during the remaining time the newspaper was supposed to go to our daughter’s place, which is where the newspaper now is going, but we called in about resuming the subscription.”

Me: *Internally screaming* “I don’t see it mentioned that you wanted the newspaper back to your original address. I can certainly make sure it arrives there from here on.”

Customer: “Hmph. About time!”

Related:
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 3
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 2
This Job May Require Telepathy

I’ve Got Some News For You

, , , | Working | May 4, 2022

We subscribe to a major US newspaper online, and at the end of 2019, my daughter wanted to get their specialty subscription for cooks, an additional $40 annual fee. So she signed up, didn’t really get anything out of it, and we forgot about it. Then, a couple of months ago when we saw a renewal charge on our card.

Employee #1: “Thank you for calling [Newspaper]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I was just looking at my credit card activity and I see that my daughter’s subscription to your cooking supplement was auto-renewed a few days ago. She doesn’t read it, so I’d really like to cancel that, please.”

Employee #1: “Oh, we’re sorry to hear that. I see the subscription, and yes, it was renewed just a few days ago, but it’s non-refundable. Would you still like me to cancel it? You will lose access to all of our great features, and like I said, you will not receive a refund.”

Me: “Okay. I understand that she was probably told a year ago that it would auto-renew, but there’s nothing you can do? It was just a few days ago, and she doesn’t use it. I definitely want it canceled.”

Employee #1: “No, I’m sorry, but this charge absolutely cannot be refunded. But I’ve canceled your subscription. Thank you for calling [Newspaper]!”

I stewed on this for a few minutes and then called back.

Employee #2: “Thank you for calling [Newspaper]. How can I help you?”

Me: “I’d like to cancel my [$200 a year] subscription, please.”

Employee #2: “Okay. I can help you with that. May I ask why you want to cancel, please?”

Me: “Sure. I just tried to cancel a subscription to your cooking supplement that auto-renewed a few days ago and was told I couldn’t. That’s honestly kind of soured me on your organization.”

Employee #2: “Just to make sure I understand, you’re canceling your [$200] subscription because [Newspaper] wouldn’t refund you $40?”

Me: “Yes, actually I am. I honestly don’t care that much about [Newspaper]. I won’t miss it.”

Employee #2: “How about if I just refunded you the $40? Would you stay, then?”

Me: “Well, sure, but I’ve been assured multiple times that that is not possible.”

Employee #2: “Done. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Me: “Nope. Thank you.”

On one hand, I feel like a jerk. My daughter undoubtedly was told it would auto-renew and be non-refundable. But on the other hand, it’s very shortsighted of them to be rigid on a one-time $40 with a customer who pays them $18 a month for a related product.

You’re Gonna Need A Lot Of White-Out

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2022

Client: “I saw the press release you published. I don’t like the picture; please change it.”

Me: “You’re holding today’s newspaper with the article in your hands, right?”

Client: “What’s your point?”

If You Can Read The Paper, You Can Read The Calendar

, , , | Right | January 18, 2022

When I was working in the escalation line for a newspaper, I had a customer call to berate us for the price of her newspaper doubling. It doubled because she had twelve weeks at 50% off and then her price returned to its normal level. She chewed one rep’s ear off for that, and then she asked for a supervisor and got me.

I loved being the escalation person because you could say no and it would stick. And most customers would either be understanding or not understanding but really funny to me. But this lady went on and on about how it was deceptive business practice, and how yadda, yadda, yadda. She managed to get under my very thick skin.

Customer: “How was I supposed to know when twelve weeks were up?”

I could not stop myself in time.

Me: “Well, ma’am, there are calendars.”

I found out years later that I was supposed to be fired for that, but my manager refused to do so because he was proud of me and a little jealous.

One Day, We’ll All Take A Nice Long Vacation

, , , | Working | March 5, 2021

After my grandmother had a life-changing stroke, I tried to help cancel subscriptions and handle her day-to-day mail, call friends, and things like that.

One thing I did first was call the local paper to cancel her long-standing newspaper subscription. We knew she wasn’t ever going to be coming home, so why let it pile up?

The person I talked to at the paper literally would not allow that. They tried to convince me she’d be unhappy without her paper. “Are you sure? She’s subscribed for decades, are you sure?”

Eventually, they “allowed” me to put her on a vacation hold! I was rolling my eyes the entire time, but by all means, put her on a vacation hold.

That was in November of 2001. She passed away in January of 2005, but her newspaper is still on a vacation hold!