Tuesday, February 28, 2012
This woman called in yesterday asking about upgrading to a new package, and she had one of those accounts. When you have the kind of account and you change to a more expensive package, you have to pay the difference. So if you've already paid for one month of the $30 channel package, and after two weeks you want to go to the $50 channel package, you're going to have to pay $10 to get it (for two weeks of service). That's how it goes. Also, nobody starts out with a regular account and then gets changed to pay-as-you-go. It's that way from the start. This woman had been with us for two and a half years. There is no way she didn't know this.
Yet when I advised her of the ten dollar charge, she refused to pay it and asked why. I told her why, very politely.
"Well, when did this become that kind of account? It never used to be!" she said. I'd happened to look at the notes on the account and saw where she'd already talked to two other agents yesterday, within the last hour, who told her exactly the same thing.
Now, sometimes if you keep calling you'll get ahold of someone who will break a rule or find a loophole for you on some things. But if you have shitty credit and can't get a regular account, you know you have shitty credit and can't get a regular account! She could call 18 times and get the same answer. And every time a customer calls back, it fucks up our statistics and in some cases people get fired over that shit. So I called her on it, because I have no doubt that when I got off the phone with her, she would have called yet again.
"Well, the type of account would be determined when you originally started services, so it's been that way for the two and a half years you've been with us. I also see notes here where two other people today did cover that information with. I apologize it they weren't clear, did you have any other questions about it?"
She got off the phone really quickly then.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
"Ah wanna know whay mahy tay-vay ain't werkin!"
"We can definitely take a look at that for you ma'am. Can I get your name please?" Again, I could see it, but I needed to be sure it was her account.
That kind of took me aback. "I do need to make sure I have the right account in front of me, ma'am. May I please get your name?"
"I already did that!"
Time to pour on some of the charm that makes people love me. In my sweetest, cutest voice, I said, "I know ma'am, but you haven't done it with me. May I please get your name?"
"I'm WAITING." she snapped.
"Yes ma'am, I know. But I really do need to get your name so I can make sure I'm looking at the right equipment."
"I already gave my name!"
I looked in the account notes and saw where she'd given her name to the first agent and demanded someone in the U.S. Apparently the next agent didn't sound American enough for her, because she had refused to give her name or the problem to them either. Just would not speak except to say "ENGLISH". Oi. "I know ma'am, but I don't have it."
"Well, ya'll are just a real first-rate organization then, aren't ya!"
I gave up. QA could mark me down if they wanted. "Okay. Can you tell me what's on your screen right now?"
"Nothin! I don't have nothin!"
I hate when people tell me that. Because it's very rarely nothing. It's just not what they want. So I asked again. "Is there anything, does it say no signal or acquiring satellite signal?"
"No! Nothin! I wanna know why!"
Crotchety bitch. "Ma'am, can you please tell me what lights you see on your receiver?"
"What did you say?" she yelled, as if I'd said something offensive. I repeated it and she said there were no lights.
"Okay ma'am, can you please press the power button on the receiver and tell me what happens?"
She let out the biggest, most angry sigh I've ever heard and slammed the phone down, hanging up on me. I wonder if she'd realized the fucking receiver was off and was embarrassed.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I think I'm going to be writing a lot of posts in dialogue format; it just makes sense, since my job is all talking now. If you guys find it gets confusing, let me know, and I'll start color coding things or try to otherwise make it more clear. But I think I'll probably end up writing it much like I do when I write creatively, with details and markers to try to break it up. So we'll see how it goes.
"Thank you for calling TV Company, my name is (wouldn't you like to know), how can I help you today?" I always open my calls the same, with my best polite and soothing voice.
"Well, I just got my bill," the Southern lady on the other end of the phone drawled. "And there's this nice lil letter in there that says 'great news, we're not increasing prices this year.' But my bill has gone up by two dollars and I wanna know why."
"I can definitely take a look at that for you, ma'am. Can you get your name please?"
"Yes, my name is Shirley Anderson."
