FlodderMouse's Daily Troubles (and Other) floddermouse wrote in customers_suck
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Just let me finish a sentence!
I’ve been a lurker of this community for years and years, and finally decided to add my own story(ies). I work for a mobile phone company. Our company is not loved – we’re the more expensive one (but also best service one) in my country. I work for the Billing department (oh joy!). So lots of sucky customer-stories…

This one story is one that happened almost two years ago, when I only just started working for the company. A little background information on this: when someone doesn’t agree with the invoice there’s 3 possibilities:

- The invoice is correct. There’s no anomaly, nothing wrong with it. Nothing we can do.

- We actually made some mistake. We can correct this. You actually get you money back for/don’t have to pay the wrong bit

- We didn’t make a mistake. But out of the goodness of our hearts –ahum- or you know, be commercial, we’ll give you a credit. A credit is non-refundable. But it is deducted on your next invoice. This credit is usually booked under national costs. You could actually (in the system) register it under a different heading, i.e. say that you have made phone calls abroad, we could book the credit under ‘roaming phone calls out’, meaning that the amount of credit will only be used next time the customer will be abroad and makes a phonecall. It could take years before the person goes abroad again and actually uses the credit. Because of this, we book it under national costs.

So I have this customer calling in, because she was promised a credit a while ago, but she still hasn’t received anything and can’t find it on her invoice. In the case with this client, the example given in the last option happened. The girl had a high cost because she had been making phone calls abroad. Now I myself wouldn’t have done anything, but another operator had been commercial towards her and given her a credit. Only he had booked it under ‘roaming phonecalles’, and seeing as she wasn’t planning on going abroad in the near future, she had effectively no use of this credit.

Now, I can’t delete the credit given by a different operator. To solve this, I wanted to just give her the credit again, this time booked right. Which means, she actually was lucky, because should she go abroad again, she also had the other credit still to use. Due to the mistake of the former operator, she actually got an extra credit out of this. This is an exception, because in my opinion she never had a right to the credit in the first place, but hey, let’s fix the mistakes made by my colleague.

This I decided while the client was on hold, so I took her off hold to explain her my solution. Cue the following conversation between me and IG (interrupting girl):

Me: “Thank you for your patience. I have checked, and I can see what happened. Now, actually, you did receive a credit, but –“

IG: “No I didn’t. It’s not on my invoice. Tell me then, where can I find this on my invoice?”

Me: “Well, you won’t be able to find it on your invoice because –“

IG: “AND WHY NOT? You tell me I received it, didn’t I?”

Me: “Yes, you did receive it. But my colleague registered this as a credit that would be used should you go abroad and use your –“

IG: “Well, that is not on my invoice! And besides, I am not planning on going abroad again soon, so what is that kind of crap you’re talking about. Can’t you people get anything right?”

Me: (regretting my decision already, but still trying to explain and actually wanting a chance of telling her how I will fix this for her) “Miss, I am trying to explain this to you. Yes, it has been registered as a credit towards future roaming calls, which we don’t normally do –“

IG: “that is crap. Really, you can’t do anything right.”

Me: (fed up with being interrupted, babbling on as if she didn’t interrupt me) “ – because the chance of you using this credit is indeed small. And it is because you didn’t actually go abroad, that you don’t see this on your invoice, but I will –“

IG: “IDIOTS! How are you going to solve this?”

Me: “Well, exceptionally I will –“

IG: “Exceptionally? What the hell exceptionally? I have a right to this credit, so give it to me!”

Me: “Miss, you did get the credit, like I said. But what I will do –“

IG: “Then give it to me!”

Me: “Miss you have to let me speak! I have tried the whole time to explain to you what I will –“

IG: “What the hell with your attitude? You’re not polite! I wish to speak to a supervisor, or to your boss. I am sick of this!”

Me: “ I am sorry. There is no supervisor or boss nor anyone above me who could solve this. I have authority in this. But if you let me explain what I will –“

IG: “NO NO NO NO. God I am sick of this. Daddy? Could you please take over?”

