Post # 1
So humiliated and angry.
I work as a call center CSR for a large company (I won’t drop the name, but I’m sure pretty much all the bees have shopped there at one time or another). For the most part it’s great- I work mostly with small businesses and handle sales of supplies and help them when something goes wrong. My bitchy calls have been few and far between and I’ve kept my composure and worked everything out.
Today though, I ended my shift with a call that left me in tears. The caller was upset with an advertising issue that happened at his retail store (and to be fair- what he was arguing was a valid point), and he wanted to talk to our legal department. Our Corporate HQ where our legal team is closed one hour before he called so I couldn’t just transfer him. He started calling our company frauds, and then as the call went on he started personally attacking me, saying I was complacent too and was poorly trained and had a low IQ because I couldn’t help him. He kept bombarding me with legal questions, saying he was going to sue the company, and hold me liable when I couldn’t answer his questions (including “what information do you need from me to mitigate this?” “What’s your full name and employee number so I can charge you too?”). I wanted to direct him to a supervisor for the info he needed but he refused. The call ended with him hanging up, me in tears, and my manager coming over to console me.
I don’t know what upsets me more- the fact that he basically steamrolled me, or the fact that I let him do it. And the fact that I couldn’t keep myself together, knowing full well that sometimes minor harassment is going to be a part of my job.
Any CSR bees out there who have been in this situation, or any career bee who’s ever had to deal with a really rude customer to the point it reduced you to tears? Could really use some cheering up
Post # 3
@Papillion: Screw him. He was mad and you handled it professionally. Next time, don’t give a person like that a choice to transfer to a supervisor, just do it. I have parents try make snide remarks sometimes to make me feel incompetent. Sometimes on my break, I sit in my car and cry. We all have bad days. Drink some wine, cut up some cheese…. And pretend its that guy’s face 😉
Post # 4
Oh, no! I’m so sorry this happened to you.
Try not to take what he said to heart . . . this guy is a JERK! And a coward. It’s easy to talk all tough to a person on the phone. Just remember that you did nothing wrong. And be glad that you aren’t this guy (I bet he gets irrationally angry about everything else in his life, too). So while he’s working himself into a frenzy every day, you’re cruising around being awesome
PS – In a week or two, this is just going to be a funny story you can share at parties when the topic of worst work experiences comes up. Promise!
Post # 5
@Papillion: i used to be a receptionist for this company who dealt with alot of foreign customers. once this man called from egypt and had a very heavy accent. I had no idea what he was saying and just transfered him to the voicemail of who I thought it was for. Comes to find out he was calling for someone else and it was a very important contract needing to be closed by friday… It was a friday… so by the time anyone knew he called it was monday and I ended up puking in the bathroom after the conversation with my boss. 🙁 itll be okay! everyone has those kinds of customers and it really sucks to have to be the one taking all thier anger. Im so sorry 🙁
Post # 6
I’m a Phlebotomist at a hospital.. I had a man ask me if I’d had surgery because I “aint got no tits”. I was FUMING and embarrassed.. I in the worst way wanted to slap him! I gave him the look of death and just finished up drawing his blood. It didn’t help that my co-workers overheard and surrounded me afterwards asking what he said and what I did… I left work in tears 10 minutes later!.. People can be such jerks!
Post # 7
You know that quote “The customer is always right”? Well, that is a completely skewed quote and I can attest to the fact that the customer is usually wrong.
Especially when they have to call customer service. Some can handle the truth, some are indignant assholes who like to cry and scream and fling insults.
I worked at a helldesk for 6 years. Worst job of my freaking life. Every single call (or so it seemed) was some dickhead who didn’t know enough to reboot. Their problem was always my fault. My favorite was the idiot who wanted to come to my office and shoot me in the head because he couldn’t get Windows Media Player to load on his LINUX box. Oh, he was a piece of work. By that time, I knew I would be leaving that job (either on my own volition or by just getting canned) so I didn’t pay too much attention to his ignorant remarks.
I wish I had some words of wisdom to make you feel better– but I don’t. People are assholes…especially when they call customer service/tech. support. Personally, I blame the feckless IVR systems. By the time the customer gets through 3,000 screens and waits 10 minutes to hear a human’s voice, they are pretty fired up and ready to shoot.
That’s pretty much when the bottom fell out at my job.
Next time some asshole gets lippy, just tx him to a supervisor. Don’t take NO for an answer. If someone insults you, they get a manager. You don’t get paid to take anybody’s shit.
Post # 8
I am so sorry this happened to you. I’ve had similar things happen to me, I was working at a small fringe comedy venue and the show was sold out. The producer of the comedian (I didn’t know it at the time but this guy is an international producer, but he never introduced himself so how was I supposed to know?) tried to sneak in and I had to raise my voice to get him out. He started saying things like “do you know who I am?” “you’re officious and a control freak” “let me see X [the person who booked the act but has nothing to do with day-to-day running]”. I radioed my manager (waiting for him seemed like forever), we had a chat (the three of us) for about 30 minutes (the show was only an hour) but I was shaking the whole time. Afterwards I was really shook up and teary, my colleagues and my brother and partner who’d come to meet me (it was the end of my shift too) were all really proud of me even though I thought maybe I did something wrong. My manager was totally on my side. Sometimes it is just too much.
