Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I hate doing Customer Service

aka Michelle tries really hard not to tell vendors to kick bricks

I wasn't asked if I was interested in doing customer service at work, I was informed this is what I would be doing. It was a promotion that didn't come with a raise so I am even more cranky about it. But the vendors? They are a special brand of stupid some days. These are my examples from today:

Me: Company, this is Michelle.
Vendor: I'm calling from a collection agency, what was your name?
M: Michelle. And who am I speaking with?
V: A collection agency, I need to have payment made today for a vendor of yours.
M: And who am I speaking with?
V: I told you, a collection agency. The invoice number is 1094930
M: And what company is this for?
V: Are you going to pay by check or credit card?
M: *gritting teeth* Which company is this invoice for? I can not authorize payment, someone from the project will have to get back to you.
V: *snippy tone* I will be calling back tomorrow to collect your payment, have it ready. Good day.

What the Eff was that?!?! And the invoice number she gave was a popular invoice number so the system had 9 different invoices, I have no idea what vendor she was calling on behalf of.

M: Company, this is Michelle.
V: This is Keith with Company X. I talked to you the other day and you gave me an AFT confirmation number. You sent it to the wrong account.
**research the situation, yes we made a mistake**
M: I need to send you a Lost Check/Misapplied Funds Form and have you fill it out.
V: No, I am not.
M: It just covers us both for future reference. I just need you to sign that you did not receive the payment.
V: And I told you no I am not. Why should I fill out a form when you paid the wrong account? I am not taking any responsibility for your failure to do your job.

Oh, great, this is how today is going to go.

Let's go check the emails from the vendors.

First one is actually courtesy of a processor within the company, lecturing me on something I did not do and had no way to access to see what the problem was. He ends his email with "In the future, please correct your actions so we are not having this situation arise again. It is too time consuming for me." Guess what? It was time consuming for me to read your email, decipher what most of it said and then forward it to my manager so she could in return tell you that you were wasting MY time.

Next up is the vendor that informs me she has requested a follow up "at least seventy five times". Uh, once. You have requested a follow up ONCE. And as I was cc'd on the reply I know for a fact you received your follow up.

Then I get the phone call that resulted in an afternoon lost.

V: I need to get payment status on invoice 123.
M: I don't have this invoice in the system, will you please forward to me.

She does, I get it. It is not made out to our company. I call her back.
M: I received invoice 123 but it says Company B, not Company. I don't know who this company is.

She apologizes and fifteen minutes later, I get another email with the same invoice atached. Only this time it says it is billed to Company B care of Company. Seriously? *sighs*

I call her back, explain this is not doable. We are not Company B, I have no idea who Company B is. She is huffy but says fine. Next thing I know another email comes in. Now it says Company B / Company.

I forward it to a processor so they can see what is going on, I am told to tell the vendor that we are not responsible for this invoice, we are NOT Company B. But the processor also says to email it to her manager to see what he thinks. I call the vendor back, she is pissed at this point. "Oh you are responsible, I invoiced it to your company, you have to pay it." That is the calmest part of the phone call.

As I'm leaving this afternoon the manager has emailed her and cc'd all involved inquiring why this invoice is being sent to us, clearly any one can see that we are not Company B. I can hardly wait for the response.

Kick bricks, vendors, kick bricks. I loathe them all!

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