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Well that doesn’t help the customer!

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I swear some of these reps are just as bad as the customers. I work in customer service escalations for a large bank (retail banking, previously credit cards). A rep from our collections group for charged off overdrawn accounts calls me. This is weird because I can’t handle those accounts, and he has no other accounts in the business profile besides the charge off, and collections has their own supervisors. (I know because I used to do collections escalations for our cards waaay back in the day.)

Apparently he’s disputing the fees on the checking (not uncommon in collections) and doesn’t want to pay anything just have the fees refunded. I can’t see nor access anything because again, I’m in customer service not collections. I kept trying to refer her to her own sup queue but originally it seemed like they wouldn’t take the call. I later started to realize that more likely they could take the escalation just couldn’t waive the fees either. This rep seemed set on “I have to find someone to refund the fees!” And didn’t want to transfer if they wouldn’t do what she wanted on the customer’s account. (She also tried disputes but.. you can’t dispute our own fees just charges/transactions.)

I was trying to be helpful, and I understood what she said about he’s gonna close his other accounts but really that’s usually just a bluff, and even if not I’m not paid or penalized for retention so frankly I don’t care. (I obviously didn’t say that though.) I told her she would need to just pass off the call to a supervisor for collections and if they refused to take the call tell her manager so they could report the refusal. (I was still kinda under the impression at this point that her sup wouldn’t take the call.)

She does a lot of push back about how that’s not the problem, she needs to find someone who can refund the fees or discuss the fees, and she can’t refund them only try and do a settlement. She also reiterates how he’s gonna close his consumer accounts in the other profile. At this point I’m realizing the issue. Tell her I can take the call if he just wants to do a complaint and close the consumer accounts but I can’t do anything with the fees on this one. She keeps asking about the fees and I tell her (nicely and calmly) that I know it’s frustrating but sometimes we just have to do the hard work of telling the customer no they can’t have what they want and move on.

That set her off. You’d think I suggested we kill his puppy or something. “Well that doesn’t help the customer! I can’t tell him that!” And she hung up. Sigh.

I get people who genuinely want to help customers, or who get flustered with upset customers. (Believe it or not I can be that way too!) But sometimes the answer is NO. You just have to tell the customer they can’t have what they want, it sucks but it is what it is, and move on dealing with the aftermath and go on to the next customer. Doing all these theatrics and running from department to department trying to get something done that can’t be done does nothing but get the customer riled up and harder to deal with. And when they call back they assume the “amazing rep” was working on a solution that gets them what they want and won’t accept anything else. It just makes everyone else’s jobs harder.

Sometimes I hate these reps.

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I don’t know what to do? Call another supervisor I guess????