Thursday, July 24, 2008

"we hafta fo-cuss on customer ser-visse"

Don't you just love talking to bill collectors?  I could never do what they do.  I don't have the heart to say to someone, "I know you've lost your job because it's being done in a part of the world for a hapenny per day and you live on cat food and don't have a loonie to speak of but just gimme the $15,000 you owe us in full and we can make it all go away".  Funny how they all ask the same questions:  Can someone lend you the money?  Can you borrow someone's credit card?  Do you have investments that you can cash in?  If I had any one of those things, I'm sure I wouldn't be where I am right now.  That's right, I've got nothing but lint in my pockets.  No one is willing to lend me any $$$ much less their credit cards.  I've already cashed in my investment portfolio (wow, that makes me sound fly).  My net worth is somewhere in the toilet right about where the good stuff meets the lakefront.

I had an enchanting conversation with a particular collector yesterday that vexed my soul to the core.  I told this man (let's call him Bob) that I could either pay him or pay rent - what else can I do?  He then proceeds to tell me that I made him into a liar.  Excuse you!?!?  A liar?!  What the blank is this nonsense?  

Gone are the days when I worked in a 'contact centre' that actually taught its employees about proper customer service.  I remember this one client who was yelling in my ear about something-or-other that went wrong on his account.  After he was done, I politely said to him, "No amount of yelling is going to help solve your situation any faster."  He actually stopped yelling at me then I was able to assist him in resolving his account.  The moral of the story, you ask?  Yelling at someone gets you nowhere.

So I'm cussing out Bob for all I'm worth.  This fool doesn't know me from dirt.  Does he think I'm sitting on a fortune (I could be... I do have a Lotto 6/49 ticket from last night's draw) and I just choose to let my bills fall by the wayside?  No way.  I'm not having it anymore.  I had an epiphany at that very moment - I've let people push me around and talk down to me for TOO LONG.    Athena Titanides is going to finally stick up for herself!!!  Being the good Canadian that I am, I sent this letter to Bob:

In regards to your account recovery techniques, I must say I will not tolerate any further insolence from yourself or any other member of your organization.  I am well aware that this account must be resolved immediately.  However, no amount of bullying will incent me to work with you.  I do not believe you were trained to deal with clients in this fashion.   If ever you find yourself in a position similar to my own, would you like to have someone treat you with such blatant disrespect?  

I am more than willing to work out a payment plan as originally discussed.  Note if you or any other colleague of yours chooses to use the same insolent tactics which you used on me this morning, this will NOT persuade me in any fashion to resolve the situation any faster.  

Bob has yet to respond.  WOOT, WOOT!  Score a point for us statistics.  

On a brighter note, I did speak to a lovely bill collector this morning - we'll call her Susie.  I have only had positive conversations with Susie and she completely understands what it's like to have a temporary setback.  Here's to Susie, everyone!  It just goes to show that those who know and understand the basic principles of customer service will go very far in this lifetime. 

Speaking of which, here's my wise words of the day: Treat others as how you would like to be treated.  End of.