Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Phone "Support"

Yesterday I had to fight with our internet provider. Dealing with phone support is a special skill that I have. I'm good at it, but I don't like to do it. This is how I imagine the most talented barn-cleaner in the world feels.

Phone support is painful because your first contact isn't even human. It is an aggressively friendly female robot, who cannot understand anything I say.

I usually just keep pressing 0 until I can escape from this horrible invention. This brings you to the phone-underling:

This person cannot help you, (they also might not want to help you because they are confined to a small corral in a sticky chair and they resent your freedom) but in all likelihood they are simply unable to help you because their overlords don't give them any real power. If you are giving money to the company this person is easy to deal with, but if you want money back they are pretty much impossible to deal with.

It doesn't matter how reasonable your request is, the underling will act like you are asking for their first-born child. They will also tell you there is no possible way that your request can ever happen EVER, and when you ask to speak to their manager they will act like you are annoying and wasting everyone's time. Just keep asking for the manager and they will have to forward you on.

This brings you to overlord #1:

Overlord #1 is probably not to far from the corrals, but they have their own desk with a less sticky chair, thus they are often in a good mood and will frequently do what you want right away with no argument. (This is in spite of the fact that the underling told you that it was 100% IMPOSSIBLE FOREVER for this to happen.)

Sometimes though, (like when I wanted to not pay $600 to change a flight) the first overlord is a hard-nose.


You may feel discouraged, but take heart! You have a distinct advantage in that as long as you don't swear, or agree to hang up, the overlord cannot hang up on you. And even though this overlord pretends to be all tough, they are actually all soft. You see, they have grown accustomed  to not being on the phone all day. Their chair is soft, and Candy Crush is calling to them.

So grab a snack and prepare to filibuster until you get your way. At this point I like to imagine that I am a D-list celebrity like Kim Kardashian. If she wanted to get out of a cancellation fee, or make a tiny change to her flight do you think they would hassle her about it? No. My dad didn't even help OJ Simpson get away with murder, so I deserve at least as good of treatment as Kim does.

If this overlord steadily insists that they cannot help you, you should start to ask for their supervisor. Sometimes they will be crafty and say, "I am the manager here." but you can easily get around this by asking, "And there is no one, in the entire company to whom you report?" or, "Well I need to talk to someone who has the authority to make this exception." If they have the authority to help you they will do it to avoid sending you up to Overlord #2. (Also having authority appeals to them and they will secretly get a little excited at the opportunity to use their slight powers.)

If they send you to Overlord #2, your troubles are soon to be over because #2 has a super comfy chair, almost never talks to customers, and is very easily persuaded to give you money. Good luck!

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