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The customer is not always right.

First post here sorry for any formatting/spelling errors, dyslexic.

The story I want to share is from when I first started, I work in a government benefit that needs to be checked every year. I got a call from a customer we will call her cust, me as me, manager as m1, manager of nearby team m2. Yes, that’s right kids 2 managers were involved but that’s not where it ends.

Me: good morning your though to Me at (blank)

Cust: hi I want to give you my information for my check.

Me: ok, have you received the letter?

Cust: no but the adviser I just talked to said I could just do it without receiving it.

I check the system and the letter is not even sent out yet.

Me unless you receive the letter, I cannot do this over the phone, please call back when you receive the form and have read through it.

Cust: well I was told to call back and have done this before without needing the letter, and the customer is always right.

Me: I can’t do this until you have received the letter, and sometime the customer is not always right.

Cust: can I talk to a manager.

Me putting my headset on mute: hay M1 can you take a call

M1: sorry I am busy

M2: I will do a call back, just get their telephone number

Me off mute: sorry there’s no manager available at the moment, can I get a telephone number.

After getting all the info from cust I thank her for her call and pass it over to M2.

M2 is an old school manager, how old school? when he started, we had a bar in the office he worked in, we would not get away with that these days. Anyway, he knew how to manage a team but barely knew the systems so was taking his time looking at the whole claim. At one point he calls over M1, she knew the systems like the back of her hand, so it was normal for him to ask her for help, however its not a system problem (user error). when he last worked the phones there was a scam going on with children being added to claims in an area, so he had check for that and notices the name of the oldest child, it’s the same as cust with a different last name, the date of birth matches. After checking with M1 that there’s no new thing that he missed being off the phones he go’s over and talks to our enforcement team. I was not there for that, but the conversation goes like this.

M2: I have this odd claim with a child with a similar name to cust and the same DOB.

enforcement: that’s her madden name…

M2 this is a single claim.

enforcement: huh the other children flagged up on another claim, the mother of cust, wait the 1st child’s down on that claim as well.

M2 so the cust is claiming for her, her as a child and her child, on a single claim, when married (should be a joint) and her mother is claiming for both cust and cust baby?

enforcement: yeah.

I didn’t here the call back, but highlights were.

Cust: I can claim for me as a child if I am at college. My mum can claim for us as well.

M2: no, you can’t I am ending your claim from last year and passing your details onto enforcement for penalty’s.

She would have got away with this if she had kept her mouth shut and not asked to talk to a manager, her claim would have checked its self as she was on benefits and no change had been in the last year. Instead as the cust asked for a manager she got a penalty larger than my annual salary, her mother also got a hefty charge for the same. Now when a customers said “the customers are always right” I chuckle and tell them the last time someone told me that they got a large penalty because they were not and were in fact very very wrong.

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