Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
  Leaving Purgatory - a last rant about bad customers


Here's a dusty old post that I found laying arount in the corner of drafts file about a bad customer. I thought it should come to light before I turn out the lights for good.

Today was one of those days that working in customer service makes you hate humans in most of their forms on this planet. I spent the day being abused by people as I tried to collect money to pay for their mistakes.

Its amazing that people can be so ingratiating at the start of a transaction, but then when things go wrong, how few people are able to really keep their cool. They become petty, mean, abusive and downright nasty.

A customer had a transaction that went way wrong. When I called him to explain why he had lost so much money he explained to me that he cancelled that transaction and should not have to pay for it. When I asked him for a confirmation number, a time, a name of a person he spoke to, he had none of that. I reminded him that our calls are recorded and ever entry is time stamped as notes are put in the computer and there was nothing to back up his claim.

He would have to pay.

If he refused willing payment, his escrow would be emptied and he would be banned from any further transactions with us. He explained that he did so much business with our company that would never happen. He was going to call the vice president of operations and I would be sorry.

"Fine. I don't care who you call. I called the vice president and HIS boss before calling you. No one in this company is going to change this."
"We'll see!" was followed by a loud click and the asshole was gone.

I felt very tired, very sad, and very ready to hit the door. It's not grumpiness that really gets me mad, I can handle that. It is the continual dealing with these, "people" that think customer service means I am in a lower caste than them. That it means I want to be abused by them, and the money they possess entitles them to act any way they want.

If you are grumpy and having a bad day, I can understand that. If you explain to me in direct tones why you think this is unfair and speak to me as an equal, I may even go out of my way to help you. But when you speak down to me and explain how the rules never have to apply to you and that you are probably the single most important and valuable customer that ever pried a dollar out of that titanium tight wallet of yours, well, I think less than charitable thoughts about you.

But the thing that gets me every time is that these same people think there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I imagine some fat-cat, robber-baron type in a charcoal pin-stripe suit with a Trump-wanna-be haircut appearing in vapor before me to explain why its ok...

"Because it's simply the way business is done. Its simply the bottom line, don't you understand that son? Maybe if you took business as seriously as I do you would not be a call center employee, and instead be a captain of industry like me, feared by men and adored by women, even if I do have a sloppy combover."
He grins slyly and disappears into nothingness...

Yeah...

Being a good man or woman of business does not negate being a good person. If you are a liar and cheat who refuses to keep their promises, you still suck ass as a human being no matter how much money you have.

Thanks for reading,

AC

Extra sweet ending-four months after writing this post, after the company actually stood up to this schmuck and refused to do any more business with him, his assistant called me and sheepishly paid all the penalties and we reinstated their account after they agreed to abide by our practices. It was a good day.


Anonymous Cog

 
Comments:
customer service is brutal.
 
AC,
I am so glad that you are going to be somewhere you are appreciated! I started yet another Call Center job in April. Got my first promotion after 5 weeks and my second 4 weeks after that. I am now the manager! I work endlessly and eat over my desk... but in a strange way I am happy. I hope you are too.

Brightest Blessings to you and Mrs.Cog as you enter this new time in your life!
~j
 
Thanks ~j! Same to you!
AC
 
Nice blog!
 
Very nice posting. Callcenterinbangladesh.com appreciate your idea.
 
Customer service is tough. Customers used to get angry when I left them on hold too long.
 
I like when they don't like something you say and then ask for your badge number in an authorative tone. Like WTF! I don't have a badge number and further more I can't reveal any personal information so have a great day! Ha!
 
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.
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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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