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I had my first really foaming-at-the-mouth customer yesterday.…

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I had my first really foaming-at-the-mouth customer yesterday.

Dude called in to see about lowering his bill. Normally these calls go, "Ok, looking at your usage over the last three months, I recommend X, and Y is also an option but first you will need to modify your usage to prevent overage." Instead, I had no sooner told him what the next lower calling plan is than he starts yelling. "This bill is ridiculous! These phones are terrible! I hate technology, it's ruining society!" That's a paraphrase, minus the profanity - I'm not censoring, I just don't remember where he used it, and anyway he only said fucking. I was unimpressed.

Having worked himself into a tizzy, he asked when his contracts would end. I gave him the dates and the early termination fees. He disputed one of the dates, so I pulled up the history and told him the record showed he'd had an upgrade. I asked if he'd gotten a new phone at that time. This further incensed him. "It's always two more years with you people!" Yell yell, flail flail, cuss cuss. Yawn.

At this point I should say I am not yet at that corporate drone stage. Far from it - I think that a lot of the policies that I see need to be changed. If I stay, it will partly be so that I can work to put some of those changes in place. I particularly think there are some things that extend the contract lengths that should not, and that it's far too easy for the details of the agreement to slide by the customer. In other words, I have greater sympathy for the customer than for the company, and if I see something I think is wrong, I'm going to try to work with that customer and get them into a better place. In order for that to happen, though, the customer needs to be listening to me when it's my turn to talk, not yelling at me and possibly drooling. Also, considering that signing the 2 year agreement can get you a pretty huge discount on a phone, that's one of the elements that I find more reasonable than others. And he did agree to the fucking thing.

So, I'm trying to calm this guy down, and I tell him that if he doesn't like the phones and wants to avoid the ETFs, he can give the phones to another person and get them out of his name. At this, he goes completely bonkers. "How dare you suggest that I try to get out of my responsibilities! Why would I ever pass on these horrible phones to someone else! I hate your company, it was much better when it was (company that was bought out ages ago)!

Up to this point, he had been peppering in things like, "I know it's not your fault," but at this point he accuses me of not giving him the one piece of information he asked for, the end dates of his terms. How he could dispute the date of one if I hadn't given it to him, I'm not certain, but I said, "As I said previously, the dates are this and this." He said, "I think there's only one way this call can end." I figured he was going to tell me to disconnect the phones, but instead he just said, "We should end this call now." I said the end call boilerplate and then he failed to hang up, so I said, "Sir?" He said, "Well, shit, I thought I hung up!" I said, "How about you give that another shot?" And finally he was gone.

As I said, not that interesting. It didn't have too many firsts; though I've been lucky and not had too many of what they call "escalated calls," I've been yelled at and cussed at before, and I've even had one or two who were able to upset me. It was the unwillingness to listen or calm down while NOT demanding a supervisor that made this dude seem like a nutter to me, and what made the call notable. In most cases I don't

We're not allowed to hang up on people for being abusive, though we are allowed to hand it off to management if it's a problem. A coworker brought it up in a meeting yesterday, and I said, "Pretend you're watching a Tarantino movie; you pay to see those." It was said to be funny but I think that's the philosophy I'll adopt. I just wish this guy had had a better script, then the call would actually have been entertaining instead of annoying.

This was still infinitely better than people calling in to cancel lines because the owner is dead. I had two of those last week, they are hard on me.
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