I, lusty LeatherMinx, have a (super long, sorry) tale for you. (I also don't work in leather anymore, but I like the name, and you can't take it from me!) In the vein of all the call centre posts recently, I offer you this:
Way up here in the frigid tundra known as Canuckia - more specifically, in my little corner by the mountains - there is a company that advertises their wares using adorable animals on a white background rocking out to music one wouldn't expect that particular animal to rock out to and/or insinuating distinctly human sexual desires. We shall call this company Smellus.
Now, Smellus is a multi-purpose wretch of a company. They offer internet, cable, home phone, cell phones, and an undying hatred of themselves. Not everyone loathes this company, but I do. To explain a little bit about why (billing and shady practices are a whole other ball of wax), I have to share a little bit of hell from the other end of the line from the call centre.
1.) If you are the provider of my cellular service, it should be required by law that your call centre phone numbers are preprogrammed into any phone I purchase from you or use on your network. As this is not the case, I have memorized the phone number. And I do my best to answer whenever you call, but alas, I'm rarely available or in an area that I get great reception. (My house is between two cells and there's one section of the back deck that you can place calls from. That's about it.) I am not avoiding your calls.
Rather, I'm eager to speak with you (which you will hear about in item 3). Could you please be so kind as to leave me a goddamned voicemail? It's devastating to me that I have been unable to connect with you any of the fourteen times (I'm not exaggerating, I counted for three days how many missed calls I had from them, and averaged out) you've attempted to reach me, because I've been in a meeting at work, driving to or from the office, or at my black hole of a house. Leave a message so that I may assuage my disappointment, however briefly, by hearing your lovely voice.
2.) Ah! Finally! We have managed to touch base, and have exchanged pleasant greetings as two normal adults are wont to do. Here, unfortunately, is where we descend into hell. Before I am able to draw a breath to make a request, you have launched into your ninety-mile-an-hour spiel.
It's been a full two minutes and you haven't drawn a breath yet, so I very politely say, "Excuse me?" and wait for you to acknowledge my egregious interruption of your monologue. "Excuse me? Hi, I'm really sorry to interrupt." (At this point, I have actually heard the caller SNORT into my damn ear.)
3.) I am trying, politely, to let you know that I am extremely irritated with your company, but not with you. I understand that you have a job to do, and are just trying to do that job. I had a call centre job. I lasted one hellacious shift, and I left in tears. I don't envy you your job, is what I'm saying, and I will do my damnedest not to take my frustration out on you. Please do not get snippy with me when I am trying to get your attention while being talked AT instead of TO.
4.) Yes, I really - honest and for true - have requested on five other occasions to not be called about this offer. Yes, I really - honest and for true - am happy with my home services with another company, which are not actually in my name but in my roommate's name and therefore not something you should speak to me about, but her.
I promise, I'm not lying to you. However, the past five times I've requested to be put on that elusive DNC list, I've been assured that it's been done. This being the sixth time I'm requesting it, I am starting to doubt the veracity of those claims.
5.) On the other five occasions, I simply stated that I am not interested in the services as my reasoning for requesting DNC. This time, however, this time, I think you deserve the truth. We have a long, colourful history together... Months upon months of frustration on both our parts, and most recently, the past several minutes we've spent together with steadily growing irritation on both sides. You, disappointingly, have been far more vocal with your anger than I. So. The truth.
6.) I have only several months left in my contract with Smellus. I am simply waiting it out until I can switch to another provider. Oh, I hear your frustration. I share it. We're just aiming it at different things.
7.) An irritated sigh. No, I understand. You're disappointed. You're trying to salvage the call, and here I am firmly but politely trying to let you know that my mind won't be changed.
8.) Finally (and for the first time in all six occasions) you ask the questions required to put someone on the do not call list. You are snotty, which I guess I understand, but it really doesn't do much to heighten my opinion of Smellus. I will answer your questions with respect and relief, to be honest, to have gotten this far. So thank you, and you have a good -
9.) Did you just...? Yeah, you did. You hung up on me. Wow. Okay. Well, that's a hurtful way to end our relationship, but okay. Do what you gotta do, I guess.
It's been awhile now, but it'll take some more time for me to get over the... Just a second, my phone is ringing.
10.) ARE YOU SERIOUSLY FUCKING CALLING ME TO SELL ME THE SAME SERVICES?!?!?!
Repeat this over the span of about sixteen months. I know y'all have a job to do (and again, I did it. Once. And couldn't continue), and I know it's a different person I speak to every time, but believe me when I say that I can almost sympathize with those who go batshit crazy. I am as polite as peach pie - because peach pie is SUPER polite, if you didn't know - but what it boils down to is, I'm not buying what you're selling. I'm especially not buying what you're selling if you're calling me on my personal cell phone and taking up my time without extending the common courtesy to accept my apologetic decline and honour my wishes. The attitude reflects poorly on the person, but the policy reflects poorly on the company. At some point, the company's gotta let their staff know that it is actually okay to accept a "no."
Because, to be honest, it's not even bordering on harassment anymore - it's moved right into that territory and set up permanent housing. With indoor plumbing and everything.
.... And a gazebo.
May all your custies be magnificent and all your callers respectful,