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Author Topic: The crazy lady.
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2004 05:31      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK. First I will give you some background.

The office I work in is in Ottawa. I work for an ISP. Our call centre is in Calgary. As such, if you call our help desk number, you get our phone system in Ottawa, but as soon as you hit any number, "1 for billing, 2 for support, etc." you get routed over to the call centre in Calgary. The only way you stay in Ottawa is if you dial one of our extensions in the office.

Well, this lady was pissed, so she decided she'd start dialling all sorts of random extensions until she found people. She got me, the provisioning manager, the accountant, and the AR/bookkeeping girl. We all told her the same thing. "YOU HAVE TO TALK TO CALGARY!"

Anyway, this lady insists that we've ruined her life. Here's how it goes:

We accidentally double-billed her. (she's on pre-authorised payment). This means we accidentally took $24 out of her account that we shouldn't have. Naturally, we caught the mistake the second she brought it to our attention, wrote her a cheque for that amount, and mailed it out that day. (Unfortunately, the PAP system doesn't let us put money back into her account [well, it does, but no one has ever written the code to do it, but that's beside the point.]).

Anyway, somehow, she claims this $24 caused her car payment to bounce. Which in turn, caused the bank to repo her car. Which in turn caused her to lose her job because she couldn't get to work anymore.

When she talked to me I just kept saying, "this office has nobody who can help you, you need to talk to the people in support." She said she's going to "get a lawyer and sue us for big bucks."

Naturally, I can't help but wonder. If your life rides on $24, and ONE bounced payment causes your bank to repo your van, and you can't get your mangy ass on a BUS to get to work (assuming all of this is true, which I highly doubt it is.), then youre probably already pretty bad off.

And just how is she going to afford to pay a lawyer to sue us for big bucks if she can't spare $24 for about 3 days?

Oh, and to top it all off, if we give her $105 ($30 NSF fee, and $75 admin fee charged to her by her bank as a result of this.) then she'll go away and everything will be all better. RRRRIIIIGGGHHHTTT.

In the words of our accountant, "HAHAHAHAH! no."

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2004 16:40      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
drunkennewfiemidget---------I know how she feels, I had a situation where a business that I used a Credit Card to purchase some supplies, allowed a mixup that caused us to be over by the amount of 2500USD on a fifty dollar purchase. However when it was brought to thier attenion it was corrected but not in the same week and because of this mistake I was not billed for the supplies.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2004 17:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, so she needs to learn to go through channels, but her basic complaint is sound.

Your company error cost her money, $105 in 'bounce' fees which wouldn't have happened if your company hadn't over-charged her. She's entitled to compensation. She's not demanding you buy her a new car and find her a new job, she just wants you to make good the direct cost of your error.

Sounds fair to me.

As for the car repo stuff, well, it sounds like there's a lot more to that story, but if a smart lawyer could establish that the repo wouldn't have happened if your company hadn't fscked up, she could be on a winner.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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MrMachineCode
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2004 19:44      Profile for MrMachineCode     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't blame that lady, I'd be pissed too. I hope she sues the piss out of you people. (Not, you personally, I know it's not your fault, but I hope she sues the piss out of the company you work for.)

That's why I've never been comfortable with the idea of any company or other such Impersonal Monolithic Bureaucracy being able to randomly charge my bank account for stuff. My GI Bill is like that - you would think that the Veterans Affairs Deptartment would only deposit money into my account, but they also reserve the right to take money back out of my account, without notifying me prior to doing it, if they think they gave me too much. And for some reason the VA's computer system can't handle something as simple as "deposit $985"/month, no, they deposit $963, then add $50, then realize they over payed and take away $70 (making it an underpayment), then add $12, then subtract $30, etc. Each month they seem to add and subtract random amounts from my bank account every day for a few days after the money is supposed to come in, until at the end of it all I usually end up with an approximate net gain of $935, which is $50 less than what they say on the website that they put in. It has become impossible for me to balance my check book because of this. I never know how much money to budget for each month and can't tell whether or not the bank made any mistakes because my account balance is always bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. God help me if the VA ever makes a real big mistake, because they could easily take ALL of the money from my account by accident.

