Long-time lurker, but I had to share this call that I got last week. As it was simply too ridiculous not to share with you. I work in a call-center for our national railways company. On our stations we have these helpdesks where travellers can ask quick questions, if they do not know the answer there then they either call us or give the customer our number.
In this instance the woman who worked at the helpdesk decided to give us a call to help her out with a customer at came to her. Unfortunately these people are nutoriously for working against us and making dumb mistakes.
Me will be myself.
C will be my colleague at the helpdesk.
Me: ‘’Good day, you’re speaking with Irav- how can I be of service today?’’
C: ‘’Oh hello, your speaking with [blank] from helpdesk on station [blank]. I have a rather complicated issue for you.
Sometimes colleagues make a joke about having a complicated issue. Or since these people lack a lot of the training that we have gotten it would only be a complicated issue for them. She sounded sweet so I didn’t think too much of it, joked about it too, and moved on to trying to solve the issue.
C: ‘’I have sir [blank] here who has had a misunderstanding with his payment. He has a subscription for himself, which was not deducted from his account due to low balance. Sir had received a letter about this and a week later the money was deducted from his bank account. [this was the money that he owed for his wife her subscription, not his own]. I have figured out that the deduction was for the subscription his wife has with us. But he was under the understanding that he had just paid for his own subscription and did not owe us any money any more. This is all a misunderstanding. Is there anything that we can do for the customer?
Me: ‘’Okay, I can check sir his customer information. Do you have his customer number for me?’’
At this moment I already know that per the story provided we cannot do anything for this customer, as missed payments are transferred to a collection agency. But since I like to see things for myself to make my own judgement (helpdesk colleagues, how nice they can be, are sometimes wrong about things). And I see exactly what she told me. His subscription has been called because of a missed payment and his wife her subscription has been paid for.
Me: ‘’I do indeed see that sir his subscription has been cancelled because the missing payment. Unfortunately, when a customer misses a payment the dossier is transferred to a collection agency and I am unable to do anything about this.’’
C: ‘’There must be something that we can do right? I mean it is all a misunderstanding. He does want to pay for his subscription.
Me: ‘’I understand that, but this is standard policy. When subscriptions are cancelled because of a missing payment there is nothing that we can do for them. Except for referring them to the collection agency.’’
C: ‘’I cannot believe this. I have been with this company for 42 years. You can just reactivate the subscription and waive the collection cost fee right? ‘’
Me: ‘’I just explained that I am unable to do this. It is not that I don’t want to do this, but that I am physically unable to do this. It is simply not possible.’’
C: ‘’Listen, this customer came to me for this problem and since he does not speak the language very well, I want to help him with his troubles. If you cannot do this then your supervisor can, I want to speak to him.’’
At this point I am in disbelieve at my colleague. There is literally nothing that I could do for this man and now my own colleague is about to tear into me for permissions that none of us at the customer service have. In addition to that. Under no circumstance do we put a call through to our supervisors. We have to either ask them to send a letter to headquarters (only in rare circumstances) or the customer will have to accept the answer that we provide for them.
Me: ‘’Sorry I cannot give you a supervisor. But as I told you there is nothing that we can do for him in this case. You can send him to the collection agency though. Maybe they can do something for you.’’
C: ‘’Unbelievable. I am going to file a complaint against this case and against you personally. Now what is your name?!’’
After she said this, I realized that this wouldn’t go anywhere. And since the queue for our customer service was growing, I decided that I’m better off helping them instead of her and simply disconnected the call.
This is my first post here and English is not my first language, so please be gentle 🙂