During the housing market crash in 2008, I was working for a telecommunications company aka a phone company. I was the guy you talked to when you wanted to start service, stop service, pissed about your bill, make a payment, change service, questions about a bill, etc etc etc.
I get this call from this lady in January 2009 and she tells me how she hasn’t paid the bill in about 2-3 months and needs to reduce her services to just basic landline and I don’t know why I still remember this, but that is $10.43 a month plus tax. Now, this lady had EVERYTHING – cable with all the channels plus all the premium movie channels, biggest home phone package with all the features like caller ID, call waiting, *69, even shit people don’t even use like auto return calls (if you called someone and got a busy signal, you could have the system continually call back until it gets through), unlimited long distance ( yea, that was a big deal back then), and the highest internet we offered (a whopping 3.0Mbps!!!). This bill monthly after tax was $250+. So she owed like $750 or something.
What was crazy about this already was this lady made no excuses as to why she didn’t pay the bill. She wasn’t yelling, blaming anyone, making excuses, trying to get credit, requesting a supervisor, none of it!
So, like a good little call center representative, I put on my retention hat and asked why she was canceling everything except the bare-bones service. She explained her husband lost his job due to the recession and they just fell behind. No big excuses, no crying, just telling it like it is. Meanwhile, I’m looking at her payment history and her internal credit score (basically how good a customer someone is) to see if she is blowing smoke up my ass and she wasn’t, she had perfect payment for years.
I did as she asked and removed the services and also let her know I was going to backdate it to the beginning of the billing cycle so she wouldn’t have to pay her full $250+ bill this month and only the $10 plus change. This was a kind of goodwill policy the company said we could do, and knowing we sometimes get recorded I used it, except…..I lied.
Instead of backing dating the bill to 1/4/09 (not sure if that was the actual bill cycle date, but you get the idea), I back-dated it to 1/4/08. Yes, I backdated it a full year, cause fuck this company, they have the money. So instead of just not paying the current full bill, she most likely got a credit back on her bill for $3000ish and with her new $10 bill, that should take care of her and her fam for a while. To cover my ass if anything got brought up about it, I was going to say I mistyped the date wrong, it’s January, and how often for those first few weeks do we still write the date with the previous year?! I did pull her account up a few months later to see if anything changed and nope, she had like a $2900 credit or so still on her account!
Obviously not sure whatever happened to this family, just hope the money she would have paid went to something fun for her and her family since it sounded like shit was rough for them and she took responsibility and didn’t pass any blame.