The system that calculated my pay when I was in the military was a yo-yo system like that, too. They divided your pay into two numbers, one for how much they were giving you, and one for how much you deserved to get, and as long as the two added up to the right amount they might pay you absolutely any random amount at all, but make a notation that you were due to get a different amount next month. You'd get these LES reports that were like a weather forecast of what you MIGHT get on pay day - the system was so screwy even they didn't know ahead of time what you were going to get; the pay system had grown so big and hairy that was a nondeterministic chaotic system and you couldn't predict certainty what the next paycheck amount would be until the exact minute the deposit happened. One time when I was expecting a pay day, my LES forecast said I would receive "negative 2,086 dollars" in my next pay check!

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 05:50      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So then that means if they add a hidden fee at Discover I can sue them for a zero balance?

Bullsh**!

First off if someone is so far behind on their car payments that a 24 dollar shortfall means repo. Why are they wasting money on net access? I never understand that. If you can't afford your stuff. Get rid of some of it. Simple.

She'll probaby get it just to shut her up. But that is another rant.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 06:38      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
So then that means if they add a hidden fee at Discover I can sue them for a zero balance?

Bullsh**!

First off if someone is so far behind on their car payments that a 24 dollar shortfall means repo. Why are they wasting money on net access? I never understand that. If you can't afford your stuff. Get rid of some of it. Simple.

She'll probaby get it just to shut her up. But that is another rant.

Perhaps she needs the net access for her job, my part time job requires me to do my work report online. If you don't have net access you can't work for this company.

She could also be using the net to find work.

Her kids may need the net for school reports.

As crappy as the economy is many people (including myself) are living paycheck to paycheck. I have made many cuts in my spending habits, but I need some thisngs such as a phone and net access to help me work and or find work. Sure some people budget better than others but don't be so quick to judge, you could end up in the same situation one day.

There is a new show on discovery called repomen. They keep playing a clip of one of the repomen saying "if you can't afford it don't buy it". I just want to say "F**k You!" to the guy, when I bought the stuff I COULD afford it, then I was laid off. Not that I have repomen at my door, it just pisses me off.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 06:51      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now you see, I wholeheartedly disagree with most of these posts. As was said, if $25 is enough to have her car repo'd, something else was already terribly wrong. We accidentally over charged her for $23.60. We understand that, and gave her the money back plus some free access, but we can't go dealing with her money problems because $23 is enough to cause her life to get ruined.

I've had a company take out $600 extraneously from my account because they were stupid. I had to suffer and wait SIX WEEKS for them to give it back.

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 08:01      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Now you see, I wholeheartedly disagree with most of these posts. As was said, if $25 is enough to have her car repo'd, something else was already terribly wrong. We accidentally over charged her for $23.60. We understand that, and gave her the money back plus some free access, but we can't go dealing with her money problems because $23 is enough to cause her life to get ruined.,,,,,,

Who's to say she didn't have some unforseen expense come up that left her with a low balance leaving her just enough to pay her ISP bill? Medical, auto repair etc....
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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 08:15      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bibo

I do understand that there are things that we need to continue making a living. Been there done that.

4 years ago I brought home 80k, last year (the best in the last few) I barely cleared 30k. I have had to tighten my belt. I have finally made it to the point where I can afford some new things again.

And when I have been down on my luck I have made sure that what we needed has been there. I f'n hate people that pout and moan about the economy and jobs. If you can't work your old job, work something else. When the bubble burst I was MCSE certified and couldn't get a tech job to save my life. Guess what I became a damn good RV tech. And got a lot of experience cleaning black water tanks and toilets on rich people toys.

I am now a glorified hard drive installer. And I am happy to be back in tech. But I could lose my job tomorrow.

All I can say is when it comes to it. I have a responsibility to me and mine. And if it is a choice between personal enjoyment and the welfare of my wife and kids, guess what I am doing?

I have delivered pizza's, painted houses, and even done things that were legally questionable. All for one reason.

And when I hear about things like that I get enraged. Our economy is in the toilet. But there are ways to make money. It may be demeaning and sh***y work. But beggars can't be choosers.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 08:41      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is Canada, so a "sue your pants off" approach probably won't fly...

The reasonable answer to this woman's problem would be what DNM's company did, which was to refund the money promptly and offer some bonus access time. If this had happened to me, that would be a perfectly acceptable solution. So why should DNM's company offer anything else? What if the woman's kid got traumatized by the car being repo'd and went out and broke a window or something? Should DNM's company pay for that, too? [shake head]

MM

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 12:30      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Now you see, I wholeheartedly disagree with most of these posts. As was said, if $25 is enough to have her car repo'd, something else was already terribly wrong.

