Unfiltered Story #146062

, , | Unfiltered | April 7, 2019

I worked in customer support for a big telephone company, and got quite a lot of stupid calls. One thing that customers often complained about was the 19 SEK administrative fee for sending out their bills to them by mail. We were instructed to advice our customers that they could avoid that fee by paying their bills online through their internet bank, or to have the bank set it up so that the bills would be paid automatically every month. Some older people distrust these modern methods, as they are afraid of phishing. One man in particular had his own solution to this problem:

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s no way that we can remove these administrative charges.”

Old Man: “They have done it for me before!”

I read the notes on the man’s account and see that he’s called once a month for the past year trying to get us to remove the fee, and that we should not allow this anymore.

Me: “Well, that may be, but we are not allowed to do that. If my coworkers have made a mistake, that’s their fault, but I can’t remove this fee for you, it’s against our rules.”

Old Man: You know, considering that I spend so much time going through my bills, writing out the sum and mailing to the bank to get the bills paid, I think YOU owe ME 19 SEK in administrative fees! You can take that off of my bill!”

Me: …”Yeah, I’ll pass that suggestion on to my supervisor. In the mean time, you have to pay the administrative fees.”

Math Is Hard, Okay?

, , , , | Working | March 21, 2019

I had a mobile phone through a major carrier. My contract ended, and I was able to get a better deal through one of their competitors. Without realising it, a final direct debit was paid to the original carrier after my contract had finished.

I didn’t realise until a month or so later, and by that stage I figured it was more effort than it was worth to try to get the money back, and put it down to a life lesson learned. I could have contested the charge, but due to the time elapsed it would have been an effort for a relatively small amount.

Many months after that, I received a bill from the original carrier stating that I had an overdue account, and to please pay the $0 outstanding. Thinking this was a computer glitch, I ignored it.

A few weeks later, I received another bill, stating that my account was in arrears by -$30, and interest had been charged, meaning I now owed -$27.

I called the number provided and got the representative to read out exactly what the bill said.

Thankfully, he could see the ridiculous nature of the situation, credited my bank account for the full amount, and I’ve never used that company ever again. They’ve since ceased their mobile phone business in Australia. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Unfiltered Story #136318

, , , | Unfiltered | January 9, 2019

(In late 1996, Houston split its area code coverage — customers with service at addresses inside Beltway 8 retained the original 713, and customers outside it had their numbers changed to the new 281 area code. In late 1999, I got a cellphone, and was assigned 713-XXX-XXXX — a number which had formerly been held by an oilfield services company which had its headquarters outside Beltway 8 and therefore had been moved to the 281 area code three years previously. I regularly got calls intended for them, and initially I was patient, assuming it was a carryover from old publications and the like and would taper off as people started using new directories and so on. I even had my voicemail set to a message that would tell people to try again with the correct area code and only leave a message if it was in fact me they were trying to reach, not that this stopped me from getting a message or two a week from someone who couldn’t be bothered to listen.

As time went on and the area code change became increasingly distant, I lost patience, but of course I also had a greater number of people to whom I had given my number who would have to be informed if I changed it. So I kept on, although I no longer bothered to be polite to people using a number that was more than 5 years out of date (especially if they started out being irate at me for not returning messages left on my voicemail that clearly told them they were wrong). One of the greatest calls, though, was one I got after I’d had the number for five years myself, which means it was EIGHT years after the company’s number had changed….)

Me: “Hello?” (Remember, this is my personal cell, not a business phone.)

Caller: “Uh, hello, is [name I don’t recognize] available, please?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know anyone by that name.”

Caller: “Oh! Is this [oilfield services company]?”

Me: *facepalming* “Oh, them. Look, you want the same phone number, but the 281 area code instead of 713; they changed it when the new area code rolled out in 1996.”

Caller: “199— you mean, like eight years ago?”

Me: “Yep.”

Caller: “But [name] put this as his current work number, with [oilfield services company] as his current employer, on his application.”

Me: “Huh. Well, if whatever he’s applying for requires attention to detail, that might not be his strong suit. On the other hand, I guess he never calls in sick!”

Caller: *cracking up* “I guess not! Okay, so if I dial again with 281 instead of 713, I should get [oilfield services company]? Thanks for your help!”

(I’m sure she should have just signed off after I told her the correct area code and not disclosed what she did about the reason for the call, but it wouldn’t have been half as funny if she had!)

Not Taking Account Of Your Account Of Events

, , , , , | Working | June 14, 2018

(This occurs about a month after my father passes away. I have been working to get various accounts closed. The one I’m having issue with is his phone carrier. Since I am not authorized to access his account, I have no luck until a monthly payment comes due. Before now, the workers wouldn’t discuss anything with me, understandably, for legal reasons. However, unknown to me, his bank account — which my name was on and has since closed — is set up to autopay to his cell phone. Therefore, I am finally able to get them cooperate with me a bit.)

