From May, 2016:
Hey there fellow Retail Slaves and Peons!!
Its been a very long time since I posted anything because its been a few years since I’ve worked in retail or customer service. Long story short, I worked in call centers for many years and finally my health got to a point that I was forced to stop working for almost four years. Well, four years later, I’m tanned, rested and ready again. Well, not so much on the tanned part. ANYWAY! At the time, I was called BrianTheWerewolf after one of my characters in my werewolf novels but now, given how much has changed, I’ve picked a new moniker: call me EctoWolf and I’m back in the call center business! WHEE! I now work from home in my own little office for a certain software company that competes with Sony and has an expensive gaming console. Lets call them SoftMicrons! I do tech and billing support (WOOT!).
Today’s story is one I wanted to share because of the sheer shock it left me in and it cemented why it is so important to know what your kids are doing at all times, especially when they may have stolen your credit/debit cards.
I was just about ready to go onto to lunch and a call comes in. Before the caller is live with you on the phone, the phone beeps at you, tells you what the queue is and then beeps again going live in a robotic voice.
ROBOT VOICE: (in my headset): BEEEP! “TBox360 Billing VCB Inbound”. BEEEEEP!
ECTO-WOLF (EW): “Hi, thanks for calling TBox support. My name is Ecto Wolf. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?”
EW: “Hi, Bob. Pleasure speaking with you today. How can I help you?”
BOB: “I’ve got about $500.00 dollars of Xbox charges on my bank account, and I need to know what the hell is going on? I don’t even own a Xbox!”
EW: (thinking oh boy here we go but presses on): “So as I understand it, there is $500.00 worth of charges on your debit card but you do not own an Xbox right?”
BOB: “Yeah that sounds right. I don’t have an Xbox but my son did a while back but he said he doesn’t know anything about it.”
(I fully suspected otherwise but kept my mouth shut. I also knew that if his son had an account at one time, then it would be in the system).
EW: “I fully understand your concerns about your debit card and the charges on it. I’d be happy to look over any account we find and get to the bottom of the charges. What’s your SoftMicrons account email?”
BOB: (provides his account email that used to be attached to a TBox for his son).
(I pull up the account. It pops up perfectly. I verify him and open the account. I see no subscriptions, charges or purchases. There isn’t even a credit or debit card attached. The last subscription was a prepaid game time card that had expired over a year ago).
EW: “Okay, Bob. I do not see any credit card or debit card on this profile and the last subscription was a prepaid card that expire some time ago. Are there any other accounts that could be attached to your debit card?”
BOB: “No, there shouldn’t be.”
(My wolf senses start tingling and I have an idea).
EW: “Okay, here’s what we are going to do. Bob, do you have that card with you now? I’d like to run the card number through our billing system and see if I can locate any other accounts that are using this card.”
BOB: (concerned now and rightly so): “Sure.”
(Bob gives me his card number. I run it through the billing system and my suspicions are getting deadly close to being confirmed. Two accounts pull up: the one we just opened and a second one under a woman’s name.)
EW: “Bob there is another account with your card attached to it. Let’s see if we can verify the account and get into it and see if the charges you are talking about are there.”
(Surprisingly, he is able to verify the account. The account it turns out is his ex-wife’s account and the account had been set up for their son, who was 11 years old and NOT on a child account).
EW: “Bob, after reviewing this account, your debit card is attached as a main payment instrument and it is being used quite heavily by the person with this gamertag. I did find the charges. Is your son authorized to be using your debit card?”
BOB: (who is stunned and legitimately so, not fake stunned): “Hell no! He lives with his mom. She and I are separated He’s never had access to my card; we’ve always gave him prepaid time.”
(I conduct a deep investigation and find that not only is 500.00 not the limit of the damage this kid has done but it's not even the tip of the iceberg. It's way over my limit. I knew I’d have to submit for a review to see if anything can even be done to help him).
EW: “Bob, these charges go back well beyond this month. In fact, they go back to February and total over $2,327.42. I’m terribly sorry for the shock and here’s what I will do. I will cancel any active subscriptions and remove your card from the account. I would suggest that you have your bank cancel your debit card. It seems like your son in fact has been using your card the entire time. We are talking about purchases made every day since the beginning of the year sometimes as few as thirty seconds apart, for things like in game currency, songs, season passes, even full games and movies.”
BOB: So that explains it. That explains why my bank cut my card off today. I hadn’t really noticed until they told me the amount. I had no idea it had been going on that long. Please do that.”
EW: “Absolutely. Give me one moment.”
( I remove the card from the account and utterly annihilate this hellspawn’s subscriptions).
EW: “Okay, Bob, he is what we are going to do. I am going to go over this account and tally every charge by date and amount and what was purchased. Then I am going to submit this case for review and see if we can get these charges refunded to you. I cannot promise I can but I am willing to try for you. I’ll email you everything we did and found today. Again, I’m very sorry for what has happened today. I will also include in the email instructions for how to set up a passkey on the console. I know you can’t get to it, but perhaps you could speak to his mother and have her set it up so that he cannot make purchases any longer. I’ll be following up with you over the next few days to let you know what’s going on and see if we can get you a resolution.”
BOB: “Oh my god….thank you. I know that you can’t do anything more than you have but thank you for trying. I really appreciate it man. I’m in the negative right now because of this and if there’s anything at all that can be done, I’d be grateful.”
So I close the call, work through my lunch and breaks—I was finally made to take one—and itemize every single charge since Feb. 9, 2016 right up until today. It’s a process that takes over two and a half hours and it does total up to be well over $2,000.00 in charges. This little fuck shit had been charging his dad’s card for in game currency and packs as well as games and like I said, some were under a minute apart.
I did submit the escalation and only hope we can help him. This, kiddies, is why we do NOT ever let children have access to a game console, a computer or a smart phone until they are old enough to appreciate the damage they can do. This is also why we educate people about parental controls (had another call similar in the day, the mom hung up on me when I tried to help her set up parental controls. I noted her account that we tried and that any future charges will not be refunded as a result of her refusing to take action to prevent charges).
This is my third day on the phones and wow…the old call center rust is falling off my paws but I’m not sure my paws can handle many like this call.
If I was the dad, I’d destroy this kid’s TBox and or sell it in front of him and all his games and content to pay for the damages.
read more Call Center Hell Stories here