When Trying To Be Helpful Isn’t Helping

, , , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I am a US citizen on a long-term assignment in Canada. After three years, we need a new car. We have a US-based credit card, which gives us significant credit towards the purchase of a particular manufacturer’s vehicles, so we decide to see if we can get the credit transferred from the States. I call the Canadian bank and get a very helpful woman. We start the process and reach a point where I have to get more information for her. We disconnect, and I get the info from the US and call her back. Since she has a fairly unique name, I’m transferred through promptly, and we continue. We reach a last impasse, and I need to call the US again. This time, when I call the Canadian bank back, it does not go as smoothly.)

New Guy: “Hello, my name is [New Guy]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, please connect me with [First Person].”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

Me: “I need to be connected to [First Person]. Please put me through.”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

(This continues for a few more cycles until I’m ready to tear my hair out. I decide to go ahead.)

Me: “Okay, here’s the information you need to issue my credit card with the purchase credits on it.”

New Guy: *nonplussed* “Wait. What?”

Me: “Sure, it’s in the records. I needed to get [Bank] the following information to get my card issued. This is my third call, and it’s all you need.”

New Guy: “Wait, I have to look at that. Hold on…”

Me: “I’ve already spent the better part of an hour setting this up, and I don’t want to go through it all again. Why didn’t you connect me when I asked you first?”

New Guy: “Because I could help you.”

Me: “Here’s a tip. If a customer asks for a specific person, they almost certainly have a good reason. Put me through now.”

(A couple of clicks later, I was talking to [First Person], and the card was on its way within minutes.)

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