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Fun at the call center  
07:41am 30/06/2010
Been awhile since I posted some fun stories for all of you. I'll put behind a cut so, you know, it doesn't clog up the f-page and what not.

Insulting the rep doesn't get you what you want

Girl calls in, asks if mobile web is free. I explain that it isn't, there is a charge. Now, there are two different charges because of the whole we took over that other company. Let's call them None Mobile. So, if you are a None mobile customer, you pay 1.99 for mobile web access for 24 hours OR you can buy a pass for the month for 5.99. Not a bad deal. If your calling plan has unlimited nights and weekends, then you don't have to worry about air time! Yay! At least, you know, during those times, BUT, you still have to pay the cover charge to the interwebs. I explain that as she is still on a None Mobile phone she will be paying 1.99 to enter the mobile web. She states that she never went on the mobile web, but that 1.99 is missing from her account. Ok, I says, I can call tech and see if they can see a mobile web access because I don't see the charge on her account yet. We are about 45 minutes behind the last thing that customers do with their phones. I get a hold of someone in tech who got a little snarky with me near the end of the call, but that's a different story for a different time, and while we are on the phone, I see that the charge is for a ringback tone.


I have no access to ringback tones if you are on a None handset. If you are on a Big Red set, no problem. I can manage them for you. Set up jukeboxes, whatever. I got that. None Mobile? Nope, sorry, you have to do it on your own. I guess the computer guys are too busy mucking up everything else that they can't be bothered to set up a little program to do this for us. Whatever. I settle up with tech and come back on the line with the girl. I tell her, ok, it's a ringback tone charge, sorry, you'll have to manage it online or go to the store so they can physically look at the phone and see if they can find it in the handset for you. I can't access it. She argues, wants her money back, AGAIN, I state that I can't do that, it's a valid charge until proven otherwise.

"You must be heavyset."


"Is there anything Big Red related that I can assist you with? Otherwise, I will need to release this call." the sigh in my voice was quite exaggerated as I could not believe that she just said that.
"I want my credit."
"As I have already said, I can not issue credit. I have told you what you need to do. Is there anything else I can assist you with?"
She hung up. I'm sure she called back to belittle and berate other reps, but I couldn't be bothered to keep the account open to monitor the progress (which, technically, I'm not supposed to do, but you know, it's fun to see how many times someone is calling in after they have been told "No." 8000042343984 times)

Hand ups, not hand outs

Guy calls in, his issue is that his phone hasn't been working right. Ok, what's going on. I need money on the phone. Ok, I can take a payment. No, no, you guys never gave me my $10 of airtime. Oh, well, let me research the account and see what's going on.

He was kind of clever, but not enough to get anything out of the last three reps he screamed obscenities at. He had activated on 6/3, changed the number 3 times on that account. Disconnected the account and started over on a new one, which I was currently looking in to. By the grace of (your deity here) or some rep screwup, I was still able to access the balance and notes from the last accounts that were all grouped together.

(Once an account is disconnected, you generally only have 24 hours to access the info within that account, for whatever reason, this one stayed open. YAY!!!)

I informed him that he had indeed received the $10 on the account, so no credit is due. He tells me he was never able to use the phone. I inform him that I see many many calls and text messages that say the contrary. He says that some other rep gave him a $.99 credit the other day, but he couldn't use the phone because of blah blah blah. I inform him that I do see that credit, that the representative should NOT have credited his account and I will not be crediting his account because there is no reason to credit the account.

I get the sob story. I'm homeless, I'm trying to better myself, I signed up for the National Guard and I am waiting for a call from them, I'm trying to make things better for myself and I just need a little help. I inform him to try his local church or Salvation Army to either use their phones to check in with the Guard or to see if they can provide him with a phone card. He laughs and says that they won't give him one, but they offered to let him use their phone. I told him, again, no credit, sorry charlie. (And, you must understand, I was the credit fairy when I first started. I've become immune to this shit)

"I'm going to keep calling back until someone credits me. I've got nothing but time on my hands."
"That's your prerogative, sir. Is there anything else I can assist you with this evening?"
The threat of you calling back over and over again will pretty much make you the joke of the floor. You do realize that we swap stories during our breaks and laugh at the people that we've all gotten and compare notes, don't you?
He tells me that no, I can't help him, as I wasn't any help to him this time and that I am worthless. I thank him for calling Big Red and to have a nice night and I put him on mute. You see, I don't release calls anymore, I just put them on mute, I let them hang up. Unless the line stays open for 30 seconds, then I hit the handy release button. I put him on mute and he calls me a "fucker". Original *rolls eyes*

