Category: talesfromcallcenters

talesfromcallcenters: I guess Im a sycophant for trying to be nice.

A long time ago, in a world where cell phones were huge and expensive, land lines and telecom providers reigned supreme. I worked in a call center at the tender age of 18. We didnt cold call, oh no, people would get checks in the mail that amounted any where from 5$ to 200$. To redeem these checks they called into our center to get a code after they re-signed up with that carrier.

One night I got a call from a nice gentleman wishing to get back with X carrier. I asked for his address like normal, and he gave me one that was on Nob Hill in San Francisco.

Me: Wow Nob Hill huh? That must be a fun place to live.

Customer: Ohhhh you are one of them…

Me: Excuse me sir?

Customer: I dont deal with sycophants. I will call back another time to get someone that isnt like you. ~click~

I had to look up the word and my young self was shocked that making polite talk was ass kissing to this guy. Still it was better than getting screamed at by people that wanted to cash that 10$ check without re-signing up. Its not fun to explain to people I couldnt give a code, no matter what if they didnt sign up.

I didnt last long at that job.

By: Tinycowz

talesfromcallcenters: Welcome TFCC’s newest mod

Congratulations to u/jarvis52 on becoming the newest mod! We’re glad to have you on the team.

By: Fiddlestix22

talesfromcallcenters: I had to call into a call center today, as a CC veteran

My internet provider has the single worst website known to man, and the worst IVR system. The only damn way that I can make my payment is to pick up the phone after an entire day on the phones, which sucks.

I was especially mad today because I had signed up for auto pay not once, but twice in the last five months but I was past due again. So I called in and after ten minutes, someone picks up. I say hi, she says hi and then… the call drops. I had to call in AGAIN because my shitty internet provider can’t have a functioning payment processing system. I wasn’t a happy person when I called back.

I got a guy with a serious southern drawl who was nice enough, but I was annoyed. I mentioned that I got hung up on previously and he apologized and said that it was probably a dropped call. He went on to take my payment and I mentioned that I should be set up on auto pay.

Bless this guy. He looked into the issue, found that I’d been setup on my very old card for auto pay and sent off a request to have my account number changed. And beyond that, he said he’d check my account tomorrow to make sure it was changed and call me personally if something went wrong. I could have kissed him. It was like he was doing a training role play where he was all set up to say the right things. We even chatted a bit about memes and he said that ‘he couldn’t believe people didnt like them, because he didn’t need that negativity in his life’.

So I left a message on their kudos hotline, after checking with him that it would be something that he wanted. I have to say, l always appreciate getting someone good because I know damned well how hard it is to deal with the phones all day.

Thanks Georgia meme lover. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

By: effexxor

talesfromcallcenters: Bosses are as bad as the customers sometimes..

Not your typical “call…”

The call center I worked at for seemingly a lifetime was built on sales. Taking inbound calls from frustrated people about their phone/internet/cable and then trying to up sale them on packages they don’t want can be…interesting.

So it begins that the cable company we contracted for wanted to see bigger sales. They gave DVD sets, posters, coffee mugs etc. for the person with the highest sales in their pod (group of 10/15 people in a cubical grouping).

The director of our site thought it would be a great idea to alert everyone when a big sale (over $50 USD) happened. He put in place near the admin circle by the front door a police style red rotating light. He then thought maybe it could be a bigger impact if he changed it…without asking..

Me and my buddy named…Bobby were walking out to take lunch. As we passed the admin circle, I turned to head to the bathroom. I came back to see him laying on the ground shaking. I call for help, and find out later he’s epileptic.

The boss turned off the lights to the admin circle, and changed it from a rotating red light to a white strobe light on a speed of 8 out of 10.

Damn near killed the kid by the looks of it. He got a days paid vacation. That was all. Nearing dying for a day off.

He got the BIG sale attention that time for sure..

By: jarvis52

talesfromcallcenters: Decision making may not be your strong suit

On mobile, formatting, blah blah

So, it’s been years since I had the pleasure of working in a call center, but reading these posts brought back a few memories. I worked in a call center for a major credit union that primarily services two branches of the US military. At the time I worked in the loan department.

