We’re Closed!

Unfortunately I had to work this Saturday. Right at the end of my shift I had a customer ringing to take out a policy that I don’t deal with. I’m not authorised to set it up so would have been in serious trouble if I had done so. However, as I explained to the customer, the department that could set this policy up had closed – and they were all walking out. Don’t blame them. End of their shift and they have homes to get to.

This particular customer would not accept that we were closed. No. She was insisting that there was someone there who could set the policy up for. After explaining to her several times that she would have to phone back another time, and she not accepting what I was saying, I got fed up with it. I told her I could put her through to that department but they were closed so would not answer her call.

‘Put me through there!’ She demanded. So I did. Then I went home.

I’m expecting her to call back on Monday and lodge a complaint. But how many times do I have to tell someone that there is no one there to help them? Did she think I was lying? What possible reason would I have to lie? All of our documents state our opening times, so if someone wants to ring at closing time then they must be prepared not to get any help.

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Do You Know Your Address?

One of the main things we have problems with at work is customers who don’t know their address. You may think I’m joking but sadly I’m not.

We get a lot of ‘errmm…’ when we ask for the address. We also get ‘the postcode is w2’. Sometimes we get the whole postcode but still have to ask for the rest of the address. We also get given the first line of the address and nothing else, as the customer expects us to know the rest. As must cities and towns have the same street names it’s very likely that we’ll pick the wrong place if we’re not told where it is!

I had a customer like this today. She gave me the first line of the address. When I asked for the rest of the address she repeated the first line. I had to ask five times! I wonder what would happen if she had an emergency at home and needed services? They wouldn’t have any idea of where to go.

There are times when we get lucky – we have a customer who knows where they live. Lovely!


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Michael McIntyre – Happy & Glorious [DVD] [2015]

Splat Game


Grandpa’s Great Escape

Derogatory Additions To Names

I expect a lot of people have seen the news about a gentleman who had a derogatory addition to his surname. It was in the news recently and a great deal on social media. Not a nice thing to happen at all. I can’t see anyone enjoying getting a letter with that kind of thing on there. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often. Although saying that, there are many occurrences of letters being sent out to people who have passed away. Also offensive.

The media have been saying that this offensive addition to the gentleman’s surname was deliberate. But was it? From what I’ve read there is an investigation underway at the moment. But what possible reason would an agent have to do this? If the agent was someone who was just plain and straight forward prejudiced against skins of a particular colour, or particular religion, then surely it would have been spotted well before hand. I can’t see a large company keeping on an agent who is prejudiced, or in fact, a person applying to work at a multi-cultural company if they were prejudiced. Doesn’t make sense either way.

Working in a call centre myself I know first hand how bad it can be on the phones. I often have people coming through and I ask them for their name and haven’t got a clue what they’ve said. Whether it’s a bad line, a strong accent, speaking too quickly, or someone covering the mouth piece, there have been times where I’ve been completely stumped. I’ve begun the call by calling them what I thought they said only to be told quietly bluntly that I’m wrong!

Some customer don’t understand what ‘initial’ means. So when I ask for an initial they spell out their name. I’ve had customers give me their full names – first, middle, last – all in one breath. It can be quite difficult at times, and it’s very common for us to have to ask a customer to spell out their surname and then spell out their first name. Just so that we can understand them.

Is this what happened in this unfortunate case? Was it just a matter of the agent not understanding the customer? It’s interesting to note that at my company there is a split with what people think between those on the phones and that those who aren’t. Those of us on the phones are all saying this couldn’t possibly have been done deliberately – it’s just too easy for us to hear the wrong information. While those who are not on the phones are all saying it was deliberately done.

The only reason I can see for this to have been done deliberate is if the agent had just had enough. I’m not saying that this is what happened here. I don’t know. And I’m certainly not saying that this customer was aggressive. Again I don’t know. But having worked on the phones for so long I’ve had my fair share of abusive customers and it would be so easy to want to get my own back. I never have. But there have been times when the temptation has been very strong.

I had a customer complain that I was heavy breathing. I had a cold and because I was breathing through my mouth he could hear it. Another customer complained about the same thing with one of my colleagues who had asthma. This is blatant prejudice towards us when we are not well. One customer complained about a colleague who asked him to call back. He wanted to speak to an English person but everyone was on the phone as it was particularly busy. My Nigerian colleague asked him to call back later when it was a bit quieter and he may get an English person. He called back and complained about her. This again was prejudice.

What is annoying is that the company upholds the complaints from the customers. Customers come first. It should not be happening. Customers should not be treating agents in this manner. We are not pieces of dirt. Some customers are extremely offensive, aggressive, bullying, prejudicial, swearing, and downright nasty. Agents are human beings. I got to the end of my tether a few times. I got into trouble raising my voice to one woman who was insulting me and shouting at me. We can only take so much before we snap. Is this what happened in the news item recently? I will be very interested to see what the investigation uncovers.


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Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4)


Driving Test Success All Tests 2015 Edition (PC DVD)


Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 (PC/Mac)


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Woman!

A work colleague had a particularly nasty individual on the phone a few days ago, who insisted in finishing every sentence with the word ‘woman’. We always give our name to the caller – it’s politeness as well as good service. However, this man wasn’t interested in using my colleagues name as he didn’t wish to speak to a woman!

