I am getting paid 0/hour for this

LTL, FTP and all the fun stuff. English isn’t my first language either so excuse any awkward phrasing.

I’ve pretty much purged all my memory of my short stint in a certain call centre company (I’m in chat support now and infinitely less stressed) but this one stuck.

Background: Telco company, our job description is to handle billing and general inquiry. We were also front-liners, meaning we’re the one who receives most of the calls then transfer them to the appropriate department. The thing is, we weren’t allowed to transfer until we are sure that it is something that we cannot handle on our end and we’ve exhausted absolutely all resources that we have. Since we were (briefly) trained for all general product knowledge and we have are all able to access all the tools other department uses, we’ve somehow became tech support, retentions, collections, fraud prevention and therapist while the other departments do jack shit. But enough with that rant.

It was my last customer of the day. The call came in two seconds before I was allowed to hit “away” and close my system.

Cx: Hi there. For the past few days I haven’t been able to receive calls. I’ve already missed some important business calls and it’s very distressing. I hope you can help.

She was very polite, and in these cases, a quick reset of network settings usually do the trick. I thought I was actually going to get home early. Boy, I was wrong.

We went through the usual troubleshooting steps. Stuff like checking if other services like data was working (it was) and then tweaking the network settings, etc. It became immediately apparent that she was wasn’t the most technologically literate, putting it gently. She didn’t know how to use her phone much beyond making calls and emails. It took us minutes to help her navigate into Settings, and even longer to navigate to her to Network. She wasn’t using a phone we sell, and I had to watch a Youtube video to help her navigate. I had to describe the icons to her (“It’s the blue icon with a picture of a gear on the top right of the screen that says Settings underneath”) and to tell her where to tap (“Now, tap the third item on the screen, then on the top of the screen it should read XXX and you should see XXX”), because technology apparently renders wealthy, intelligent businessmen illiterate. She would also mess up a few times and we had to start over (she didn’t even know how to go to the home screen), and go through the whole process again because she couldn’t remember anything.

A call that usually takes 20 minutes max took us almost two hours, and we weren’t even paid OT if we had a long call because it was always our fault somehow, and it was well past my shift. She was still very polite and patient and apologetic for her stupidity. When we’ve done all that I had the energy to do, I asked her if she has another phone she can use to call herself to check if it’s working now. She said she doesn’t. I just gave up, and told her to end the call and I’ll ring her back. If she was able receive the call, then that means issue resolved. If not, then she can just call back to try more steps but she can be someone else’s problem.

I did my notes and called her back. She picked up after three rings. I almost cried.

Me: This is white_lady from XXX Mobile. I’m glad to see you’re able to receive calls now!

Cx: Wait, I’m still not receiving calls!

My soul pretty much left my body at that point. I told her that if she was able to hear her phone ring and accept the call, that means her issue if fixed.

Cx: Well, you see, I was able to answer your call because I was looking at my screen. It only rang very faintly. I wouldn’t be able to do that all the time. This has been my problem for the past days, I haven’t been receiving calls and when I check my phone at the end of the day I already have several missed calls!

I stared at the screen for 20 seconds straight without saying anything. I then quickly guided to adjusting the volume of incoming calls. I told her I would call her back, didn’t even get her permission, just hung up and redialed. She answered after the fifth ring.

Cx: It’s working now! You’re an absolute angel, thank you!

On hindsight, I should have probed more before getting into it. She didn’t even leave a satisfied survey.

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