....

We accidentally over charged her for $23.60. We understand that, and gave her the money back plus some free access, but we can't go dealing with her money problems because $23 is enough to cause her life to get ruined.

The car repo thing is a side issue, she's not demanding you pay for a new car, find her a new job, or make her husband better-looking. She just wants you to make good the direct loss she suffered due to your error, the 'bounce' fees.

If an installation tech had accidentally broken a window, you'd pay for a replacement, no fuss, no questions asked. It's the same thing, the direct consequence of your companys error was $105 in fees. Pay up and stop whinging, because if she takes you to court she'll win, and you'll have to pay for her lawyer as well as your own.

Looks to me like everyone at your company has dug their heels in because she's a pain in the arse and you just don't like her. From what you've said, I can understand you not liking her, but that's no excuse for refusing her what's rightfully hers.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2004 16:01      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
Bibo

I do understand that there are things that we need to continue making a living. Been there done that.....
And when I have been down on my luck I have made sure that what we needed has been there. I f'n hate people that pout and moan about the economy and jobs. If you can't work your old job, work something else. When the bubble burst I was MCSE certified and couldn't get a tech job to save my life. Guess what I became a damn good RV tech. And got a lot of experience cleaning black water tanks and toilets on rich people toys.

I am now a glorified hard drive installer. And I am happy to be back in tech. But I could lose my job tomorrow.

All I can say is when it comes to it. I have a responsibility to me and mine. And if it is a choice between personal enjoyment and the welfare of my wife and kids, guess what I am doing?

I have delivered pizza's, painted houses, and even done things that were legally questionable. All for one reason.

And when I hear about things like that I get enraged. Our economy is in the toilet. But there are ways to make money. It may be demeaning and sh***y work. But beggars can't be choosers.

Yes I am paying my bills , I now work for 1/2 the hourly rate I used to earn and on top of that 1/2 the hours I used to work.

I am working retail, something I have not had to do since 1989.

So yes there is work out there and it pays 1/4 what I used to make. Not to mention no health insurance since it is cheaper to hire people part time and no benefits.

I have one of those "new jobs" that George W is boasting about [shake head]

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2004 04:55      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like I said. Been there, done that. When I say I have donated blood for gas money. No joke.

And I know how lucky we are, now that the new jobs are coming in.

But honestly, As for what DNM was talking about. Do you blame others and try to threaten and sue when something goes worn like that? I've been overcharged when I have had extra and when I had nothing. It of course bothers me. But, even if the situation snowballed into something else. I don't think she should have a leg to stand on. They have made an attempt to pay her back.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2004 06:06      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We have paid her back -- and let us not forget the consistent harassment she's done to our company in the course of the last month.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2004 08:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Now you see, I wholeheartedly disagree with most of these posts. As was said, if $25 is enough to have her car repo'd, something else was already terribly wrong. We accidentally over charged her for $23.60. We understand that, and gave her the money back plus some free access, but we can't go dealing with her money problems because $23 is enough to cause her life to get ruined.

Obviously you've never been a grad student... And yeah, maybe something else was terribly wrong, but clearly she was on a shoestring, and when you're on a shoestring, $23 bucks goes a long way. Fsck man, that's a weeks worth of groceries!

Things are better now that I've got my RA raise, and I own my car free and clear, but there was one lovely month last summer when I couldn't even scrape up the $5 I needed to see a doctor.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2004 08:21      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another example: Last year I chose the option to "skip a month" on my van payment due to being unemployed. There was a $50 fee you had to pay 3 months ahead of the month you wanted to skip. I paid my $50 and chose the month. With the extra $500 I had for that month I was able to pay my bills. A week after the van payment would have been due I checked my online balance and noticed I was very close to being overdrawn and had 2 checks out that had not even cleared the bank. The bank deducted my van payment when it was supposed to be skipped! The bank assured me they money would get credited back in 7-10 business days! This was going to cause my checks to bounce and leave me with a negative balance. In the end they made sure all was taken care of on none of my checks bounced or overdraft charges were billed to me. And I keep my records up to date and I still could have gotten in a mess due to this. Now I didn't make any demands from my bank, but had checks bounced and bills were late due to this I woukd have been bitching up a storm like your so called "crazy lady"!
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Mr Bill
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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2004 19:19      Profile for Mr Bill     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Only on GC could a thread turn from "a funny thing happened at work today..." to a discussion of economic woes.

