Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Get Your Own Way by being a Bully

I answered a call the other day and I knew from the start that this guy was going to be an asshole.

When you cut me off mid-word to preemptively answer my questions, I don't know what your problem is. Do you thing you're being efficient by saving me the time required to finish those few syllables? Is it because you're in a hurry and you think your time is more valuable than my respect? You know what; I don't even care. You're an asshole and I hate you.

This asshole was rude and snappy during the verification process and as soon as I asked, "How can I help you?" he cut me off in the middle of the word "today," and snapped:

"Reverse some charges!"

First of all, OMG, fuck you. I am so sick and tired of people who were obviously raised by animals because they have no idea about polite human interaction. What happened to "please," and "thank you?" How hard would it have been to say something like, "I see some charges on my account that I'm hoping you can remove," and not be a fucking dick?

Secondly, banks are not in the habit of simply reversing charges for absolutely no reason. I guess you missed the memo, but this is not a non-profit organization. And if you're referring to a merchant charge, the same goes for them and we're not going to just cancel the charge without first determining whether or not it's a valid charge. That is why banks employ a slew of people in Billing Disputes and Fraud Claims.

Come to find out it's a $1 charge and an associated $.03 foreign transaction fee. It took a minute to find because he gave me a completely different name for the merchant and had no idea of the amount. He said that he had signed up for something but they never sent him anything and "you need to reverse this charge right now!"

I said, "Okay, it sounds like I just need to get you in touch with our Billing Disputes department. This will just take a moment," and he totally flipped. the fuck. out.

It was completely ridiculous. I have seen/heard 3 year-olds with more self control. He went on this rant about how it shouldn't be a dispute because he's the customer and I'm supposed to be in Customer Service and I should just reverse the charges. Screaming unintelligibly like a baby the entire time.

I tried to explain that I am not authorized to just reverse charges like this; that is what Billing Disputes is for. I don't know why I even tried to reason with him. I should have just placed him on hold and transferred the call. Don't worry, I would have done a warm transfer. I'm not trying to dick over my co-workers. This just was not my problem and I don't need to explain myself to this idiot.

He kept yelling about how he didn't understand why I wouldn't just do my job as Customer Service because he is the Customer and if he is telling me that he didn't get what he paid for, then I should just reverse those charges, and RAWR RAWR RAWR!

Like a glutton for punishment, I tried to explain that he needs to file a claim with Billing Disputes because he did give this company his credit card number and we have to give the merchant a chance to respond to the claim. We can't just take the word of every customer that calls in and says that they didn't receive a product, or immediately reverse charges if you're not happy with a service you paid for. It just doesn't work that way, and it's a good way to get sued.

This whole time, I'm apologizing to him like a good little corporate slave, because our main goal is Customer Satisfaction and one does not ever tell a Customer "No" or tell them that something cannot be done. So in between all of my "Sir, I understand your frustration, and I am trying to resolve this for you," and "I apologize for the inconvenience," I was trying to get my manager's attention because this shit was getting out of control.

"Sir, I am very sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm not authorized to reverse charges like this. That's why I need to get an associate from Billing Disputes on the line and" and the motherfucker cut me off, again.

"Then screw you, this company is shit! You can just cancel my account! I want to speak to your manager right now!"

"Yes, sir. Just a moment. Hold please."

"Right now!"

"Yes, sir. Hold please."

At this point I was shaking and about three seconds away from a full-blown panic attack. I had a hard time catching my breath, and I'm sure that if Quality was reviewing my call it probably sounded like I was sighing in frustration.

To make a long story a little shorter, my manager did take over the call. He couldn't get a word in edgewise, either. He was able to credit the charges back to the customer's account, mostly because it was only $1.03. He tried to explain that without a dispute on file, the company could potentially charge the card again if it was a subscription service. The customer decided that he would rather have us cancel that card number as lost/stolen and issue him a new card.

Why the fuck would you rather be without your credit card for 8-10 business days, unable to use the old number for anything, than take 5 minutes to file a claim with Billing Disputes? I really wish I had taken note of the merchant's name, because that must have been some embarrassing shit that he didn't want to talk about.

Anyway, kids, I guess the moral of the story is that if you yell and scream and make threats, you can get whatever you want. Because the Customer is always Right.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Did I stutter?

This is a typical phone call in Card Services:

"Thank you for calling Card Services, this is Headset. May I have your name please?"

"John Doe."

"How are you today, Mr. Doe?"

"Fine." Nine times out of ten, this is said in a tone which indicates that my question is somehow offensive. One customer out of ten will return the pleasantry by asking me how I'm doing.

"That's great...and what are the last four digits of the card you're calling about?"

"1 2 3 4," usually accompanied by one of those huffy sighs that lets me know what a huge inconvenience this is. 

This is where it gets fun! After I match your name with that account number, I still need to verify your identity. If you're calling from a phone number associated with your account, that's verification #1 right there. If you can give me the card's expiration date and CVV (security code), we're good to go.

However...if the phone number doesn't match, I'm gonna need your date of birth, mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your social. 

After that, I still need you to verify the expiration date and security code.

When I ask you, "Do you have that card available?" the last thing I want to hear is:

"Ugh! I have my statement right in front of me!" This is always said in that condescending tone of voice that's supposed to make me feel like a complete idiot for asking such a stupid question.

First of all, lose the fucking attitude. I'm just doing my job, and verifying your identity is a pretty big deal in the banking industry. I don't know what kind of rock you've been living under to not understand what a huge problem identity theft has become in the US, but I kind of wish you'd crawl back under it.

When you snap at me that you're looking at your statement (always with that snotty attitude like I just asked you the most ridiculous question you've ever heard because I should know that you just read the last four digits of your account number off of the bill!) it is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

I don't give a fuck about your statement! Did I say anything about your statement? Did I stutter?  Shit, maybe I did stutter...

That's okay, though, because I am a true professional.

"Mr. Doe, I see that you're calling from a telephone number we have on file, so I only need to verify one more piece of information for the security of your account. One moment, please..."

If you don't have the card to read off the security code, I have to verify something else. There are a whole list of items that we can accept, and FYI, your full social security number is not one of them. These are things that the average thief would not be able to identify if they had stolen your wallet.

Except, people are paranoid that the bank is going to sell their information and spam their inbox, so 9 times out of 10 there is no additional information on file.

"I just want to make my payment!"

"I'm happy to assist you with that, sir. I just need to verify that you're authorized on this account first. If you're not able to provide the expiration date and security code on the card, I have to ask you an additional security question."

Down the list of possibilities we go, with nothing that I can verify because you're too fucking paranoid to give us your email address or attach your cell phone number to your account. What do you think I'm going to do, send you a text message at midnight?

I'm only allowed to ask you three questions before I am required to transfer your call to the fraud department because you are now a "suspicious caller." I'm not allowed to tell you that I'm calling fraud, though, so I have to say something like, "I apologize for the delay, Mr. Doe, but I'm having some difficulty accessing your account. Can you please hold for a moment while I get some assistance?"

"Ugh, fine! I can get the card. It's upstairs in my wallet!"

FUCK. YOU. You lazy mother-fucker. Actually, I don't even give a shit about you being too lazy to walk across the room and get your fucking credit card. If you'd rather answer security questions, I have no problem with that. What pisses me off is the fact that you just spent three minutes acting like a cunt because you think you're fucking special and shouldn't have to verify your identity.

Oh, you're special, all right. You are a special kind of asshole.

Also, I dare you to hang up on me during the verification process. I wish you would. It takes me 30 seconds to put a fraud alert on your account. Let's see how special you feel when your credit card is declined.