HOWTO: Fix DSL Fast Like Ninja

A DSL call center manager emailed in some nifty tricks for getting at the top of the fix list. Many of them are quite sneaky. We like that. Thank you, sneaky Phil.

With a little tweaking, they can be applied to other types of service calls as well.

Black hat tips from the inside, after the jump…


“When you call in say your are checking on the problem you reported with your DSL service “yesterday” (even though you did not report anything). When the data base is checked and there is no existing report tell them you called in the day before and were assured the problem would be corrected within 24 hours hours or you would be called back. If they ask you specifics just say you spoke to someone named “John or Jim I think” (Or any other fairly common name) who asked you to unplug your modem, wait about thirty seconds, and replug it in to see if that corrected the problem. Tell them that that did not fix the problem and you were told the problem would be corrected in 24 hours. If they ask you if anything else was asked say no, not as far as you recall. If they ask what the trouble report number is tell them you were told if you needed to call back to use your phone number to check on your report. Tell them no one gave you a trouble report number. Then ask to speak to a supervisor and say the same thing. This will usually put you at the head of the list for your trouble to be handled.

Why does this work? As an ex manager in a DSL center I can tell you. These centers have a high volume of calls. Employees in these centers are required to meet a certain daily quota of calls in order to meet their job requirements. Believe it or not it is not that uncommon for an employee to take a call which will be recorded as a widget in their daily tally (the companies have systems that automatically track the call volume of each employee daily-these counts are reviewed the next day for each employee). In order for an employee to insure adherence some of the less ethical or productive employees will take calls but do nothing with the call. This pushes their call volumes up without having to do any work. The DSL centers know this so when they receive these calls the assumption is that you are right and some employee had “shammed” you in order to take a call without having to invest time in really working on any trouble. When these types of calls were forwarded to me by an employee I would take the customers information and ask one of the better employees to work on the report right away. Also the reason for using a common name is most employees do not give their real names – they pick something common so they cannot be easily identified. The practice of using an alias is not frowned upon by the company since each employee has an employee work code which is required to access the systems and is logged on all trouble reports entered.

Be advised though when you reach a manager or employee if you start showing hostility you are less likely to get the sympathy of whoever you are talking to. Frustration is all right but screaming at an employee or manager rarely helps you out. The employees feel bad that you have already waited for a day and so are more willing to help you.”