When Thinking Outside The Box Is Not Thinking At All

, , , , | Right | October 6, 2017

(I’m a supervisor in customer care at a call center for a major cellular provider. When we do warranty replacements, we send a phone out and require the defective one to be returned. If, however, it returns physically damaged outside of the warranty, we bill a damaged device fee. The following is one of those escalations.)

Me: *taking over escalated call from agent* “Hi, ma’am. I’m a wireless care supervisor; how may I help you?”

Customer: “I want my money back! You HAVE to give me my money back!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but I’m looking at the pictures of the device you sent in, and the phone’s screen isn’t just cracked, it’s completely shattered. Our warranty doesn’t cover this, and I’m afraid we have to charge you.”

Customer: “No, you HAVE to get rid of this charge. There was NOTHING wrong with that phone when I sent it in.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, ma’am. When we received it, it was pretty beaten up. Did you pack it well when you mailed it?”

Customer: “I packed it exactly like the other rep told me to! It was fine when it left here!”

Me: “Perhaps you could take it up with the postal carrier?”

Customer: “I thought it was weird, the way the rep told me to pack it, but I did it exactly like they said!”

Me: *curious where this is going to lead* “Okay, ma’am. What did they tell you to do?”

Customer: “He said to tape it to the box. I’ve never done that before, but that’s what he said to do, and I did. If it’s broken, it’s your fault!”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, taping the phone inside the box is a good idea, as it does prevent the phone from jostling around and possibly breaking.”

Customer: *quiet for a moment* “What do you mean ‘inside the box’?”

Me: *thinking I see where this is going, checking the pics of the broken phone, and the box it came in, again* “Ma’am… did you tape your phone to the OUTSIDE of the shipping box?”

Customer: “I just did what the representative told me to do! That’s the way you guys package your return phones, and I did everything I was supposed to do!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “You have to get rid of this charge! You just have to!”

Me: “Ma’am, you taped the phone to the outside of an empty box, shipped it to us, and you don’t know why the phone is broken?” *barely able to contain laughter at this point* “I’m sorry, but there’s just no way we can refund this.”

(The customer launched into tirade of profanity, yelled for my manager, and ended up getting disconnected for being abusive. And I don’t think she ever realized that she shouldn’t have taped it to the box.)

1 Thumbs