I work on the help desk for a cable ISP, (but thankfully we don't have to handle payment issues) and I get at least one call a day from someone threatening to switch to another provider because they were on hold for a couple of minutes, or little Johnny couldn't get to his games site for a whole hour.

When I first started, I took everything personally. Hey, I'm a geek, I'd be pissed off if I had no connection too! But after a while, hearing the same ranting and raving over and over, you just start to care a little less. I've lost count of the number of calls I've taken where the caller is bitching and yelling about the crappy service, the horrible connection, and then when they finally calm down enough to troubleshoot, you find that they have somehow unplugged the modem. Very few have the class to apologise when this happens.

I'm not burnt out yet, I still like to help people, but it gets a little harder every day. If someone is polite, and willing to work with me, I'll bend over backwards to help them. But if you start off the call by yelling or calling everything a piece of crap, how helpfull do you think I'm going to be?

The point is, on their end it may be a personal tragedy, but for us it's just another "crazy lady".

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 04:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not in the call centre, either. Our call centre is in Calgary. Other side of the friggen COUNTRY.

I haven't been in a call centre for some time. But when this lady is hammering random extensions in the company over and over trying to get a human when all she's getting are bookkeepers, shippers and receivers, programmers, etc, then she's just wasting everyone's time -- including herself.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 05:16      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Bill:
I've lost count of the number of calls I've taken where the caller is bitching and yelling about the crappy service,

It's years since I was taking customer support calls, and the calls I got were almost invariably polite, (the English are like that) but the thing that really pissed me off was that people just won't tell you the truth over the phone.

I'd be talking people through a problem, getting them to type in commands and read me back the result, and they'd tell me things I knew just couldn't possibly be true (for example, a command that always produces some kind of output and they'd tell me it had produced no output at all). I'd ask again, and they'd swear blind that the impossible had happened, so I'd go round to their office (they were important enough clients to rate this kind of service) and sure enough, the impossible hadn't happened at all. When I point out to them that the text on their screen bore no resemblance to what they'd been telling me, they'd just say "oh, I didn't think you meant that"

AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH !

/me is very glad I have nothing to do with end users.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 08:29      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
.......But when this lady is hammering random extensions in the company over and over trying to get a human when all she's getting are bookkeepers, shippers and receivers, programmers, etc, then she's just wasting everyone's time -- including herself.

I really can't blame her there, it gets very frustrating these days when you call a company and just get menu after menu of numbers to push just to get to a human. Just recently I went through 5 menus with 6 choices each, none of which matched my needs. After all the button pushing and listening to the pre-recorded messages I ended up with "if none of these choices are what you need please hold for an operator". This is what makes customers all pissy by the time the reach a live person!
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 09:09      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My fav is when you've gone thru all the menues and the fem-bot on the other end says "Goodbye" and hangs up. Then you spend the next 15 minutes and 3 or 4 calls trying to navigate back through to where you think you need to be. [Mad]

--------------------
(!) (T) = 8-D

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 11:00      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heh - I was trying to find out about product availability at Circuit City the other day, and after getting fed up with some utterly meaningless phone tree junk, I remembered a lesson from HOPE & Social Engineering - I pressed 0, and got a live human within a few seconds.

/me debates whether or not to put one of his caller's voicemail messages online... [evil]

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 11:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Our phone system only asks that you press ONE button.

1 for support (human - possibly a pre-recorded message if there's a known issue, but there rarely is.)
2 for billing (human)
3 for anything else (human)

The wait times are always less than 5 minutes.

And she had to press MORE buttons to get our extensions. (They start at 600.)

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Bibo
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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 11:55      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
H.... I remembered a lesson from HOPE & Social Engineering - I pressed 0, and got a live human within a few seconds....:

Sadly more and more places have disabled this option and now pressing 0 takes you back to the beginning menu or tells you this is not a valid selection [cry baby]
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drunkennewfiemidget
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 2814

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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2004 12:11      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bibo:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
H.... I remembered a lesson from HOPE & Social Engineering - I pressed 0, and got a live human within a few seconds....:

Sadly more and more places have disabled this option and now pressing 0 takes you back to the beginning menu or tells you this is not a valid selection [cry baby]
There is no excuse in the world for that. Ever.
Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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