Confessions of a Call Center Rep
I hate people who act like they deserve something for free. I work in a call center for a television company and people are constantly calling in to get TV equipment for free—and it’s not like they’re $10 units, we’re talking about $200 at least. I hate it when I tell them they can’t get it for free and they continue to tell me about how hard life is for them and that they are struggling with bills (but yet they are calling to upgrade their TV equipment and just spent $3,000 on a new TV) and they go on and on and on as if after telling me these things I’m going to say “oh, in that case it just became free for you!”
What I also hate is when people tell me “well, isn’t there a button you can press and make it happen?” I always give a scoff hoping they realize what a stupid question that is before telling them that no, I work with a computer system, I didn’t make the system and there is no way to override the system, especially when they are being so rude.
The mute button is my favorite button; if I didn’t have this button I probably would have cursed out a customer already for being so rude to a complete stranger who doesn’t even know what their problem is. What the customers don’t realize is that every time you go on a rant about your problem and about how incompetent I and my company are, I put you on mute then say what I wish I could say to you—this usually involves cursing and telling you how stupid you are—then I get back on the line and say “yes, I understand sir/ma’am” and roll my eyes at you and your demands.
One of my favorite types of calls, mostly coming from the elderly, is when they call, tell me their problem and proceed to give me a phone number where I can reach them when I figure out their problem. I get really annoyed at this—as if I don’t have other calls to take and have all day to figure out what the resolution to their problem is. Are they that busy that they can’t wait on the line for ten minutes while we, together, try to find a solution?
I personally don’t do this, but I know a lot of my coworkers do: they tell the customer “oh, okay, well let me place you on just a quick hold while I do some research for you to help resolve your issue” and then go to the bathroom or break room while the customer is on hold. I don’t do this because I have standards, but just to let you know, sometimes, when you are on hold with a rep from any company you should be suspicious that they are actually relieving themselves or getting a soda. I will admit this though: I will place you on hold so that you won’t talk to me while I look up what procedure I have to use, which brings me to my next rant:
I hate when people think that they need to fill the silence with conversation about the weather, their pets, their kids and their problems. I’m thankful when I get a customer who is all business and doesn’t ask me where I’m from and then misunderstand and say “MEXICO! I didn’t know they had call centers in Mexico!” when I really said “New Mexico”. Sometimes I correct them and they still don’t realize New Mexico is part of the United States—then, on the other hand, I don’t correct them and they proceed to tell me what great English I speak and ask me to say something in “Mexican”.
I’m not racist or discriminative but since I started this job I realize anyone from North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama are utterly and completely ignorant and hostile for no reason and stupid. People from New Jersey, Florida and New York are the most rude people I have ever had the displeasure to speak to. This sounds bad but every time a call comes in all I really need to see is their state and I already know how the call is going to go. Though saying this, I wouldn’t jeopardize my job (especially in the economic state the nation is in) by putting on a rude, bad, or unhelpful attitude toward people whose from those states even when they are totally… unpleasant, I’ll say… to me the entire time. I just am prepared for what might come and occasionally I am surprised.
So the point of this is just to make you aware of your and our actions when you are calling any call center. Here’s a tip: if you are nice and pleasant we will most likely do anything to get your problem resolved faster than if you are rude and non compliant. Simply, you get more bees with honey then you do with vinegar.