Anyone who’s ever worked in tech support knows the first thing you have to ask is always, “Is the machine on?” The funny thing is, ESPs kind of know this by now, and in most cases, they get pretty pissed off and confused when you ask them. To make things go a little smoother, I started asking ESPs if there are lights on their receivers because “machine” and “on” was just a bit too much for your typical ESP. That still wasn’t foolproof, as they wouldn’t just get pissed off and confused, but also would just say “yes” without fucking doing anything.
Now I ask them what color the lights are on the receiver to not only avoid pissing them off, but also to make them get off their fat asses and actually look. When they say, “None” that means it’s off. When they say, “What lights?” that means they’re lost and staring at the back of the fucking microwave. When they say, “You mean them blinky thingies?” that means there’s no hope in Hell of troubleshooting so I just need to send a tech.
Even though I find my sneaky method of finding out just how dumb people are in not being able to press power, there still is some pushback.
Customer: “I keep telling you the thing is on! Are you trying to ask me if I turned the damn receiver on?”
Winston: “Ma’am, if you could just look at the front of the receiver box and tell me what colored lights are lit up, that will give me a better idea of the state of your receiver box.”
Some people are just such raging assholes it’s ridiculous. They call up customer service and bully the reps into giving them what they want, all while verbally attacking and putting down the people that are helping them. I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that when they call me, I could give a fuck about their general existence on this earth, let alone their stupid fucking TV problems.
A call came in and must have been a cell phone, because it broke up a bit. I thought it sounded like some sort of salutation, but I wasn’t completely sure.
Winston: “I’m good, how are you?”
Customer: “What? I didn’t ask how you were. I asked if you have my account in front of you. Is that too much for you to handle?”
Winston: “I have your account here, what can I help you with?”
Customer: “Well then why don’t you look over my account and figure it out yourself?”
Apparently bitching is easy, but explaining is far too difficult.
Winston: “Well I see you’re trying to order a replacement remote.”
Customer: “No, I ordered a remote five times and five of you idiots failed. If they were working for me, they would all be fired. You are in a position of authority and you need to get this done NOW!”
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that elderly folks and technology don’t mix very well. A large portion of my tech calls are simply telling them to press the TV button on the remote. These should be easy calls, but getting to that button pushing moment usually takes about ten minutes. To the clueless and elderly ESP’s, the remote is some sort of mysterious device that should be feared. And you know when ESP’s get confused (all the fucking time), they get pissed…at me.
One of my biggest problems with angry old assholes and the remote is the lack of pressing the select button. Yeah, actually selecting an option instead of staring at the screen waiting for something to happen. This is especially frustrating when you’re troubleshooting, because you assume they’re following along with you, but they’re miles behind. If you say go to the TV menu, you would think that means pressing the menu button or selecting the menu option, right? No, apparently it’s a real fucking toughie. I’ve had a lot of confusion over this one over the years, but one was pretty bad. Old Dumbass could not unravel the mysteries of the remote for the life of him.
What do we all want? To save money and get our way, duh. Fear not, gentle reader, I’ve got the inside scoop on the customer service system. In Super Department, I know the ins and outs of every facet of the call center. Scroll down to learn how to manipulate the customer service system and get anything you want.
This will be a continuing series that will first appear in posts, and then permanently be placed in a page called “How To Guide.” The customer service system can be manipulated as long as you know how to do it. I know all the secrets of Telescreen and I’m happy to spill them all…
How To Get Out Of A Contract
Nothing is a bigger pain in the ass for me than angry ESP’s and their contracts. I would sympathize with people if they weren’t such assholes, because Telescreen really can fuck people over with early termination fees. Fortunately there are many exceptions to get out of a contract and one very secret exception that you will soon be privy too, gentle reader.
TV companies love to fuck you over immediately when you sign up for service by locking you into a lovely little contract. Some even require signing a contract while others only give good promotions to those with a new contract. If you hang out with the TV company for two years, you’ll doubtfully have any problems. But shit happens. Sometimes you need to move, you lose your job, or you decide to live off the grid for awhile. Or there are TV companies like Telescreen that suck and have really shitty service that deserves to be immediately replaced by any other service provider.
Yet if you cancel early and break that agreement, you’re looking at a hefty early termination fee. The amount you pay depends on how much time is left on the contract, but with Telescreen, that can run well over 400 bucks. Do you know how many beers you can buy with that? A lot, that’s how many.
The chances I believe a sob story from some Angry Asshole or any other ESP is about 5%. When I first started at Telescreen, I was young, naive, and ready to solve problems. You just lost your house? Of course I’ll cancel your account. You paid your bill even though we don’t show it was received? No problem, I’ll credit everything myself.
