Friday, July 23, 2004

You know, you're just asking for me to make fun of you

Recently, I took an escalated call.  Now, this, in itself, is not that amusing.  Having someone scream at you is not fun, especially if you're trying to calm the person down so you can help them.  I have had to, on one occasion, actually interrupt a customer (huge no-no in the customer service field but what are you gonna do?) and say "I am trying to help you.  Please be quiet and listen to me.  I do not want you to close your account.  You are the victim of fraud and I want to help you get your money back.  Do you understand what I am trying to say?"  The customer stopped screaming and said (and I quote) "Oh.  I guess it's really not NABABNA's fault that I'm being ripped off, huh?" 

So, anyway, the call I'm referring to was from a customer who was upset that his account was closed and he was referred to a collection agency.  He seemed to believe this was NABABNA's error.  Here is our conversation.  Remember, when I use italics, this is what I am thinking, not saying to the customer...well, unless I've got the mute button on.

DM (that's me!):  Thank you for holding, sir.  My name is DM and I am a supervisor.  The banker told me that you wanted to speak to me about the fact that your account was closed?

Raving Idiot (RI for short):  Yes.  I haven't used my account since February and apparently, you were allowing Large Insurance Company (LIC) to debit money from my account.  This caused me to become overdrawn and then you reported me to a collection agency.  This is wrong, wrong, wrong and you are all evil pigs who must die.   

DM:  Okay.  Let me make sure I understand this, sir.  LIC was withdrawing money from your account fraudulently?

RI:  No, no!  Where did you get that from?  I had set up payments with them and forgot to cancel the payment when I moved.  God, you're stupid.

DM:  I'm stupid?  I'm stupid?  Listen, you jackass...  I'm sorry you feel that I am stupid, sir.  I am just trying to understand the situation.  Did you contact us when you received your statement to let us know that this had happened?

RI:  No.  I never got a statement.  You people didn't send me one.

DM:  I am only one person, sir.  I am not plural.  Oh, that's unfortunate.  I'm not showing that we've received statements back from the Post Office.  Let's verify your address to make sure we're sending the statements to the right address.  Would you please give me your address?

RI:  I don't know what you have.  I've moved six times since February.

DM:  Well, you're obviously a stable and trustworthy person.  Hey, I think I've dated you.  Ah.  Did you update your address with us, sir?

RI:  No!  Why would I do that?  I wasn't using the account!  And quit changing the subject!  Why did you let LIC take money out of my account?

DM:  Well, sir, you set up automatic payments with them.  In order to stop the payments from coming out of the account, we would ask you to contact LIC.

RI:  Stop blaming LIC!  I've already talked to them!  I want you to open this account back up so they can give me the money back.  God, why don't you listen?

DM:  Oh, I don't know.  Maybe because you're a babbling idiot?  Please forgive me, sir, I'm just trying to find out what you want by asking questions.  I should have realized you wanted to open the account.  By using my psychic powers.   I apologize but unfortunately, I would be unable to assist you with your request.  If you would be willing to visit a branch, they would be able to determine if they will be able to reopen the account.

RI:  I'm not going to the branch.  I've already wasted all the time I'm going to spend with you people.  I can't open up a new account with Bank of Bank because of you people screwing up my account.  Get my name removed from that collection agency so I can open up a new account.

DM:  I do apologize, sir, but I am unable to do what you request.  If you would visit a branch...

RI:  I'm not talking to you anymore.  You're never going to get your money back because you won't do this.  You're a stupid (word that rhymes with witch but yet, oddly, starts with a B)! 

Customer disconnects.  I spend a few minutes laughing at him because well, he's an idiot.  He's already been reported to the collection agency and, by law, he will not be able to open up a new account at any bank until after his name from said collection agency for at least a year...unless, of course, he goes to a credit union and they don't check the list.

Let's review, shall we?  What did the customer do wrong? 
  1. He did not change his address with his bank.
  2. He did not cancel his payments with LIC.
  3. He did not think "Hey, maybe I should close this account if I'm not going to be using it anymore instead of blithely frolicking through life without a care or single responsible thought in my brain and just assuming that everything will be okay."

The very same day, I receive a call from a banker who asks me to look at an account with him.  The banker, let's call him Kyle, says to me that he is speaking to a customer who thought he closed his account in February.  I say "Is his name Raving Idiot, by any chance?"

Kyle:  No, it's Idiot Beyond-Reason.  Why?

DM:  Um, no reason.  Do you have his account number?

Kyle:  Yes.  Here it is.  (I pull up the account.)  As you can see, there is quite a lot of activity on this account, for something that he apparently hasn't been using.  I asked him about the purchases and ATM withdrawals and he says that he cut up his card in February.  So he wants to dispute all of the activity on this account since February.

