First: There is going to be text and one photo today because I'm typing this from KFC and their WiFi is extra O sloooooooow.
As a noun
1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.
As a verb:
1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about. 2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
I regret the KFC I ate. (Calories, oh my!)
I will regret the KFC I just ate. (Over abundance of grease = heartburn, oh yikes!)
Future continuous tense:
I will be regretting the KFC I just ate on the throne later tonight. (Do you really want further explanation of this? I thought not.)
Technically, all of the above are mixed tense thanks to the word "ate" but you get the point.
All KFC jokes aside, I have one main regret in my life and it's that I didn't get a job sooner. You see four major car repairs drained what was up until June, decent savings and left me with no choice but to take a job in a call center.
Call center work doesn't have to be bad and yet I've never worked for a company that made it good. The job, in and of itself, isn't bad, especially if it was really about customer service. But it's not about customer service. It's about sales. Remember this the next time you internet or TV or phone service provider. When you are routed to sales, you are being routed to "sales and service." More often than not you will get sales but not service. It's like a magicians trick and of course the bill you get after you asked for help lowering your bill will actually result in an increase.
Sales is not always a sly business, but it usually is. It focuses on buzz words like "value" and "you" and results in customers not being told about early termination fees, not because the reps wouldn't tell, but they're not trained to tell you. And they have crappy jobs where their scheduled changes, they are not notified of the changes and get written up when they are late. To be clear, this has not happened to me; its just an experience I read about on Glassdoor but is in keeping with my previous call center experiences. The training class I started out with began with 32 people and we are down to nineteen. That means eighteen hopeful employes are busting with excitement to serve you. I don't count because this is not my first or second time at a call center.
But rest assured, if you get me on the phone, you will get customer service. I know how to do things other reps have no clue about, but are integral to the job. I also know giving customer service will not result in job security. So, if you ever wondered why, when you call for customer service, you get a lot of miss-information and pot-luck, and reps who won't help this is why. Giving you real customer service will affect their handle time, their sales quotas or transfer rates. Also they were taught what to say, things like "I will help you" or "I will fix your problem" but they were not to HOW actually help or fix anything. In fact, very little of the training, whether it be one week or eight, will have prepared them to help you.
If you read my blog, you know I am not a negative person, but about this I am extremely jaded. So, some words of advice:
If you want to order services, whether it be a phone or TV do it online.
If you must call, ask for the reps ID before you do anything else. Write this number down along with the date and time you called. If they refuse you, call back until you find a rep who offers it freely.
If the rep you get doesn't seem to know anything, hang up and call back. Call back until you get a straight answer. Do not wait thirty days or until whenever.
If you have a $900 dollar bill and someone says they can't do anything, they really can't. If you're owed money, the amount is probably over their limit and their manager's limit. But somebody can do something. Call back. Eventually, you'll find the person who knows where to send your account to.
If your account is placed under investigation, call back and confirm that it was indeed placed under-investigation. This will be noted in the account and it really may take 30 to 60 days to get a credit applied. Pay your recurring service charges and no more. You can't be disconnected for a disputed balance as long as you keep everything else current... however, if the rep doesn't know how to set this up and/or does not notate your account... goodbye service; hello restoration fees.
However, if you keep track of the reps, their ID's and the dates and times you spoke to the rep, the call can be retrieved from the system. All you have to do is write a letter to the corporate office of said company and/or their legal department.
Unfortunately for the reps who mishandled your account this can mean termination. Don't worry too much, though. Most reps last less then three months before they quit are terminated for other arbitrary reasons.
But most of all, remember as you struggle to get good customer service over the phone, that reps do want to help you. But they can't due to a combination of poor training, misinformation, and policies that benefit the company, not you.
Finally, if you come across this and you need help with a crazy bill but can't get it. Email me. I'll be glad to help know what to do and when to do it.
And to the big corporations: There are ways to solve this if you really want to.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).