I’ve been working for a local(ish) utility company for the past 4 months and I finally got to hang up on a horribly abusive customer despite trying to help her. To set the stage, we end up getting a lot of calls about getting service turned back on after being cut out for non-payment. We guarantee within 24 hours we will turn the power back on after receiving payment or a doctor’s note stating medical necessity. We only ever ever do anything quicker if it’s a company error. We can’t budge on this, it’s law in both states we service. We also have a 3rd party vendor that is supposed to handle all the collections calls but they’re lazy fucks who transfer their people to us for no reason.
So that being said here we go:
Me: “Thank you for calling Utility Company, my name is My Name, how may I help you?”
Rude Ass Customer: “My power was shut off and I need it turned back on NOW!”
Me: “Ok ma’am let me take a look at the situation here and see if I can help you out.”
I review the notes and see about 6 previous calls logged in the last hour, 2 from team leads who already told her and her husband that it’s 24 hours.
Me: “okay based on the previous times you’ve called we’ve already let you know that we can’t guarantee anything sooner than within 24 hours. Now If there’s someone available tonight we will certainly send them but we can’t guarantee that.”
RAC: “If you don’t turn my power back on, you are killing my son. You will literally be killing my sick child and I will hold you responsible”
Me: “ma’am I am not killing your child. I didn’t shut your power off and I didn’t send a work order to turn it back on. Now I’ve explained what will happen and you’ve already spoken to two team leads about this and we cannot guarantee anything sooner.”
RAC: “You need to take fucking personal responsibility for this, you need to turn my fucking power on!”
Me: “ma’am please do not sweat at me. If you continue to use language like that I will have to disconnect the call.”
Note: usually at this point people chill out and let me try to help them, not so here.
RAC: “You are personally murdering my child and you’re a fucking dickhead!”
Me: “alright ma’am as I said before, you cannot use that language with me. So I will have to disconnect the call.”
RAC: “You better not hang…”
Me: “Have a great evening ma’am!”
It really grinds my gears that people want to blame me for not taking care of their children and the needs of their family. If they had called at any point before the power was cut out and I could offer them like 5 different options to keep it on for free. There’s tons of options so disadvantaged people can get help but it seems the most angry belligerent people assume electricity is magic and only care to call us when it’s gone.
It was a very satisfying click.