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View Full Version : "I know YOUR job better than you do!"


CrazedClerk
03-30-2007, 12:46 AM
So I'm working at a call center now, it's interesting to say the least. The level of suckiness is actually not quite as bad as I thought it would be, but there are still a few gems like this lady.

She calls in wanting to know why her phone has been shut off (for the record it was because she was over her spending limit) but the account was in her husband's name and there was a big top priority note on it that said ONLY he was to be given any information regarding the account.

The exchange went something like this.

Me: I'm sorry ma'am but unfortunately only your husband is allowed to access this account, I can't give you any information.
W: I'm not asking you to change anything, I just want to know why my phone was turned off.
Me: Ma'am I am not allowed to give you any information from the account.
W: Oh yes you are! I've worked in a Call center (and here we go...) and I know how you operate there, you don't need his password to tell me why my phone is off.
Me: According to the notes on your account ma'am, I do.
W: Tell me why my phone is turned off!
Me: I can only give that information to your husband and I would like you to be aware that he was the one who requested you not be allowed to change the account (yeah this must be one happy marriage)
W: Look I know how you people work, I've worked at a call center, you can't do this to me, I know your rules, you have to tell me why my phone is turned off!
Me: I'm sorry ma'am I can only tell your husband.

(lather, rinse, repeat about 5 more times)
On the 5th time I was raising my voice a bit (and apparently catching the attention of a few people around me but not being angry or rude to the woman) in telling her that she could not access this account.
Then she requests I call her husband and do it as a 3-way call so she can get the info she needs.

My reply: I'm sorry ma'am , my system is not set up for that
W: Your system IS set up for that! I've worked in call centers, I know you can do that!
Me: Ma'am not all call centers are the same, my system will not allow me to do that.
W: The hell it won't, I know how you people work I know your systems and stuff, you better get my damned husband on the line! You people have the worst customer service and I don't care --
Me: (mute button time)

At this point a Supervisor who's been hearing what's going on approaches. I explain the situation and ask him what to do. He grabs my mouse and puts the woman on hold and says "let her squawk at the hold music for a few minutes, she'll give up."

Somehow after a minute or so, the call returned to me (how it came off hold I don't know) and I ended up in the same place I was before, repeating to this woman 3 more times that she couldn't access the account. Finally my supervisor said just to say it one more time, then hang up.

We normally are not supposed to hang up on people, but since he directed me I did.

I HATE IT when people assume they know all about my job/company because they are "in the business". Every company runs their operations a little bit differently and if you've been out of the business for awhile, what you think you know may be outdated.

Let me do MY job, regardless of what your JOB is or was.

ditchdj
03-30-2007, 01:07 AM
Armchair quarterbacks are soooooo much fun to deal with arent they???? All you need is a Lazy-Boy armchair, a remote control and a TV set and a stereo receiver and you're an instant know-it-all that can do everyone's job! Why couldnt they have told me THAT before I went and went 50 thousand bucks in debt getting this damn college degree! :confused:

RecoveringKinkoid
03-30-2007, 02:15 AM
Yeah, I got the same thing at Kinko's. One guy wanted to argue with me that we "could too print envelopes, after all we were a print shop."

Well, no, actually, we didn't nor had we ever printed envelopes, and we weren't, nor were we ever a print shop. We were a copy shop. There is a BIG difference.

But no, this guy knew what we were and what our capabilites were far, far better than we did.

We were just stupid, doncha know.:rolleyes:

Talon
03-30-2007, 04:08 AM
I remember a woman who once got mad at me for leaving her on hold too long. Fair enough, but I was contacting another dept and had no control over the wait time. She was convinced I should have been able to jump back to her line while the other line was still on hold. I tried to explain I wasn't able to do that, she actually got into a juvenile tit-for-tat "No I can't, yes you can!" type argument. What was she, 9 years old??

Finally my supervisor said just to say it one more time, then hang up.

We normally are not supposed to hang up on people, but since he directed me I did.



Uh-oh I don't like the sound of that. What's "normally" mean? What is your company's specific policy on releasing abusive callers? If you're not sure, I'd highly recommend finding out. If the company has a shifty "there are policies that are, and policies that aren't" attitude (like my first inbound call center job), try to keep your inquiries discreet. Ignorance is an asset in that kind of environment.

Yes, after three years of call centers, I'm cynical. But for the record, I've only ever hung up on unruly customers maybe four times. Never got in trouble for it either. Just having that freedom is good for your morale, even if you don't exercise it much.

iradney
03-30-2007, 05:14 AM
Ugh, she sounds like a prize, CC. Can't imagine why hubby won't allow her any admin access to her account :lol:
You handled it rather well though - well done!

greensinestro
03-30-2007, 02:53 PM
Now, there's a gem of a call to remember! I myself have dealt with these type of people, and it really does make you wonder why a husband would not allow his wife of all people to access the account, unless it's because she cannot be trusted. I've been friends with people who have spouses who belonged in an institution, or were Baker Acted and for these reasons, had to restrict access to everything they had.