He did call back, I kept this account open. He proceeded to tell the next rep that I was a rude bitch and he wanted a supervisor. He proceeds to tell the supervisor after she denies him credit (I left copious notes tying all of the accounts together and notated in various little nooks and crannies so no stone was left unturned) and he says, "I hope your car explodes while you are driving home."

Stay classy, dude. You'll be a great addition to those who serve and protect this country.

Weekly phone payment: $15 Coming up with a new way to commit credit card fraud: priceless

"Mary" calls in, she doesn't understand why 1) her phone isn't working and 2) why she has over $60 on her balance. Interesting. She can't verify the "security" info, but the account is clearly hers. Her name is one of our systems, she is holding the phone in her hand by verifying the ESN, she can tell me the credit card on file AND the last three payments she made to the phone all totaling $15 for each payment. Her payment history is very steady, $15 every 7-9 days, always with a credit card, always through the IVR (automated phone system), never calls in unless she has a general question or needs something fixed, but never had any credits on the account. NOTHING. In other words, A DREAM CUSTOMER! YAAAAY! I will definitely go out of my way to help this woman, she is lovely.

She's a little upset, which is understandable, but she's pretty calm. I'm going over the account notes and realize that her account has been "hijacked" except, they didn't change the phone number or the equipment, they just wanted her account because of her credit card. Here's where it gets really interesting.

They suspended her account, said the phone was lost/stolen. Now, the notes show "Tyrone" calling and trying to gain access. He is denied because he can't verify the security information. This happens twice. The third time he has success and proceeds to change the password and pass code. Then a $50 payment is made through the automated system to the account with the card on file. He calls in and says, "Oops! I made the payment on the wrong account. Can you transfer the balance to the right account?"

Now, if you have done this with a pin/refill card, we can do that provided you give us the pin card number and the number it went to and the number it should have gone to. A credit card payment we can refund and take another payment. If you don't have a lot in your checking account, this won't be great for you, but you have learned a valuable lesson, pay attention to what you are doing.

This rep says, "No, i can take a payment and refund this one, but I can't transfer the balance."
I give this rep a cookie, because he did his job. AND, he left notes as to the other number that the payment "should" have gone to. I wanted to hug this rep. Good rep!

Tyrone calls back, this rep says, "OKAY!" and like a drooling moron proceeds to debit one account and credit the other account. Tyrone goes on his way and rep goes on her way, drooling and carrying on, I suppose.

ANOTHER $50 payment is made through the IVR with the card on file and Tyrone calls in YET AGAIN with the same story, except this time instead of his brother's account, now it's his sister's account. That rep, who also deserves a cookie, says no, sorry, can't help you. The account is silent on the Tyrone front the whole time I'm working with Mary. Maybe he was taking a break from credit card fraud, one can only imagine.

While I'm trying to figure this all out, I've told Mary part of the problem with the card, she calls her bank while I have her on hold. Good for her! At the end of it, I don't process a refund to her card because it's already been canceled, and I don't want it to end up in some crazy computer limbo never to be seen again. I explain this to her and she agrees that that is a good idea. I advise her to make sure that she leaves that money on the account so that they can debit it off when they do the chargeback for her, she agrees. I put everything back into her name and she is on her merry way.

I go into the other account that got the ill gotten funds and debit it from the account. Now, here is where I made my error, I didn't notate before I took the money away. While I'm typing up the notes (I spent almost 15 minutes typing up notes on this whole thing, I seriously put in War and Peace in Mary's account so that the fraud department would understand what was going on) Tyrone calls in and wants to know where his money went. It took three reps before finally someone was able to read what I wrote (I guess they are poor readers in some of these other centers) and informed him that the money will NOT be credited back to the account as it should never have been credited in the first place. THANK GOODNESS! I'm glad that story has a somewhat happy ending.

