Caller: My Phone Isn’t Damaged! Phone: You Have Liquid Exposure!


This just happened, and would probably fit well in r/MaliciousCompliance, let me know what you guys think.

Several months ago I started working claims support for a company that handles insurance claims for a major US wireless carrier. All I will say is if you love magenta you probably LOVE their ads. Most of the customers are just grateful someone is willing to listen and acknowledge they have been going through a hard time.

This gentleman thought no such thing.

At the beginning of the call as I am trying to greet him he keeps cutting me off explaining that this is the third time he has had this exact problem with the same model device in the past 5 months. I apologize and advise I can see how this would be wildly inconvenient, especially if this is something that has occurred multiple times, and let him know I am happy to help him with his claim.

He is short with me through the entire call, and keeps saying things like “Isn’t that information on file?” and “Why do you need that?” But I actually like this job, and so I keep up my best customer service voice and just keep trying to help. We come up to an area where we are discussing the reason for the claim itself. The customer tells me his device is giving an error saying that the device has had liquid exposure to the charge port and will no longer charge. I go on, thinking out loud, “Okay, so your phone has been damaged and is giving an error for liquid exposure, we can help out with that!”

“No, you aren’t listening, there is no physical damage to the device, it’s saying there is liquid exposure but there couldn’t possibly be liquid exposure because I was literally just using it in my car!”

I stop, because if there is no physical damage we deem the problem to be a mechanical failure and refer to the wireless carrier for warranty exchange. I know this full well, and I also know if he goes to the store he will be told the phone is damaged and he will need to make a claim due to liquid exposure. Keep in mind, I had no ill intent here, but I was kind of done with his attitude, and I didn’t feel like giving him any freebies. Plus the calls are recorded and I don’t want to be accused of assisting to commit fraud.

Me: So you are telling me there is no physical damage…?

Customer: None at all!

Me: Okay, that is good to note on the claim, thank you! When was the device purchased?

Things go along pretty standard from this point until we get to the end of the call, and I receive an error stating the claim was denied and that the wireless carrier would be handling the claim. I start explaining this to the customer, who really wasn’t happy with what I was saying.

Me: Okay, sir, it looks like the claim you are filing is considered a mechanical failure of the device, and all mechanical failure claims are handled directly by the wireless carrier. What you want to do is reach out to their customer support team, let them know you have attempted to file a claim and that we have determined this to be mechanical breakdown. At that point they should work with you using their own warranty exchange program.

Customer: Wait, what? What do you mean, I’ve filed for this exact sort of thing before, and you guys were able to overnight me a phone! The phone says it has liquid exposure!

Me (trying to give him a way to backtrack legally): Are you telling me that the device has been physically damaged, and that we are filing it incorrectly…?

Customer: No, I told you, the phone doesn’t have any physical damage, haven’t you been listening? It say it has liquid exposure, but it says it for no damned reason because it’s been in my car in Chicago the entire day and JUST QUIT WORKING!!!

This is all I needed to hear.

Me: Okay sir, well all mechanical failure claims are administered directly by the wireless carrier, so I would need to refer back to them for additional assistance. My apologies for the inconvenience, but I hope you have a good night!

I was perfectly happy to help him properly file his claim and try to get a replacement on the way to him ASAP, but he insisted there was no damage to a device that was giving him an error saying it was damaged. I can’t argue with the claimant. I also know full well he will blow a head gasket tomorrow at the wireless store, and I almost wish I could see his face when he realizes he told me exactly the wrong thing. The store will tell him the device is damaged and he needs to file a damaged device claim.

Too bad there are some people that are so focused on the here and now that they fail to be able to read between the lines, especially when customer care IS really trying to help.

Oh well. We will hear back from him tomorrow, and we can help him get a claim properly filed. Hopefully he learns how to listen in the meantime…


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Sometimes I wonder if they’re just here to argue