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tales from the call center....(MINOR language warning)
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:28 AM
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Sarlon Sarlon is offline
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Default tales from the call center....(MINOR language warning)

I know I've not posted in a long time....life has gotten all over the place. So long story short I have been working in a call center for just over a year now... it's ok...manager is a stick in the mud when it comes to being friendly with her minions, but she is good at her job so not too many stories about her.

So the call center I work in has collections and customer service for different credit cards for different companies. The Big Orange Box store and The Big Blue Box store are among these...I handle customer service calls for The Big Blue Box store....so lets being with a basic lesson ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else!

Things I can control:
  1. changing your due date
  2. taking a payment (so long as its not 5 days or more past due)
  3. ordering a replacement card
  4. sending you copies of your statement
  5. changing personal info (including name, address, email, and phone numbers)
  6. removing late fees
  7. removing interest charges
  8. answering general questions about your purchases and account

So...YES, I can change your due date but it can take 1-2 billing cycles to go into effect....NO I cannot make it go any faster...YES, you will get a late fee if it's not paid by the original due date.

I don't care that you didn't get your statement yet, you KNOW your due date is on X day every month without fail. We only stop sending statements when your balance is $0. Paying $30 a month on a $3000 purchase will NOT magically disappear one month because we didn't send a bill in the mail. Exceptions to this rant are if its a BRAND NEW account and you're not sure on your first due date.

Late fees.....they post at MIDNIGHT of the day of your due date....most don't know that means eastern standard time, and the west coast has tried to say "well I paid it at 9:30 pm, why did I get a late fee?!"

For the record, I've found a way to give every man woman and child a job for life BTW...its calling people and saying politely, that they have a promotion set to expire and needs to have X amount paid by Y date or risk getting all the deferred interest.....oh wait....we DO do that...its on your statement every month since the first month of your purchase....using the excuse "well I don't look at my statement, you should have called me personally and told me" no longer flies with me.

Other interesting facts...

Did you know its illegal to charge late fees? and interest charges? And there's a religion out there that goes against their teachings to be charged interest every month? If anti-vaxxers can get a religious exemption to got get their kids their shots can I join this religion to avoid paying late fees and interest charges?!

Have had multiple people tell me this too.....wonder how I join? is it like the Illuminati?

deffered interest....also known as the bane of my existence...

I mentioned this earlier, Big Blue Box offers 6,12, 18, 24, and 36 months no interest on purchases made instore or online for certain dollar amounts. No one reads the fine print any more....but it's not 0% interest for X number of months... it's deferred, meaning it sits in a little corner of your statement and tells you how much is left to pay before X date or you get hit with all the back interest. Some people DO plan this out and calculate the amount they need to pay every month and often times never pay a dime of interest. My training manager has spent tens of thousands of dollars on their card and has never paid 1 penny in interest...it CAN be done if done right.

The rest fall into 3 categories
  • Those that pay only the minimum due every month ($27), and are SHOCKED to learn they've been charged 100s (6 months), to thousands (everything else), of dollars interest!!! then DEMAND to have it reversed!
  • Ones who get our card, and use it elsewhere (we have a store card and a Visa card, only difference is where you can use it), make the minimum payments, or sometimes more than the minimum payments, and wonder why their promo balance doesn't go anywhere and then STILL gets hit with interest.
  • The last category I do have SOME sympathy for....they are the ones that calculate it, even manage it carefully, and fall shy because it's off by one month.

Now...I CAN reverse deferred interest charges....you get one for the lifetime of the card, but ONLY if you pay off the difference of what was left on the promotion and you have 20 days ONLY from the day the interest is charged to the card. Anything after that you have to get manager approval.

Paranoia to a whole new level...

Listen... I'm your credit card company...I have every bit of personal information about you that if I REALLY REALLY wanted to I could do a lot of damage to you. Thankfully I like NOT JAIL.

That being said...part of our verification process is to verify the last 4 numbers of your social security number, your date of birth, and your full legal name (or at least how it appears on the card).

I don't have to do it for every single person, sometimes it will come through as auto verified (calling in on a confirmed number that is listed in the account), or you entered your info before connecting to me. I can't access your account unless you give me this information.

Yelling, screaming, and cursing at me will not change this stance. Nor saying that you're the one that pays the bills. If you are NOT an authorized user or the primary cardholder, I can't tell you much.

I had one guy start off very pleasant and nice, gave me his name (primary cardholder), gave me the last 4 of his social (matched perfectly), but when I asked for his date of birth, you'd of thought I threatened to blow him up and murder his family while laughing. He DEMANDED a supervisor and said that it was completely unacceptable and illegal to ask him that information and he was going to close his account at ONCE for my audacity to ask such personal information.