Uh, sir, I'm still on the line
Guy calls in and asks, "Is it okay to send naked pictures through picture messaging?"
And, I think it says a lot about the customer base that we have that I didn't even flinch at this question. Or, it says a lot about me. I'm not sure.
"As long as the subjects of the pictures are over the age of 18, the recipients are over the age of 18 and you are not sending them out unsolicited, then it is fine."
"Ok, great!"
"Anything else I can assist you with?"
"No, that was my only question."
"All right, thanks for calling Big Red, have a great rest of your evening."
"You bet!"
I hit mute and I hear the noises of someone hitting the end key, but, I guess he didn't hit it hard enough because I then hear, "Yeah, I'm gonna get this real hard. Ohhhh. Uhhhh."
I start laughing my ass off. One of my neighbors had come over to return something to me and asked what was so funny, and I took off my headset and let her listen. The look on her face was priceless.
"Is he...?"
"Yes, yes he is. I don't think he knows we're still connected. If he does, then he knows he has an audience."
"Oh, man, that's sick!"
"Nah, this is funny."
I stay on for another 30 seconds and listen to his porn quality monologue before I can't take it anymore, I'm laughing so hard and I release the call and go on break to share in my new story.

Repeat customers
It's always fun when you get someone that you've spoken to before. It doesn't happen often, as most people aren't calling in every day. Unless you are a credit seeker. Take "Keshawn" for example. I spoke to him originally on 6/14 for an issue concerning a game download. He says it isn't working. I ask, what's wrong? He says, it's says that it can't be accessed. I explain he'll need to take it a store to have it looked at because we can't troubleshoot games over the phone, there is no way to do it. They can fix the game for him. If they can't fix the game, they will delete it from the phone and call us to issue credit. He accepts his fate and says ok and hangs up with me. Fast forward to 6/21, I recognize the name popping up and I see the notes, same issue. Just downloaded a game, it's not working, blah blah blah. This kid has two pages of data usage details showing multiple GIN (get it now, which is now known as media center) downloads, games, ring tones, more games, the GPS application (what a kid needs with that, I have no idea). I repeat what I told him a week ago and he says, "I want to talk to tech support so they can fix it."
"There is no reason for me to get you to tech support, they can not fix this issue for you." And then I see why the name was so familiar, I see my name on the account from a week ago and the notes that I left about it. "As I told you last week, we can't troubleshoot games..." *click* Yeah, that's what I thought.

"Marcus" or "Habib" likes to call in for "troubleshooting" picture messages or mobile to mobile discrepancies. One of my neighbors has gotten him so many times that he hangs up on her when he hears her name. I've gotten him three times. And, seriously, he calls in almost every day trying to get a credit of $.25 or at least $.50. He hasn't made a payment on his account in over a month. Dude, for reals? Put this energy into something else, this is obviously getting you no where. And fast!

Jail guy, well, he's a special one. He calls in to make sure that you have the number to the jail so that the supervisor can call the jail to come get him because he calls customer service too much.

MDN change guy. MDN = Mobile Device Number = Phone number. He originally had about 50 number changes on his old account. It was finally revoked by the Big Red just after December. He got a new phone in February. He's up to about 20 so far. He hasn't paid for one yet. You are allowed ONE free change per year, all others are $15 each. Somehow, he keeps suckering reps into giving him a free change even though that account is notated to hell and back that he is not allowed anymore. I have a feeling that this phone will be revoked in a few months as well.

Unlimited does not equal Free

One of our plans gives you unlimited nights and weekends provided you pay the daily access fee. So, when I explain it to customers, I tell them it's like a cover charge to a club. "You can have free drinks all night long, but you have to pay the cover charge to get in and get those free drinks."

