This one wasn’t my call but I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to Y-jack on the call.
I was in collections for credit cards a while back. We usually had interesting calls but we always were polite and professional in our practices. However, everyone had their day but we would pull it back together.
We were always advised to help the customer find a solution and offer a few methods to the customer to get money together if they didn’t have the money to make a payment and bring their account current.
Normally while Y-Jacking, if something went awry, I would take over the call to ease tension and find solutions. I didn’t dare touch this one, mainly because I was speechless and probably couldn’t have talked anyway.
R will be rep, C for customer.
R: Hello, I’m looking to speak with [C name].
C: This is him.
R: [collections opening] and I see you’re behind on you payments. I called to see if you were able to make a payment to bring your account current.
C: I’m sorry but I am not able to at the moment. Unfortunately we’re on a tight budget right now and all of our bills have been suffering.
We heard this one all the time. Some generic response and that they couldn’t make a payment but we were trained to ask what was going on so we could evaluate the situation and try to find a solution. After a while you are able to determine who is full of shit and who is genuinely having trouble.
R: Do you mind me asking what’s causing the limited budget? Maybe we could find a payment plan that could help you out.
C: My son was diagnosed with cancer 4 months ago and the medical bills are through the roof. We’ve had to sell a lot of our belongings just to keep his treatment going because I’m not pulling enough in through work.
R: I’m sorry to hear about your son. I could imagine that would be a difficult situation. Let me ask, would there be any family or friends that may be able to loan you a little money that way we could at least bring the account current and avoid it being charged off?
Once an account reached a certain age of delinquency, the account was sold to a third party collection agency instead of in house collections trying to recover.
C: No, my wife quit her job to stay home and take care of our son and to be honest this card isn’t my first priority.
I can respect that but the rep didn’t want to give up.
R: I can understand that you have more important matters to attend to but by neglecting you financial obligation to this card, it will only cause more of a headache for you down the road….
(We never tell the customer about effects on credit or anything related to credit. We didn’t work for the credit bureau so it wasn’t our job.)
R: …I would just hate to see it effect your credit once it has been charged off. Do you think you would be able to defer a utility bill so we’re could work out a payment plan?
C: sir, I have already made my own arrangements with [utility companies] and as I said before, this card is just going to have to be neglected for the time being until something changes financially and we get caught up on my son’s medical bills. He comes before this card.
R: I can understand that you son takes priority. Im just trying to help find a solution to pull in extra money…(customer cuts off rep)
C: you obviously don’t understand because you keep pushing and now you’re pissing me off.
Prepare shit to hit the fan in 3… 2… 1…
R: in a bit of an aggravated tone I’m sorry sir but have you considered having a garage sale to sell the toys you won’t be needing soon? That may help raise the money.
My jaw dropped, I unplugged and walked away. I didn’t hear the rest of it, I didn’t want to hear the rest of it and I sure as hell wasn’t going to be a part of that. We had an amazing QA department and needless to say is that rep was not there for much longer.