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(Post Link) post #1 of 16 Old 16-10-08 Thread Starter
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People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

because of what I do for work, Joe Blow can get my work telephone number and work email quite easily. I'm a supplier to a number of companies. Joe Blow won't spot that; they think I'm the company they want to contact. Here's what I put up when my phone rings:

Me: [my name here] how can I help you? (expecting this to be a journalist, as that's who I'm paid to cater for)

Moron: "yeah. Your competition thing. I got told I won a radio. Has it been sent yet? Coz it hasn't arrived" [caller is clearly 19/20 years old]

Me: [brain scrambled; which clients are doing what promotions? who is this calling?] Ok, maybe you can take me back a step or two. What company does your call relate to?'

Moron: "Yours. Wiv the radio. The wind up radio. You were giving it away. Have you sent it yet?"

Me: "Right, I need a bit more information. What competition are you referring to, please?"

Moron: "The one run on your site by [well known mobile operator]"

Me: "Ah, ok" [brain processes operator -> client -> promotion -> promo not on my company's website -> promo might have been designed by client for one of its mobile clients]. Penny drops.

The point i'm trying to make is this. Just how difficult is it to think about what you're gonna say before you make a call to someone? Why can't the call have gone:

'Hi, i'm not sure if you can help me or point me in the right direction, but i recent entered a competition on the [mobile operator] website. i've been told that i have won a wind up radio (!) and i wanted to check if it had been sent yet. Can you help, or let me know who I should contact, please?'

I will go to the ends of the earth to help anyone. But not those who either phone or email with: "I HAVE LOST MY CODE FOR THE CD. NINE YEAR CUSTOMER. IN STATES. WHAT CODE YOU SEND ME FOR NEXT VERSION? NOT IN EUROPE. SEND ME STATES CONTACT!!!!!!'

Erm...what client? I've got twelve. What product? between them, there are over 140! You're in the States? Then why contact me, ffs?

by phone:

'hello, i've got cables that you sent with that thing i bought. And in my left hand you see here...; is that the cable for the speakers? where does it plug in to you know like? I can't see the slot. Can you see the slot?'.

Now i'm really sorry; but...when your greeted with a call like that, you just want to say: 'i'm sorry, but until you've found a brain that can help you re-think how to make a telephone call, and clearly articulate what you want, and explain what product you've bought and the issue you're facing, then you can just go fe5k yourself'

I'm not saying all people should be/are uber-smart. Just be polite.

What makes me smirk is the huffing and puffing of the 'i'm the aggrieved customer who by default has the customer-is-always-right mantra to protect me from the fact that i'm actually as thick as pig's shi5, and this is the only scenario in which i can chuck my weight around and pull some rank"

"Joe Blow"...it's not good out there, guys.

A driver is always faithful to a car that's always faithful to its driver.

Sometimes in the darkest hour, love comes shining through.
Then it doesn't seem so far from me to you.
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

My response would be: "Could I speak to the person who dialled the number for you?"
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

Class!

Tell them you think they "..rang the wrong number... what company did they want...?" as the prospect of being cut off will (or might) cause the punter's brain cell to call for assistance from the other one, which is temporarily running life-support alone.

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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

Mind you..... in a partial defence for Joe Blows everywhere.... It has become increasingly frustrating in recent years how many companies use partner companies/agencies/generic service providers to handle issues which most consumers would naturally expect them to do themselves. Not saying this is your situation by the way, but it can be confusing - particularly when you are pointed at the service agent via official channels dressing it up as part of the main organization.

I've had numerous occassions where I've called up a company for some follow up service/support or advice on a product or service I've purchased from them, only to find that I'm dealing with an outsourced agency who of course use that level of separation from the original vendor as a handy excuse as to why they know zippity-doo-dah about any details of me, my transaction, previous commitments made, or in some cases the specific product. They are typically a service agent for dozens of different types of product/service from a dozen different companies with little specialist knowledge etc.

I believe it comes under the management-jargon of "focussing on core competencies" - which often means, focussing on selling only and leaving all the tricky post sales stuff to someone else to do (not very well).

A recent example was with a 5 year old Nordic track cross training machine. When I moved house I managed to lose the power supply for it. I called Nordic Track themselves and was put through to the "parts support group" who told me that they don't provide that part as a spare, and nor do they have the specs for it so I couldnt locate a same spec generic version. When I asked how come Nordic Track don't provide spares for their own equipment I was told that I wasn't actually speaking to Nordic Track but to "GymWorld" which is the maintenance arm for many gym equipment providers, but they have to restrict the number of spares they carry to the most popular parts for the most recent/popular machines.....

