Posts Tagged ‘call centers’

Anatomy of a phone call

March 25, 2010

I have to call my credit card company………sigh. I must have done something really bad to have been given this sentence. What’s even worse, I’m calling to tell them that they need to reverse a charge on my account. This will not be easy because they are the ones who put the charge there. So I dial……

Welcome to First Credit Card Company, please listen to the following menu and say or use your telephone keypad to enter your choice. (I’ll use the keypad thank you, I refuse to get involved with you and your ridiculous voice recognition software). So I hunker down (my calendar is clear for a couple hours)and make my selection, the first of many selections, since each one you make opens up a sub-menu. I fight the good fight and eventually make it to the option I want.

This is where the fun really starts. Now I get the distinct pleasure of entering my 16 digit credit card number, my social security number, my telephone number, my zip code (I swear they do this just to frustrate people), and my mother’s maiden name. By this time I am pleading for a human on the other end, instead I get a message claiming that I could have a “longer than normal wait” since I apparently called at a time when they’re experiencing greater than normal call volume. Yeah right!!!! Another of your tactics to get me to hang up and go to your website, where I won’t have anybody to scream at. I am, however, patient and I get to the human, the happy, cheerful human, who asks me for my 16 digit credit card number, my social security number……sigh. It’s like Yogi Bera said “it’s deja vu all over again”.

By this time, I am even more upset than when I first embarked on this quest. The human at the other end seems to sense my anger and arbitrarily apologizes even before I start to rail. I don’t let his attempt at “pre-emptive self defense” stop me however, I immediately launch into a colorful diatribe about big corporations in general, the credit company in particular, and I rounded it off with a nice piece about how difficult it is to get to talk to a human being and not a machine. My rep, who claims his name is “Julius” (nehi beta, you don’t SOUND like a Julius) again apologizes and promises that he can “certainly” help me.

After I make my case, “Julius” tells me that (surprise surprise), he can’t help me. I will need to call the merchant. “Julius” I say, in my most patient tone, “you are the merchant”. “Yes sir, but this is a different department”. “Ok Julius, can you transfer me to that department?”. ” I am sorry sir, but you would need to call them directly as I am unable to transfer you to that department”. (Do they really think that we don’t know they’re all sitting in the same room?)

Needless to say, when I call the “merchant” I am told that they can’t help. I have to call my credit card company and report my concerns to them. By now of course I am in some sort of call center induced madness, so I unthinkingly dial the number and jump back into the queue. I laugh hysterically as I enter my 16 digit credit card number, I do some strange ancient dance as I enter my social security number… the time I get to my zip code, I am reduced to a mere zombie. “Julius” again answers the phone (go figure, or maybe they’re all called Julius…..hmmmm). By the time he is halfway through reading his script and acting as if he did not speak to me just ten minutes ago, I slip into some sort of coma induced my bad customer service. The last thing I recall hearing, is Julius asking me if there is anything else he could help me with and if I would like to do a short survey about my experience. My last thought as I slipped away………are you kidding me?


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