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That’s Not An Answer

A few years ago, I was working in a call center that dealt with student loans. I had a customer that had a problem with the way his payments were being applied to his account. He was paying sporadically, and never on time.

I explained to him why we were applying payments made at certain times, to past due balances he had, and why he constantly had a rolling balance. You know, typical billing call. You’ve probably had plenty of them.

We go back and forth for about 25 minutes, as I provide him with a detailed, line by line breakdown of what he owed, when he owed it, then when he paid and what past due portion his payment was applied to. I explain this politely over and over and over again.

After each round of explaination, my customer could tell me that this makes no sense, and that he’s asking reasonable questions.

It eventually ends up like this:

Me: And that’s why you have this eternally past due balance. You’re always carrying the previous month’s balance forward, and that makes it seem like you’re getting nowhere.

Customer: This makes no sense. I keep asking you what’s going on, but you keep refusing to answer my questions. I’m getting no help here.

Me: I apologize sir, I’m trying to answer. We can go through this again if you like.

Customer: Again? We haven’t gone through this at all. I asked very straightforward questions and you won’t answer me.

Me: I’ve answered, I’ve answered very directly. You carry a past due balance forward because you’re always paying last month’s payment this month.

Customer: But I paid you this month.

Me: Correct, but you’ve paid me a month late, so your payment that’s received this month, is applied to last month’s balance.

Customer: There you go again. You’re not answering my question.

Me: … That… That was definitely… I apologize sir, I don’t think I could be any more upfront about the answer to what you’ve asked for.

Customer: No. You’ve been evasive this whole time. Answer the question, why do I pay but I’m always looking at a balance?

Me: Yes, this is because you-

Customer: No, don’t start when that again. That. Is not. Am answer.

Now I worked in a small call center, maybe 28-30 people. We had a break room not far from my desk, with a door that closes. I politely asked him if I can put him on hold to “do some research.” Then I calmly walked into the empty break room and closed the door. I proceeded to grab an empty metal paper towel rack that was sitting on a table, and then beat the ever living tar out of a chair. My entire fit lasted maybe 30 seconds but, BOY did it feel GOOD.

I then walked back to my desk and resumed the call. He never got it. He finally just hung up.

This was for student loans. That dude, went to college.

What do you think?

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