You yelled at me!!


I absolutely hate when customers tell me I’m “yelling” at them. Anyone else have this happen when you’re just speaking a little louder or emphasizing words? Guy yesterday mistakenly sent wires to his savings instead of checking account and got 2 fees. (The checking acct doesn’t bill them.) They couldn’t be waived ($30 total, system will only approve 2 types of fees in limited amounts that aren’t bank error and wire fees aren’t in the list). I also see he had 9 of these fees billed and waived last year. So this isn’t the first time, BY A LONG STRETCH, that he’s made this mistake. (HIM. Not us.) And if they got waived before, that means the rep screwed up and waived stuff they weren’t allowed to waive as bank error. If they get monitored or audited they’ll get a quality error for that shit too.

I’m explaining that we can’t waive them. I’m glad they waived it before but these aren’t eligible. I’m not telling him that the rep screwed up before which is the only reason he got them refunded to begin with. So it’s making this call a nightmare. I’m having a difficult call because some other idiot messed up and I can’t tell him that because he’ll just say they “accommodated him” because he’s an amazing customer and I’m just being mean. Or he’ll make up a bank error excuse to get his way.

He asked me to repeat something I said because he didn’t catch it. I assumed, like a few people before that day, it was a connection issue or he just couldn’t hear me. (I have a naturally soft, “don’t spook the wild animals” voice that I developed from years of working escalations. And I’ve learned that if you speak quietly the customer having to strain a bit and concentrate to hear you can calm them down. So sometimes I need to revert to a louder, more normal voice tone.)

So I repeat what I said in a slightly louder voice and he responds with a rant about how I was “yelling” at him and so rude and he can’t believe this. And this was discrimination because he didn’t understand me due to a language barrier. Guy had a slight accent, but nothing intense, and had no difficulty understanding me during the previous 5-10 minutes. I absolutely understand about people who scream to make someone who doesn’t speak English (or they think doesn’t speak) fluently. *They* are assholes. I wasn’t yelling though. I just spoke louder because I thought he couldn’t hear me like the people before. I get my normal quiet voice is a contrast to the louder, but not excessively so.

I tried explaining it was just a misunderstanding. I legitimately thought he had the same issue as people before. If he had said “can you repeat that, I didn’t catch it because you went too fast” I would’ve responded accordingly. (Had that happen a few times. I get it! I can be a fast talker sometimes.) But I just hate when I simply speak a bit louder or I emphasize words a bit,, and they jump to accusing me of yelling at them. I’ve had people listen to calls just to make sure I’m not missing that I’m not regulating my voice volume like I think I am. But everyone says the same thing. I’m not yelling. There’s a discernable difference, but it’s mostly from how soft I am normally. But still not close to yelling.

I’m at the point that I’m going to refuse to speak up anymore. It’s too risky. If they can’t hear me, call back. I’m done. I’ve had people who say they have hearing difficulty and I have to (AT THEIR REQUEST!) speak louder and louder and they will still go off that I’m yelling at them. I’ve been abused. I know what yelling/screaming is. This ain’t it kids.

And I know this guy just thinks if he pitches a fit he can get his fees waived. Fun story though, he called back and the other escalations rep also didn’t waive the fees. He told her I was “screaming at him” instead of “yelling” which I just find funny. These people are so dramatic.


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My time as a strong black woman