As a bit more background information, for those of you who don’t know this, for military personnel it’s very easy to determine their pay. It’s all based on rank and years of service.

ME: your truly SG: sailor girl

ME: Thank you for calling Major CU. This is cspotphantom. How may I help you today?

SG: I would like to apply for a car loan.

We confirm some basic information so that I know SG is who she says she is. Based on her voice and demeanor I picture a short, petite and very innocent girl.

ME: Have you already picked out a vehicle or are you still looking?

SG: I want a Beetle!

ME: That sounds great! Have you found the specific one you want to buy or are you still looking?

SG: I want a green one!

ME: That’s a very nice for choice. I’m going to assume you’re not at a dealership right now. Is that correct?

SG: Yes sir.

ME: It sounds like the best thing for you is a pre-approved loan. This will allow you to look for your Beetle while knowing what your spending limit is. How much would you like to borrow?

SG: Well, I’m not sure. The new ones are around $17,000. How much can I borrow?

ME: Ma’am, are you still an E2 with less than two years of service?

SG: Yes. I just finished basic training.

ME: I’m going to do you a favor and suggest you don’t submit the application for the loan. Based on your income (before taxes it was roughly $1200 a month) I can tell you that there is no way that you will be approved.

There was a long pause followed by some sniffles. I really hated this part of my job.

SG: I really want this Beetle. Is there anything that I can do.

ME: If you have a cosigner that qualifies it would greatly increase your chances of being approved. Do you think you could get a cosigner?

Another long pause followed by increase sniffling. At this point I’m certain the tears have started as well.

SG: My recruiter said if I joined the Navy I could get a new beetle. Do you think he would cosign for ME?

ME: No ma’am, I don’t. I’m really very sorry.

I think I actually heard the levy break as she had just begun to realize what she had done with her life and why. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone cry like that before or after.

SG: Thank you sir (barely audible through the torturous crying)

I can’t believe what some recruiters will say to get someone to sign up. Poor girl was staring down the barrel of a six year enlistment for a car she’ll never get. That was probably the first of many hard life lessons she has learned.

By: cspotphantom

talesfromcallcenters: Not your typical call

English is my first language, I’m not on mobile, and I’m not sorry for the formatting. Also if I see another apology I might have a hernia.

I worked at an outbound call center that typically did magazine renewal during the afternoon and in the evening did research for local political bodies. Afternoon was hectic cause they typically had good lists with lots of expected responses, while evenings it resembled more like cold calling, though I think it actually came from ballot information or something the city collected…

Anyways, we called throughout the evening, changing target areas as the night progressed so that we were hitting parts of the nation where people were actually at home and able to answer questions and hopefully not asleep yet. The expected response rate was low and I was typically ahead of my target by a good 40%, but still had to deal with those people who like to yell at you for calling. Luckily I could hang up for a variety of reasons as long as I marked the correct disposition (usually Initial Refusal – Call Again if you were an asshole).

Anyways, near the end of my shift we were dialing a few states over and I got this call.

Me: Hello, my name is Greenitthe calling on behalf of …, and I have just a few questions for you about upcoming changes to the bike lane system in your city.

Old Man: Oh I don’t know about that, I stay at home most days.

Me: So you do not use the local roadways to drive between locations. (Or whatever the cringe-worthy scripted confirmation I had to read said)

Old Man: No, not anymore, that’s the caretaker most days. Though I can try to answer your questions if you want.

I think: eh, its kinda slow and I’m ahead, why not give it a shot. Ill really knock this RR out of the park if I get another complete, so I launch into my script.

A short way through I can tell this guy isn’t really going to be any help for the client so I start trying to wrap this up and move on but the old man just keeps chatting. I kinda forget I’m on the clock and have a quick conversation with him about his grandkids wanting a bike and when I got my first bike. Eventually I get that look from my supervisor like ‘you need to move on’ but before I disconnect the guy thanks me for the company since he can get kind of lonely during the week.

