I work at a call center in the sales department of one of the largest ESCOs (Energy Service Company) in the US. I do cold calling but I also take incoming calls along with a few other agents when available. I get all kinds of calls ranging from people who would like to; enroll, terminate their account, speak with a specific agent or have their number taken off our calling list.
So I’m having a weak day, only have one sale and I’m tired from calling. I almost went home early but decided to push a little more.
So I get this anonymous call from a number not registered on our system.
Me: Hi. Thank you for calling _____ Energy. My name is Sam. How may I help you?
Her: Hi. I would like you to take my number off your list.
Me: Not a problem. I see you’re calling from a different number than the one we called you on as this one is not registered in our system. Would you like to tell me the number you want removed?
Her: You have my number. You just called it.
Me: Yes ma’am. We do. But we have a lot of agents who call hundreds of people every day. So to find your number, I need you to tell me what it is.
Her: No, you’re lying. You just called it. Take it off your list!
Me: Ma’am, I did not call your number. It must have been a different agent. If you just tell me the number, I’ll be more than happy to take it off the list.
Her: No, you’re a liar. I know you have it. Stop lying to me!
Me: I am not lying to you ma’am. This is the only number I see right now, the one you’re calling on right now. Is that the one you’d like me to remove?
Her: No! I want you to remove the one you just called me on!
Me: Look ma’am, if you want your number taken off our list, just tell me the number and I’ll take it off, otherwise I cannot help you. I just don’t know what number it is.
(This goes on for 5 minutes already)
Her: You are such a liar. I want to speak with your manager. Right now!
Me: Ma’am, my manager won’t be able to help you either if you won’t provide us with your number. If you say that we have the number why can’t you just tell it to us since we already have it? Once I find it in our system, I’ll be happy t—
Her: You are so rude! Give me the manager! I want to speak with your manager! (I’m not really supposed to bother the manager about this as she won’t be able to help her either)
(However, I’m a little nervous now as I never had this problem before so I get up to tell the manager who’s in the middle of a meeting)
Me: I’m sorry but my manager is busy right now…
Her: Oh right she’s busy, how convenient for you. Stop lying to me!
Me: Ma’am I promise you I am not lying, if you won’t give the number to take off the list, I’m afraid I can’t help you and I’m going to have to hang up the phone.
(She continued shouting and screaming how I’m a liar so I just hung up on her which I felt pretty bad about as that was the first time I ever hung up on a caller. However I was a little relieved now after all the verbal abuse I got)
(I immediately get another incoming call)
Me: Hi. _____ Energy. How may I help you?
(It was the same woman)
Her: I would like to speak with the manager.
(I hung up on her again, she calls back immediately now for the third time)
(I was really anxious now, speechless actually as I never encountered such a problem before. And I’m not sure if she knew it was me again so I just said)
Me: OK, hold on a moment please.
(I get up, put myself on mute and think for a second… I decide to get one of my coworkers to say he’s the supervisor when in truth he’s just another agent like me)
So he ends up talking to her for over 10mins. I feel bad as time is money in this office. I hear him apologizing “He was rude to you? I’m sorry to hear that Emily”.
Now I’m thinking “she gave him her name but not her number?! What’s wrong with her?” I hear him reading out our number, the same one she used to call us, telling her that when she finds her number she should call this number and we’ll take it off.
After the call he tells me she apologized to him as she doesn’t know her number (I guess she must have moved to a new place) so I’m going crazy now! Why couldn’t she just tell me that? What did I say? Was she embarrassed? Was it her ego? Sigh.
I left work an hour early that day, right after that. I was finished.
The next day another one of our agents got the call from her and took her number off the list. Phew! The agent then teased me about how she said I was rude, when she didn’t know her own number and ended up wasting over 20 minutes of our valuable time.
Sure, it’s my fault. You live and learn. Now I know what to ask for next time, “Why don’t you call me back when you know what your number is and I’ll be happy to take it off.”
But in all seriousness I’d love to hear what you guys think on how I could have handled this better. Let me know!