Post # 9
Op I am soooo sorry. I feel your pain. I was a CSR for a huge online store. (they manage over 10,000 web sites and these sites are very very popular.) I got fired because some asshole who was using a fraudualnt credit card complained to higher ups that his order wouldn’t go through. Well duh you are using a stolen credit card! So anyway I got fired because I was the senior rep who took the call and he wasn’t satisfied with the customer service. …
I know the company now customer service calls to to India…. and not the US where I was based. So in the long run it was a good thing I got fired…
Post # 10
Ugh, been there and done that – I worked at a number of call centers while putting myself through school. There will always be a few who are total jerks who feel like they can speak like this to people over the phone because there’s no obvious recourse.
Do you have the right to hang up after warning a customer who is being abusive? I’d talk it over with your manager and see what you’re allowed to do according to company policy, because this will undoubtedly happen again, and you really do not have to sit and listen to someone speaking to you like that, because obviously at that point, nothing you say will be constructive or helpful for the guy.
Take a deep breath, have a hot bath and something nice to drink, and try and shake it off. He was a jerk who was having a bad day and wanted to make you have a bad day too.
Post # 11
I’m so sorry you had to deal with bullshit like that. It’s really unfortunate how people have to express their anger on everyone else…
As a receptionist, I can totally relate. I just found out that a client complained to my manager that they feel disrespected by me because I say “No problem” instead of “You’re welcome” when they say “Thank you”. Bit of arrogant snootiness there…
Post # 12
What a jerk! I mean if the department he needs to talk to is gone, (serously shocking considering it’s a FRIDAY AFTERNOON), then he should have just waited until Monday to ruin someone’s day. I agree w/PP next time either push him direct to supervisor with out asking.
I had one of those calls on a Friday afternoon, it wasn’t CSR but I was an adjuster for a department store company that was nationwide. It was an attorney calling me screaming that my last offer was effing ridiculous and not only would I find myself in hell, my family, because of my actions would also be joining me there. I told him I’d see him there and hung up on him. I was shaking because I’ve never hung up on anyone for what they said to me …. but my supervisor said I did the right thing.
Ass hat wound up calling a few days later and agreeing that I had offered a fair settlement and I got to tell him that the offer was off the table and he could appoligize in writing or see OUR attorney in court. My supervisor hung the appolgy letter on my door(it was a badge of honor to have things hung on your door). Karma …that guy that made you cry will get his 😀 😀
Have some wine and do what PP said …. cut cheese up and pretend it’s his face!!!!
Post # 13
This happened to me once while working at a fast food place. I got a customers order wrong. Gave him a chili dog instead of a hotdog with nothing on it. He told me a plain chili dog so I assumed he meant a chili dog with just chili. Wrong! He practically threw it at me and called me a dumb whore in front of a bunch of other customers. All over a flippin hotdog! I cried. People suck…
Post # 14
Used to work on the phones. For the mos part I didn’t care if they were rude. I figured I was getting paid whether they hung up/yelled or not. If they tried to get personal (trash talk me) I’d just turn the volume down. If you can’t pass the call to a supervisor try the volume thing next time. It works pretty good because the customer doesn’t seem as irate So you can stay more calm. That being said go have yourself a nice cocktail & cheer up!
Post # 15
I’m sorry that guy was an asshole to you and honestly, he probably has superiority/inferiority issues. Unfortunately, no matter where you work you will always have those people but at least it’s not an everyday thing. I work at a vet clinic so I get to meet plenty of people that you just want to punch in the face. Worst part is you HAVE to be nice to them because it’s usually the people with a really sick animal that are being complete dicks because they think all techs are incompetent and refuse to tell me anything about the situation until they see the doctor. The “Want to Punch Them in the Face the Most” award goes to the guy I had to deal with while being a CSR at Domino’s. He called in asked about medium sized pizzas and a deal we had going on for getting 3 for $5.55 each. I told him it was still available and he told me he wanted to pick them up. We had a carryout special for mediums for $5 each so I just switched it to that without telling him because who’s going to argue about getting something cheaper. He calls back later and berates me about the fact that I never told him about the carryout special for large pizzas. I apologized and reminded him that he never once asked me about larges and he continued to insult me and complain about it. After he picked up the pizzas, he calls back and starts yelling at me about the fact that he can’t tell the difference between the sausage pizza and the sausage and beef one. He assumed that because he was getting 2 toppings that he was going to have twice as much on it. I mean, it’s a valid thought but it’s not my fault that Domino’s is cheap. After that point I gave the phone to my manager and told her I was done with him.
Moral of the story is that we can’t escape them, but we can’t let them ruin our days either. I’ve dealt with bosses that treated me like crap, customers that refuse to accept that they are not right after all, and drunkards that think it’s hilarious to break and steal stuff and then argue with me about it. It’s not fun but then again there’s always the people who are awesome even when they’re complaining about something. They make up for the ones that are absolutely awful.
Post # 16
It’s just some psychotic loser who has nothing better to so than take his own misery out on someone on the other end of a phone. It’s called letting it in one ear and out the other- try not to give pathetic people the opportunity to irk you…. it’s really not worth it.