Just ’bout made my evening.

By: Greenitthe

talesfromcallcenters: The moment I dreamed of actually occurred on my last day at my call center job

TLDR: caller was a jerk to me, on my last day I enacted some petty revenge.

Note: this occurred about four years ago when I worked in the call center for a large ISP. When I started I worked in the billing department but I “moved my way up” so to speak and I put in orders for technicians making sales in peoples homes and occasionally the direct sales reps.

I worked the later shift so I could get that dollar raise and it was usually pretty slow so I could read my book or talk to my neighbors or whatever. The DSR’s and techs calling later on in my shifts were sometimes pretty…interesting.

One night, about 10:30 pm (an hour before I go home so I wasn’t doing much at this time) a tech calls in to upgrade his customer to a two year service agreement. He has it all worked out, he promised them hbo for free, the fastest internet, a fucking land line. Almost all of the services worked out to a low low price. He even has the codes for me to put in so I don’t have to look them up. Great.

Of course it doesn’t work. I had never heard of this agreement before and I had worked there for a few months at this point. Practically an old hat. I told him that it is coming up invalid and I would have to look for a similar agreement. I didn’t have to do this but I wasn’t doing anything else with my time. I could have just said “please check with your supervisor about what you can and cannot offer” but he said that he already installed everything and he wasn’t in the home anymore he was in his truck and he didn’t want to go back in there.

Well thats not allowed because for the person to enter in to any agreement they have to be present to go through an automated system verbal agreement. I tell him this and he says “Well why don’t you put someone else on that is smarter than you and can figure out how to punch some numbers into a computer so I can go home!”

Normally I’m not allowed to offer someone to speak to my supervisor but I was pretty sure given the circumstances it would be ok so I called my sup over and gave him the rundown on what was going on. He told the tech basically exactly what I said, which pissed him off. My supervisor told him to talk to his supervisor and call back when he gets it worked out. End of story.

Just kidding, about fifteen minutes later he calls in with a different two year agreement that his sup gave him and the family agreed to. I recognize the agreement and say I can set up the account if the person that the account is being set up for is present. He told me again that he was in his truck and he didn’t want to go back to the house. I told him that he would have to to set up the agreement. He then says “oh Mr Jose its nice to see you haha my company needs you to do this agreement thing over the phone will you do that?” to which he clearly responded to himself “si senior” I put him on hold and explained the situation to my sup so he could take over the call again. By the time I got back to the phone he had hung up.

The funny thing is that there were only two other people on the floor in my department at that time and the system automatically routes callers who disconnect and calls back to the previous call center employee if they are available. Each time I would see his name and phone number pop up on my caller ID I would greet him with my biggest and most exaggerated “ITS A GREAT DAY AT GIANT ISP THIS IS LIZLEMONKUSH HOW MAY I HELP YOU TODAAAY” and he would hang up without saying anything until we closed for the night.

Something about that asshole always stuck with my while I worked there. The way he talked to me and the way he hung up on me multiple times that night always irked me and I wondered what ever happened to that account. We were the only department of our kind in the whole company so any time he would call to set up that account we all knew what was up and would get in trouble if something like that actually went through.

Fast forward to my last day. I’m taking it easy because I’m not really worried about stats or anything and I knew I wasn’t going to be back. Mainly I was sitting in after call prep time pretending to work while my colleagues were getting pretty busy. The calls were back to back and there were even some calls in the queue. Any time I would take myself out of the after call prep a new call would beep in and I would have to take care of their business.

Well lo-and-behold the call center gods must have been wishing me a fond farewell because who else should happen to call on my last day but the douche tech that I had been dreaming of telling off. I really wanted to let him have it. This was my chance. In my normal cheerful manner I answered the call and judging by his demeanor he didn’t remember me. He explained the situation about how he sold a price guarantee but it wasn’t going through on his end (they had just started using ipads for putting in orders and were still working out the kinks)

hmmm yes I can take a look at the account and see about getting that set up for you! Oh dear it looks like one of the codes must be wrong I have to look it up! Please hold for just a moment!

