Late last year, a customer service rep for the Canada Revenue Agency launched a game titled “I Get This Call Every Day” that lets players experience the frustration of working in a call center. But now he no longer has to fret about this problem, as he’s without that day job. [More]
Call Service Employee Creates Game About Daily Frustrations Of His Job, No Longer Has That Job After Bosses Find Out
Verizon's New Marketing Pitch: Squirrels Eat Old Phone Lines So Upgrade To FiOS For Guaranteed Service!
Verizon told Debbie that upgrading to FiOS was the only way to guarantee uninterrupted phone service because apparently, Verizon’s old copper lines are no match for the insatiable appetite of copper-munching squirrels. Never mind that FiOS doesn’t work during a blackout for more than a few hours, or that Debbie’s problem had nothing to do with hungry squirrels…
If Seagate tells you to call Microsoft for technical support, don’t talk back or you’re going to get an earful. At least that’s what reader K. learned when he called to ask why his external drive worked well under Vista, but not XP. Seagate’s customer service representative immediately blamed the problem on Microsoft, and when K. tried explaining why the problem might lie with Seagate, the CSR responded: “Well since you know better then we do, Im sure you dont need our assistance.”
UPS’ website promises that they will deliver Corey’s Dell Vizio 37″ LCD monitor tomorrow, which would be exciting, except the website has said the same thing every day for the past two weeks. UPS’ customer service representatives insist that the package is lost and that Dell needs to initiate a trace. Dell would be happy to accommodate—who wouldn’t want to trace a lost package?—but their customer service representative claims that it’s Dell policy not to initiate a trace until 48 hours after the scheduled delivery date, which according to UPS, is tomorrow.
Yes, Zappos has famously good customer service, and should be regarded as the gold standard of awesome. We know this. We just had to share this highly amusing customer service chat transcript. The post’s author (and chatter “Timmy”) wanted to check out the quality and flexibility of Zappos’s chat agents, and started with an odd, but not implausible, scenario.
Melissa isn’t sure why she has a $1,271.25 credit from Time Warner Cable, but there it sits in her account, baiting her to order a slew of pricey extras. Melissa asked Time Warner to reverse the credit, figuring the random payout had to be a mistake. “We can’t fix it,” they told her. “It’s an error on our part. Enjoy!”
You’re not alone hating Indian call centers. Indians hate them too, mostly because they get stuck dealing with an even lower caste of customer service representatives than Americans. The well-educated smooth talking CSRs get the prestigious jobs infuriating foreign customers, while the the untrained masses are paid basmati to cater to India’s domestic customers.
A Delta customer service representative assured Grace that her sister would be able to fly, even though she had just lost her wallet containing her identifications. Of course, when Grace’s sister arrived the next morning at the airport, Delta’s counter agents refused to let her anywhere near the gate until she produced a photo ID. After two hours on the phone, Grace’s parents tracked down an old learner’s permit and drove 20 miles to fax a copy to the airport. Now Grace wants to know why Delta’s customer service agents weren’t familiar with Delta’s policies, and what, if anything Delta can do to compensate her for the wasted time.
DirecTV agreed to let Anthony cancel his service without an early termination fee because his signal would randomly fade away without explanation. What DirecTV really meant though was that they would let Anthony cancel if he paid a final bill of $446.69. After speaking with two agents who agreed that the fee should have been waived, DirecTV reduced Anthony’s bill to $445.42. A third agent told Anthony that he would need to negotiate any further deductions in writing with the dispute department…
Jason writes in with an ethics question that’s been bothering him for the past seven years: should he have helped a cancer-stricken patient who lost her family in the 9/11 attacks qualify for COBRA coverage? Sure, it sounds like a no-brainer, but it gives us a chance to see the sort of conflicts that gnaw at customer service representatives. Do they follow the rules and keep their jobs, or do the right thing and help the customer? Consider his conundrum, inside…
Meet John Eller. Five years ago, he was a Sprint executive earning $150,000 for managing 7,000 employees at 13 call centers. Today, he’s a grocery store baker making $10 an hour. The Times tells us he’s not the only former executive now working for minimum wage.
Elizabeth went out and bought a Mac after Dell twice sent Windows XP replacement CDs to her old address. After each failed delivery attempt, Elizabeth called Dell, which repeatedly promised that they’d get it right next time. One CSR even claimed that he personally called DHL to change the shipping address. (He didn’t.)
Before asking customer service representatives to tackle thorny issues, win them over by first offering to praise them at the end of the call. According to Psychology Today, the offer establishes a reciprocal relationship that CSRs will try to honor, even if solving your problem takes, ugh, work.
A Consumerist reader called HP to ask whether they could help him with a broken computer. They couldn’t, of course, but that didn’t stop the CSR from trying to ever-so-politely upsell a brand new HP computer at a low, low price. Thanks for calling HP Total Care for Desktops! What can we do to put you in a new computer today?
Cablevision responded to our post chastising their attempt to force customer to upgrade to digital service by pointing to an unrelated FCC mandate. Cablevision admits that there is no connection between their unilateral business decision to cut channels and the FCC-mandated transition to digital television, but their statement leaves several questions unanswered. Read Cablevision’s statement and our response, after the jump.
Update: Cablevision responds.
Chris Gates, a former call center representative for Charter Communications, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Charter abuses their employees and lies to their customers. According to her, the number one question asked of CSRs is: ‘Where the !@#% is the tech?!’
So what do call center reps tell callers?
We’re guilty of spreading disinformation; Sprint’s $3, seven-minute rule is the average customer service reps shoot for, over time. It’s not per call, as we’ve been trumpeting (out our ass, it seems) in our headlines. Kevin writes: