Citi "Homeowner Helper" Site Merely Potemkin Village?

Citi "Homeowner Helper" Site Merely Potemkin Village?

Did Citi set up its “homeowner helper” site to comply with Obama’s mortgage assistance programs, but then not actually attach it to any humans that will help homeowners? After inputting his info on the site, Citi told reader CoarseLive to schedule an appointment with a representative. No one ever called him. When he tried calling Citi directly, multiple agents told him they had no idea what he was talking about, and they hung up on him, again and again. His story, inside…

Don't Bother Calling In With Complaints, United Is Disconnecting The Phone

Don't Bother Calling In With Complaints, United Is Disconnecting The Phone

United Airlines doesn’t want to talk to you on the phone about your complaints — so they’re disconnecting it. MSNBC is reporting that starting in April, the airline will shut down the call center that deals with customer complaints.

Call Centers: Teleperformance USA Is A Cancer

Call Centers: Teleperformance USA Is A Cancer

“Thank you for holding, your call will be answered in the order it was received by an incompetent drug-addict whose training consisted of watching funny stuff on YouTube.” That’s the substance of this insider confession from a former trainer at Teleperformance USA, one of those outsourced call centers that turns your customer service call into the modern-day version of The Trial. Hear about the restroom sex, drugs sold on-site, and employees getting away with writing down and running off with customer’s credit card numbers, inside…

Teleperformance USA: Call Center Of Customer Service Nightmares

Teleperformance USA: Call Center Of Customer Service Nightmares

Wanna know why your call to customer service went so poorly? Maybe because it was routed to an outsourced call center run by Teleperformance USA where, according to an insider, customer service goes to die…

Telling An Orbitz Rep What A Blogger Is

Telling An Orbitz Rep What A Blogger Is

There was an amusing little tangent in my conversation yesterday with an Orbitz rep when I went to change my ticket. Talking with her was the first time I’ve ever hinted to a telephone customer service rep that I write for The Consumerist.

How Outsourced Call Centers Are Costing Millions In Identity Theft

How Outsourced Call Centers Are Costing Millions In Identity Theft

A former Chase call center rep tells the story about this one thief who was able to rip off one customer for over $40,000, thanks to his constant outwitting out the internationally out-sourced security department. It wasn’t that hard. Over and over again, he was able to commit credit card fraud just knowing the guy’s name, social, and mother’s maiden name.

McDonald's Remote Ordering System Is Gaining Popularity

McDonald's Remote Ordering System Is Gaining Popularity

In 2006 we reported that McDonald’s was testing a system in which drive-thru orders were being taken by employees at a remote location, usually in another state altogether. Nearly 2 years later, the system has proven successful in some areas and is being used in over half of the McDonald’s in Hawaii, according to KITV. Apparently, the system enhances the speed and accuracy of orders and most customers don’t even realize the difference. More, inside…

Hate Outsourced Bankers? Just Ask For A US One

Hate Outsourced Bankers? Just Ask For A US One

Xbox Live Won't Refund Points For Game They Can't Deliver

Xbox Live Won't Refund Points For Game They Can't Deliver

Tmobile Call Center Bans Kleenex

Tmobile Call Center Bans Kleenex

Update on that outsourced Tmobile call center that banned paper and pens earlier this week: our insider reports that Kleenex is now verboten as well. He furthermore notes that, “paper and pens, if they are to be used, have to be signed out from a supervisor. When signed back in, the paper is shredded by the supervisor.” Any reps feeling the need to cry about their vaporizing dignity can use the back of their sleeve, after their request form is approved. A comment from our previous post explains why this might be a bad idea…

Tmobile Forbids Use Of Paper and Pens In Call Center

Tmobile Forbids Use Of Paper and Pens In Call Center

Stressful Call Center Allegedly Kills Verizon Employee

Stressful Call Center Allegedly Kills Verizon Employee

I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of increased numbers of heart attacks at call centers due to stress, but here’s a local new story from WYFF so now you know it’s true:

http://consumerist.com/2008/04/28/definition-zero-outs-what/

Definition: “Zero Outs” – What call centers call…

5 Confessions Of An Apple Tech Support Supervisor

5 Confessions Of An Apple Tech Support Supervisor

A tech support supervisor, from what we figure to be Apple, has stepped forward to break down some behind-the-scenes workings with his underlings who sometimes make both his and consumer’s lives difficult. For instance, one of the reasons you might be on hold so long is agents using fake work codes to avoid taking calls. Also, we know that metrics rule the call centers, but, in one of the confessions, he talks about how not only is it important to not go over your average handle time, you also can’t go too far under. Just strive to be perfectly average, and you’ll go far…

Please Hold, The Terminator Army Will Be With You Shortly

Please Hold, The Terminator Army Will Be With You Shortly

I’m working on a Powerpoint to be delivered later this week about “the 5 things you can learn from a Consumerist” and I wanted to share this slide of with you guys. I think it expresses what we all sometimes think is underneath those shiny voices and looping musical medleys: a killbot army that wants to get you off the phone as soon as possible. “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

7 Confessions Of A Verizon DSL Tech Support Rep

7 Confessions Of A Verizon DSL Tech Support Rep

A former employee has stepped forward to tell us what it’s like to work as tech support rep in a Verizon DSL call center. Learn about how the supervisors aren’t really supervisors, the numbers and call times the reps have to meet to keep their jobs (and the sneaky tricks they use to meet these numbers), and more…

Asking For Lower APR Gets Juniper iTunes Rewards VISA Card Closed Against Man's Will

Asking For Lower APR Gets Juniper iTunes Rewards VISA Card Closed Against Man's Will

Thomas writes:

If you don’t use your Juniper iTunes Rewards VISA (issued by Barclay’s) for an entire year, they close the card and report to the credit agencies that you requested to close it. I’ve learned that when I called to inquire about a lower rate on 2/26, the agent canceled my account.

Convergys To Move Call Centers From Canada To Overseas

Convergys is a major supplier of outsourced call center services to big companies (Comcast is one of their clients) and it looks like times are tough for them up in Canuckiztan:

Convergys chief executive David Doughtery told analysts “most notably we’re being hurt today in Canada and we are taking action to close centres there and move work to other geographies.” Many of the Canadian jobs will likely go to the Philippines and possibly India..

Which we suppose qualifies as a resounding yes to the question, “can customer service get any worse?”