By the way, did you monitor this account and see if she just kept calling until she finally got the pushover rep that gave her what she wanted? If she was persistent enough, she probably did.

ShortTemperHatesStupidity
03-30-2007, 05:41 PM
We normally are not supposed to hang up on people, but since he directed me I did.

You should go to work in a Sears call center. We were regularly hanging up on customers (of course it was because we were rescheduling there service repair for the third time so naturally they were a bit pissed, but hey, I had no control over that).

My favorite thing to do was to wait for them to utter some sort of profanity (after a year or so you could kinda tell the ones that were prime for doing it), then cut them off and say "I'm sorry but you cannot speak to me like that. I am now disconnecting the call." and hang up on them in the middle of their top-of-the-lungs screaming fit. Somehow I always got sick pleasure in hanging up on them...

ArenaBoy
03-30-2007, 05:44 PM
For those who have SCs who claim that they know your job better than you. Simply say "Okay, here you go.'' Then tell them their tasks. I do it all the time and right there that's when my customers listen to me.

wagegoth
03-30-2007, 05:51 PM
For those who have SCs who claim that they know your job better than you. Simply say "Okay, here you go.'' Then tell them their tasks. I do it all the time and right there that's when my customers listen to me.

I've done that to lawyers and to obdurate IT techs. I love the shocked looks!:lol:

Noelegy
03-30-2007, 05:59 PM
Now, there's a gem of a call to remember! I myself have dealt with these type of people, and it really does make you wonder why a husband would not allow his wife of all people to access the account, unless it's because she cannot be trusted. I've been friends with people who have spouses who belonged in an institution, or were Baker Acted and for these reasons, had to restrict access to everything they had.


I worked in credit collection once, six weeks of unrelenting hell. I've been on the receiving end of collection calls before, so I always tried to be nice. BIG mistake--the people who do well at that job aren't nice people.

Anyway, the specific type of loan I collected on was unsecured loans--the type where they send you a check in the mail and by signing it you agree to the terms of the loan. And my department dealt with accounts that were in arrears 90-120 days. So I called to speak to "Lisa" about her loan. Her husband answered. I left a message for her to call me. He wanted to know what this was regarding. We were told that unless there were notes on the account saying otherwise, we were allowed to discuss with spouses why we were calling, but not specific details. Her account with us, I replied, please have her call me. Okay, bye-bye, no problem.

She called later, SCREAMING at me about how I had NO right to discuss her account with her husband. I tried to tell her that I hadn't discussed the account details, just left the message for her to call me. I'm going to guess her husband didn't know she had this loan. This was getting toward the end of my short employment with this very high turnover company, and after about five minutes of her nonstop verbal abuse, she demanded to speak to my supervisor. He was gone for the day, but it shut her up when I told her fine, I would give her his direct extension.

And oh yes, her tirade was peppered with personal attacks, to the effect of "You're just not too bright, are you?" That's the kind of thing that had me going home :cry: three nights out of five. Definitely NOT worth $10 an hour. And this was the company where one of the bigshot managers was overheard to say that women would never get ahead in business because their business wardrobes didn't consist of a white shirt and a tie. :eek:

MystyGlyttyr
03-30-2007, 06:00 PM
My response used to be "Oh really? GREAT! Oh, I could soooooo use a break. Take over for fifteen minutes, 'kay?" Then act like you're gonna walk off. :lol: Man, that would freak them out every time.

Bonnie Bitch
03-30-2007, 06:06 PM
She calls in wanting to know why her phone has been shut off (for the record it was because she was over her spending limit) but the account was in her husband's name and there was a big top priority note on it that said ONLY he was to be given any information regarding the account.

The exchange went something like this.

Me: I'm sorry ma'am but unfortunately only your husband is allowed to access this account, I can't give you any information.
W: I'm not asking you to change anything, I just want to know why my phone was turned off.
Me: Ma'am I am not allowed to give you any information from the account.
W: Oh yes you are!

Wow! An extra large chapeau du rectum.
I had a situation similar to that once, except the <car horn noise> SC demanded a supervisor. It was the last call of the night, and my boss was standing right behind me.
"Take notes," he said to me, as he sat down and took the call.
And then they went round and round, he told her the exact same thing I had told her, and finally:

Bossguy: Ma'am, this conversation is going nowhere. I have addressed your problem and given you a resolution. Is there anything else I can assist you with this evening?
SC: <brings up same issue>
Bossguy: Ma'am, I have already given you a resolution for that issue. Is there anything ELSE I can assist you with?
SC: :deadhorse:
Bossguy: No. You have been given a resolution for that issue multiple times. Since there appears to be nothing else with which I can assist you, you have a great day and thanks for calling XYZTV..... Thank you for calling XYZTV .... No, we've already discussed that issue thoroughly...
SC: <car horn noise> you!
Bossguy: One moment while I notate that on your account as a permanent memo.... Ok, then, you have a great day, and thanks for calling XYZTV.

