That’s not what I heard

I hate having to call up customer service for anything customer service related. The wait time is way too long. I just wanted a simple question answered so why do I have to wait so long for a simple answer. My calls to customer service are rarely ever pleasant. But this time around, it wasn’t too bad.

I checked my Visa statement this morning and saw that Bell Sympatico charged my credit card for my monthly internet service. The thing that struck me as odd was the amount that was charged. Normally, I would be paying $49.93 a month but this charge was for the amount of $58.25. I was curious about the price increase because I should be getting my first month free. I called up customer service to find out where the extra $10 came from.

The first thing that I hate about calling customer service is that stupid lady that comes on the phone and tells you what button to press to make sure you’re speaking with the right person. I tried to skip all of that by pressing zero a few times. But they make “changes to the system to better serve us” all the time so a zero doesn’t always guarantee that you will reach an actual representative. For Bell Sympatico, they asked me to enter my telephone number to verify if I’m an existing customer or not. Then they ask me to enter my PIN, which I don’t know and don’t enter. After not entering my PIN, the system thanks me for entering my PIN and asks me to wait.

After pressing the necessary combination of buttons, you have to wait about five minutes before someone takes your call. During those five minutes, they play the most boringiest music that I’ve ever heard. Yes, boringiest is a word. The bad thing about it is that some of those songs are rather catchy and I find myself humming along, only to be caught off guard when a representative answers the call.

Sometimes, while you’re waiting, there’s that automated voice that comes on to inform you that “due to higher than normal call volumes, your call has been placed in priority sequence.” I don’t know how they prioritize our calls since the system asked which department I wanted to speak with. I think that the more buttons you press the more the system sense your urgency and raises your priority. But I could be wrong.

My call today call lasted just less than thirty minutes. Out of those thirty minutes, I would estimate that I spend about twenty five minutes on hold. From my past experiences at Rogers, I know that when you’re placed on hold, the representative can still hear you. All they did was press a button so that you can’t hear them. They probably disguise it with that hold music. My conversation with the representative went as follows.

Rep: Hello! My name is Shawn. How may I help you today?
Me: Yes, I have a little question regarding my most recent invoice.
Rep: One moment, I’ll have that invoice pull up to the screen here.
a few second pause…
Okay, I’m all ears.
Me: Right. There is a charge here on my credit card for the amount of $58.25. Normally, my monthly invoice comes out to $49.93 so I was wondering if you can tell me why there was an increase.
Rep: Sure. Let me have a look here.
more pauses…
Okay. I don’t see a record of that charge being made. I see here that there’s an invoice for $37.75 but that’s not supposed to be deducted until November.
Me: Well, I recently signed a new contract. Would that change the account number in any way?
Rep: No. Even if it did, that account should be linked to your new one.
Me: What about this? The regular charge for $49.93 was by BCE-Sympatico Internet in Montreal, Quebec and the charge for $58.25 was by BCE-Sympatico Internet in Ottawa, Ontario.
Rep: No, the location doesn’t make a difference. I just can’t seem to find a record for that payment. How about this? I’ll put you on hold for two minutes and I’ll look around to see if I can find where that charge came from.
Me: Sure, I’ll hold.
I was on hold for ten minutes.
Rep: Hello Don. Thanks for holding. Did you recently lend your credit to someone to make a purchase?
Me: No, not that I… Well, there was this one time at Futureshop. About a few weeks ago, I used my credit card as a credit check for a friend, to help them sign up for Sympatico.
Rep: And that name of that person?
Me: Yvette.
Rep: Yes, that’s right. It appears that you’re paying for her internet service.
Me: Say what? Come again?
Rep: When you used your credit card at Futureshop, they use that credit card as billing information for that account. I couldn’t find a record of that charge on your account so I ran a search for your credit card number and sure enough, there was a record of that card on the other account.
Me: But the sales rep said that I wouldn’t be charged anything on my card.
Rep: That’s the second time I’ve heard that today. Yeah, that’s what they did. What I would recommend is that you call up Yvette and have her call us to get the billing information changed over to her name. As for the $58.25, I would suggest you ask her to pay you that amount because to reverse the charges through us would give you more headaches.
Me: Damn it, I knew that sales rep didn’t know what he was talking about.
Rep: Yeah, you might want to call up Futureshop and give them heck for this. They seem to be doing this a lot. But what’s important is that you get a hold of Yvette and ask her to give us a call so we have this straightened out.
Me: Oh, of course. I’ll have that done.

The sales rep at Futureshop said that they would not charge my credit card for the registration of my friend’s internet account. The credit card was only used for credit checking purposes and it was used to verify the credit rating. I wasn’t supposed to be charged a penny. He didn’t mention anything about using my credit card for billing information for my friend’s account. My friend didn’t even want to use my credit card to do the credit check because she’s not a fan of credit cards but since the sales rep said that my credit card wasn’t going to be charged anything we agreed to it.

Futureshop needs to start hiring people who knows what they’re selling. Some of the workers there don’t have a clue about the product. When I applied to be a Sales Rep, they asked me nothing about my selling skills. They kept asking about my goals and how I planned to achieved them. My goal at the time was to graduate from college. But apparently, that goal wasn’t good enough for them because I never got the job. They were looking for someone who was more ambitious because they wanted a Sales Rep who is eager to achieve success and wealth. I was eager to achieve wealth too, that was why I applied for the job. I was a college student and I needed money. But I would rather choose my education over money any day. If that wasn’t a good enough answer for the interviewers then I’m glad I didn’t get the job.