Worker: “Ma’am, the payment for Mr. [Father] is due and it is [amount].”

Me: “Ma’am, I need you to listen very carefully. [Father] is dead. He died three weeks ago. I’ve been trying to close his account with you guys. I am not paying for a dead man’s account. His name is [Father]. His number was [number]. I even have his SSN and am more than willing to fax you a copy of his death certificate I am currently holding.”

(Line is silent for a few minutes.)

Worker: “Okay. Just a moment, ma’am.”

(Many more minutes go by.)

Worker: “Do you have [other service] with us?”

Me: “Ma’am, I am trying to close my deceased father’s account. To the best of my knowledge ,all he had was your phone service. Please cancel his service.”

(More minutes go by. I can hear her typing something. At one point I hear her talking and laughing with what I assume is a coworker. I am beyond frustrated by this whole ordeal, but continue to silently wait and try to be polite.)

Worker: “Okay, ma’am, it looks like I can send it back to his bank account.”

Me: “Ma’am, his bank account is closed. That is why you weren’t paid.”

Worker: *another long pause* “Looks like I can only send it back to the bank; you’ll have to talk with them.”

Me: *sighs* “All right, thank you. Is his account closed, though?”

Worker: “Yes, ma’am.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(I’m not sure what she’s talking about, so I go back to the bank and wait to speak to a banker so that I can clear this entire mess. I begin to explain the situation to him when there’s a knock on the glass. A see a young woman smiling and happily waving at him.)

Banker: “Hey, [Young Woman]!” *gets up and goes to hug and speak with her*

(I just sit there, floored by this display, but southern politeness kicks in, so instead of yelling at them I glare as hard as possible.)

Banker: *finishes talking to her then turns to see my glare* “I… s-sorry. Sh-she used to work here. She’s going to college. Uh—” *clears his throat*

Me: “How nice.” *explains the situation finally*

Banker: *types on his computer and cross-checks the account number, my ID, and my father’s death certificate a few times* “Okay, looks like everything is cleared up.”

Me: “I shouldn’t have any more issues? No more auto-payments on there?”

Banker: “Nope!” *wide smile* “And please, take this with you, should you ever want to open your own account with us.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(I tossed the pamphlets in plain view into a nearby trash-can.)

Allow Me To Deposit Some Reality Right Here

, , , , | | Legal | May 21, 2018

(I work for a telephone company and one of the laws governing unpaid accounts is that after a certain length of time they become “statute barred” for approximately six years, which means that the statute of limitations has expired and we can no longer collect from the ex-customer or refuse service due to an unpaid account. There are some “customers” who know to the day how long they have to wait before once again getting service they have no intention of paying for. Often a family will cycle between companies and family members getting free service most of the time. Then the company changes their policy so that even if their account is “statute barred,” the “customer” is considered a poor risk and can get basic dial tone only — which we cannot not refuse — but absolutely no services like long distance or calling features, or they can open a “deposit” account where we get our money up front, and a full service package comes with a very hefty deposit. When I get someone who is just past the date, I sometimes slip into passive-aggressive mode.)

Customer: “Hi. I would like to set up service.”

Me: “Certainly. Have you had service with us before?”

Customer: “No, I haven’t.”

Me: “Very well. We need to set up an account for you.” *collects identification information* “Oh, it looks like we have an old account from just over six years ago for you.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I guess I forgot.”

Me: “No problem. Well, it looks like you left owing us money, so you have a choice between a restricted account or a deposit account.”

Customer: “What is a restricted account?”

(I explain how it is dial tone and local dialing ONLY.)

Customer: “But I want features: long distance, Internet, and TV.”

Me: “Then you would require a deposit account.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because you left your last service without paying your bill.”

Customer: “But I don’t owe you any money.”

Me: “No, you don’t.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “So when can I get service?”

Me: “After the deposit posts to your account.”

Customer: “But I don’t owe you any money.”

Me: “No, you don’t.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “How much is the deposit?”

(For the size of the service package and the equipment it is — no kidding — $1800. I advise the customer it is the charge for three months service in advance, plus the value of the equipment.)

Customer: “How about hooking me up, and I’ll pay the deposit in instalments?” *clearly no intent to pay*

Me: “I’m sorry, but the computer will not complete the processing of your order until the full amount of the deposit posts to the account.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: *becoming more and more agitated as they can’t find the loophole to get free service* “BUT I DON’T OWE YOU ANY MONEY!”

Me: “No, you don’t.”


Me: “Since you did not pay your balance when you last had service, you are now considered a high risk for non-payment and the company wants their money up front.”

Customer: “F*** YOU!” *click*

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