The conversation went along these lines:

‘Good morning. You’re through to (name of colleague). How can I help you?’ She asked politely.

‘Put a man on the phone, woman. I’m not speaking to you.’ He demanded.

‘We are very busy at the moment and my colleagues are busy on other calls, so how can I help you?’ She asked again, politely.

‘Renew my policy, woman.’ He spat.

My colleague was polite throughout the call. But even when she reminded the customer of her name, he still didn’t use it.

Personally I would not have put up with his rudeness and, let’s face it, his prejudice. We are living in the 21st century and to think that there are people like this in the UK now is unbelievable. What a prat!

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The Magic Whip

Rocket Games Pie Face!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]

The Good Girl

Pay Attention!

We frequently get customers who can’t be bothered to pay attention to the details we give them. They’ll call up to take a policy and tell us to ‘get on with it’ as they have the information on the letter we sent them. If we ask whether they’ve read the letter the answer is usually ‘no’. But they’re usually too busy eating their lunch or watching TV to be bothered listening to important information.

We even get the smart alecs who put the phone down and walk away while we give legal information. It’s great when they call up complaining they weren’t told something. We can send them a very nice recording on CD of the call, so they can hear themselves walking off. Lovely!

There’s always the other side of the coin. We sometimes get parents or grandparents calling up with a crying child in the room. There’s often no other adult present. I’m frequently heard asking the customer if they would like to see to the child and ring us back later. It’s amazing how many of them say the child is ok. I feel like screaming at them! Or reminding them that I have their name and address and could report them for neglect. Bet they didn’t think of that.


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]


The Day Is My Enemy


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Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 13 (PC/Mac)

Address

To set up a policy or to check or change existing details we need the address. That includes the postcode. As usual we get greeted with a multitude of answers when we ask for the address.

‘It’s number 5 The Street.’

‘It’s number 10.’

‘It’s London.’

‘I live in Scotland.’

‘It’s CF4 1QQ.’

‘I’m just up the road from you.’

‘I don’t know what the address is.’

The last one is the best. I’ve had that a few times often from landlords who want to insure a property they rent out. Not knowing the address does not bode well for the tenants I’m thinking.


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1000 Forms Of Fear


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Serial Numbers

Most if not all appliances have a serial number. It’s a unique code of letters or numbers, or both, that is added to the appliance when it’s manufactured. It helps the producer to track a product for quality control, indicating the model of the appliance, when it was made, and various other details. We often require the serial number to insure an appliance, such as a boiler.

A lady called me a few days ago and offered me the serial number for her boiler. I was expecting to be asked for the model of her boiler, or whether parts were still available. But no. She gave me the serial number expecting me to tell her where the boiler was installed!

As if the manufacture would know where each boiler was going to be installed before they actually sold it. Now that would be something.


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Terms And Conditions

We often send the terms and conditions out with our mailing packs so that customers can read the two page document that gives them full information about a product. They then know exactly what they are buying before calling us.

I asked a customer if she had received the terms and conditions from us, regarding a particular policy that she wanted to take out.

‘Yes. I have them.’ She told me after a few seconds of flicking through papers.

Not altogether convinced I asked her if she’d read them.

‘No, but I’ll do it now. It’s only one paragraph.’ She answered confidently.

Well it’s not one paragraph. It’s a two page document. However, I was impressed with the fact that saw it as one paragraph and was able to read it within ten seconds.


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Eligibility

We have to check the eligibility of the property before setting up any insurance policy. One of the questions we ask is: ‘What type of property is it?’ We expect a very simple answer, such as: house, flat, bungalow, park home, etc. We very rarely get the simple answer.

‘Detached.’

‘It’s in the middle.’

‘It’s brick built.’

‘It’s three bedroom.’

‘It’s on it’s own.’

‘It’s semi-detached, brick built, four bedrooms, with a pointed roof, built in 1965. And it has a converted loft.’

‘I live here with my wife and kids.’

‘It’s next door to number five.’

‘Oh, you know. It’s a normal home.’

I live for the day when my job is simple.


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Game of Thrones – Season 4 [DVD] [2015]


Fifty Shades Of Grey


Six Months In The Call Centre: The First Six Months Of My Blog

No Letter

‘I want to take out a policy.’ She told me.

‘Have you had a letter from us?’ I asked thinking she’d probably had a mailing advertising one of our products.

‘No I haven’t.’

So I took a few details from her and then I checked again. ‘Have you had a letter or have you had a look on the internet?’

‘No I haven’t.’ She repeated.

‘Can I ask how you heard about the cover?’

‘I had it with you before.’ She answered.

‘Ok. And you say you’ve had no recent letters from us?’ I checked again as I know that letters have gone out recently to certain areas.

‘I haven’t had anything.’

So I began to run through our usual regulatory spiel but within a few seconds she had interrupted me.

‘Yes, it says all that on this letter I’ve got.’

Lovely. You have to experience it to believe it.


Game of Thrones – Season 4 [DVD] [2015]


Fifty Shades of Grey [DVD] [2015]


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In The Lonely Hour

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