I am back with tales from a utility call center spanish speaking line. The part about the Spanish line isn’t super relevant except that in some cases I make an extra effort with folks who are obviously new in the country and maybe don’t understand the whole process.
This story is not about those people.
Me: me, C: caller. ———————- (The whole conversation is in spanish which is relevant only for cultural context)
Me: Thank you for calling Utility Company, my name is Me, may I have your name please?
C: My name is Caller and I have a problem with my bill.
am already rolling my eyes. Tis the season for people to develop amnesia about what their bills look like and 99% calls have been “yes you have electric heat, yes you will be paying more, yes just like last year”.
Me: after verifying ID I’d be happy to help, what exactly is the problem?
C: my bill is very high and it’s never been this high, you need to send a technician out to investigate.
Me: Okay ma’am, let me bring up your usage and billing history for the last few years and see if this is out of place.
review and find that she has been paying this amount, give or take a few dollars for the entire time she’s been there
Me: well ma’am it does appear that this usage matches your previous history and we wouldn’t send a technician out to review it. You do not have estimated readings and because there’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s likely your electric heat.
C: preciously pleasant lady goes Hulk mode you listen to me, I’ve lived her for 10 years and I’ve never paid this much and…
M: interrupt because I ain’t got time for this you paid more than that last year and almost double that the year before. This is what you always pay in December.
C: Don’t interrupt me! You’re just a worker dripping with disdain you don’t know anything. You’re not going to a woman of 60+ years what is or isn’t correct. Now I want a technician out here immediately.
M: frustration rising ma’am I will not send a tech out to waste all of our time when you’re just going to end up paying the same amount after they find nothing wrong.
C: full Latino mom mode activated HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY! YOUR JOB IS TO DO WHAT I WANT AND I WANT A TECHNICIAN NOW!!!
M: ma’am my job is to tell you the truth and provide accurate information. Just because you don’t like what I’m saying doesn’t mean you get to change the way we do things. You trusted us enough to fix the problem before you were told it wasn’t something we’re responsible for. If you want me to send a technician I will send them, but I’m going to tell you how it will go. They will check your meter, confirm the readings were correct, report that back to us, and you will still have to pay your bill. When do you want me to send the tech?
C: I’m going to call back and talk to someone else, you’re going prejudice the tech against me so they do what you want and I have to pay this bill.
M: ma’am I’m not going to jeopardize my job or the tech’s job over a $6 increase in your bill. But feel free to call back, there’s 5 of us who speak Spanish in this department and they’re going to tell you the same thing I did. Now when would you like that tech to come out?
C: I’ll call back click
She still hasn’t called back.