Knackered!

Customers were going mad today! Call after call after call. Not pleasant, especially when half of them came through to the wrong department. We were ripping our hair out by the end of the night.

A lot of them were quite rude as well. And deaf. When my colleagues phoned me I had to ask if I was shouting or speaking too loud. I had to do this with several customers so it seemed like it was becoming the norm.

I had a customer yelling at me saying we had phoned her 3 times today. However, it wasn’t us it was some other company. She just got our number off the internet so decided to call and vent her anger. Thanks lady. Very clever of you.

I had an elderly customer asking why we had taken a payment out of her bank. I asked her what company name was next to the payment. Yes, you guessed it. It wasn’t us. That call took 20 minutes. I explained several times that the name of the company on the bank statement was who the payment was made to. A very simple deduction. She couldn’t take it in. She kept going on about a letter she had received with our company logo. I kept pointing out that the letter was not her bank statement. I had to speak loudly to this customer as well.

Now I’m knackered.

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Vitamins?

Someone tried to place an order with me for multi-vitamins today. I politely advised her that we sold insurance. Maybe she thought the vitamins would provide insurance. Insurance for a healthier life perhaps?

Surely a healthy diet would be better. Organic and free range produce better still. Afterall, would you spray a carrot or a pork chop with fly spray and then eat it? Would you dip your chicken in an unflushed toilet before you eat it? But then again it’s not for me to say. Maybe other people would do that. You never know what happens behind closed doors.

Maybe she wanted a boost to her energy. I could have offered a good kick up the backside. That would have given her a flying start. Her energy would have soared to new heights. She could have been singing soprano.

Alas! I failed in my customer care. I did not offer this free service.

Yet Another Lawyer

Our call centre seems to be a beacon for wannabe lawyers. Not sure why. I sometimes wonder if they have plans to sue the company, for something. Not sure what.

Over the years I’ve been working there I’ve seen the comings and goings of several lawyers. Some of them are fully qualified while others are still studying. I’m sure the customers would be extremely polite if they knew they were talking to a lawyer! That would be interesting.

It’s an ideal place to study. Although quite busy most of the time there are the quiet periods when we are able to get a book out. You often see people writing away with very complicated looking tomes next to them. The flexible hours are also convenient for those attending university.

Working at a call centre also gives young people the experience of dealing on a one to one basis with the general public. This is a prerequisite of many careers.

We are called upon to show a multitude of traits – knowledge, specialism, empathy, sympathy, to name but a few. We deal with all walks of life, cultures, ages. We have to deal with angry customers, pompous customers, grieving customers, sick customers, or just plain thick people. We have to know our products indepth as well as being uptodate with the laws on DPA and the regulations of the FCA.

It’s not as easy as the general public think. We are expertly trained with many qualifications, from outside and inside the company. We are frequently treated like diret by customers who don’t know the difference between a drain and a clean water pipe, and we are constantly being asked about other companies – something that we cannot discuss.

And we get paid better than a lot of other people.

Deaf Customers On The Telephone

A customer phoned through a few days ago and advised me that she was profoundly deaf. She wanted to renew her policy. I dutifully raised my voice by several octaves until she could just about hear me.

Because we are registered by the FCA there are scriptings that we have to adhere to. With my thoat aching and my voice beginning to fail I began to start on the one paragraph for renewals that we need to read out. The customer immediately began to complain and told me that she ‘hadn’t got a clue what I was on about’. I spoke louder and tried a few times to read this paragraph, and got the same response each time. She then decided to have a got at me.

She began shouting at me saying that all she wanted to do was give me her card number to renew her policy, and I was refusing to take it. I wasn’t. I was trying to do my job. While she was ranting and raving at me, which took several minutes, I decided it would be best to stay silent. When I had had enough I told her to send it in the post.

At this point my colleagues were doubled up with laughter. I was trying to keep a straight face, which was increasingly difficult, and the customer still said she couldn’t hear me and didn’t know what I was talking about.