DM:  But, but there are payroll deposits into this account.  Doesn't he know that he's not getting his money?

Kyle:  Well, that's the thing.  If you look at these deposits, you'll see that these deposits are not in Mr. Beyond-Reason's name.  They are actually in the name of Ima Random-Woman.

DM:  Okay, I'm completely confused.  Who is that?

Kyle:  I asked him that and he first told me he didn't know. 

DM:  This account has been receiving these deposits since last October. 

Kyle:  I know.  I asked him about that.  He then said that this might be the name of his ex-girlfriend but he doesn't really remember what her name is.

DM:  Wait.  He doesn't remember the name of his girlfriend from what?  Six months ago?  (Kyle and I pause in reflection...okay, you caught me.  We paused to laugh hysterically.)

Kyle:  Yeah, that's what he said.  He then admitted he doesn't really know if he cut up the card or not.

DM:  Since this is a sole owner account, did it ever occur to him to call us and oh, I don't know, close his account?

Kyle:  Apparently not.

DM:  Okay.  Here's what you do.  Explain to him that to dispute all of the purchases and ATM withdrawals, you also need to dispute all of the deposits as well.  Get a phone number for him and then ask your manager if you can file this claim off of the phone.  This one's going to take awhile.

Kyle:  That's what I figured.  Thanks, DM.

DM:  Have fun. 

I later ran into Kyle and he told me that the customer continued to insist that he was not the one using this account and everything should be disputed.  Kyle filed all of the claims and then tried to call the customer back to give him the reference numbers.  The phone number, mysteriously, did not work.  So, probably what happened?  Mr. Idiot Beyond-Reason probably just broke up with Ms. Random-Woman and is ticked off at her.  So he's going to pay her back by getting all of her deposits returned.  Not thinking about the fact that, hey, the account is in his name and he's responsible for it! 

Moral of my story:  Please, please, please...if you move, change your address with your bank.  Don't just assume everything's going to be okay.  Do you want to go through life knowing that I'm secretly laughing at you?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

When Morons Go To The Movies

No, this is not work related. However, it is a very important that the Morons of America wake up and realize that this behavior needs to stop. It needs to stop now. What am I talking about, you ask? Well, dear reader, please continue reading and all will be revealed.

Those of you that know me personally (or have read Green Duckies) know that I'm a bit of a movie buff. I love movies. I would spend all day watching movies if I could. I would love to write reviews but since I would prefer to watch the Porky's Trilogy over The Hours, I'm not sure I would be taken seriously. When I pay $7.50 for a movie, I want to experience every last minute of the movie going experience, which includes the previews and the Fandango commercial. Don't mess around during the Fandango commercial, people! It makes me seriously cranky. I even enjoy the Movies - They're Worth It campaign that was going on. Movie Piracy is bad. Don't steal.

But I digress (yes, I know you're all really surprised by this). The point is, that when I go to the movies, I want to watch the movies.

So let's just cover some Dana Movie Don'ts, shall we?

  1. If I wanted to deal with children, I'd ask my sister if I could baby-sit Josh. Do not bring small children to a movie unless it is a movie deliberately marketed for said small children. In other words, your four year old son is not going to want to sit through I, Robot and is going to continue talking no matter how many times you shush him. He is seriously bored. And I, I am seriously pissed.
  2. Movie theaters are not babysitters. You may think your teen or "tween" is old enough to go to the movies by themselves but they really aren't. Do you know what they're going to do while you're gone? They are going to run up and down the stairs, throw candy at one another, have a conversation about what boy they really like and, well, really irritate me to the point that I'm ready to wait for you in the parking lot and make you give me my $7.50 back because you just don't have any sense of responsibility.
  3. To the women who thought it was a great idea to sit next to me during Love Actually, let me just cover a few things. Yes, that's Rowan Atkinson who yes, did play Mr. Bean at one time in his career (but, since he is a comic genius, he has played other points and I love him and he is on screen and shut up already!). Yes, Hugh Grant is really hot. No, I don't care about what you had for lunch, what you think is going to happen next or about Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie's marriage. I am here to watch a movie. If I wanted your opinion on everything, I would ask you out to dinner.
  4. To the little punk who shushed me during Anchorman, I am older than you, I outweigh you and I probably outmean you as well. You and your little brat friends deserved to be told to sit down and you know it. Don't shush me and try to play all innocent with your "We're trying to watch a movie" comment because I laughed. Anchorman, moron in training, is a comedy. People will laugh during it. And consider it this way, I only told you five to sit down and keep quiet. Someone not as tolerant as me might, oh, I don't know, beat the crap out of you? I have witnesses to your behavior throughout the entire movie. You're really lucky I didn't have you thrown out. Next time, I will.