And yes, I have used that format with great success. I kind of had to, since we're not allowed to hang up on customers for any reason.
And yes, when I get a "filth and foul" call, I document what the customer said in their account as permanent notations. I'm evil that way. :devil:

AirHostess
03-30-2007, 06:26 PM
Passenger: I know your job better than you do!
Me: yeah I'm sure you can evacuate a plane in 90 seconds!

Rapscallion
03-30-2007, 08:07 PM
Passenger: I know your job better than you do!
Me: yeah I'm sure you can evacuate a plane in 90 seconds!

One good fart and I could manage that, I reckon, though SBDs are the way to go. You get to evacuate with everyone else and they don't know it's you.

Rapscallion, admitting nothing

greensinestro
03-30-2007, 08:55 PM
She called later, SCREAMING at me about how I had NO right to discuss her account with her husband. I tried to tell her that I hadn't discussed the account details, just left the message for her to call me. I'm going to guess her husband didn't know she had this loan. This was getting toward the end of my short employment with this very high turnover company, and after about five minutes of her nonstop verbal abuse, she demanded to speak to my supervisor. He was gone for the day, but it shut her up when I told her fine, I would give her his direct extension.

eek:

Isn't it amazing that the people who have things to hide are the ones who quite often act in this manner? This reminds me of the incident at Bellsouth where a lying, cheating bastard of a husband wanted me fired for sharing his account information with his soon to be ex-wife. Three months prior, the wife had called requesting copies of all outgoing calls made from the number. On the notes, she was on the account as being fine to discuss it with, and there were no red flags that popped up. She was also calling me from the same telephone number and had verified everything to the letter. So, I made the request to send this information to her, and that was that.

Three months later, the ex-husband to be called, enraged that I had done this with this account. It turned out the outgoing calls he had made were to his girlfriend in another town, and the wife was looking for proof that he had been calling her, thereby strengthening her fight in a nasty divorce hearing. Also, he had moved out of the house, but never took the phone out of his name, leaving it for her to do as she pleased with it. Also, the policy is when a customer requests information like what she wanted, it can only be sent to the service address, not a PO box or alternate address. So, everything was legit.

He wanted me fired because he was going to lose custody of the kids, pay the ex-wife a shitload of alimony, and God knows what else. Again, people who have something to hide always seem to be these type of people.

Rapscallion
03-30-2007, 08:59 PM
He wanted me fired because he was going to lose custody of the kids, pay the ex-wife a shitload of alimony, and God knows what else.

Maybe he could - and this is a revolutionary thought here - have been faithful instead? That might have worked.

Rapscallion

CrazedClerk
03-31-2007, 03:39 AM
By the way, did you monitor this account and see if she just kept calling until she finally got the pushover rep that gave her what she wanted? If she was persistent enough, she probably did.

Actually I did check it just before shift ended. She'd called in twice before me to try and get access and she tried once again after me, but thankfully no one rolled over and gave her the info. :D

As for the hanging up thing...the training at this call center was interesting. We are told in training there are certain things you absolutely cannot do (such as hang up) , then we get on the phones we find out the rules aren't quite so black and white.

The thing was in this case we had a big fat note saying only the account holder can access the account so no matter how long this woman chirped at us, NOTHING would change. So I can see the argument in favor of disconnecting her instead of having her waste even more of our time.

SmileyBouncer
03-31-2007, 06:39 PM
You'd think that the fact that she worked in a call center *supposedly* would at least leave her with the knowledge that -just because we answered your call DOESNT mean we can do ANYTHING for you. We have guidelines, policies, company regulations!*gasp* wow!

Having had the experience myself just makes me more patient and understanding of what a rep. can and cannot do. The absence of logic in expecting a total stranger to bend a rule at work and risk being reprimanded for it after you have wailed your HEAD off at them is sooo SC it's like they have TRAINING for it. :doh:

Andara Bledin
03-31-2007, 11:05 PM
Oh, man, I hate the "I used to work in <industry> so I know what you can and can't do" people. Thankfully, at my current job I almost never get any of that.

Odd about the Kinkos comment earlier. My ex (who I split from about 5 years ago) worked at Kinkos. As one of the heads of the print department. They may have started as copy only, but now they even have a sub-title of "Office and Print Services" on their website.

^-.-^