My manager had my back

My team hasn’t had a manager for a while so escalations for a long time were to our company CEO And while I’ve had a couple of run ins with my current manager, today I breathed a sigh of relief.

Part of my job is assessing finance applications – checking identity information, checking credit files and reviewing bank statements.

A customer went to the bank statement stage as her credit file was very borderline for approval. In the process though I found she already had a previous account with us under a different name (same name but a shortened version – think Bob and Robert). This customer had been listed as “no further business” following a rough history with collections (including myself).

I gave her the benefit of the doubt and went on to review her bank statements. Unfortunately there was a negative mark on her bank statements that meant I could not approve her.

Customer called up FURIOUS that I had declined her. She already had taken and used the item she was financing…why wouldn’t you check for finance first…and I could see from her bank statement that she couldn’t afford it outright.

I explained why I declined her application and after trying to argue with me she asked for a manager….I advised the customer that I was part of the after hours team (it was the weekend) and I could have my manager call back Monday. The customer refused this and once she realises I was not changing my decision she hung up.

We received an email today requesting escalation from the customer as she “would not be spoken down to like that”.

I approached my manager and explained the call (in more detail than above) and explained that I never raised my voice and advised he was welcome to listen to the call recordings if he likes.

He asked “do you feel I NEED to listen to the recording?”.

“No” I said “I’m the last person to raise my voice or talk down to anyone, I barely change my tone”

Okay, no problem, I trust you made the right decision/.”

… Wow.

(In my 12 months working collections, including in cases where health insurance or Medicare (in Australia) is involved, I have only ever raised my voice once but that was only when I customer chose personal insults and all I did was raise my voice to talk over him to advise he was being rude and I was ending the call – I’m rather softly spoken when speaking to customers)

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