I used to be a Customer Service Rep at a Call Center for a fairly prominent retail entity. Taking orders, general info, fan talk, you name it. The following call I can 100% guarantee the recording was kept on file for future training purposes.
(Some details have been kept vague in order to maintain anonymity of the company, myself and the customer.)
The Problem: The customer tried to register his kid’s online computer game incorrectly, wasn’t working. Here’s what happened:
– Out the gate, Customer claims he’s been on hold for twenty minutes. Our call queues show no wait times, so he’s either lying to gain leverage / justify his anger or was transferred from another line that has nothing to do with us.
– Customer starts going full abusive; interrupting to tell me how bad I am at my job then attacking me for waiting for him to finish yelling. Just opportunistically switching from “No, YOU let ME talk, YOU shut up and take this.” to* “Are you still there? Well SAY something, you idiot!*”
– Refusing de-escalation attempts, he pops off this gem: “What is WRONG with you? Are you educated? Are you even REMOTELY educated? I don’t think you are. You don’t SOUND educated to me. I bet you didn’t even finish high school. Do you know what the word “egregious” means? Do you? Egregious means “colossally bad”, that’s what this is.”
– Customer puts ME on hold twice, taunting me in the process. (“You know what? I’m putting YOU on hold. Let’s see how YOU like it!”) During this time, I figure out the issue, but every time I try to explain the situation the customer cuts me off. At this point he is actively preventing me from solving his problem.
– After growing bored of putting me on hold, he reverts back to demanding I fix his problem: “SHUT UP AND TELL ME HOW TO FIX THIS.” (At this point, I repeat back to him “Yes, I WILL shut up and tell you how to fix this”) He fires back with: “OH DON’T DO THAT…. DON’T.” This garners the attention of the rest of my team, who begin passively eavesdropping.
– Customer then demands to speak to my manager. My manager takes over the call at my desk with me. Because the customer is still refusing to give the info I need to fix the issue he proceeds to treat her just as badly. He then puts HER on hold for two minutes out of spite and then proceeds to bully her so much that she nearly breaks down in tears, forcing me to take the phone call back. Upon hearing my voice he responds “Oh good, it’s you again.”
– At this point he is now screaming his credit card information at the phone when I start explaining what the issue is, demanding: “JUST FIX IT. JUST FIX IT. I HAVE MONEY JUST FIX IT. (Screams card number and security code)”
– Customer demands my full name. After receiving it, he starts saying: “Listen to me (my name); I’m not threatening you… I AM NOT THREATENING YOU….. but I am a VERY wealthy and powerful man and I can make your life VERY difficult. I am NOT threatening you! “
– He then begins screaming away from the phone, seemingly directed at someone in the room, which sounds like a wife and child. I hear what sounds like a kid crying and a woman trying to calm him down as a door slams.
– I’ve run out of care at this point, so I talk down to him and spell out that in order to solve his problem I need to obtain a valid e-mail address and get an authorization code from a different department, which involves either putting him on hold or doing a follow-up call. I recall using the phrase “I can’t wave a wand to magically fix this problem right now. Believe me; if I could I would have done it five times over by now.”
– The customer becomes more cooperative. He coughs up the information I need. He then says: “Just send me an e-mail, my phone is dying.” and hangs up.
– Five minutes later, I send an e-mail with the info he needs along with instructions on how to register his kid’s computer game correctly so he doesn’t have to call us back. I also tagged on some extras as apologies for the trouble. Never heard from him again. I think about that phone call once every couple months. This was ten years ago.