My Boiler?

One of my colleagues recounted a call she had from a gentleman wishing to insure his boiler. She began by asking for the details of his boiler: make, model, age, fuel. The customer then became totally confused by this and wanted to know if my colleague was discussing his boiler. As he rang us with the intention of insuring his boiler you’d have thought it was pretty obvious that my colleague wanted the details of his boiler and not ours.

‘Do you mean my boiler?’ He asked. Followed by: ‘Are we talking about my boiler?’

He asked several times before my colleague had even begun to set up the policy. When she did start to set it up she informed the gentleman that she needed to check the eligibility of the property and would be asking him a few questions.

‘Is this a quiz?’ he asked.

‘No. It’s just a couple of questions to make sure the property is eligible for the cover.’ She told him.

‘This is a quiz. I need to get my pen and paper to help me.’ Was his reply.

There are times when we find it very difficult to get through a call!


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Get Your Pen!

I was asked for quotes today. Four quotes that turned into eight. Ten minutes after giving details of each cover and prices the customer then decided he wanted to get his pen. Why he called for prices without a pen is beyond me. Common sense tells you to write down the price. I then had to wait for him to get his pen, and then spend another ten minutes running through the information again!

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Wrong Numbers

We get a lot of wrong numbers coming through at the call centre. Most of them don’t bother us at all. The customer apologises and redials. However, the ones that do annoy us are just like the one I had today.

CUSTOMER: ‘I’m ringing on behalf of Mr…. You installed a boiler in his flat and you’ve left a load of rubbish there. When are you going to move it?’

ME: ‘We don’t install boilers. How did it for you?’

CUSTOMER: ‘… did it.’

ME: ‘Well, why don’t ring that company? You may get an answer if you ask the people who actually did the job.’

CUSTOMER: ‘Why can’t you do it?’

ME: ‘Because we are not…, and we didn’t do the job. May I suggest that you ring the right people.’

Fortunately these type of calls don’t happen that often. Most people are sensible enough to get the number for the company they wish to speak to, and not whatever number that just happens to appear first.


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Phoning While Driving

We have many customers who phone us while driving.

‘I’m on hands-free.’ They say.

Now, it is against the law in the UK to be using a hand-held phone while driving, stopped at traffic lights, or in a traffic queue. It can be 3 penalty points and £100 fine minimum, and £1000 fine and disqualification maximum. Buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum of £2500 fine. You can only legally use a hand-held device for calling 999 or 112 in an emergency situation and it is unsafe or impractical to stop, or you are safely parked.

It is legal to use hands-free phones, sat navs or 2-way radios while driving. However, if the police think you are distracted then you can still be stopped and penalised.

All sounds well and good? Well take a further look at using hands-free…

When you make a phone call you have to input the number, whether it’s the whole number or a speed dial number, or a name. This requires a thought process and you looking at the device to punch in the right digit. You are distracted from driving.

If you are calling a company for some kind of service, our call centre for instance, then you are thinking about the reason you are calling, what information do you need, what information do we need, etc. Your focus is on the call not on your driving. You are distracted.

Although using a hands-free device is legal, I resent the fact that some people are phoning me while driving. It puts unnecessary and unwanted responsibility on to me. You may ask what I mean by this. Very simple. If you have an accident while phoning me while you are driving, then how do you think I’m going to feel? If you don’t know the answer to this, then let me put it in a different way.

Say you are sitting at home and your partner, son, daughter, calls you while they are driving. They are on a hands-free device. Perfectly legal. While talking to you they have a bad accident. You have been talking to them knowing that they are driving. You have distracted them. You are partly responsible for the accident. How are you going to feel?

Needless to say that if you phone me while driving, regardless of whether you are on a hands-free device or not, I’m not going to continue with the call. It is wrong of you to expect me to take responsibility for any accident you may have while you are distracted. If you wish to kill yourself do it in your own time, not mine. If you wish to kill other people then you’ve clearly got no conscience.

If you are driving do not make phone calls.





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Questions And Answers

We have to ask customers a multitude of questions at the call centre, to get the answers we need to set up the policy they require. Here are a few examples of the questions I ask and the answers I get:

ME ‘Can I have your full address please?’
CUSTOMER ‘Errr. Ummmmm. Errr. I think it’s…’

ME ‘Can I have your full address please?’
CUSTOMER ‘It’s sw10.’

ME ‘What’s the model of your boiler?’
CUSTOMER ‘It’s a combi.’

ME ‘What’s the model of your boiler?’
CUSTOMER ‘That’s a good question.’

ME ‘What’s the model of your boiler?’
CUSTOMER ‘It’s one of them on the wall.’

ME ‘Can I have your policy number please?’
CUSTOMER ‘The originators number is…’

ME ‘Can I have your policy number please?’
CUSTOMER ‘My phone number is…’

ME ‘Can I have your policy number please?’
CUSTOMER ‘I phoned your number.’

ME ‘Can I take the reference off the letter? It starts with the letters…’
CUSTOMER ‘There’s a number at the side. It’s 010287…’

The worst one out of all of them? For me it’s the address. There are too many adults in the UK who do not know what their full address is or what the term ‘full address’ means. It’s shocking. But this is what we have to deal with every day.

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Call Centre Hassles

We have many hassles at the call centre, not just the normal job pains. Most of the hassles are from the various calls we take day in and day out.

At 8pm closing: ‘I know you close now and I’m sorry to trouble you, but could you just set up three policies for me. I know exactly what I want.’ (I know what I’d like to give you.)

‘I’m expecting an engineer from…(our competitor). Could you tell me when he’s coming?’ (Try ringing them.)

‘You’ve put the price up. This is extortionate! I’m a pensioner and can’t possibly afford this. This is just daylight robbery!’ (It’s gone up by 50p for the whole year!)

‘I’m not happy about this renewal price. You’ve put the price up by 10.257%. Can you justify this?’(Thanks for being so specific. Yes we can justify it. This is a business not a charity. We can put the prices up whenever we damn well feel like it.)

‘I want to take out a policy but I don’t have my bank details with me. If you set it up now I’ll phone later to pay.’ (Like hell I will.)

‘I want a job doing. A blow job.’ (That’s fine. I bite.)

‘What underwear are you wearing?’ (The colour wouldn’t suit you mate.)

Oh what fun we have!

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Happy New Year Everyone!

Hello 2015!

Hopefully we’ll see less wars, less destruction of the planet, less annihilation of those we share the planet with – of all species, fewer idiots running the countries of the world, less poverty, less starvation, less mindless brutality.

Hopefully we’ll see more awareness of life, more love of life, greater prosperity for everyone, an increase in health and well being for everyone, peace and happiness, and a greater awareness of the inter-connectivity of everything on this world.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Margaret Road Wednesbury WS10 7QT 07505067286 By appointment only, so please contact me to discuss available times.