So Nordic Track have outsourced their spares/repairs operation to a company that can choose what to provide support for based on their own profitability and not based on what they are supposed to provide support for. Nordic Track have basically abdicated their responsibility for supporting their own products.

By the end of that call I reckon I was speaking very much like a Joe Blow.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 16 Old 17-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

Fred, I agree with you 100%.

People have become search savvy. If the official contact points don't work, they take whatever route they can find (and i don't blame them, incidentally), which is why they come to me. My beef is that when they do get through, they don't explain anything in any logical order. Despite my many skills, I'm not a mind reader, nor can I see down the phone and look at whatever product it is they're having a problem with. I could easily say 'sorry guv, not my department, so I can't help' which will achieve nothing and only serve to frustrate them more. But that's bad for the company, bad for my company, and it's not how I would like to be treated, either. I do feel sorry for them if they're frustrated that they're not getting the support they need. In most cases, I am able to help them, or call a favour and get the right department to call them. My view - although not my job - is to take a bad experience and turn it into a good one.

But I can't do that if they just talk gibberish at me :-)
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

I had a customer leave an urgent message for support once.

He was one of the "special" French type of customers blunt,
verging on abrasive and someone who will never answer emails
or voicemail and never picks-up phone calls. You have to call
reception and sweet-talk them into passing a message.


Anyway, after a couple a days I finally get hold of him.

The urgency was he wanted to get hold of another freebie
from a recent trade show. I played along and asked internally
for him. Couldn't find anyone who knew where to get the item.
(Some USB-hub/mousepad thing.)

Eventually I found out these were given out by a competitor, not us.

Did he even apologise?

Like I said. They're special.
 
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

I had a call today "I haven't recieved any emails today", "Scroll up sir", "ah yes, they have all arrived now".

Another happy customer
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(Post Link) post #8 of 16 Old 17-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
I had a customer leave an urgent message for support once.

He was one of the "special" French type of customers blunt,
verging on abrasive and someone who will never answer emails
or voicemail and never picks-up phone calls. You have to call
reception and sweet-talk them into passing a message.


Anyway, after a couple a days I finally get hold of him.

The urgency was he wanted to get hold of another freebie
from a recent trade show. I played along and asked internally
for him. Couldn't find anyone who knew where to get the item.
(Some USB-hub/mousepad thing.)

Eventually I found out these were given out by a competitor, not us.

Did he even apologise?

Like I said. They're special.
Aye. And do they come back to me to say 'thank you' for your help? God, no.
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

Thanks for helping them g



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(Post Link) post #10 of 16 Old 18-10-08 Thread Starter
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

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Thanks for helping them g
cheers, boss
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

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Originally Posted by Mooney174 View Post
My response would be: "Could I speak to the person who dialled the number for you?"
Great one!
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

I feal sory for u m8 but i still aint got my bloody radio !!!!!!
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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

While you're there.. what's happened to that part I ordered on 27th September?

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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

I used to work on the Philips DAP consumer line (Domestic Appliances and Personal Care).

I don't have all day, so couldn't even begin to scratch the surface of the examples of morons that used to phone me up.

However, one of my favourites is this.

Woman: "My kettle ain't working"
Me: "Ok. How long ago did you buy it?"
W: "Dunno."
M: "Within the past 12 months?"
W: "I dunno, can't remember, but it's not working and if you don't fix it I'm going to write to Watchdog and sue you!"
M: "Hm. Hokay then. Flip the kettle over and look for a four digit batch number on the label."
W: "You better do something about this or there'll be trouble!"
M: "Just have a look for the batch number and I'll be able to help you out."
***pause***
W: "I can't see a four digit number."
M: "It's there, quite clear. It says 'batch number'."
W: "I can't see it, just a really long number and 'Morphy Richards'."
***slaps forhead (wishing I was slapping hers)***
M: "Madam. You've rung Philips."
W: "Yeah, and what?!"
M: "You've quite clearly got a Morphy Richards kettle in your hands."
W: "Yeah, but it's yours init!"
M: "How is it remotely our product? You just read the Morphy Richards label yourself!"
W: "It's held together with phillips screws"
....
....
....
I hung up.

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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email





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Re: People who are clearly thick using the phone or email

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Originally Posted by JimmerUK View Post
I hung up.
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