Okay, so, if you, by any chance, recognize yourself from this post, please take the time to consider how your actions affect others. I am a very easy going person and if you're pissing me off, I'm thinking the multitude of people in the theater are not going to bat an eye when I drag you out of the theater by your hair. I'm thinking I might even get a medal.

Just shut up. You'll get farther.

Tonight at work, I may have dealt with one of the most unique questions I've found in 7 years at NABABNA.  It's not really the request that inspired me to blog, but the fact that the woman I was talking to was the perfect example of insanity. 
This woman was upset that the advertisements the bank sends out were only arriving in one of her account statements.  That's right.  She was furious that the bank wasn't advertising to her the same offers MORE THAN ONCE.  She wants us to send her multiple pieces of shiny paper that can just clutter up her home.  This is weird in the first place.
I'll admit.  This woman got wrong information from many sources at NABABNA.  Here's the highlights of the call:
Banker, I'll call him Frank or F calls me (B).  The woman will be Loudmouth.  Okay, Frank calls:
B:  Thanks for calling.  How can I help you?
F:  I was talking to another supervisor and I got disconnected because they didn't want to deal with this crazy situation and they were trying to find a way out.  (Okay, the italics are what I'm sure the guy was thinking.)
B:  I'm sorry about that.  What's the problem?
F:  This woman wants us to send her lots of paper and she's pissed off because we don't kill multiple trees so she can read the same thing over and over.
B:  I'd be happy to help you.
F:  I told her that it has to do with her privacy preferences.
B:  That doesn't sound right.  I don't know the exact answer, but that shouldn't have anything to do with it.
F:  Well, that's what the other supervisor told me and they were checking on it when I got disconnected.
B:  That's fine.  Since we're supposed to take over this type of call, I'll ask for you to put the customer through now.
F:  Okay [pause], Ms. Loudmouth...
Loudmouth: You're wrong!  Privacy preference laws only talk about sharing my information with outside companies.  You can advertise to me all those programs and services your company offers!  I don't think this is right.  This call has lasted too long.  I don't like this.  You don't know what you're doing. 
B:  [I interrupt now - yes, I interrupted.  I know it's wrong, but I've been monitored already.]  Frank, I can take care of this now.  Ms. Loudmouth, my name is Beth and I'm a supervisor here.  I'd like to help...
L:  He doesn't know what he's talking about.  I don't want to explain this again.
B:  I already know what is going on and I'd like to place you on hold while I see if this can be corrected.  Can you hold?
L:  I told him everything!  I talked to the President of the branch here years ago and he said it had to do with a conversion and my Social Security number.  I don't think this is right.  I want insurance.  I should get my free $1,000.
[By the way, I have no clue how a bank would give away a free $1,000.  This seems, in a word, odd.]  He's not there anymore.  He was too good.  He got promoted and I don't want to deal with this.  I've been on the phone for almost an hour.  It has nothing to do with privacy preferences.  You can advertise to me.  I just don't think I care anymore.  That banker doesn't know what he's doing.  I already know the answer.  The President of the bank told me it years ago.  [Yes, she basically looped back and forth.  There was never a breath.  Never!]  I hate you people...
B:  Ms. Loudmouth, I would like to help you.  Can I place you on hold?  [Yes, I interrupted again.]
L:  I already know the answer.  I want my advertising.  I deserve my free $1,000.  What if I died and the man that I don't want to marry but helps me raise my children had no money.  He deserves $1,000.  I said I'd never say wedding vows.  It has nothing to do with my privacy preference. 
B:  I know that.  I'd like to help you.  Can you hold?
L:  The President of the bank, he's good and he's not there anymore, I read the paper you know.  I always know what's going on.  He told me it was a conversion thing and my Social Security number....
B:  Can you hold?
L:  The President told me this.  I want my money.  My man deserves $1,000.  He got the advertising.  I want it too.  I know the answer.  It's nothing to do with privacy preferences....
B:  Yes, you've told me this MULTIPLE times now.  I get it.  Can you hold while I try to fix it?
L:  The President...
B:  Ms. Loudmouth, I can't do anything until you hold.
L:  I've been on this call for a long time now because I just like to hear my own voice.
B:  Well, I can make it shorter if you can hold.  Can you hold?
L:  I've been on this call for almost an hour and I've been dealing with this for 10 years.
B:  Can you hold?
L:  The President of the bank...
B:  Ms. Loudmouth, can you hold?
L:  Can you call me back?
B:  No.
L:  I can hold.
So at this point (which, by the way, I shortened for the blog.  Believe, I shortened it GREATLY.  One of the bankers on my team actually took 5 calls in the time it took for me to put this woman on hold.)  I called over to a processing area and stumped a whole bunch of people.  The first guy just transferred me to someone else.  I think he went to ask for help and they just asked to take over the call.  This second woman came on and tried to brush me off by giving me a phone number for our privacy preference line.  Here's my conversation with her (her name will be Sue.)
S:  Here's the phone number for our privacy line.
B:  It has nothing to do with her privacy preference.
S:  It's probably some conversion thing.
B:  That makes no sense. 
S:  Well, if she opts out, she won't get any paper anymore.
B:  But she WANTS the paper.  I told you that already.
S:  She wants the advertising?  That's crazy.
B:  Yes.  And she's losing it because we're not flooding her home in dead trees.  Is there some type of statement handling code on this account?
S:  No.
B:  Then why wouldn't she get this in her statements?
S:  Well, it's a privacy preference thing.
B:  No, it's not.  She's getting the stuff in her other statement.  If it was a privacy thing, she wouldn't get ANY advertising.  And it's not just the advertising.  It's the disclosures too. 
S:  I'll check with a specialist.  Can you hold?
B:  Yes. 
Time goes by.  Loudmouth actually disconnected so I never got the satisfaction of telling her the CORRECT answer.  I don't really care though.  She chose to hang up.
Sue returns.
S:  Thanks for holding.  I'm still checking on this.  The specialist is asking the other specialists for help.  Can you continue to hold?
B:  Yes.
Another delay.  I'm laughing now because I've stumped the entire department.  This is exciting!
S:  Thanks for holding.  The reason this woman isn't getting extra advertising is because we only send one per customer and it is generated by whatever account is the first on the customer's profile.
B:  So, because her joint account is a lower number than the sole account, the joint account is the one with the advertising?
S:  Yes.

