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  • Found The (Out)Source Of The Problem

    | Portsmouth, England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I work for a telecommunications/TV company in their talk and broadband ordering and order problem department. We have to outsource all of our installations and repair calls to a specific company due to the set up of the UK phone line system. My colleague sitting next to me has escalated a call to a manager and I’m waiting between calls when I overhear the following:)

    Manager: “I’m sorry Ms. [Name] but if [Outsource Company] says they won’t be installing a socket there’s nothing we can do. You need to call us after the line goes active and we can book a repair visit.”

    (I start waving to get the manager’s attention.)

    Manager: “Can I place you on hold for a second and see if there’s anything more I can do?”

    Manager: *to me* “What?”

    Me: “You call [Outsource Company] and tell them you need the appointment.”

    Manager: “No, we can’t.”

    Me: “No, that’s what you do. It’s why the text says ‘please contact your provider if you need this appointment.’ Have you called them and they’ve said no?”

    Manager: “We don’t… That’s not… Wait, is that what you’ve been doing? Does it work?”

    Me: “Well, it has for the last eight months… Wait, have you been telling every customer who calls because of this they need to call us and get a repair done? You’ve been here two years!”

    Manager: “Um, yes. Can you call them for me?”

    (I call the outsource company, tell them we still need the appointment, and pass the good news to the manager.)

    Manager: “Right, I’ll… Can you call the customer back and tell her you’re my manager and you pulled some strings?”

    Me: “I can call her back and tell her you don’t know how to do your job correctly, if you’d like…”

    Manager: “No, no, I’ll do it.”

    (I checked the customer’s account the next day and saw everything went fine. The manager left a note detailing how he’d saved the day and persuaded the outsource company to reinstate the visit as an emergency favour.)

    Thank You For Calling An Actual Human Being

    , | USA | Awesome Workers, Employees

    Employee: *sounding exhausted* “Thank you for calling [Company] tech support. My name is [Employee]. How can I help you?”

    Me: “Good morning. You sound like you’ve had a long shift.”

    Employee: “No, I just got on. I just got back into weight lifting. I’m 37 and I acted like I was 24, so I’m feeling the hurt.”

    (He was able to help me with my problem, and we’re just wrapping up the call.)

    Employee: “Thank you very much for your advice. I’ll try to pep up my voice a bit.”

    (It was a strange and pleasant experience to have a phone rep that would break script and relate to their customers like an actual human being.)

    How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 6

    , | Tampa, FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Employees

    (My fiance comes in the house on the phone with someone who we assume is a bill collector. He has already been on the phone with the guy for 25 minutes and the bill collector is clearly annoyed, but has yet to hang up. My fiance puts the phone on speaker.)

    Bill Collector: “Sir, we just need to verify your name and address.”

    Me: “Why do you need his name and address?”

    Bill Collector: “We have already been through this. I cannot tell you why until I verify who I am talking to.”

    Me: “So, you’re a collection company?”

    Bill Collector: “No. I’m from [Collection Company] and I just want to verify an address.”

    Me: “It says online that you’re a collection company.”

    Bill Collector:“We have a collections department, but I’m not in the collections department.”

    Me: “You know we’re on the ‘Do Not Call List,’ right? If you’re not a bill collector then you’re a solicitor and shouldn’t be calling us.”

    Bill Collector: “None of this is relevant. We can end this conversation now if you just tell me if you are [Fiancé] and what your address is.”

    Me: “Well, you still haven’t told us why you need to know this information.”

    Bill Collector: “I told you. I cannot tell you this until I know if I am speaking to [Fiancé].

    Me: “Funny. The only legal reason I can think of for you needing to know whether you’re speaking with [Fiancé] is to collect on a bill.”

    Bill Collector: *irate* “We’ve been through this. I’m not calling from a collection company. Just tell me if you’re [Fiancé] and what your address is and we’ll be done here.”

    Me: “So, you still haven’t told us why you need that information.”

    Bill Collector: “Tell you what, I’m going to take you off our list.” *hangs up*

    Fiance: *looking at his phone* “33 minutes.”

    Me: “I was impressed by his dedication.”

    Related:
    How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 5
    How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 4
    How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 3

    Forgetful Of Remembrance Day

    | UK | Bosses & Owners, Holidays

    (Each person in my team deals with customers of a specific country. As some bank holidays differ from one to the other, we may have to come to work and do nothing because we are not allowed to call customers. On such a day (August 15th), I started a conversation with a coworker. After about 30 minutes, the manager comes over.)

    Manager: “Are you two on break?”

    Me: “No, there’s just nothing to do today.”

    Manager: “How come? Is there anything in both your countries?”

    Me: “Well, yes. Today is a bank holiday, so we can’t call customers.”

    Manager: “Oh  really? Across several countries? What bank holiday is it?”

    Coworker: “15th of August? The Assumption of Mary? It’s a well-known Catholic holiday.”

    Manager: “Never heard about this. Okay, I’ll check.”

    (My coworker and I looked at each in shock. The manager is from a mainly Catholic country, and was looking at us as if we were lying. A few months later, on Remembrance Day (11th of November), the same coworker asked to observe a minute of silence to honor the fallen dead, as is tradition in the UK. It is supposed to happen at 11:00 am. A few seconds before, the program manager asked out loud why should we do that, ruining the mood in the process. She has been living in the UK for more than 15 years, and still doesn’t know what people celebrate here.)

    Very Bad Reception, Part 10

    | ON, Canada | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I work for a market research company in a call centre. We are hired by other companies to conduct their customer satisfaction surveys. Sometimes there are specific people we need to speak to and other times we just need to speak with someone who has general knowledge of the services. In this instance I’m calling a law office.)

    Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name] and I’m calling from [Company] on behalf of [Their Electric Company]. May I please speak with someone who is knowledgeable about the day-to-day service that you receive?”

    Secretary: “What do you want? We don’t want to buy anything! You don’t even work for [Electric Company]!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. No, I do not, but we’ve been hired by [Electric Company] to complete these surveys. I’d just like to ask a few questions about the reliability of service and your satisfaction with the company. I can assure you I’m not selling anything. I’m just looking to speak with someone who knows about the quality or service. I know that might be vague. Maybe someone who would call if there were a problem?”

    Secretary: *almost mockingly* “[Lawyer] won’t want to talk to you. We don’t care about your survey.”

    Me: “I don’t mean to bother you but it would be nice to speak with him anyway to be sure.”

    Secretary: “Fine, I’ll transfer you but he’ll just hang up.”

    (I get transferred to the lawyer and explain why I’m calling.)

    Lawyer: *enthusiastically* “Oh! Yeah, that’s no problem. If the questions aren’t about specifics of the bill or anything I’m sure my secretary would be happy to answer your questions! I’ll transfer you back to her.”

    (He transfers me back and has obviously told her to complete the survey.)

    Secretary: *sounding annoyed* “Okay, fine. I’ll do your survey.”

    (And that is why I don’t always give up right away. This happened more than once and many times with the boss completing the survey him/herself.)

    Related:
    Very Bad Reception, Part 9
    Very Bad Reception, Part 8
    Very Bad Reception, Part 7


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