You know when you speak to someone at a call centre and you are memorable the staff will share their experiences as a debrief or a vent. Sometimes we go ‘Wow, what a lovely person’ or occasionally ‘I made this guy so happy he was practically crying!’ But more often it is to share what a fool we have had to deal with. Occasionally the customer becomes well known and few have become legendary.
This guy is a good example because I never once spoke to him but he featured in my daily life for over a year. I will call him Mr Lagerdrunk because that seemed to prompt most of his interactions with us. For reasons some details evade me including the exact order and others will be changed to protect the innocent (me but mostly the poor colleagues who actually had to deal with him) or to make the subject easier to understand for an international audience.
Mr Lagerdrunk may have been living up to his name when his 20 year old Ford Mundane-O that had more mileage than the Discovery space probe finally went to Automobile Heaven. He called us, Murka’s Roadside Recovery, and we did exactly what we say we do. We went to the roadside saw that the car was beyond help and recovered it to a scrap yard. He initially agreed with the diagnosis and that he would sign the car over because any value in it was roughly the cost of getting cleaned up before scrapping according to the environmental regulations in force at that time.
Overnight Mr Lagerdrunk is spotted on CCTV with a four-pack of his preferred chavalicious (red neck) beverage looking at his car and crying. In the morning he changed his mind and asks for storage until he can arrange for it to be repaired or taken somewhere else.
Well, he exceeds his policy cover limits for storage by several weeks despite numerous reminders. So it gets parked outside on the road. When the road tax (payment to be allowed to be parked and driven on public roads) finally runs out the local authority is called and the car is removed and scrapped according to the laws which includes contacting Mr Lagerdrunk to give him every opportunity to reclaim his car.
Mr Lagerdrunk (maybe this was his cunning plan all along) now holds us responsible for the loss of his beloved Mundane-O and wants compensation. We have no idea what we are dealing with and politely say no.
He goes to the independent complaints body and in a shocking exhibition of common sense and logic (complaints body rarely display either) they say no too.
He goes to the complaint body’s arbitration service and they say no.
He goes to his local politician and they say no. He goes to the local politicians arbitration service and they say no.
This is when it goes cray cray.
He decided to email us part of the contact between his politician and us to scare us (woooooo) but doesn’t edit it particularly well. The politician is telling him to go away, he has taken her to the arbitration service 13 times for not helping with spurious complaints and lost each time. ‘No’ he replied. ‘It was only four, because I withdrew nine of them before the arbitration service came to a finding.’
A nationwide report in in the news discussing that not enough children know how to swim and are at risk of drowning. We get an email asking if the CEO wears armbands.
He speaks to a colleague called ‘Robyn’ on the phone can’t cope with the concept that some women are called by that name and sends an email asking about our sexuality. That got us angry as the person who opened the email was trans and a popular member of staff who had struggled with discrimination and transphobia.
He calls the police to report the theft of his car and asks them to arrest the CEO of the company. They say no, he makes a complaint, goes to the police’s arbitration service and they call us to get some information. We explain that he is repeatedly calling and emailing us and strangely enough they aren’t surprised. It is almost as if he is doing it to them too. They have a word about harassment and malicious communications.
At that point Murka’s Roadside Recovery goes through some structural changes and the department is closed with the work being handled elsewhere. I don’t know if Mr Lagerdrunk stopped or if his own unique brand of craziness was passed onto a new group of poor unfortunate souls. Maybe he saw sense but I doubt it.