Transferred to a manager and had a good chuckle over it all.

excuses...excuses everywhere...

Late fees, as previously mentioned, as set in stone, they automatically appear at midnight if payment is not made. This is not something I personally do...

If I see you made a payment before the cut off time and still got hit with a late fee because it didn't post in time, I'm happy to go in and see what I can do.

If you tell me you've been on vacation for 2 weeks and didn't make the payment, I'm only going to PRETEND that I have sympathy for you...so nice that you can afford to take a 2-week vacation, but can't afford to pay even just the minimum due before you leave...Ditto if its because you were out of the country.

Remember the guy I mentioned that said late fees were illegal? He was under the impression he could just pay his bill whenever he felt like it and no interest charges or late fees would be charged since he's going to make a payment at some point..and no OTHER of his credit cards charge him late fees and interest!!11!!!11! Another management escalation that caused them to have a good hearty laugh before I transferred them.

Where in I hate our offshore team with a vengeance...

We have a department in the Philippines, and I swear to the gods above they are the laziest people I've had the misfortune to ever work with. Whenever it gets REALLY busy, they transfer a lot of calls citing "system issues" or "system updates" or "system crash". Hell, half of them don't even warm transfer anymore they just drop them in our lap and the customer on the other line is just as confused as to why they were transferred, and I have NO information...no account, no name, no verification, nothing, so the understandably upset customer has to repeat everything making what could have been a simple call that much longer.

We have a 3rd party company that we use for language services...you don't speak English or enough English to make yourself known...tell me your preferred language and I can get a translator, there is one for just about every known language on earth...

One Agent (from the overseas office), took the call, heard they needed a translator, went through the motions of getting a translator....THEN COLD TRANSFERED EVERYONE TO ME!!!!!! I had no information, I had no idea I was speaking to the translator, I had no account number or idea WHY they needed help. The call was fairly simple, just long because of having to translate the words and explain what was going on with their account. Oh I was so freaking LIVID and the agent never even pulled up the account, so we had no record of who that was, but if *I* had done that I'd of been written up for call avoidance. Calling the language line is a process, you put the customer on hold, you dial a number, you enter a 7 digit code, you tell it what language you need, and wait for a live person, this isn't something you just dial then transfer. Oh, and I knew it was from the overseas office because caller ID said (offshore city name) followed by their phone number.

The ONLY time I have sympathy for them is when they start off by saying that customer wants to speak to someone in America...because I can almost guarantee that I'll be subjected to a 5-minute rant about not wanting to speak to someone who can barely speak English... I answer by saying I speak southern and sarcasm, and maybe English.

anyone else notices this?

so by now, you have a fair idea of what I deal with...and a friend of mine pointed out something that I didn't fully realize till they pointed it out...

Those who work in customer service...do you notice that your IQ goes up and down in direct relation to how nice or nasty a customer is to you?

Now, I understand that people rarely call customer service in a good mood, they call because something is wrong with their account and they want it fixed!

If you call in and are terse and angry, but state the problem in a calm and reasonable manner, it's simply AMAZING the number of things I can try and do for you, and ways around it if it doesn't work the first time, or go to a higher power (IE management) and see if I can appeal it further.

On the other hand...if you start angry, stay angry, demand things beyond my control, and want things done yesterday....wow....the list of things I can do is shortened to just the barest necessities that I can get away with offering without being cited for rudeness or call avoidance.

2 sucktomers and a Lady...

These all stories have been broad and general with a few exceptions...so to wrap it up I have 2 prime examples of rectal-cranial inversion specimens and one TRUELY wonderful woman.

Suck 1:
Cast:
Me: underpaid overworked call center minion.
MP: Miss Priss, the SC of the story.

The call starts off normal...verification goes smoothly, simple request...

ME: alright ma'am I do see that late fee, let me see if I can reverse it for you...it seems we received your payment 5 days late which is why you were assessed that late fee, just for the record. (very calm, very polite, clicking through the 10million questions I have to answer to reverse a late fee).

MP: (all said while I'm working on the late fee) You had BETTER be able to reverse that fee, I KNOW it was one day late, but I was paying off the entire balance, and that shouldn't mean I get hit! I don't DO late fees, and I've NEVER had one before in my life so you BETTER be able to do something.

ME: Ma'am, your payment was due Friday (its Tuesday), you just told me that you MAILED it off one day after the due date, and thus caused it to be late...(pause)...and it looks like I'm not able to reverse it, since we did a reversal for you 2 months ago. We can only do one every 12 calendar months.

MP: I don't know what you're talking about I don't DO late fees! I've never been late before in my life!!

