So a little backstory which is necessary to understand. I work for a company which is a third party that handles overflow for agencies that are contracted to run background checks for all manners of things (employment, mortgage, loans, credit cards, license renewals, etc). I exclusively handle the employment history portion of the background checks, and aside from the applicant’s necessary data that is required to obtain the verification of employment (VOE), I am provided with nothing else. We make around 140 calls a day, roughly, and each order we get has a reference number, which we give out whenever we leave messages, so when they call in to provide the VOE, we can quickly pull the order up. We can search by the employer name (IE Best Buy, Walmart, etc.), phone number, or the applicant’s name, but the best way to pull up the order is with the reference number. As the other options will usually pull up a list of orders that we have to search through to find the correct order. I also need to note that because we’re a third party, we have no idea how quickly our clients need the information, as they could be applying for anything that requires them to submit prior employment information, which means we call daily until we get a response, or until 4 calls have been made in total, unless the client requests that we call more than 4 times.
So this happened about 8ish months into me being employed here, obviously I can’t provide any identifying information, so the caller will simply be referred to as Lady.
I answer the phone “good morning, may I have your reference number” the lady immediately starts yelling. Lady: “I have gotten 4 calls from your company and it’s overloading my voicemails, I’m very busy, and honestly this is so ridiculous, you guys are not the most important people in the world you know.”
Me: “I’m sorry for the regular calls, because we’re a third party, we don’t know how quickly the client needs the VOE, so we do call daily. The VOE process takes roughly two minutes, and I can be out of your hair after that, with no follow up calls afterwards, all I need to get started is the reference number.”
Lady: “I’m not giving you that, I want to be removed from your calling list immediately.”
Now we don’t keep a call list of people we call out to, so I need some kind of identifying information to pull the order so I can get her removed.
Me: “sure thing, that’s not a problem. I do need a reference number so I can pull the order, at which point I can remove you from our call list.”
Lady: she groans loudly, then gives me a reference number.
The reference number is old and is not going to an order linked to her or her company. Most likely the person leaving her a message did not speak clearly enough when leaving the number, or she had a typo writing it down.
Me: “I wasn’t able to pull up an open order with that reference number. I see a number on the caller ID. Is this the number that we contacted you on?”
Lady: another loud groan “Yes.”
At this point I search for the number from the caller ID. Which doesn’t pull anything up.
Me: “I wasn’t able to pull anything up from that phone number either. Do you have an alternate number we would have contacted, maybe if we were transferred to you from the main operator, or something similar?”
Lady: getting audibly agitated, gives me a different number which also pulls nothing up.
Me: “I’m sorry, that didn’t pull anything up either. How about the company name, I should be able to find it that way, I do need the exact spelling of the company though.”
Lady starts yelling again: “This is so ridiculous, you all are the ones calling me, how hard can it be to locate the order?! Just remove me from your call list!!”
Me: “Miss. There’s 13 of us here, each of us making 140 calls a day, if I can’t find the order, I can’t remove you from the call list. If you have the company name or the name of our applicant, I can search by either of those to locate the order.”
Lady: still yelling “what you think you’re the only ones who are busy, I’m busy too, I don’t have time to deal with this shit, what’s your name? And I want to speak with the Manager, this is absolutely ridiculous.”
Me: I give her my name, and ask her if she can hold.
Thankfully, she agreed to hold and stopped yelling. I get up to find a Manager, my supervisor tells me they’re in a meeting, and tells me to get her number so we can call her back. I was a little put off by that, because I knew the lady would freak out again, but nothing for it. I go back to my desk.
Me: “Ma’am are you still there?”
Me: “The Manager is in a meeting at the moment, they asked that I take your number so they can give you a call. Is the caller ID number okay, or do you have a different number that you would like us to use?”
Lady: “Unfucking believable, I’ll wait for them!”
Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure how long their meeting will last, it could be up to 2 hours or longer.”
At this point she is yelling so loud, I couldn’t discern any language from it. After she stops yelling, she tells me the caller ID is fine and then tells me they better call within the next hour before hanging up on me.
Afterwards, I passed it off to the Manager who came in right afterwards. She pulled the audio tape to listen to and told me I did the best she could have expected. We had 6 trainees on the phones, and she was glad that I was the one who had taken the call and not one of the trainees. Later, she informed me that the woman had obviously had the wrong reference number and we were able to get our applicant’s verification. What should have taken 2 minutes, took over 15 minutes on my part, and almost another half an hour on my Manager’s. Easily the worst call I’ve had working here, and it’s calls like this that make me want to quit.