I am keeping this as vague as possible otherwise the innocent parties (aka me) will be too easy to identify.
Characters are me and LB (lazy bitch) and the scenario is that I work for a utility company helping people who struggle to pay their bills. Normally it is very rewarding as I help get people out of debt. On the other hand there are people out there who think the world owe’s them for breathing. I also need to remember the customers who don’t get into debt and not make them subsidise the people who refuse to pay.
LB: I need you to reduce the debt on my account.
Me: I would be happy to look into that for you. (After the usual checks) We only way I can reduce the debt in your account is by sending you a form to claim a grant to pay your debt for you. Unless you still have one of the forms we have sent you in the past.
LB I need you to reduce the instalments amounts.
Me: I am sorry you are currently on the minimum tariff and making the minimum contribution to your debt. I cannot reduce it further.
LB I cannot afford the payments quoted you have to reduce them.
At this point I need to explain that her payments are deducted direct from one of her income sources, under rules decided by lawmakers, not me. Again keeping details vague.
Me : There is no way to reduce the instalments because they are already at the minimum (am I repeating myself?)
LB: I have to take care of my children and you are taking too much money.
Me: You have a different source of income for taking care of children.
LB : That’s for my kids.
Yes because you have higher utility bills because you have kids so you need to allocate some of that income to paying your utility bills, but I can’t tell customers that.
LB : Lower the instalments or I want your manager to do it instead.
Me : My manager won’t change the instalment amount either.
LB : You lowered the amount before. Me: checked every bill and payment plan for the last 2 years, broke down the amounts involved to show she was paying the minimum each time and this payment plan was using the same breakdown. Also told her she should have been charged for a price increase three months ago that would be higher than she needs to pay now but as a service delayed the price increase so she could apply for a cheap tariff aimed at our poorest customers (subsidised by our other customers). Also mentioned the grant forms we had sent her multiple times in the past which if she actually bothered to return to us would have fixed this problem for her.
LB : I still want you to lower the instalments.
Me : I have explained that isn’t possible.
LB : So will you lower the instalments?
Me: No. What do you want me to do? (The customers have to directly ask to speak to a manager I can’t volunteer).
LB : Lower the instalments.
Me: They are already the lowest possible amount.
LB : So what do you suggest I do?
Me: Send us the grant form and once we get that we can look at reducing your payments.
That is an hour of my life I will never get back.