This story happened about 2-3 years ago. I’m now out of the CS world, but this is the story that I’ll always remember from my time there. This was not in the US, but I’ll use (approximate) dollar values to make it easier for people. Also not an English native speaker, so please forgive any grammar or syntax issues 🙂 It’s a long story, so grab a beer, some snacks and enjoy!
No shit, there I was. Back then I was a tier 2 CS rep. Which basically meant that I got all the angry people on the phone or the weird, bizarre or complex cases that the tier 1 reps couldn’t figure out. There were a lot of crazy people calling us, but The Greek is one everyone remembered. We nicknamed him that because his true name was Greek sounding and hard to pronounce and remember.
I’ve heard rumours of him for a few weeks by then. He’d call us to help him fix his problem, he didn’t like the solutions offered and started cursing and shouting. I’m sure all of you know the type of person I’m talking about. Eventually someone connected him through to me.
His story was this. He bought an active speaker from us worth about $800. Within a week (he claims) it broke, but he didn’t inform us until the sixth week. Within the first thirty days we do a change, no questions asked. After that it’s a repair. The customer said that he needed it for his work, so one of the earlier CS reps offered and send him a loaner model. This is the one time where we screwed up. That colleague send out a loaner with a higher value (around $1000) and worse he send it to the customer before we received the broken item. He send it to the customer before the customer even send the broken speaker to us… If you see the potential problem here and facepalm, yeah… That was me too.
A few days after receiving the loaner the customer calls again saying that the loaner is broken too with the exact same complaint. Around this point yours truly got the pleasure of meeting this wonderful man. /s
At first I walked him through his set up to rule out a user error. This is where I figured out what was going on. He connected his active speaker through an amplifier to his music installation.
For those of you with little audio knowledge should know this. If you use a passive speaker you need an amplifier. If you use an active speaker the amplifier is build in. So if you run the electric signal through an amp and then into an active speaker you blow the thing up. Poof, say goodbye to your speaker(s).
At this point we had on a recorded line that he destroyed both his original model (that he still hadn’t send back) and destroyed the loaner. I told him that he had a few options moving forward. He could:
\-Send back the original model for repairs. It was almost certain that the supplier would determine it was his fault and he had to pay for the repair since it’d be out of warranty due to his actions.
\-Send back the loaner and keep the original. We would check it as usual and if it’s broken due to his fault he’d be on the hook for those repair costs.
\-Or send both back, with the results mentioned above.
He was not happy to say it politely. He started shouting and screaming that we were trying to scam him, that he would not return anything since we couldn’t be trusted, yada-yada-yada. I’m sure you can imagine colourful language used. He went one step further. He demanded that we pay HIM $500 so he could get his thing repaired at a third party. I of course declined this, because what the hell dude? Not happening. Amidst the cursing he told me that he’d keep the loaner as “hostage” until we pay him and that he wouldn’t send the original in either.
We went back and forth on this, getting nowhere. So I presented him with the fourth option that I hated using. If he decided to keep both the original and the loaner then I’d have to forward his case to our collections department. They’d inform him that he had to pay for the loaner, send out payment reminders and could eventually get it to a bailiff/debt collector.
He. Went. Off… Screaming obscenities, threats, the whole nine yards. I informed him once again of the options, talking through his screaming, he held on to what he wanted and I disconnected the call.
I forwarded his case to collections and they send out a payment reminder. A normal person would pay or try to solve this. Not this guy. More threats and angry e-mails. Payment reminders turn into the final warning and he still doesn’t want to do anything. He still wants us to pay him. So his case gets turned over to the collection agency/baillifs. A normal person would realise he fucked up and pay. Not this guy… At this point he calls our CS again and they forward him to me. I explain that I can not talk about the case with him anymore. The only communication will go through the bailiffs. He gets angry, I repeat and disconnect.
At this point it remains quiet for a bit. Until I hear what happened from someone I know in the collections department. This idiot continued his (death)threats and anger towards the bailiff agency. They didn’t screw around. They pressed charges with the police for the various (death)threats he made. Besides that they went to court to get a writ for the money owed so they could seize his goods.
So instead of working with us to fix his problem which would’ve cost about 150-200 dollars he now has to pay over $1500 (price of the loaner+late fees/penalties+bailiff costs) or loose his posessions, has a police investigation that is sure to screw him over. To give you an idea: threatening people is a criminal offense that carries the maximum punishment of two years in prison or a fine of $20.000. If the threat is in writing and the defendant sets conditions to his threats (if you don’t do X, I’ll do Y to you) then the maximum prison time is four years. So he royally fucked himself over.
Ohh and his speaker is still broken…
Moral of the story: if you call a callcenter because you need help. Don’t start screaming, cursing and threatening people. Because while we can help you, we also have the power to give you enough rope to hang yourself completely…