Dad of IG: “Well, what is going on? Why won’t you let my daughter speak?”

I honestly was speechless for a few seconds after this statement. However, I explained to the dad that it was his daughter who would not let me speak, and that I do have a ready solution. Which I was allowed to explain to him without being interrupted (although the daughter kept on screaming and cussing in the background. Dad was happy, he explained it further to his daughter and while I was hanging up the phone I could just hear her say “Well, was to so hard to do?”

Grr. No it was not hard. You made it hard. A simple solution, had you just let me finish a sentence…..

Sorry. Got long.

Edited for readability and spelling


2013-01-18 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

i think i lucked out in the call center realm in that i dont get a whole ton of suck on my team but most of the suck we DO get stems from exactly this scenario... we have a solution just PLEASE LET US TALK!


2013-01-18 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh man... and this is why I would never, ever be able to work with customers. I'd just lose my patience instantly. Kudos to you for keeping it together! :-P


2013-01-18 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

LOL. The "Daddy, could you take over" tells me everything I need to know about Miss Interrupting Girl. Things are going to be very difficult for her when she doesn't have Daddy to deal with the "hard stuff" anymore.


2013-01-18 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

So much this! :-)


2013-01-18 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

I am just curious, does "commercial" mean something else in Belgium or is that a mistranslation? I have never heard it used to mean "charitable" or kind or similar. But I am obviously not up on international slang/idioms. :)


2013-01-18 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

English is my first language, and I have never heard that word used like that either!


2013-01-18 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, English is my first language too, but I thought it might still be an idiom -- maybe in Belgian dialects commercial means something else.... sort of like "mon petit chou" means "my little cabbage" but it's a term of affection equivalent to dear/sweetie.


2013-01-18 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

mmm not sure actually... I meant it in a way of "let's be commercial", meaning, "we'll give you a credit so that you stay a happy customer and do not leave us for the competition" . That's what it means in Flemish in this context, not sure what other word can be used for it

(and I am aware my use of English isn't perfect. I have a Belgian mum and a British-English Dad, but having always lived in Belgium, my English (especially spoken) isn't the same as my Dutch)


2013-01-18 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

I sort of figured that was what you meant, and I don't mean to pick on your English, it's very good. That word just stuck out to me as a little odd, although I got the meaning.

In the US it might be called a customer courtesy, or something along those lines...


2013-01-18 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm in the UK, and work for an insurance company, and we sometimes make commercial decisions - for example, we might allow something for a large fleet customer that we technically shouldn't cover because they're bringing in a load of money so we want to keep them happy.

We don't usually do it for private customers (or rather, we call it something else like an ex gratia payment).


2013-01-18 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Your English is great, no worries. Idiom is the toughest to master, and I think idioms in English is the worst.


2013-01-18 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wow, that pisses me off. You were polite, and willing to accommodate her, and she acts like that.


2013-01-18 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

As a former call center employee, ohhhh 7 years ago now, people that interrupt are still my biggest damn peeve.


2013-01-18 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh my god.

It's too bad you put the second credit through before speaking to her. >_>


2013-01-19 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

i would have almost wished i didn't put it through first without telling her just to say "well, i would have given you a credit, but now i can't, because you're being so rude and interrupting me" but that's a dream for another day i guess :P


2013-01-19 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)

What a stupid woman. I work call support in my office and we get similar types of calls. We are a government office and are limited as to what we can do for callers (state/federal laws). Most people understand that since our agency is the only place that they can get the service they need, it's best to listen and be polite.


2013-01-20 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Yet another reason why I left the (relatively) high paying of job sitting on my fat butt, listening to customers gripe, for the low paying job of scooping out cat poop.


2013-01-21 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Daddy needs to introduce darling daughters seat of knowledge to the board of education...until she learns basic manners.

Edited at 2013-01-21 05:08 pm (UTC)


2013-01-21 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'd just sit there silently waiting for her and when she was done and asked if I had anything to say to her, confirm that she was, in fact, done talking.

But I'm not a people person.