I work for a small, local ISP. I’m a senior support person. I get the cranky people who are not happy with the regular support they were given.
I recently had a call from an irate woman (IW) who was absolutely furious we were double billing her for the month & screaming about fixed incomes & overdraft fees and how we’d better be prepared to pay them for her because this is all our fault. While she is ranting I see that we had not double charged her but had actually refunded her the earlier payment. After she winds down I explain this; she doesn’t believe me. She got a notice from her bank about a $75 transaction from us & she knows its another charge. I suggest she calls her bank to clarify because I see no other transactions this month except the payment & then the reversal of it by the billing person after IW left a message saying she was cancelling.
IW goes off again! She is NOT cancelling! She got that sorted out with my supervisor. She has a service tech coming out & it better not have been cancelled because we stupidly thought she was cancelling her service! (how dare we take her at her recorded word) I assure her the visit wasn’t cancelled, this was just a communication error & I started to apologize and she snaps at me with “Don’t you tell me you are sorry! I’ve done customer service for 30 years and honey I *KNOW* you aren’t sorry”
It took all of *my* nearly 40 years of customer service training not to snap back “Look lady, I’ve been employed in some form of customer service job since I was 13 in 1980 & just because your time in grade has turned you into the Bitch Queen Goddess of all Karens does not mean *I* have lost all empathy for others too. I *am* sorry this confusion has caused you stress, partially because I know what else is going on in your life (we have notes) & I know this freak out is more about that than about this $75 misunderstanding. You need to scream at someone, can’t do it at the person you want to & unfortunately I am a convenient target. I *am* sorry your life is at this point. I *am* sorry my company is inadvertently adding to your stress. And yes, I am *really* sorry I am being screamed at by you because of it all, but reasons aside, DO NOT tell me I am not experiencing SORROW AND REGRET in this interaction.!!”
What I said was “Ma’am, I really am sorry this is causing you stress. I saw the refund the following morning & because I could see from the notes that you have been problems with service this month I let it process as a good will gesture, so you’ve got this month for free.”
Oh the great good lord! In all my years of dealing with the public I have never ever had anyone turn down free stuff. I have had them complain it wasn’t enough free stuff or it wasn’t the right free stuff, but no on has ever said to me “OH NO! You will NOT give me free service. I will NOT have it said I took something for free from you people!” But she did.
Eventually we agreed that, assuming I am not lying about it being a refund on her account, she will call & pay the bill after her service visit if she is happy with the results. If she isn’t happy she will call & cancel & we’ll call it square. If it turns out I am in fact lying about the refund our company will put the $75 back & cover any overdraft fees during the 72 hours it will take to sort this out.
*spoiler* I was NOT lying.
Addendum: We keep detailed notes about what customers tell us, so if you tell us:
you have a poodle that likes humping legs but is otherwise harmless to visitors & service techs;
your brother, his kids and their Fortnite habit have moved in with you & you are now deeply concerned about latency & data usage;
you are 88 years old and insist on the equipment being in your attic so the ‘radio waves aren’t close enough to give me brain cancer’ and therefore cannot reboot it without pulling down the heavy collapsing stairs so it’s going to take awhile;
you ‘make as much in an hour as you people make in a week’ and are ‘far too busy’ to reach under the desk and unplug & replug the equipment…
we make a note of it.
We believe there is no such thing as TMI when it comes to customer data.
Though we did not inquire why someone wanted daddysbadgirl as an email addy.