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Phrases to Avoid when Calling a Call Center



 From Hellraiser, March, 2012:

Hellraiser here with some thoughts from call center hell. I think I mentioned that I work in insurance, and lately I've been noticing some key phrases that trigger an almost Pavlovian response from me.

So, without further ado, I give you some phrases to avoid the next time you're calling in.

What you say: "I just have a quick question."

What I think: "This is going to take at least 20 minutes."

WYS: "I don't know if you're the person I'm supposed to talk to..."

WIT: "I know I am. In fact, I'm the only person you CAN talk to. So let's skip right to the problem."

WYS: "What plan am I on?"

WIT: "Are you kidding me? You signed up for this, you're paying for this, and you don't even know what it is or what it's called?!? Try doing that the next time you buy a car and see how well that works out for you."

CallcenterskullWYS: "I'm sorry, I'm old. I don't know about all this stuff."

WIT: "Being old is not an excuse for not reading anything we send you, listening to what we tell you, or making no effort to understand the facts before you. It's also not a cause for any of this. In my experience age has almost nothing to do with intelligence, and also being intelligent and being computer literate are not the same thing. No, my guess is you're just a little slow, and you've probably always been like that."

WYS: "I don't understand why you can't just do this now!"

WIT: "Trust me, I wish I could too. Sadly, we have certain procedures we have to follow. So just please stop complaining about it (you're not likely to get anything changed) and go through the process."'

WYS: "You've been so helpful. I know I've asked a lot of dumb questions but I really think I get it now."

WIT: "Actually, your questions weren't dumb. They were really surprisingly insightful. Usually only the smart people are self-depreciating like this."



read more Call Center Hell stories here











I've always hated 'quick question', partially because no, it's not, and mostly because they think that excuses them from having to give the information we need to create our tickets.


"Thank you for calling, this is Tenebris. Can I start by getting your first and last name please?"

"I just have a quick question"

"Thank you Ijust, and can I get the best number to reach you at?"

*After a fix that involves clicking a button*
"OMG, I feel so stupid! I'm so sorry to bother you!"

"Trust me, it's not a bother. It's what I'm here for, and it's an obscure setting that windows, in it's infinite wisdom, sometimes toggles for no discernible reason. The only reason I know it is because I went to school, and I have 20 years experience. You're not stupid, the first time I saw that, it took me 20 minutes of digging to figure out what happened and fix it"

Tech Support Survivor

Thanks for calling crapcom, can I have your telephone number? Oh I just have a quick question. What is your smtp/pop address? Oh that's x.x.x and w.w.w thank you.

I'll take a 60 second call thanks!


In AOhelL if you had fewer tickets than calls, you got in trouble, so we would commonly spin new tickets off if they asked something else. Then they started getting us in trouble for having too many more tickets.

QA was assholes, mostly. Fat Bastard hated me for some reason, and would go though all my calls to find something to bitch about, when they were supposed to pick ONE at random. He dragged me over one time and said "I've listened to four or five of your calls today--"
"I've only been here an hour. Aren't you supposed to pick one randomly?" I started carrying a binder to the inquisition with me, and asking for everything written in detail when I got a bitching, so that next time (literally) I could point out "Well, on exty date, you told me to do it like this, see?"

It go to the point where he wouldn't talk to me anymore (yay!), and would just send my boss an email, and if it was something HE thought I needed a bitching for, then he'd give it to me. 99% of the time, it was 'didn't use their name enough'. Most people hate that. I know what my name is. You don't need to keep reminding me. That's from a 100 year old book, from the Age of Hats and Meat..coincidentally the last time 'the customer was always right' didn't mean 'the customer is a massive cockface'.

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