A few years ago I was working in a call center in the retention department of a TV and broadband provider, and I got this particular call a few days before Christmas.
The call came in and I did the usual “thanks for calling ___, this is WMBCG, how can I help?”
Next thing I hear is a young child’s voice: “The telly is gone”
“The telly is gone”
I checked the account and saw it was in a woman’s name.
“…uh, is your mom around?”
“The telly is gone”
Then I hear some movement and the mother picks up the phone. I half expected to get “oh sorry the child accidentally rang”.
Instead I got
“Do ya hear that? The poor child has no telly would ya ever turn it back on”.
I’m baffled by what’s happening so I go into the account to take a look, even though I had a good idea. Checked their billing section and, yup, just as I suspected. Their account had been suspended due to missing their monthly bill. Normally what happens is we would offer to clear the debt as a one-time exception, but looking through the notes it appears she had already availed of hers, and was in contact regularly enough trying to get it again. And now she was bringing her kid into it.
“Okay, it appears that your services were suspended due last months bill being missed. You’ll have to clear the debt to resume service.”
“Ah but didn’t you hear the poor child, he’ll have no telly now for the Christmas.”
“I understand, but the services will resume once you pay for them.”
“But it’s Christmas week can’t you just clear it, the poor boy won’t be able to watch any telly.”
“I’m sorry but you have used your onetime exception and you would’ve been notified of the payment being missed. We can’t proceed without the debt being cleared.”
“Ah I know but it’s Christmas week, you know how expensive Christmas is”
The bill that she missed was actually her November bill. When you miss a payment you’re given 30 days grace and services remain unaffected before the account actually goes in to suspension if not paid up. Which I relayed on to this woman.
“I understand it is Christmas week. But this payment has been due since last month. And now you’re December bill is also due. But since it is Christmas, I can turn on your services if you can pay the November bill.”
“That’s not on, it’s Christmas week and you won’t give the child his telly back. Get a manager.”
Asked my manager to take the call and explained it to him.
Manager takes the phone
“Hi this is WMBCG manager, how can I help?”
“Oh brilliant, would you be able to turn on the telly? It is Christmas after all”
“Yes we can certainly do that. Are you at home now?”
“Yes! We are, thank you.”
“Perfect so the services will resume as soon as you pay off the debt that’s owed on the account”
“NO, TURN ON THE TELLY FOR THE CH-“
“Thanks for calling but we cannot go any further. Goodbye”.
I hope they had enough box sets and dvds.