Had a customer who said (verbatim) “when you address me as Miss, it reminds me of what Blacks used to say to their owners”

^(Context: I work for a supermarket chain here in the UK, in their Payments Team & Fraud Team. These team are only seen as two separate teams on paper only; they are intact actually just one team.)

^(This email was forwarded to me a few weeks ago and I just remembered and thought to post it here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.)

^(DISCLAIMER: all names have been changed.)

So there I was on a nice atypical rainy English Monday morning, looking forward to reading and replying to tweets and Facebook comments sent to us by customers.

That day however, I had been tasked to deal with the customers who were unhappy with our FPOC^1 staff (this is Tier 1 & Tier 2). *Great*, I thought. *Karens all throughout the day then.*

This thread spanned over a few days before the customer service team sent it to my team. We are the final point of contact. We don’t only deal in Payments and Fraud, we are the final call; the judge, jury, and ~~executioner~~ suspenders of accounts.

So then, here we go. This is the abridged version.

After reading through the email thread, it turns out that nobody \*called\* Karen to advise her that her order was going to be delivered outside her delivery slot; she only received a text message and was not given a reason (according to her, that is. But she definitely was given a reason; the store was a driver short due to the driver isolating because of COVID. Maybe Karen should fricking read).

Karen emailed informing that the (overseas & Tier 1) customer service advisor (let’s call her, Angel) she talked to over the phone about the late delivery, had a (and this is not paraphrased (seriously))

> “very very thick and heavy accent. It was hard to understand. She was extreeemly rude and impolite. Why did my order arrive late?! I hope I get a call from someone who can speak English!”

It was found that it was Angel’s first week at her new job. Fresh out of high school. So Karen can shove it. Angel was not at fault for getting flustered.

I wrote her an email with her manager CC’d in, to offer warm words of advice and that she should keep going. Before long she will be great at her job and that I believed in her.

This ticket then went to our Tier 2 agents. We’ll call the agent… Kevin.

Kevin rang the customer to speak about this Karen’s order. He then emailed her (in a reply to the email Karen sent) what was discussed on the call as promised.

Turns out Karen had received the order (albeit late) and had a few items she was adamant were not what she ordered. She wanted to keep these items but get a refund for them (I don’t f&#%¡ng thinks so!).

As this could not be done unless she agreed to return the items, any refunds were absolutely not going to be done. This thread between Karen and Kevin went back and forth for a few more days before it got sent to me.

The only mistake Kevin made was not checking the order receipt and taking a screenshot to send send to Karen. Rookie mistake #4080 ~~record people are shady~~.

Kevin had addressed Karen as “Miss” and “Good morning/afternoon Karen” and “Miss Karen” which Karen believed was unacceptable. She wanted the refund for the items she did not order but she wanted to keep them. The refund amount totalled to £55.00. That’s a lot of money.

Taking charge I thought I would ring the customer. There was no way she would take no for an answer through email.

Through our conversation, Karen was loud. Like hella loud. That was before I emailed her a copy of her order receipt with steps on how to find the order receipt on her account. You know, the receipt showing she ordered every item she received.

Once she was shown her order receipt and truly had egg on her face, she informed she still wants to log a complain. Because of course she did.

> **Karen:** your colleague has been very rude to me through our emails. He keeps calling me by Miss Karen or just simply Miss. This is rude. I think you should give me some compensation.

> **Me:** (internally thinking: no, I do not think so.) I can see that the order was 5 minutes late. I am more than happy to add a £5.00 voucher that will be available for 6 months. Can you please inform me how you would like to be addressed? I do not believe my colleague has done anything wrong but we here at [company name] strive to represent everybody.

> **Karen:** Well I should be addressed as Miss. Smith or Miss Karen Smith. Just being called Miss. or Miss. Karen reminds me of the 1800’s in (the) Americas and how the Blacks called their owners. I am not a slave owner! And what about my compensation?! £5.00 is peanuts.

> **Me:** I will pass on the feedback for you. However, £5.00 is the most we can do. I am sorry that your order was delivered late but £5.00 for 5 minutes seems like a pretty good deal. I can offer less if you would like?

> **Karen:** ugh! Okay fine then!! I AM POSTING THIS ON FACEBOOK!! GIVE ME THE VOICHER!!!


I proceeded to send an email and added the voucher. And then told my manager because like omg. Manager requested I put Karens’ account up for stringent scrutiny for future refund request.

And also, f&#%! Karen for trying to belittle my (Tier 1) colleague. It’s stupid, dumb, and ignorant. How dare she.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my tale and I hope you are all doing well.

^1 First Point of Contact

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Got fired after 6 years

Tales of Voicemail