I’ve posted a couple of times on this sub (here and here) and I dredged up a few more stories from my time at that call centre.
For background, this was Australia in the early 2000s and I worked for an electricity provider that serviced rural customers (ie. non-metropolitan). I was one of the people who formed the second line of customer service and later I moved into the Compliance department for an even more salty customer experience. Now on with the stories.
Birthdays are special
One of my earlier escalations was from a frontline rep who just couldn’t seem to make a customer understand that they should pay their power bill.
On handover, I read the file notes and saw that this customer had received a final notice several weeks previously and that we’d shut off the power for non-payment 2 days ago. Policy is that we only reconnected power on full payment of the outstanding bill. In this story I am Me and the stupid customer is Fuckwit McMoronface.
Me: This is Klarok from XYZ Energy. I understand that you’ve been disconnected.
Fuckwit McMoronface: I need my fucken power back on mate.
Me: I can arrange for the power to reconnected once the bill is paid in full. I can process your payment now if you have a card.
Fuckwit McMoronface: Nah mate, I don’t have any cash mate but you need to put me power back on. It’s me kid’s birthday.
Me: I’m sorry, I can’t reconnect power without payment in full.
*Fuckwit McMoronface”: I just said I don’t have any fucken cash mate. Are you deaf cunt? It’s me kid’s birthday and we need the fucken power.
Me: I’m sorry, I’m ending this call for excessive profanity. Perhaps you can have the party in the dark?
My power bill is too high!
Now lots of customers would call in to complain about the price of electricity. Frontline operators were trained with a price checking tool and questionnaire to determine if the power bill did reflect estimated usage and (surprisingly) this did resolve most of the problems. Not in this case of Mrs Clueless however…
Me: This is Klarok from XYZ Energy, I understand that you are querying your recent bill?
Ms Clueless: It’s $2,000!!! For 3 months!!! You’ve made a mistake.
Me: I can certainly investigate that for you but first I just have to confirm a few details.
Ms Clueless: The girl already did all that.
Me: I understand, but I can see that there’s a few things that she may not have fully covered. I see that you have 3 airconditioners, correct?
Ms Clueless: Yes.
I’m looking things up on the new-fangled thing called the Internet while I’m talking here…
Me: What rooms do the air-conditioners service?
Ms Clueless: They only work in the main room.
Me: About how big is this main room?
Ms Clueless: Whuh?
Me: In terms of floor area, how many square metres is it.
Ms Clueless: I don’t know, it’s the main room for our house.
Me: If you had to pace out a side, how many steps would it be?
Ms Clueless: Oh, um, maybe 30 steps. It’s longer in the other direction though.
Me: And are the ceilings high or low?
Ms Clueless: Oh, really high. The room goes up all 3 levels.
Me: OK, and can you tell me what temperature you run your air-conditioners at?
Ms Clueless: We set them as low as possible or the room just doesn’t cool off.
Me: So you’re attempting to cool room 3 stories high that is approximately 700m2 (~7500 ft2) and you’re setting your 3 normal domestic air-conditioner units to their lowest setting while the temperature is over 40C outside?
Ms Clueless: Uh, yes??
Me: I think I’ve found the problem. You need to consult with an air-conditioner provider for a more cost-effective solution to cool your property.
Ms Clueless: I’ll talk to my husband…
submitted by /u/Klarok