Saturday, August 24, 2013

Had to report a co-irker

I know I complain about my customers as much as the next CSR, but the truth is: I love working in customer service. I love feeling productive and useful when I help people, and I will bend over backwards to do so for the majority of my customers.

I had a gentleman call in who had received a phone call from Bank B, alerting him to some suspicious charges on that credit card. When he checked his online banking with us, there were pending charges from the same merchant on our credit card. He and his wife have never heard of this company and did not authorize these charges. 

Normally, we advise customers that we are unable to do anything with the charges until they have posted and settled to the account, but I felt bad that they had been alerted to this by another bank, causing them more concern. Our fraud protection is supposed to be top-notch. I decided to conference over to our fraud claims dept and see what we can do to reassure the customer and resolve the issue.

I also normally do not stay on the line beyond providing fraud with the customer's information. I decided to remain on the line, and stated this with the fraud rep on the line, so that I could process a request to have the replacement cards mailed out priority overnight. I had noticed that these customers use their card on a daily basis, and wanted to provide that courtesy to them. I also knew that fraud would just send them out regular mail or charge for the overnight delivery. I have the authority to waive the fee and wanted to make sure it was done correctly.

From the beginning, this was a terrible conference. First of all, she answered the phone, very curtly, "Card services, Jane.*" That's it! They're supposed to identify themselves as working in the fraud department, but ok. I was more disturbed by the lack of, "How can I help you today?" or "May I have the card number you're calling about?" or even, "Can I have your name, please?" So there was a bit of a pause as I waited for her to say something else, anything, before I finally said, "Yes, hi...This is Headset Hellion from customer service. I have Mr. Smith* on the other line, who would like to initiate a claim against some fraudulent charges."

The conversation went downhill from there. 

She asked me three times what I had verified to authenticate the cardholder. If she had bothered to check the comments on the account, she would have been able to see exactly what had been verified, so this is annoying. Then I brought the customer on the line for her and it just got worse.

She was so incredibly rude and nasty to this man that I just could not believe it. Despite the fact that I had him fully verified, she began asking him for additional verification as if he was a suspicious caller. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe that's their policy, to get an addition verifier for security purposes. It's more the way she did it, the way she was speaking to this customer. Her tone of voice was just...nasty. Even when I have transferred a legit suspicious caller to the fraud department for verification, I have never heard someone speak to a customer this way. It was just uncalled for.

She asked him what employer his wife had listed on the credit card application back in 2007. Apparently the wife has been working freelance for some time and he wasn't able to remember what she had written on the application...six years ago! So Jane gets very irritated and says something to the effect of, "Now this is going to take longer because you're not able to verify the employment information. I'm going to have to place you on hold!"

She kept us on hold for over 5 minutes. I don't know what she was doing or looking for. I've never had this happen before! The entire time, I was trying to figure out a way to hang up on her but keep myself and the customer connected. No dice; you have to ask the third party to disconnect...and I didn't see that going very well. I apologized to Mr. Smith, assured him that I would remain on the line, and hoped for the best.

LULZ! I should have known better. When Jane finally got back on the line, she had apparently decided to throw decent customer service completely out the window. Without any explanation, she immediately started asking him more security questions. She asked if he could verify the DOB of a family member. Not normally a problem, except that this family member has a unique Asian name...and Jane could not pronounce it correctly. Mr. Smith became confused and asked her if she could spell it because he has two relatives with names that sound similar (when pronounced badly, I'm sure). Of course Jane refused to do this for him. She moved on to another family member. This time she spoke the name as last-name first...on a name where both the first and last names could be used interchangeably as first or last names! Thankfully Mr. Smith figured out WTF she was talking about and was able to give the correct DOB.

When he asked why he had to answer so many questions in order to report to us fraudulent activity on his which he had been alerted by another bank...she snapped at him that it was his fault because he hadn't been able to verify the employment question! She gave him no explanation of our fraud protection guarantee, just informed him that the charges would be refunded, the cards blocked, and replacement cards sent regular mail...expect delivery in 7-10 business days.

Of course the customer started to protest. I interrupted and said, "Mr. Smith, I'm sorry. This is why I've remained on the line for you. I noticed you use your cards on a daily basis. I can get the replacements sent out overnight for you; I just need to confirm some information first." Somehow I finally got Jane off the line and launched immediately into damage control.

I don't think I have ever apologized more profusely and more sincerely for the sins of another. Seriously, it was ridiculous. I was upset on a personal level because this bitch is giving a terribly poor representation of the bank, at a time where a customer needs the most reassurance that we are going to take care of them! In the end, the customer seemed satisfied and actually stated that he was very happy with me and my customer service, but he didn't understand why the other rep was speaking to him like he had done something wrong.

I promised him that I would be forwarding a written complaint to management, to be reviewed for a reprimand or at the least, a "coaching opportunity." And that is exactly what I did as soon as I got off that call.

That's right. I logged off the phone for 10 minutes to type up a very detailed letter to my manager, including Jane's information. 

I might complain about some of my customers, but if you want to act like a bitch, treat a nice customer like shit for no reason and make the rest of us look bad...I will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat!

*Names changed, obvs.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

More Financial Mis-Advice

I had the displeasure of speaking with another "financial adviser" today.

This one called with "our mutual customer" on the line, to discuss a balance transfer promotion "they" had been offered earlier. There was a lot of "us" and "we" used during the conversation. It seemed a bit too personal to be professional, in my opinion. It also bothered me that the "adviser" monopolized the conversation. I don't think she understood that while she had my customer's permission to remain on the line during this exchange, she is not authorized on this account...therefore I will need verbal confirmation and permission from my customer.

In any case, I was able to offer the same promotion which "they" had rejected earlier today. Given that her "financial adviser" was making such a show of working to reduce "her client's" debt; the customer currently revolves a balance higher than $40,000 with my bank; and the customer's profile showed external revolving balance in excess of $10,000...I thought surely we would be using the remainder of her rather large credit line to pay off this external balance at a lower rate.

The balance to be paid was a little over $1200.  

I asked whether this amount was the statement balance or a payoff amount. First, the "financial adviser" told me it was the amount on the bill. When I informed her that it might be wise to account for any additional interest which has accumulated since that billing cycle closed out, she was thoroughly confused. 

When I asked her what date the billing cycle closed, she said, "Well, this bill was due July X, so that would be the same day."  More confusion as I tried to explain thatno, that is not correct.

Next she changed her story and claimed that this amount was a payoff. I asked her how long that payoff estimate was good for, and she flat out said, "I don't know what you're talking about." Cue additional confusion as I attempted to educate this "financial adviser" that a payoff estimate is not extended permanently...there must be a date after which additional interest will be charged if payment is not received.

She had no idea what I meant and made a poor attempt to mask her ignorance in condescension and disdain. Lovely. 

I just really want to know where these people get their "qualifications" can you give someone advice on credit cards if you don't know how interest is calculated and charged? The worst part is that we devote half a page on every billing statement to the explanation of these charges!