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Tales from a Call Centre #1: Liar Liar, Pants on Fire May 10, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants, Tales from a Call Centre.
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I’ve recently come to a realization that all call centres are full of liars. They’ll lie about when you’ll get your delivery, they’ll lie about the price of the stuff you’re getting, they’ll lie about why you keep getting blue screen on your system – heck they’ll lie just to get you off the phone so that they can log off 5 minutes before their shift ends.

I left the a really good sales job in a call centre because of the very same lying crap. We had a special promotion that fine week for Item X, which could be delivered within a week. With Christmas looming round the corner – the customers were going ape-nuts over the promotion, and clogging up our phone lines trying to place their orders.

I took a call from a guy somewhere in Australia, who didn’t want Item X, but something else – let’s call it Item A – which needed more than a week for delivery. However, Aussie guy wanted it in a week.

“Anything you can do to get it to me sooner? It’s for my son for Christmas,” he asked.

“No, I’m really sorry sir. I can get it to you after Christmas.”

“Are you sure? Can’t you do anything?”

“I can try, but it wouldn’t be fair if I promised you delivery before Christmas, and you don’t get it by then. Would it be alright if we could deliver it after?”

The guy thought for a bit, and made a decision. “I’ll have to cancel the order then.”

I could have made quite a bit from that one sale; IF I LIED.

But I didn’t. “Would you like to reconsider that?”

“No, thanks. I’ll have to go to Harvey Normans’ instead.”

So, I lost a customer, who went to pick up a sub-par item instead to make his kid happy.

My trainer asked me what happened. I told him.

“Why didn’t you just sell it to him anyway?” trainer – let’s call him Stripey, based on his wardrobe – questioned me.

“Er… because he’s going to get hell pissed when he gets the shipment waayyyy after Christmas….” I countered. “Then he’ll call, screaming for blood…”
You’ll never guess what he said to me next.

“If he calls, just put him through to Customer Service then. They’ll handle him, and you still get the sale.”

Biggest wtf moment ever. (There’s more, but I think I need to create a separate blog just for that). How do you justify lying and letting someone else clean up your mess, just for a damn sale?

So, 2 months later, I high-tailed out of there (why two months, you may ask? Because I needed to find another job first, of course) to a different state, and took a Hell Desk job.

But that’s a different story, for a different day.

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Comments»

1. John Hans - May 10, 2007

I believe that I may have worked in the same place as you or perhaps in a place similar to your previous workplace.

I have to agree with you when it comes to the dishonesty that is lingering in the air & I respect the fact that you are not like the others.

I just can’t imagine how some people can live with themselves with all the lying, just to make a sale. Imagine the trouble that a lot of customers had to go through as a result of it.

2. Alvin - May 15, 2007

Actually, most companies will do watever they can to sell off their products and get the $$, even if cheating the customers.

The problem is, these so-called companies do not think long term…or maybe it is the problem from the managers who want to impress the superiors but at the same time, do not think on behalf of the company.

Do they seriously think that I, as a customer, will go back to them for another new purchase if I found them cheating on me?

Guess most managers don’t tink that way :p


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