I had already clicked over to her billing information and I knew what the problem was. Here's how it should have gone: she gives me her name, we verify the account. I apologize and say the letter does say we're not having increases on our primary packages, but she has an additional channel package that did have a $2 per month increase. If she was still pissed, I had authorization to credit her $2 per month for twelve months. Her bill goes back to normal, she's happy. Total call time: maybe three minutes. Back to reality though ....
"Thank you, Ms. Anderson. I do need to securely verify your account. Are you at home with access to your television?"
She hesitated. "Why?"
"To verify your account I just need to get a piece of information from your equipment."
"Ugh!" she sighed. "What if I just put my husband on the phone, since his name is on the account."
"I see that ma'am, but you're also an authorized user. Either way I'll still need to get the information." I explained. "All you'll need to do is press your menu button two times and read me a number."
"No! No, I don't want to do that. I just want to know why my bill went up."
Fuck, I thought. "I'm sorry, Ms. Anderson, but without verifying the account I can't give out any information. We do this to prevent unauthorized changed on your account."
"Well! I want to talk to your supervisor! She wants me to do somethin' on the tv," she hollered to somebody in the house.
I smiled so it would show in my voice. "If you'd like I can absolutely get you to my supervisor, ma'am, but he won't be able to give you any information without verifying your account."
"I want to talk to your supervisor!"
"Okay ma'am, may I place you on hold while I get him on the line?"
"Yes." she started jabbering to whoever was home with her while I pressed the hold button, took off my headset, and turned around .... to find my supervisor wasn't there. Frat Boy has a habit of wandering off. So I went to my computer to access the supervisor thread for the building, and found it had been deleted. Son of a bitch. I was going to have to run all over the place finding a free supervisor to take a call. I turned around and to my relief, someone had arrived to fill in for Frat Boy.
"Hey, Allen. This woman wants to know why her bill went up but she won't verify the account and wants a supervisor."
He shook his head. "Tell her I can't give her any information either."
"Oh, I did. She doesn't care."
"Well, I'm not even logged in, try the sup thread." he sat down and started logging in, which takes three to four minutes.
"It doesn't exist anymore."
He stared up at me blankly. "Okay, put the number on our chat and I'll tell you when I've logged in."
Great. Now I got to spend several uncomfortable minutes on the phone with this bitch, who could have already ended her call if she would have just taken literally ten seconds to get me an equipment number. Okay, please thirty more seconds to set up a password so next time we wouldn't have to get that number. But instead, I got to get back on the phone and attempt to keep her engaged while waiting for Allen to log in.
"Thank you for holding, ma'am. I have talked to my supervisor, and I'll have you on the line with him shortly. He's just logging in to the system after lunch."
"Okay." She still sounded pissed.
Thing is, we're not supposed to just sit there in silence. If the quality assurance department had been listening, I'd have gotten in trouble. So I had to try to talk. Asking her about her day or the weather would just make her more angry. I couldn't try to upsell anything, even if that wouldn't piss her off more. So I did my best to fill the silence.
"As I said ma'am, I can't give you any specific information, but I can give you general information. That letter that says we aren't experiencing prices increases does say for our primary packages, but--"
"Well, I want to know why mine went up then!" she snarled.
"Yes ma'am, as I was saying that letter covers our primary packages, but you may have another service that did have a slight increase." I may have been typing "*headdesk* to K2 at that point, but my voice was perfectly pleasant.
"Then why did I get this letter, if my bill went up!"
"I apologize for that ma'am, I know if can be confusing."
She hmpf'd at me and went silent. I stopped trying at that point, even though what was running through my head was Bitch, you have extra channels. It's two dollars. And if you weren't being so freaking stubborn, I could tell you exactly why and you'd be off the phone already!
After about 45 seconds, I apologized for the delay and said my supervisor would be with her soon. Meanwhile, I'm watching the call timer click on and on, watching my call handle time being affected by something this fucking stupid, and I'm getting more and more irritated. My bonuses depend on my statistics being at certain levels, and I get yelled at if they're not--in addition to losing money. And dumbass fuckers like her are the reason that I spent all month freaking out and having my ass ridden over call handle times.
