I have worked in a few different call centres now for just over a total of 6 years including inbound customer service and outbound sales and I will tell you, I have heard and been in some very shady situations with customers but today I witnessed something that made me totally lose my hope for humanity.
I have been called everything you can think of including personal remarks, racist comments and even folk who have had mental breakdowns on the phone but as I said earlier this totally threw me back.
To give you a background I work in a call centre for a bank and the guy beside me got a call today and everything seemed okay until I heard him say the magic words “If you can stop swearing at me then I can help” so I quickly wrapped up my call and sat looking at my colleague whilst he was on the phone to the customer trying to find out what he was saying.
I noticed my colleague had pulled up a complaint from this customer that was logged and I physically couldn’t believe what I was reading. This complaint was logged by someone previously to my colleague taking the call.
This customer had called up a few days ago asking the bank if we could put some money into his account as he didnt have any money at all and needed it to survive just for a bit until he was expecting another payment from his benefits. It was agreed at that point as a gesture of goodwill we could give him an amount (say £50) as an example which we didnt require back, this was done as mentioned as goodwill.
This said customer had called us again to say he still doesnt have any money and had attended a funeral today (in a town which is roughly say about 1 hour away on a train from his area) and he phoned again asking if we could give him money as he was stranded there and had no way of getting home as he had no money. It was mentioned on this complaint that a frontline agent and a Team Manager had refused to give him extra credit as a few days ago we had gave him money as goodwill and explained to him that we can’t just give him money for the sake of it. This customer had actually said to the customer service advisor who told him no to getting money from the bank “I am going to kill myself and you are the one to blame, I am going to write a suicide note and put your name in it so Karma can come back and get you.”
I genuinely couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I am all for people being a bit upset or annoyed at a situation but can you imagine saying that to someone that you have never met apart from speaking on the phone for a short amount of time. The amount of abuse call centre staff take is absolutely shocking, these are the people who are timed right to the second for any toilet breaks they take, attempting to reach totally unrealistic stats and deal with loads of pressure from their team managers and customers who are breathing down their neck constantly on a daily basis ON TOP of dealing with their own problems (which typically they are told to leave at the door.. LOL)
For anybody who thinks this shit is okay to say to someone, sit down and have a hard look at yourself. No fucking wonder call centres have huge staff turnover. This is emotional abuse to people just trying to do their job. Disgusting.