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, April 08, 2005

Do I Look Like the F*cking Yellow Pages?

In addition to the dozens of complaints I listen to each day, I also receive a fair number of misdialed or misdirected calls. This is par for the course at most government agencies, but it's complicated by the fact that our customer service number appears on every utility bill that's issued within the state. The number is there for people who are having unresolved disputes with their gas, electric or phone companies, and is labeled as such on the bill.

However, because people tend to randomly dial any phone number listed on their utility bill, they get connected to my office without knowing who they're actually calling. That being said, here are three recent, painful conversations I've had along these lines.

Caller #1

Me: Welcome to [the name of my agency]. How may I assist you?
Caller: Yeah, I need to pay my bill. You need my Visa card?
Me: I think you have the wrong number. Who were you trying to call?
Caller: The phone company.
Me: This is not the phone company. This is a government agency.
Caller: What's their number?
Me: Whose number?
Caller: The phone company's.
Me: Sir, I have no way of knowing who your phone company is.
Caller: So you don't have their number?
Me: I'm sure I have it, but you haven't told me which phone company it is.
Caller: You mean there's more than one?

Caller #2

Me: Welcome to [the name of my agency]. How may I assist you?
Caller: Did you shut my gas off?
Me: Um, no.
Caller: Why'd you shut my gas off?
Me: I did not shut your gas off, ma'am.
Caller: It says here you did.
Me: This is a government agency, ma'am, not a utility company. We do not shut people's gas off [however annoying they might be].
Caller: Ain't you the gas company?
Me: Again, this is a government agency. We are not your gas company.
Caller: Well, what's their number?

Caller #3

Me: Welcome to [the name of my agency]. How may I assist you?
Caller: Can you answer a question for me? Why are gasoline prices so high right now?
Me: I'm sorry, this agency only regulates natural gas.
Caller: That's pretty much the same thing.
Me: No sir, I'm afraid it's not. We have absolutely no authority over gasoline prices.
Caller: Well, who WOULD have authority? These prices are OUTRAGEOUS!
Me: I'm sorry, I have no idea.
Caller: [condescendingly] Don't you think you should KNOW about this?
Me: Sir, there's no way I can know which agency would regulate every single thing that we have no jurisdiction over. If I had to guess, I'd say you should contact someone on the federal level, the Department of Energy, perhaps?
Caller: Fine, I'll call them. Now what's their number?


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  • At 4/29/2005 6:00 PM, Anonymous rachel said…

    Exactly how hard is it to keep from telling those idiots off?

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