Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I love the new Capital One Credit card commercials with David Spade. It's a secret cruel dream of many customer service professionals like myself to be able to say "no" to people all day.

It's not that I don't want to help people, I do. But, there are always those customers who think they are just being assertive, when they are actually being assholes. In fact, I know someone who does customer service internationally, for Asia, Europe and the United States. That person states that people from the United States lose their cool and get more demanding than any other nationality.

Of course a lot of that has to do with how customer service has evolved here in the United States, or maybe I should say devolved. Customers are becoming more and more agressive because they know that companies will jump through hoops for them. I'm sure that is a result of a free-market economy. Especially when all you have to sell is service or information.

That being said, let me tell you about a delicious exception in my little world. One of our corporate customers sells our services as part of an overall package. We provide their customer with our services as part of their purchase. It's all above board, there is a document they get that plainly tells what we will and will not do as part of this purchase of services. Certain financial services are covered, and some aren't, but they are available for a cost through us if they want them.

But, people being people, no one ever reads that part of the agreement. Especially not the people who sell the services to the consumer. I think they just close one eye to the limitations of the program in order to make sales, but hey, that's just me.

The long and the short of it is that I have people calling me about this program just losing their mind when they can't get all the services they wanted. I mean they go into hysterics and get really rude and ask me "What sort of service are you offering? I thought I already paid for this! How dare you ask me to pay for this!".

It would make me feel bad if there was not a large print page in their packet explaining what our services provide. But more than that, my company will not get paid if I provide these services when they are not on the list. So I get to tell these people "No..."

And it feels really good....

The ability to say "no" to a customer is fabulous.

It's just really hard to resist the temptation to be utterly snarky at times.
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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