Thursday, March 21, 2013

Here, phishy phishy...

Have you ever received an email like this?
Dear Bank Client,
Our technical security services department has notified an error on your account, which may lead to your account suspension.
For you to gain access back to your account. you are required to follow the instructions below
  • Instructions
  • All Bank customers are required to fill their account information properly.
  • Failure to do so will be automatically de-activated from its account from our database.
Click here to proceed
We are sorry for the inconvenience this may caused you and thank you for banking with us.
Your Bank

This is what is referred to as a "phishing" email. 

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

Basically, this is a crook who is hoping that you will click on that link and not pay attention to the fact that it redirects to a page that is not part of our secure online banking website. Once there, you'll be required to "verify" your account information. 

Most people see these and either:
a) realize immediately that it's a scam and delete the message; or
b) call the bank, just to be sure, before they fill in any information.

Every once in a while these losers get lucky and the email lands in the inbox of another loser who should not legally be allowed to manage their own money. Some of these people should have a conservatorship like Britney Spears has with her dad.

I took a call from a customer who informed me that she had received one of these emails. I get at least one of these calls every single day from customers who want to know why we sent them an email saying that their account has been suspended when they just logged into online banking and their account has not been suspended and they pay their bills on time so why are they getting these damn emails saying that their account is suspended?!

Seriously, though, most of our customers can see right through this bullshit and they only call to make sure there's no fraud on their account.

Not this lady. 

Like I said, I get these calls every  day. So when she told me she got an email stating that her account had been suspended, I was pretty casual about it and replied, "Yeah, that's not from us. That's a phishing email..." and I was about to assure her that her account was fine when she says:

"Well I filled out the form and verified my account, but then today I got another email from you guys saying the same thing!" 

That made me sit up straight. "...Ma'am, that email was not from the bank. What exactly did you verify?"

Everything. She verified everything. Her full credit card number. Her full social security number. Her mother's maiden name. Her billing address. All of her phone numbers. The name of her family physician? Yes. The make and model of the first vehicle she purchased 30 years ago? Why not!

At what point would a normal person think to themselves, "Something doesn't seem right here. I don't remember ever giving the bank the name of my would they have this information on file to be verified in the first place?" Not this dumb bitch; no way. The only reason she was even calling us was because she was pissed that her account was still "suspended" even after she had "verified" all of that information!

I gave her the phone numbers for Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax so that she could have a fraud alert placed on her credit report and she had no idea what the fuck I was talking about. She had never heard of any of the 3 major credit bureaus. 

I also told her that she needs to call the Social Security administration fraud department and she got all huffy about that, like a fucking teenager who doesn't want to do her homework. Before you even ask, this woman is a native-born US citizen who speaks English as her first language and no, she was not elderly. She is just a fucking idiot who absolutely could not understand the gravity of the situation and acted really put-upon by the idea that she needed to make these phone calls. 

Too dumb for words!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Financial Advice

I get a call from a customer who wants to increase his line of credit. Currently, it's at $2000. 

"I just can't believe you guys only gave me a $2000 credit limit," he scoffs. "I mean, that's kind of a slap in the face. It's insulting, really."

"I understand, sir. I'd be happy to process that request for you. I just need to get your income and employment information." I'm always very careful to use the word "request" when it comes to things like credit line increases. There is no guarantee that this is going to be approved, no matter how long you've banked with us or what an "excellent" customer you (think you) are...

Customer informs me that his occupation is a Financial Adviser for a very well-known "global financial services firm" and that he's been employed there for 35 years. He tells me this with that tone of voice that men use when they say things like, "Don't you know who I am?" No, I don't; ask me if I give a shit.

When we process requests for credit limit increases, there are three possible outcomes:
1. It is immediately approved;
2. We are instructed to transfer the call to the credit department to complete the application;
3. We are instructed to inform the customer that they will receive a letter in 5-7 business days.

You know what it means when they tell you that you'll get a letter in the mail with the decision? It means that the decision was, "NO!" We're not even allowed to transfer those customers to the credit department to get more information.  

So take a wild guess which answer my computer spit out for Mr. Big Shot Financial Adviser...

Just out of curiosity I decide to pull up his account history. Turns out he's been within 5 days late at least a dozen times...30 days late several times...60 days late a handful of times...120 days late multiple times?!

Dude, are you fucking kidding me? What kind of financial advice can this joker possibly be giving people? 

Here's some financial advice: Pay your fucking bill on time and maybe you won't be "insulted" with a $2000 credit limit. I'm insulted that you wasted my time with this bullshit!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I don't need a manager's approval to refund finance charges. I am "empowered" to remove late fees and interest from your account. 

I take this to mean that I am also empowered to refuse to do so. Politely, of course.

Too bad the customer will just demand to speak with a supervisor. I'm required to escalate the call, and my manager will tell me to just go ahead and waive the fee.

Sometimes I feel like there is no justice in the world.

Back in the saddle again

I started this blog because, although I am grateful to have a full-time job that pays well and offers excellent benefits, people can be horrible assholes on the phone. 

I actually love working in customer service. Every job I've ever had, for the past 18 years, has involved customer service. I love helping people, and I'm good at what I do. But customer service in a call center is on a whole different level. People seem to think that because you can't see them, because they don't have to look you in the eye when they speak to you, that they can say whatever the fuck they want to say. Screaming and cursing suddenly becomes acceptable behavior.

I'm a nice person and I will bend over backwards to do the right thing for a customer. I will ask management to bend the rules to help someone out. I go above and beyond what is required or expected on a daily basis, because I genuinely care about my work and how it affects people. I want people to be happy. I also know what I would want as a customer, and how I would want to be treated if the situation was reversed. 

I try not to let it bother me when someone is yelling at me about something that is not my fault. Usually, it's not even the bank's fault. You got a late fee because you didn't pay your bill on time. You were charged interest because you didn't pay the balance in full. I know that this has nothing to do with me. Maybe they're having a bad day. As one of my manager's said, "Maybe he just got divorce papers in the mail today. Who knows?" Sometimes it's really hard to remember this when someone is screaming in your ear. It's hard not to take it personally.

My friends and family were getting a little tired of me complaining about work every day. Almost every status I posted on Facebook was about work for a while there. It was getting pretty negative, and I try not to be a negative person. So I started this blog as an outlet because I felt like if I didn't vent somewhere, I was going to explode.

Then I had to take some time off of work for medical reasons. When I got back, they kept me off the phones for a few days to do some refresher training while they reactivated all of my systems. That was pretty nice. I really had nothing to complain about for a while, which was even nicer.

But I'm back, bitches, and I've got some stories to tell.

Stay tuned...