B:  So, it has nothing to do with her privacy preference and nothing to do with conversions. 
S:  That's correct.
B:  That's good to know.  Thanks. 
S:  Have a good night.
By the way, if you're not familiar with jargon, joint account means there is more than one signer with transaction authority on the account.  Sole account means only one person owns the account. 
The morale of the story:  SHUT UP and you'll get the right answer, a lot sooner.  Talking or yelling in the ear of a representative does nothing but waste your time and theirs. 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Too Much Information

Once upon a time I took a call from a very nice gentleman who had a very traumatic experience and needed to file a claim regarding fraudulent activity on his account.  This customer had visited an ATM and was kidnapped at gun point.  He was forced to withdraw money from the ATM and then held captive at his home for several days.  While I was filing the report, I had to ask him questions for a form I was required to fill out.
The customer answered my questions and then started providing information I didn't need for the form and didn't really want to know.  The italics are when I have quickly pressed the mute button.
I had just asked the customer (C) for a description of the assailant.  Here is his response:
C:  There was two of them.  They were huge.  Like football players.  I'm just a little guy.  They were really big.  They were black.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm not predjudiced, but these guys were black.  They raped me, you know.
DM:  Uh, no, I didn't know that.  I'm very sorry to hear that, sir.  That's horrible.
C:  You heard about black men, right?  About their really big areas, if you know what I mean.  Well, the stories are all true.  These guys were huge.
DM (rocking back and forth in horror):  Why, why is he telling me this?  Oh, sir, I'm so sorry this happened to you.
C:  It wouldn't have been so bad if they would have used lubricant.  But they didn't.  So I didn't like it at all.  I wouldn't have minded so much if they would have used some lotion.  I might have liked it then.  They were really big.  I guess you would say they were good looking. 
DM:  Oh, my God!  This is too much information!  Have you called the police, sir?
C:  I suppose I should do that. 
DM:  That would be a good idea, sir.
Another fraud call came from an older gentleman.
DM:  Well, I'd be happy to place a freeze on your checking account, sir.  We want to make sure that no one can use your account fraudulently.
C2:  That's good.  I appreciate that.
DM:  Let me explain what is going to happen to your account...(customer begins talking)
C2:  See, I'm...well, I was lonely.  And I had her over to my apartment.  Do you know what a one night stand is?
DM:  Um, yes, sir, I do.
C2:  I guess I shouldn't have believed that someone that young was interested in me.  I'm 73.  How old are you?
DM:  Okay, sir, I'm going to place a freeze on your account and...
C2:  I met her at the bar.  Did I mention I was lonely?   
DM:  Okay, well, about this freeze...
C2:  She was young.  She was probably 25 and had a nice, well, chest area.
DM:  Oh, dear God in Heaven, where do you people come from?  Sir, I need to place this freeze now.  You may want to call the police when we're done.
C2:  Okay.

The mute button is a wonderful, wonderful invention.