Another 45 seconds or so later, Allen finally logged on and I was able to transfer the call to him. Total call time: 7 minutes 50 seconds. We could have handled her issue two or three times in that length! People are just so motherfucking stubborn! It's not like I asked her to climb a telephone pole and check her connection or something. It would have required expending .5 calories. Dumbass bitch.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I got a new tattoo a couple of weeks ago - again, it's a little too distinctive to be putting out on here, so if anybody wants to see it they can email me at slightlycranky at hotmail.com. (I'll even try to answer promptly, because as some of you already know, I sometimes forget about that email address for weeks on end!) This tattoo is a song lyric, the idea of which is if you don't take chances life isn't worth living. I'd been thinking about this for almost two years, but never had the money to get it or felt like it wasn't appropriate to put it on me when I was being such a goddamn chickenshit in reality.
Well, I finally got it, because I feel like in the last year or so, I have finally loosened up and managed to take some chances. I acted in a gruesome haunted house, something I never would have seen myself doing. And hey, what do you know, I loved it and did it again this year.
I spent every last dime I had in November of 2010 to go to England to meet some friends and see my favorite band, and I have never once regretted it. Last April, I decided that turning 30 and having only seen one cock was not acceptable, so I started looking at the possibility of not being a nun anymore. Did take a few more months to put that into action, but at the end of August I finally had sex again after four years of wearing out batteries. I'm still amused by how many of my friends and even freaking family have told me they were proud of me for fucking a guy I had met an hour before. Well, technically I'd met him ten years before because it turned out we went to high school together and didn't realize it until after we'd hooked up. Anyway.
I broke a lease in July and moved on two weeks' notice to a town I still can hardly navigate around. In September I took on making a wedding cake for 170 people, something I was absolutely not sure I could do, but I did it. I risked CL's anger to work the haunt again in October. Between October and November I slept with two more guys when the first one decided to be weird and vanish, and through a verrrrry interesting visit to a strip club discovered I'm a lot more bisexual than I ever thought.
And then at the beginning of December I had a total meltdown, which was ... interesting. In late December, I finally, finally took the step of getting a new job. And I started seeing a new guy, who I'm actually sort of having a real relationship with. Holy shit. Swore I'd never do that again, but here I am. I think. It's been two months and we haven't actually had that discussion yet. But hey, labels are over-rated, right?
And now, I've finally gotten out of the restaurant.
I think that warrants a new tattoo.
Okay, enough of that positive crap. Let's get back to the complaining about idiotic people and being the bitchy blogger you're used to.
So this guy calls in the other day. He seemed like a nice enough gentleman at first; mid-fifties (I know this because his password was the year he was born), patient, and didn't even blow his top when I told him he wouldn't be able to watch his HBO show without changing a cable on his receiver. Well, at first he didn't.
There have recently been changes to digital rights management laws, and so you have to have a digital cable to watch some stuff now. I don't totally get it, because it seems to be really hit-or-miss and to who sees it and who doesn't. But when I told the guy that, he was totally cool at first. He asked if we'd send a technician out to set it up, and I told him it was actually a very easy fix, if he had a set of component cables. He did, he fetched them, and although I wasn't looking forward to spending a long time on the phone walking him through this, I didn't anticipate any problems. Silly me.
Turns out that when their system was set up, it was set up in a completely fucked up way that made absolutely no sense. Thanks, technician. It had been set up with an HDMI cable from the receiver to the tv, component cables from the receiver to the DVD player, and another set of cables from the DVD player to the back of the tv. I cannot think of any freaking reason for this at all. But as he was describing this he started muttering "goddammit" and "Jesus Christ" every ten seconds.
Now, I admit I did over-complicate things a little. I should have just told him to take the pair of cables between the receiver and the DVD player, pull the ends out of the DVD player, and jam them in the television. But I had him pull them out from both devices, because I hadn't fully processed how things were set up at that point, and remove the HDMI cable. Then I asked him what port the cables going to the back of the tv was labeled as. He said input one. Not a problem, since any tv is going to have multiple ones.
