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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Hard To Believe

If I didn’t work in a call centre I would find the following very hard to believe. However, the following experiences from myself and my colleagues are, unfortunately, true.

Agent: What model of boiler do you have?
Customer: It’s a shiny white one.

Agent: How would you like to pay?
Customer: You can use the cheque I sent in last year for this years payment as well.

Agent: What model of boiler do you have?
Customer: You should know. Your husband installed it.
Agent: My husband does not install boilers.
Customer: Well, your son then!

Agent (for the 3rd time): Can I have your address please?
Customer: Oh don’t you have it?
Silence
Agent (for the 4th time): Can. I. Have. Your. Address. Please?

Names have been changed in the following to protect the guilty.
Agent: Can I take your name please?
Customer: It’s Becky.
Agent: Surname?
Customer: Martin.
Agent: The policy is under a different name could I please speak to that person?
Customer: I’m the policy holder.
Agent: The name on the policy is Miranda Dickson, so if you are the policy holder who is Becky Martin?
Customer: That is my work colleague.

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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.


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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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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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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.


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I Understand Completely!

A customer said that she understood completely! Well I’ve heard that one many times over.

‘I’m an agent ringing on behalf of the landlord.’ She told me. ‘I want to know when the policy expires.’

I explained that we had no details of the agents on our system, and no permission from the policy holder to discuss the details with anyone. However, I offered to check how much information I could give without breaking regulations.

‘I can give you the expiry date,’ I told her, ‘but I can’t discuss any of the policy or payment details as we have no permission from the policy holder.’

‘That’s fine.’ She said. ‘I just want the date it expires. I understand completely that you can’t discuss the details of the policy.’

So I gave her the date that the policy was due to expire, not mentioning anything about the policy, not even what it was called.

‘That’s great.’ She thanked me. ‘Now can you tell me what it covers?’

As I mentioned above, I’ve heard the ‘I understand completely’ many times before, and 9 out of 10 customers obviously don’t understand!


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Third Parties

I’ve mentioned before about third party callers and the fact that we can’t discuss policy details with them. Not without the express permission of the policy holder or a copy of the Power of Attorney. Most people understand this. It’s only the few that complain relentlessly trying to get us to back down. There are times when we can give generic information – trying to answer questions without discussing a person’s policy.

A gentleman called me the other day, on behalf on his friend who was in hospital. He explained that his friend had received a renewal and he wanted to let us know that he would get her to send in a cheque. Well I could see quite clearly that the policy had already been paid but I couldn’t discuss this with him due to the FCA regulations. So I tried to tell him without telling him.

‘I’m going to see her tomorrow in hospital.’ He explained. ‘So I’ll take her cheque book and get her to write it out and then I’ll post it for her.’

‘When you see her tomorrow get her to double check that she hasn’t done it already.’ I told him. I thought this was pretty clear. The play on words – ‘double check’ – and the inference that she may have done it already.

‘She hasn’t done it. She’s in hospital.’ He said. ‘I’ll get her to do it tomorrow so don’t cancel her policy.’

I repeated what I had said hoping he would understand the second time around. He didn’t. So I tried a more direct tactic. ‘You know that I can’t discuss the details with you, but if you listen closely to what I’m saying then you’ll see that I’m telling you something without giving you direct information.’

‘Ok.’ He seemed to understand this so I said it all over again.

‘Ok. I’ll get her to look through the cheque book.’ He said cautiously.

I left it there. I felt that I’d told him as much as I could without directly stating that it had been paid. I got the impression that he still didn’t understand what I was saying, but at least I got him to say that he would ask his friend to look through her cheque book before sending in another.


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Policy Or Not? That Is The Question

‘Do you have a policy?’ I asked the gentleman who phoned through.

‘Yes.’ He answered. ‘But it’s gone.’

‘What’s gone?’ I asked.

‘The guarantee has gone.’

‘So,’ I queried, ‘are you actually saying that you don’t have a policy?’

‘No.’

I put the question a different way: ‘Do you want to get an engineer under your insurance?’

‘I haven’t got any insurance.’ He said.

Luckily most of our calls are a lot easier. Majority of our customers give us the information we need straight away with no problems. It’s just the occasional call that requires a lot of hard work.


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