I work at a membership based roadside assistance hotline, one of my duties is before I put in a service request for anyone I have to make sure that they have an active and up to date membership to ensure that the people we’re serving have paid for the service. This should be really obvious to anyone familiar with capitalist systems, right? You want a thing you gotta pay for that thing, simple right? Not according to this guy.
Member calls in, he has a flat tire and needs it swapped out with his spare. Not a problem, it’s a routine call. I get his information, his account is in credit status (meaning he owes some money). I put him on hold so I can take a closer look at his account. He had our cheapest plan set to monthly payments and his last one had bounced, meaning he owned us a whopping 7 dollars. Now this is actually a good thing for him, because he’d called so soon after the payment bounced he was well within the grace period we have for missed payments, all I had to do was hop back on the phone and say “your last payment failed to go through, we can still provide service today just pay ASAP”
I got halfway through.
Me: Thank you for holding, unfortunately it looks like your last payment didn’t go through-
Him: [interrupting] What do you mean? I did pay! You guys take money out of my credit card every month!
Me: I can see that sir, I’m only talking about your payment for this month-
Him:[interrupting again] No! I did pay! Why aren’t you giving me the service I paid for?
Me: Sir I’m trying to tell you-
Him [interrupting] Why aren’t you giving me service today?
Me: Can I finish-
Him: [you get the idea] I am so disappointed in you people! I pay every month, never even used you before and now that I am in an emergency situation you won’t help me? You want MORE money? This is extortion! [Side note: what he said about never using us is true, he had no record of any service calls before this one. Also he was in a parking lot of a grocery store, not an emergency by any means]
Me: [starting to lose patience] SIR, you are going to get service today! I was trying to tell you that your still within the grace period for missed payments.
He quieted down a bit after I basically snapped at him and was FINALLY able to ask him the questions I needed to give him service (vehicle/location info). Afterwards I assured him that the call was dispatched and a driver should be there shortly. Now that he got what he wanted, you’d thing that would be the end of story right? HAHA nope! Now he has a problem with how we conduct business!
Him: I am very disappointed with how you answered the phone. I call in for the first time and I get told I owe you money? What the hell? [Reminder: we’re taking about 7 dollars here]
Me: I’m sorry you feel that way sir, but we are a membership based service and in order to have access to our services you do need to pay every month.
Him: okay, but why did you have to tell me like that? Payment shouldn’t be the first thing you tell me about when I call. I know I paid so this must be a problem on your end, not with me. You should fix it and not bother me with it.
Me: so your telling me that if I ever notice something wrong with your account, I shouldn’t tell you about it? I’m sorry sir but I don’t agree. If you’ve missed a payment that’s something you need to know.
Him: but I did pay, and even if I hadn’t did it have to be the first thing your told me?
Me: I’m sorry you feel that way sir, but our records do indicate that a payment was missed. Regardless if it’s a problem on your end or ours it is in your best interest to know about it. I’m just doing my job as I was instructed to.
Him: well who ever instructed you is lousy. I wanna talk to someone in charge.
By now my supervisor had already noticed that I was dealing with someone difficult and he’d opened up the call recording software and was listening to the call while I was taking it so when we got to this part he told me to just pass him through. I did and ho-boy, based on my supervisor’s half of the conversation this guy did not get any calmer. Apparently the way we should do things is to not tell him when he calls in but rather dispatch a tow truck to do the service and then after its done that’s when we should tell him he owes money. My supervisor promised to investigate the issue and left it at that. Also if you were curious he did get his flat tire changed in the end.
Now for the cherry on top: supervisor investigated the issue as promised, and it turns out this guys credit card expired. So in the end he didn’t pay and the whole issue was indeed caused by his negligence.