"Okay sir, go ahead and take that set of cables and plug it in to the back of the receiver." he did. "Now plug the other end in to the tv, in an--"
"Where!" he snarled.
"In any input that has those three red, yellow, and white ports."
"Well I don't see any!"
"Is there a row of ports right next to where the DVD player is plugged in?"
The fuck there wasn't. "Okay sir, you said the DVD player is plugged in to input one, right?"
"No! No!" The sound of cables hitting the wall came through the phone. "I am more confused than I have ever been in my life! I'm starting over!" He slammed the phone down and I heard a slew of "goddamits" and "Jesus Christs" coming through, accompanied by banging sounds. Eventually he picked up the phone again. "Now what am I supposed to do!"
So we started over. This time, I just told him to follow the cords from the receiver to the DVD player and unplug them at the DVD player. Then I told him to find any port on his tv that had red, yellow, and white, and plug those cables in, and he went completely fucking insane. Started screaming we should send a technician out to fix it, and when I said we could but it would be a customer installation which costs X number of dollars, he started calling me names and swearing. He said it was set up "wrong" when they got their new receivers a month ago and it was our fault. I told him as calmly as possible that this new digital rights law had gone into effect within the last month and HBO had just put the restrictions into place in the last week, so it was set up correctly at the time.
"Well, it's not my fault! Why should I have to deal with it! Your company screwed up! It's not my fault there's a new law!"
I know better than to argue with a customer, but one thing I like about this job is that I don't have to kiss their asses either. "You're right sir, it's not your fault. But it's not our fault either, we can't see the future to know, and that's why your system was set up the way it was. It was correct at the time. If you'd like me to schedule that technician at the price I mentioned, I can do that, or we can get this cable plugged in and you'll be set to go."
"No! I'm not paying anything! This is bullshit! You get someone out here to fix this or I'm canceling my service. And don't think I won't, I don't care that I have a contract, I know all the legalities involved and you're not providing me with service so I don't have to keep the contract!"
"Sir, this is not an issue of us not providing service, because the signal is reaching you. We just need to adjust this one cable and-"
"*torrent of screaming and swearing*"
I think he was so loud my supervisor could actually hear him through my headset, or maybe he'd tapped into the call, because he sent me an instant message saying he had set up a free tech appointment for the guy. I confirmed the time and the guy hung up on me.
I had to take a few seconds to giggle, because Jesus fucking Christ! This guy would rather sit around his for five hours, waiting for a strange to come and plug in literally one fucking cable, than just do it himself? How fucking lazy can you be?
Friday, February 10, 2012
Nick was fired, via a voicemail, because of a Facebook post. Now, say what you want about watching yourself on Facebook -- his post was absolutely nothing that warranted firing. It said "I only have two shifts next week, guess I should look for another job because I can't pay my bills." HOW DARE HE?
Cali Girl quit. I was pretty shocked; she'd been there even longer than me. But one day this week, she got dressed and headed to work .... and halfway there decided, fuck it, I'm done. So she turned around and went home. Didn't even call in or anything. I don't really approve of that, but I approve of her getting the fuck out of there!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
After next week's schedule was posted, I decided this shit isn't fun anymore. Four weeks without a single shift is just ridiculous. And they decided to have somebody else do bingo. Fuck it. I emailed my two weeks' notice to all the managers. That was two days ago and not one has responded.
Usually I wouldn't do that sort of thing by email, but I do not trust CL. If I ever need to use the company as a reference, or god forbid go back, I want to have proof I submitted proper notice.
It's a strange feeling, after nearly 12 years of serving. It's been at least a second job for all but small periods of time, a month here or three there - 11 months total, actually. And now ... now it's done. At least for now, guess we'll see if it lasts. I'm hopeful.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I'll keep blogging! Would hate to disappoint ya'll! I do have some stories from the call center, but I also don't have real Internet access yet and tethering through my phone is a serious pain in the ass.
But, I do have a tidbit from the restaurant. CL fired somebody over a freaking voicemail last night.