Call Center Hell: "Want To Bet?"




From TechTyger, May, 2015:

I had one customer tell me one time that I would NOT transfer him for a billing problem and that I would NOT hang up on him until I'd fixed his problem.

As AOhelL tech support, I had no access to billing at all, and his problem was, "I didn't bother to pay my phone bill so my DSL was cancelled."

So I couldn't fix it anyway. After fifteen minutes of repeating that he needed to pay his non-AOhelL phone bill to get his non-AOhelL DSL turned back on, "You will NOT hang up on me!"

Me: "Want to bet?" (click)



Techtyger was a frequent contributor on RHU, read more from Techtyger here

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Call Center Hell: Hellspawn Racks Up Over $2,000 In Game Charges on Dad's Credit Card




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.

Short background:

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?”

CALLER: “Bob.”

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?”

CallcenterskullBOB: “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?”

Callcenterhell3BOB: (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.




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Sisucall1From Sisu, November, 2010:

I fucking hate people.

Well, no, I actually like most of humanity, but today was a day from hell.

For every nice person that called, 10 more assholes called to bitch me out.

One guy had me in tears because he was such a dick.

Has anyone ever seen a promotion without fine print? No? You're all smart enough to know that to 'get a deal' you have to read the whole thing?

And you know that claiming you didn't read the details won't fly?

AWESOME. 100 points for you.

This guy made up his own promotion, told me I was worthless, argued over hotel policies for a good 10 minutes even AFTER I explained that hotels do set their own policies and rates especially regarding pets, told me I was worthless a few more times, threatened to sue me, and then mocked and belittled me the rest of the call.

I absolutely remember his name, and I swear to God if I get him again, well, hell hath no fury like that of a pissed off pregnant lady.

The managers said to let them know if he calls me back somehow so they can terminate his account.

CallcenterskullThen there was the French-Canadian bitch that informed me "I do not care how things should be, I want to know how things are!" to which I did actually reply "I'm telling you how things are if you would listen!"

Okay, I snapped at her, but she did walk into that one.

She was another that didn't bother reading anything and expected the world to fall at her feet.

No night from hell is complete without a perv calling in, so naturally I got that too.

It started off innocently enough-ish. The guy had some heavy breathing, but I chalked it up to something - anything - innocent. I wasn't officially creeped out until he kept calling me "honey", saying my voice was irresistible, doing all he could do to keep me talking, and then out of nowhere asking me to hold on while doing some interesting noises.

Sorry for the image.

I'm sure it could have been innocent, but I'm not naive.

After all that, the drunks calling in just kind of topped my night off.

I don't know why, but there seems to be a certain segment of the southern population that absolutely loves to call on the weekend as drunk as can be.

I'm not anti-drinking at all. I don't drink now because I'm pregnant, but before I got knocked up I didn't have an issue with the occasional drink.

I do try to avoid getting myself into situations where I'll give anyone and anything my credit card number when I won't be able to remember it the next day. Speshul.

Not every call was bad though, I did have a few that if I could have given them upgrades I would have.

The notable good ones were the group of Tenneseeans taking over Manhattan during the Thanksgiving Parade.

CallThe gentleman actually said, and I do quote, "When I get thar, the firs' thang I'm doin' is muggin' someone!"

So what if he doesn't have a grasp on New York? It was hilarious.

The best call though was from the happiest Asian guy in the world.

He was just fun and happy and sweet. Everything was "Okay! Perfect" and "Yes! Very Good!". He was one of those people that you couldn't help smiling the whole time you were talking to him because he just made you feel good about yourself.

May karma reward you greatly, Mr. Lee. I hope I'm not around when karma hits the Dick from Hell. It would be too entertaining to watch him get his.

Really though, what does that say about the douche when he's bullying a girl that he has never met? The guy sounded old, has an older name, so did he learn nothing about how to treat a lady?

Honestly, trying to be a Big Bad Man to a younger woman just says you're a fucktard and fail at life.

Where the hell is a meteorite when you need one?


Oh, if anyone is curious about the non work life, Baby is doing great, I'm okay, and babydaddy decided he didn't need to stick around and stepped out. It's been a lot to deal with lately, but hopefully I'll be strong enough to handle it. If anyone has any tips on how to balance being a single mom and working retail/service, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.


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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."



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Call Center Hell: Handling A Vular Caller By Being Helpful!


CallcenterskullHey there. Ms Kew here.

Been a while since my last post. Still in a call centre (now with the great Canadian B-E-Double Hockey Sticks), going on 6+ years, but this story is from my first project, with Phony, as their online sales support team.

Now, with Phony, selling/assisting custies with their online purchase of electronics, we were required to ask "lifestyle" questions to ensure the custy was purchasing the correct item they actually needed. You may not (or, given the readers on this site, most likely MAY ) realize that a majority of custies think that we are all out to scam them out of their hard earned money but the purpose of these questions was so I could actually recommend the right item for them!!

But there is one policy that Phony had comes into play in this situation, that I do not have to deal with any longer(will give props to The Big Brass Instrument for this). We were not allowed to disconnect a call, FOR ANY REASON, without a team managers (TM )approval first. In fact, the TM was supposed to take over the call.

So I get a call one night ...

For the sake of brevity and that there are not enough symbols on the top row to cover the entire conversation, the majority of this call is reduced to a few sentences, rather than quotes.

Me: "Thank you for calling Phony, my name is Ms Kew. How may I assist you with your purchase this evening?"

Customer: "Ah, thank you, Ms Kew! It's so nice to talk to a woman. Do you know the new tablet that Phony has come out with?"

Me: "Yes, sir. What can I help you with regarding 'the tablet' "

Cue this 'gentleman' describing, graphically, what he would like to do to me with said tablet. This diatribe went on for about 5 minutes

Now, I while I come across as very quiet and "business like", I am not some meek little mouse, as some of my co-workers have come to discover!

After getting over the initial shock of this man's words, I flag one of the TMs over to my desk. When HE gets to my desk, (about 3 minutes in) I mute the call and tell him what is going on.

The response I got?? "Deal with it. He'll most likely hang up as soon as I take the call."

WTF!!!! THAT is why I flagged you!!

RHSEPT 291Me: "Do I have permission to end the call, then?"

"NO." and he walks away!!

So, I decided to have the same fun with this guy, as I have with obscene callers I've had at home, only within company policy of asking "lifestyle" questions.


Me: "So, other than the purpose you have already stated, what else do you plan to use the tablet for? Is it for work, school or just personal pleasure?"

- few minutes more of vulgar descriptions.


Me: "Did you know that tablet comes with a 10mp camera and either a 32GB or 64 GB hard drive so that it will record HOURS of the activities you have described, in both high quality photos and videos?"

A few moments of silence and then custy expands on his earlier plans.


Me: "Now, that you have told me exactly what you plan on using our Phony tablet for, I would highly recommend our 64GB model, along with our full coverage warranty, which includes accidental and moisture damage, because I think you will be at high risk of dropping the tablet because your hands may be slippery while using it and it sounds like moisture damage would be an even higher risk"

There is a good length of silence, enough that I ask, "Are you still there, sir?"

"You're no fun!" CLICK.

Amazingly, I was actually written up for this call because, "You should not have antagonized a potential customer" and I forgot to capture the # on the caller ID so they could block him!! No contradiction there, at all!

--Ms Kew