My Worst Call of the Day

From the dozens of idiotic calls I take each day as a customer service representative, I humbly submit the winner.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Are You Calling Me A Liar?

Nuttiest of all my callers today (and it is a full moon, so they were pretty freaking nutty) was a woman who called about an issue with her electric company. When I asked for her name, she stated that she preferred to remain anonymous, and I knew right then she was going to be trouble. She was upset that the company had asked for her social security number, in order to establish a new account. Well, she had probably been watching those damn Citibank commercials, and felt like her identity (such as it is) was in danger of being stolen by someone at the electric company.

I explained that the company requested her SSN in order to avoid identity theft, and not encourage it. The idea is to prevent someone from fraudulently initiating service in someone else's name, and requiring an SSN makes that harder to accomplish. However, the paranoid schizophrenic on the other end of the line wasn't buying it. She stated in her most righteous voice that she was not going to listen to these LIES I was telling her.

Mind you, I am a veteran customer service rep. This is my fourth job as a CSR, and I used to work at the DMV, so I'm used to taking all kinds of abuse from people. But being called a liar was, I confess, a complete shock, and I just sat there for a few seconds, stunned by her remark.

When I recovered myself, I proceeded to inform her (in a very cool but civil tone) that state law allowed the electric company to request her SSN, and that she would have a hard time setting up a new account without giving hers out. Now it was her turn to be taken aback, but my spunky little psycho caller came back strong with the following admonishment:

"I hope you know just what kind of a country you're creating with these policies!"

To which I replied: "I would be happy to document your concerns, ma'am, but first I need your name, phone number, and mailing address."

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