ME: (looking at account and seeing 3 late fees in 8 months) That may be ma'am but you also just told me that you KNEW your payment was due Friday and also admitted that you sent the payment in late...I'm sorry there's nothing more I can do.

MP: I'm TELLING you I don't DO late fees!!! Since you can't seem to do your job, get me your manager!! they'll be able to do something since you're unwilling!

Thank the gods above that to get a manager we just dial an extension in the building and there's an entire team of "managers", people higher than my paygrade to deal with angry spiteful customers. I explain the situation, causing them to have a good chuckle and connect the woman and drop off the line!

Suck 2:
This one happened just today....and not as bad a customer as normal...our company in its INFINITE wisdom, decided to close an ENTIRE department to save something like $300,000 a year, and saddled us poor overworked CS agents with helping people with signing into their online accounts. Things like resetting passwords, unlocking locked accounts (too many incorrect password attempts type things), and walking them through the sign-in/up process...all while keeping our handle time down to 3 minutes 45 seconds...its virtually impossible to keep one of these calls to under 5 minutes since most want their handheld through the entire process till they get signed in.

Customer calls in...verifies their identity...says they've locked themselves out of their account and needs help.

Fairly simple...I pulled up the account online screen, make sure they HAVE an account set up (they do), verify the security code on the back of the card, and unlock their login attempts and remind them of their user ID, all standard procedure.

Cast:
Me...well we know who that is...
OM: old man

Me: alright sir, it looks like you might be going through the main website which is often more complicated...so let me give you the more direct website... it's (companyname).accountonline.com...(said nice and slow so he has a chance to type it in).

OM: alright.....let me try that.....that was (companyname).com forward slash...

Me: *Banging head against the desk*... no sir....its (companyname).accountonline.com...

OM: oh! well....let me try that.........ok....this looks good....so I type in....(user ID I gave him), then the password?

The call went fairly normal after that....he wasn't rude or anything, just a bit absentminded.

and finally....the lady!

This one was VERY nice, and she made a bad day that much nicer because of how polite she was...

She calls in and explains that she now has TWO promotions and wants help adjusting her auto pay to reflect paying off that new purchase in proper time, and wants to make sure of her math and set up so the payments get split up between the two promos.

I pull her account, verify her information, and go to the account screen with the information I need to set all this up, including the payment screen where I can change her auto pay as well.

Cast:
Me....do we need a reminder?
NL: Nice lady

Me: alright ma'am....so you have your 24-month promo set to expire on X date and has $550 left to pay before that date...your new one is a 24 month and is set to expire on Y date and is (much larger balance). Currently, your autopay is set to $186 a month....which is well on its way to paying off this first one WELL before it expires...

NL: (slightly confused)....does that mean my payments are going to be even higher? The last person I spoke with that helped me told me that I had to have it paid off by (a date a full YEAR before its set to expire).... I knew my payments would go up with this new purchase....but are you telling me that I've been paying to much?

Me: (working the calculator to figure out the payments recommended while shes talking and coming up with numbers A LOT less than she paying now) Yes ma'am...maybe when they were helping figure out the cost they thought it was 12 month rather than 24 months...if you pay $95 a month and we split your payment this way (explaining the numbers I came up with), both will be paid off in their respective timeframes, and you'll avoid interest charges.

I think she would have kissed me if I had been there beside her....she was an older woman on a limited income and was convinced her payment would be going up even more because of the new purchase. She was all happy and I think she might have cried a little. She actually asked to be transferred to my manager to sing my praises.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2019, 01:18 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Quote:
And there's a religion out there that goes against their teachings to be charged interest every month?
Well, I know of one religion that...shall we say...underwent a schism centuries ago...in which charging interest at all is considered a bad thing (called "usury"), but, last I checked, they haven't enforced that in centuries, so methinks it's a moot point, and not a valid argument in the SC's favor (Feel free to direct more pointed discussion to Fratching -- we need someone other than the daily spam attempts to keep us company over that way!)
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2019, 06:03 PM
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Sigh....sounds just like my job. Minus the online help. I hate it so.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:13 PM
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taxguykarl taxguykarl is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Sarlon View Post
there's a religion out there that goes against their teachings to be charged interest every month
Well then, cancel their account and leave them to find a card that doesn't charge interest. The hunt should be interesting
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:51 PM
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CrazedClerkthe2nd CrazedClerkthe2nd is offline
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Hello fellow call center warrior. The battles are grueling, but you are not alone.

How I've survived my center almost 7 years now is anyones guess.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:23 PM
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taxguykarl taxguykarl is offline
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Quote:
Quoth CrazedClerkthe2nd View Post
How I've survived my center almost 7 years now is anyones guess.
Could it be that they weren't close enough for you to strike?
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