Then what happened was I wised up. Management was on my ass for breaking protocol. The customers were saying things that just didn’t add up. They didn’t want a solution, they just wanted to tell a dumb fucking story to get their way. So I realized I was going to call a bullshitter a bullshitter and wouldn’t believe a damn thing. That whole process happened in about an hour by the way.
Since I know 95% of the ESP customers are lying about something, I really enjoy calling them out on their lies. They claim they made a payment, so we call their bank and confirm they didn’t. They claim they sent back their receiver box, but we track it on the postal service website and see it hasn’t been sent. It’s a nice way of calling “bullshit” without actually saying “bullshit,” which is frowned upon in a call center.
One customer wasn’t just a bullshitter, she was a liar. Like a pathological liar. I don’t think she could’ve told the fucking truth if she tried. So I had no choice but to call “bullshit” every five fucking seconds. I’d say it was great to be right, but when dealing with an ESP, you’re always right. Unfortunately, the more wrong they are, the more pissed off they get.
I’ve noticed that I help ESP customers with more than just their TV service. I mean, I help them with life in general. ESP’s need a little more assistance with pretty much everything. Like walking ten feet, eating a bowl of Wheaties, or simply using a credit card.
Winston: “I’m sorry sir, but the credit card is still saying ‘declined’ in our system.”
Customer: “Well Hell, it’s brand spankin’ new, I have no idea why it won’t work.”
Winston: “Have you used it yet?”
Customer: “Well, no. I told ya, it’s brand new.”
Winston: “That might be the problem.”
Customer: “What, do I have to do something with a new card?”
Winston: “Yes, you have to activate it.”
Customer: “Activate it? I have to activate a credit card? How in Hell’s name do I do that?”
I won’t go into detail on how to activate a card, gentle reader. I know you’re intelligent and can figure out that the giant sticker on the card saying “Call to Activate” isn’t there for decoration.
As intelligent as loyal ESP readers are, there are always a few stupid people that slip through the cracks and land on the blog. The dumbasses have to get to ESP somehow, and this is how they’re doing it:
“Im Extermly Stoopid Rigth Now”
That’s for damn sure. Now what’s the goal of that search?
“Stupid Business Casual Hobo”
What? Are you saying business casual is stupid or inquiring how a hobo would dress in a corporate environment?
“Call Center Agents Are Assholes”
Only if they create blogs retelling stories about their interactions with stupid fucking customers.
“Stupid People And Computers”
Yeah, they don’t mix very well. Please see every post on the blog as proof.
Sometimes I get a call from someone, and all I can think is that the person must be a raging psycho. Like the fucking movie Psycho. Really. How thankful I am that people can’t murder me over the phone line. That is what I thought when I encountered a man we’ll call Norman Bates (the main character from Psycho, movie knowledge drop).
Winston: “Thanks for calling Telescreen, this is Winston, how may I help you?”
Customer: “Winston? Yeah, I was trying to get a hold of Jenny. Can you transfer me over to her?”
Winston: “Unfortunately it doesn’t look like she’s in today, but I can give you her direct extension if you’re ready for the number.”
Customer: “No that’s okay, can you just leave a message for her?”
Winston: “Not a problem, I’ll get an email right over to her.”
Customer: “Great. Could you please ask her why she’s so fucking stupid?”
I shit you not, verbatim, this fucking happened. A normal person would have been speechless, but to me, this was just another day. Little did I know what else lay ahead.
Sometimes employees don’t get mad, they get even. I plot pretty much every single day how I can get even with these idiotic assholes, but so far I’ve come up with nothing. One employee was much better at plotting than me and ended up getting pretty fucking even.
I’m on the phone with some raging bitch who’s pissed about something I don’t give a fuck about. She’s insistent on talking to a previous agent who was working with her the previous week.
Customer: “I need to speak with John, he promised me he would get a technician out here today!”
Winston: “Well let me see if I can track John down then.”
Customer: “No, you get up and you find him right now!”
See the demanding bullshit I deal with on a regular basis? I put the raging bitch on hold and tried to track down John, the poor employee that had to deal with this psycho. I looked him up in our directory, and it turned out he had just quit earlier in the week. Smart bastard. That’s par for the course as the turnover is fucking unreal at Telescreen.
Winston: “I’m sorry ma’am, but it looks like John quit earlier this week. I’m not sure if you had tried calling him…”
Customer: “You’re damn right I have! I’ve been trying to call him all week, why do you think I’m so frustrated? Every time I called that number, you know what I got? A phone sex line. S-E-X! You know, that porno stuff. Can you believe that?”