I then put him on mute and sat listening to him for about 10 minutes. Eventually he gives up and calls back. Well who should happen to get the call but little ol me. This time I answered the call and put it on mute immediately and pretended to take the call as normal. he sat on the line for about five more minutes, probably because the wait to call our department was so long. The next two times he called I simply hung up on him as soon as i answered.

Petty, yes. satisfying, very.

By: lizlemonkush

talesfromcallcenters: Lady doesn’t understand security

I work for a credit union. For many of our verification purposes over phone is verifying the pin in a system on the phone. Nobody can see what the pin is. I had a member call in requesting we send her a new credit card as her as been damaged.

I will be ME and member is C.

Me: Okay I just need to further verify you. Do you know what the pin is on your debit card and please don’t tell me.

C: I think its 1234.

Me: Ma’am I can’t see if, but we can verify it in our automated system.

C: it’s 5678.

Me: Like I said ma’am, I can’t see it. If you’ll just let me—

C: I don’t know what pin you are talking about. Is it the cvv on the back of the card?**

This continues on back and forth. I keep telling her I can’t see it. I keep explaining its for her safety and I cannot see it.

C: I hate XXX! All of these little nuances are so annoying! Just forget it. I’m just going to pay off the card and close my account!

Me: Okay.

** In all fairness I had mentioned verifying her security code (similar to a pin, but its not for cards it just for verification) so she might have been thinking of the code on the back.

By: conservio

talesfromcallcenters: I think I’ve spoken to the laziest woman in the world.

Sorry about formatting, I’m on mobile

This happened last night. I work for a company that sells overpriced boxes and organization items. Most of out customers are upper middle class trophy wives and angry New Yorkers so it’s fun. Out store offers a pickup option where they can purchase items online and pick them up in the store or at a designated spot in the parking lot. (This is important)

I’ll be “ME” and she’ll be “LW” (lazy woman)

ME – “thank you for calling ___ this is ___, how can I help you today?”

LW – “I’m here to pick up my items” she already sounds pretty grouchy

ME – “okay, which store are you at?” Sometimes calls will transfer in from stores if they don’t answer or the customer will call us directly

LW – “UM!?? DC! I’m here for my pickup!!” at this point she’s almost screaming

ME – “I see, right now their phone systems are down so I don’t have a way for contact them. You’ll have to go into the store to pick up your order” at this point, I’m assuming she’s in the designated parking spot


ME – “you’re in the store, not the-”


ME – (dumbfounded) “Well ma’am, do you see the checkout counter? Are there-”

LW – (cutting me off again) “UM YES?? THERES CASHIERS AT IT.”

ME – “yes ma’am, you’d have to walk over there and let them know you’re there to let them know you’re there to pickup your order.”


And then she hung up.

I honestly didnt even know someone could be that lazy.

By: mediocre_asshole

talesfromcallcenters: Awkward Sunday morning call

Wow I can’t believe a sub exists for this! I have so many crazy stories from my two years at a call centre many years ago! I’ll start with one that I’ll probably never forget.

So I was a survey/interviewer who worked for a market research company and we just had to get as many completed surveys as possible. I was working on a Sunday morning when the shift target was only 5, so you can imagine how quiet it was, an hour probably went by with not a single pick up. I finally got someone who answered their phone but sounded very sleepy. I did my whole introduction, and asked permission to proceed to which he said yes but still sounded pretty sleepy. As I was a few questions in, his replies were very delayed and muffled and he was breathing heavily, so I asked him if he was okay and apologised if I had woken him up. He said no it was fine, and that I should continue so I asked the next question but he started making noises. Again I asked if he was okay, and he replied saying ‘yeah I’m just having a w**k. Please just keep talking’ I just froze and didn’t know what to do! I put him on mute and removed my headset and signalled for the supervisor to come over, I told her what happened but she insisted I continue and try to finish as much as possible. The man on the phone held on for a while but thank god he hung up and I didn’t have to say another word to him!

By: monday20