I'm sure we're all aware how contracts work when you rent equipment from a cable or Internet company, or, you know, any company that hands you a piece of equipment that costs hundreds of dollars without making you pay for it. In that contract, it's going to tell you that if you don't return it, you're going to get a bill. Some even ask for a credit card to put on file, and if you don't return the equipment, they'll charge the card. Fairly standard. Now, I'm sure there are instances where people are unfairly charged. This is not one of those.
"Thank you for calling, my name is Lavender Gooms*, how can I help you?"
"Yeah I just got a letter saying you're going to charge a card for a hundred and fifty dollars, and you better not, the girl I talked to said the two fifty I paid was all I owed," this is where she got upset and started sounding hilarious, "and this card has nuttin' to do with dis so youse bedder not charge it cuz dis is booshi'."
I'm sorry, it just makes my brain hurt trying to type like this woman talked. I can't do it anymore. The weird part was how she'd speak in a perfectly coherent voice and pronounce things correctly, and then suddenly start sounding like that. Anyway, you'll mostly just have to imagine the flickering in and out of her speech, because it seriously makes me feel dumber just trying to type that way.
I already had no patience for this woman, because she'd already ranted at me. But instead I was polite and asked for her name, since her phone number wasn't pulling up an account. Once I found her account, I saw immediately what the problem was.
"I'm sorry for any confusion, Ms. Bitchypants," I started. "At the time you closed your account, the $250 you paid did cover the early termination fee you owed. The extra bill is for the equipment you didn't return, and that's why you received that letter."
"I don't care, she said all I owed was $250!"
Sigh. "As I said, that was right, at the time. However she would have advised you that you needed to return your receiver, and we did send out a box with a return shipping label on December 3rd. We also sent a reminder letter---"
"I didn't get it, that's not my fault. You're not going to charge that card, it's not mine, dis is booshi'."
"I'm sorry if you didn't receive the boxes, ma'am." Bullshit, we send the fuckers by UPS so when people try this shit we have a record. "I have an address of 1234 Go Fuck Yourself Lane, is that correct?"
"No it's not! I moved after I canceled my service! Ya'll should know that!"
I was starting to hope this would be an easy fix. Maybe I should just send her a new box and it'd be okay. Sadly, that wasn't the case. I updated her address, but we weren't going to be able to get the empty box to her and her get the receiver back to us before the date we'd charge her for it. I actually kind of took a bitchy joy in that, just because she was so fucking rude and bitchy updating her address. Besides, what kind of fucking moron moves and doesn't think that maybe they should send back this box with a company logo on it? And we sent out several letters before this one she finally called about, warning her this would happen, and they would have been forwarded by the post office.
"Okay ma'am, I've updated your address and sent out a new shipping box. You'll receive that within a week and can use the included return label to send it back to us." I debated whether to mention she'd get a bill for the shipping (hey, UPS charges us. We don't charge any more than what they charge us.) and decided to first see how she'd react to my next statement. "Unfortunately we won't get that in time to prevent the card from being charged, but once we receive the equipment we can process a refund."
"You'd better not! I'll make you pay! That card isn't mine and it has nothing to do with this, dis is booshi' and you know it booshi' and you'd better not because .... because you better not, I'll make you pay! I'll call the credit card company and report you! I'll make you pay!"
"I'm sorry, Ms. Bitchypants, but the contract you signed does state that charges for equipment would be charged to the card you gave us."
"I didn't sign no contract! Dis is booshi'. You better not charge that card or I'm gonna sue you, dis is fuckin' booshi' and I don't care about any contract. That card isn't mine and he didn't sign it and you can't charge it! It's not my fault I didn't send the box back and you better not charge the card because dis is booshi' and you know it's booshi' and I'll sue you if you charge that card. She said all I had to pay was the $250 and dis is goddamn booshi'."
I'm not even kidding when I say she continued on, repeated variations of the same things, for five minutes. I'm lucky QA wasn't listening because I lost my temper a little bit. I'd been up all night crying because I'd been dumped the day before, and I got pissed and cut her off. "MA'AM! I would appreciate it if you would stop swearing at me. This has nothing to do with me, I have not spoken to you before, and I did not set up this account using someone else's credit card." No, I didn't toss in that could be construed as fraud. Go me. "You were given this information when you started your service, and when it was installed you signed a contract saying this card could be used for these kinds of charges. Now. I'm going to get you to the department that deals with contract disputes. Please hold."
Honestly, I'd probably have been perilously close to being fired if QA had heard that. I didn't even care. I hit the transfer button and got on the line to the people who deal with this shit. Any time someone says they're going to sue, we can immediately transfer to this department. Lucky me! I had to wait on hold for a few minutes before a very nice, pleasant-sounding woman answered.
"Hi there. I have Ms. Bitchypants on the phone. She canceled her service, then didn't update her address so she didn't get the shipping boxes and never bothered to return her receiver. So she just got the letter saying we're charging her card for the equipment she didn't return, and she's upset because apparently the card isn't hers. So she says she's going to sue us."
The lady laughed. "Because it's all our fault, right?"
"Yep." I actually kind of smiled at that point.
"Go ahead and transfer and I'll take care of her." she sounded like she'd take some bitchy delight in it, too. I liked her.
*What can I say, I love the show Psych.