The packaging does not say "Free" ANYWHERE. There is nothing free with this company. Ever ever ever ever. It says "Unlimited". So, guy calls in and he demands a supervisor first thing. I tell him that I can gladly get him one, but I will need his name, phone number and the reason for needing the supervisor. I can't blindly just put one on the phone, don't work that way. He tells me his name, "Bob", and his number and the issue is with his balance and being put on hold. Ok, no problem, but, I will have to put you on hold to get you a supervisor.
"No, you don't have to put me on hold!"
"Sir, in order for me to get a supervisor over here, I need to leave my desk and my phone, which means I have to put you on hold."
"No! Take the phone with you! You guys are all on cell phones anyways!"
Uhhhh, god, I wish we were on wireless headsets, I would feel a little freer, and not like I'm a chained dog in a yard. I digress. And I sigh heavily. "Sir, in order. for. me. to. get. you. a. supervisor. i. need. to. put. you. on. hold."
"Fine! You solve my problem, then!"
"Ok, what's the issue?"
He proceeds to tell me that he is supposed to have free nights and weekends. I roll my eyes. This is what the weekends are made of, seriously, "Why you all took my dollar ninety nine? I gots free nights and weekends. Y'all always taking my money all the time."
He then proceeds to keep dropping the f-bomb every few words, "You all making these fucking cheap phones and keep fucking taking my money all the fucking time" lather, rinse, repeat.
Finally, I break in to his diatribe. "Sir? Sir!"
"No, you let me talk! Stop interrupting me!"
"No, you listen to me! You will discontinue use of profanity while I am taking this call, I will not tolerate this abuse from you and I will release..."
"I'm not using profanity! I'm trying to tell you..."
"Sir, you will shut up and listen to what I have to say right now. You are using the f word, I will not tolerate it. I understand that you are upset, but you will not use that language, you will act like an adult and you will keep this call professional. I will release this call if you continue to conduct yourself in this manner, do you understand what I am saying to you right now?"
I confess, I was yelling. I lost my cool. My neighbors were all staring at me. I NEVER raise my voice while I'm on a call. I was so pissed off at this guy at this point that I was shaking. He seemed taken aback that I had done that, and said, "Ok, I'm sorry."
"Fine. Please continue with your issue."
Now, one of the things that I do, is I start using bigger and bigger words the more ridiculous the calls get. It's one of the ways I like to get back at them. Plus, it helps ward off the stupid. I don't want to catch it. I hear it's contagious.
So, he continues to tell me about this whole "free" thing and that he paid his fee on Friday and so he should be covered for the weekend, correct?
"No, sir, that is incorrect. It is a daily access fee. Daily means for that day. In order to receive..."
"No, that is NOT what daily means! I am covered for the fucking weekend..."
"Thank you for calling Big Red, have a great rest of your evening." aaaaand to the release department he goes.

He was warned. I'm done. Not going to take that kind of verbal abuse. Don't get paid enough. And I won't reward bad behavior. Like the last rep who had his call and credited him $.99 for mobile web access even though there were MULTIPLE accesses after the fee was charged. And, I don't mean one or two, I mean about 15 that I could see on the page. Bad rep! No cookie!

They aren't all bad
"John" called tonight. His son had his wife's phone and they couldn't get a hold of him, so he called in to make a payment. I gave him the new balance he seemed to be confused, "Oh! So, there was money on the account? Hmmm, we can't contact him."
I take a look and sure enough, call forwarding to the number 9. I remove it and all is well.
"Thank you so much, you really helped me out. I really appreciate it. And, I've learned a lot while talking to you. Thanks! You are really great!"
Seriously, this guy was the sweetest person in the world. Ever. Not begging for credits, didn't even mention what was going on with the phone, just thought it needed some money. I did refund his card for him, he seemed surprised I could. Great guy all around.

You wonder why we don't issue credits for every sob story

I get that you having a tough time, but, I can't issue a credit for every story. This one didn't happen to me, it happened to my neighbor, G. The woman called in and asked for some credit on her phone because her son was just killed in a car accident, and she was at the scene of the accident and needed to call her family. She mentioned that the cops were all around her. G says, "Then why don't you ask the police to use their phones. We will not issue you a credit." The woman hung up.

Please, do not EVER use that as a fucking excuse to get a dollar on your account. Really? Your son is dead? Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. That is the most disgusting thing I've heard to get a credit. Have some fucking common decency. Ugh. Nothing but disgust from both of us. G was the fourth rep to get that woman begging for money. She had been trying for about an hour. G said she didn't even sound upset. I understand about shock and everything, but, really, at least try to play the part of grieving mother convincingly for your dollar.

That went on a lot longer than I thought it would. Whew. I hope you were all entertained by the stories.
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(no subject)
10:29am 05/07/2010 (UTC)
*hugs* Been there, girl.

Well, almost there. The only one of these tales I can top from my own experience has to be the first one. Only because for me, it was a fellow employee calling in for a credit. XD
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