If someone is that deaf why do they insist on using the telephone when they can send something in the post? My voice had almost gone by the time I had finished. She couldn’t hear me and didn’t understand anything I was saying. So why did she phone? The renewal letter has a reply form. Why make life difficult for herself and for other people? Did she think that she could just ring someone, give her card number to a person she couldn’t hear and it would be all safe and secure? The outcome of that kind of situation does not bear thinking about. Some people are definitely a threat to themselves.

Marketing Consent

Customer hung up on me today while I was asking for marketing consent. She didn’t even bother giving me a yes or no answer. I’ll make sure we share her details with everyone so she gets loads of unsolicited mail and telephone calls.

She’ll probably listen next time and give me an answer.

Something Fishy

I had a customer by the surname of Tench phoning me today. I thought there was something fishy about the call. He didn’t clown around. He got straight to the sword point.

‘I’m after the gold at the end of the rainbow,’ he told me.

‘Stop carping about,’ I replied, ‘I ray have to put you in your plaice. You are about to skate on thin ice.’

‘This is not a red herring.’ He sprat. ‘I’m trying to make a cardinal effort to tell you about the sharks of this industry.’

I thought he’d got off to a flying start, but then he beached. I could picture him going as red as a salmon. I waited for him to gather his wits and thought I would have to go to the spout for a drop of water. As I glanced over to that area I noticed shoals of activity. Reminded me of a tin of sardines. Haddock! I realised I would have to wait.

The customer continued, climbing on to his perch. I thought he was as slippery as an eel. I couldn’t trout what he was saying. It was like sand running through my fingers. I realised he was trying to whale me in, so I let him know that his barbs weren’t stinging and his harpoons were far off the mark.

‘Well,’ he said, ‘let me stream line the current. There’s no point in lying around like a jelly fish. I won’t flounder. Cod you refund my money? I know the tide changes but this increase is extortionate. Do you think I’m Marlin? I can’t afford this. You’re a bunch of piranahs!’

‘We prefer Baracuda.’ I put him straight, reeling him in. I’ve never been known as a shrimp. I like to spear the victim on my pike. He tried to angle in another direction but I cut him off. It was like playing a tuna on double bass. ‘You can’t have a refund.’ I couldn’t help but bream. ‘I know it’s a cobbler. There’s no point in getting crabby. Elver, you moray lodge a complaint if you wish.’

‘Grouper.’ He replied, although it sounded more like a grunt. ‘I tetra I’m not the sole complainant. You’re a mudsucker!’

I cut the line.

Awful Accident

Coming home today there was an horrendous hold up on the roads. Took almost 20 minutes to get 1/2 mile. Turns out there had been a very bad accident by the roundabout. Both sides of the dual carriageway had been blocked off. Loads of police, several ambulances, a fire truck.

I was with my daughter, on our way to the creche to pick up the grandson. As we were crossing the road we heard a young lad say that two kids had been hit by a car. Both under teens. Paramedics were treating one lying on the floor at the side of the road.

As we crossed the road I had to wonder about the throng of people who were standing around watching. They couldn’t help so why were they there? Did they enjoy seeing a child injured? Did they really hope to see a child die? Sick bastards!

We had to walk up another road to the creche. A road where people had parked. Some of the drivers/passengers were standing around watching.

Getting to the creche we collected my 2 year old grandson. As we were there 2 helicoptors – air ambulances – landed outside. The grandson saw the helicoptors but didn’t know why they were there. We weren’t going to let him see either. Other people weren’t that bothered about their kids. Whole families were coming out of their homes and walking down to the accident to have a good gawp. Some had young children with them. What were they thinking? Lets give our kids nightmares. Lets show them kids lying in a mangled mess in the road so it stays with them for the rest of their lives.

The amount of people standing around getting their kicks from some poor kids accident was totally sickening. Almost as horrific as the accident. Do these people not have any compassion? Do they not care about the children in the accident? Do they not have any thought about the driver and what s/he was going through? Do they not care about the families desparately hoping that the injuries aren’t fatal?

These people obviously have loads of free time on their hands. They should be rounded up and given charity work to do or community service. That way their free time would be spent do something worth while. Not sick.