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 installments?” *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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Your Lines Have Been Crossed

, , , | Working | March 28, 2018

(While cutting back a vine outside my house, I discover that the engineer who installed the phone line attached it to a branch. It happens to be the same colour as the vine, so now I’ve cut it by mistake. I contact the phone company, who say they’ll send a repair worker on a particular day between eight and one. One o’clock on that day comes and they’re still not there, so I phone them again.)

Representative: “According to our system, they’ve flagged it as done.”

Me: “Well, it isn’t, because no one’s been here all day.”

Representative: “They say it’s been done.”

Me: “I’m looking at it right now, and it’s still broken.”

Representative: “Are you sure about that?”

Me: “It’s trailing wires.”

Representative: “Clearly, the problem was somewhere else in the system.”

Me: “No. The problem is right outside my house.”

Representative: “They say they tested it.”

Me: “My landline is still not working. They haven’t tested it, because they haven’t been here.”

Representative: “There must have been confusion somewhere.”

Me: “I told you the line has broken outside my house. I gave you an address. How can you confuse that?”

Representative: “What do you want us to do?”

Me: “Contact the people who were supposed to come here and find out what is going on.”

Representative: “Ooh, they’re a bit difficult to get hold of.”

Me: “What kind of system is it if they can remotely mark jobs as done, but you can’t just phone them up?”

Representative: “They’ll be with you at some point. You must understand, we’re a bit busy.”

Me: “Do you think I’ve not got things to do today? I’ve kept up my end of the bargain and stayed in all day. What am I supposed to do? Stay in the rest of the day? Tomorrow? I want you to find out!”

Representative: “There’s procedures we need to go through if there’s extra work that needs doing.”

Me: “No. This isn’t a case of ‘extra work.’ This is a case of work that needs doing because they haven’t done it!”

Representative: “All right. I’ll phone them, but I need the line clear.”

Me: “Just phone me as soon as you know something.”

(It turned out they’d been sent to the wrong address. Exactly what they fixed there, I don’t know.)

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It’s Time For A Change

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2018

(I am the customer in this story, calling the phone company to get my “new” phone number changed.)

Me: “I moved not too long ago and had this number assigned to me, but I need to change it. Whoever had this number before me must have been very popular, because I am getting multiple calls per day for them.”

Representative: “Okay. We can do that for you, but there will be a $50 fee to have your number changed.”

Me: “Um, okay, I’m not requesting this just for the fun of it, or because I don’t like my number or what the numbers add up to, or something crazy like that. Like I said, I am getting multiple calls every day for this person, and I need it changed, please.”

Representative: “I understand, but there is a charge associated with changing the number, and it is $50.”

Me: “Again, I am not doing this just for s***s and giggles. Why should I have to pay $50 because you guys stuck me with a phone number that obviously has not been out of circulation long enough for all these people to know they no longer have a valid number? Having to answer someone else’s phone calls multiple times a day is not fun, especially when the person who had this number spoke a different language. I don’t even know if the people who are calling understand what I am saying because most of them don’t understand English!”

Phone Representative: “I am sorry, but the only way we can waive the charges is if the calls were threatening or harassing.”

Me: “Trust me: the calls will get threatening and harassing if you don’t waive your stupid fee and change my number for free!

Phone Representative: “Umm… Okay… We will change your number, free of charge, for you.”

Me:Thank you!”

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Bad Customers Are Always In Season

, , , | Right | January 14, 2018

(The most recent firmware update has been reported to wreck a lot of mobile phones by causing a lot of issues. My phone is one of these, and has become unusable. I ring up the phone company on my landline to see if there is anything they can offer me or recommend I do.)

Employee: “Oh, yes. I see. You are correct. The recent firmware update is causing a lot of issues with mobile phones. We can offer you a few options.”

Me: “That’s great! What can you offer me?”

(The employee goes through a few offers, and since I am near the end of my plan, they waive the fee for me to get a new plan and phone. I am one of the lucky ones who is able to get this, as many people who had this issue either just started a new 24-month plan or were in the middle of their plan and couldn’t get much waived.)

Employee: “Okay, can I get a few more details from you before I do this for you?”

Me: “Sure!”

(While she is gathering some details from me, I hear her sniffing.)

Me: *knowing the season* “Hayfever playing up?”

Employee: “No. I’ve been dealing with issues like this all day. You’re the first person not to yell at me or yell abuse at me.”

Me: “Aww. Why would I yell at you? It’s not your fault. Those people who yelled at you are total jerks.”

(I felt sorry for this lady and gave her the best feedback I could give somebody, and I kept reminding her that no matter what people say to her, no issue they are having is her fault. Lady, if you’re reading this, I hope your day got better!)

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“Urgent” Need Of Retraining

, , | Working | January 10, 2018

(I don’t get a lot of calls or messages during the nine-to-five day, so I frequently forget to switch my cell phone to silent. When this happens, I am attending a lesson in school. Suddenly, my phone begins ringing in my backpack. The teacher looks at me, annoyed, so I quickly apologize and reject the call with the phone still in my backpack. While I’m getting it out to switch it to silent, it starts ringing again.)

Teacher: “Go on. Answer it and tell them you’re in class, so I can continue.”

Me: “Okay” *answering the phone* “I’m sorry, but I can’t talk right now. Can I call you ba—”

Caller: *interrupting me* “—am I talking to [My Name]? It’s rather urgent.”

Me: “Okay, wait, please hold a second.”

(My granddad is in the hospital at this time, so I immediately assume the worst. I quickly gather my things and leave the room, with the caller still on line, while repeatedly apologizing to the teacher who looks at me with even more anger.)

Me: *on the phone* “I’m very sorry. Now I can talk. What is it?”

Caller: “Good. I’m calling on behalf of [Cell Phone Provider]. We’re doing a survey about whether or not you’re satisfied with our service.”

Me: “Are you kidding me?! I was, until now, but now I’d very much like to cancel my contract with you. Oh, and please escalate me to your manager!”

Caller: “But… Why?”

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