Anonymous asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 10 years ago

Why are people so damn rude it makes me sick?

I work in a call centre. When the phone rings it seems as if I expected to know that customers life story when they call. Two examples today have made seriously consider resigning as I am just sick of this sort of tolerated abuse. Management suggest that they are having a go at the company and not you personally but in most cases, it TURNS into an INDIRECT attack against you for being able to do nothing about.

Example: A woman called in and claimed she had spoken to someone about cancelling her policy and there was a fee. She asked if this could be wavere. To give you a heads up, all of this is explain prior to recieving the insurance but she claimed she got it online. It details IN FULL online the terms and conditions as well as the privacy policy which ALL CUSTOMERS are required to read before agreeing to purchase the insurance. I understand that some people don't read the terms and conditions but when those ters and conditions are pointed out and you realize that you DO NOT have a leg to stand on, you should just accept it with grace. This is how the conversation went.

ME: Good Afternoon. (Company) Insurance, (My name) speaking. How may I help you?

Customer: I have just been speaking to one of your colleagues and they claim that I have to pay a cancellation fee for my policy. Is this true?

ME: Yes. It's one months premium, unless you're in the 14 day cancellation period.

Customer: That's a con isn't it?

ME: I can have a look and see what the situation is on your policy if you like?

Customer: YES you do that- I'm actually quite busy. This is just silly!

ME: Okay I can see your coming to the end of your policy year and so the cancellation fee does apply.

Customer: WHAT?! Oh for goodness, can't you just waive the cancellation fee. I've paid enough money to your company.

ME: Unfortunately it..


ME: Madam if - (she hung up!)

I was really annoyed with her. She took her anger out completely out on me and claimed she was going to complain about me personaly for doing my job. She completely spoke down to me and treated me like a dogsbody and didn't acknowledge the fact that I was being polite or that I was trying to help her or anything, she just shouted at me, insulted me and then hung up.

Example 2: A man calls to make an ammendment on his policy. It turned out he had an expired policy as he hadn't renewed.

(Introduction stage over)

Customer: Hi, I'd like to ammend XYZ on my policy.

ME: Ok. One moment please..

(2 moments later..)

ME: Er sir, your policy has expired.

Customer: No it hasn't.


Me: According to our system, the policy expired in September.

Customer: No it hasn't.

ME: I'm afraid it has Sir.

Customer: What?

ME: I'm afraid the policy expired in September.

Customer: (In a low, husky, angry voice) If your telling me i've been driving around without no insurance, i'll go off my rocker.

ME: I've afraid it's true Sir! Two letter was sent to your home address for a renewal and from our records there was no response.


ME: Sorry?


ME: Sir could you please lower your tone?


ME: Sir, I will get you the manager but could you-

Customer: GET ME THE MANAGER! MANAGER! MANAGER! MANAGER! MANAGER! (Inaudible, something about a manager).

ME: I can't hear you Sir!

Customer: What's your name? Oh forget it, i'll call someone else to get me the manager.

(Hangs up).

Surely I don't have to put up with this abuse. If I was physically/verbally abused as train staff on a train, the passenger would get kicked off. Surely, I don'thave to take this just because the customer is on the other end of the phone.

Sorry for it being so long!!

14 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It was fascinating to hear first-hand what call center employees have to tolerate. I hope that the majority of the calls you handle are more sedate than these!

    What might help a little: A few more "good lines". You company has already trained you in courteous responses, and that's good, but words like, "Let me bring up your records, and we'll see if we can get this straightened out" might get things off to a good start.

    "Unfortunately" many customers know perfectly well that they're on shaky ground when they call, and figure they have nothing to lose by going ballistic, and maybe something to gain. The worst of these calls get passed along to managers, so they do know what you're going through. The greater number of calls you can handle without needing to get a manager involved, the better you're doing your job. You might want to keep a record of calls successfully and calmly resolved, versus those problem calls. It'll probably make you feel a little better to recall the better ones, especially what you said and did to achieve a good outcome.

  • julz
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    A lot of people react to hearing things that they don't understand with anger, rather than asking questions or attempting to resolve the problem. Personally, I think this behavior is more appropriate to a developmentally disabled child or a caveman or animal, but a lot of people in the public do so. There's really nothing you can do about it because this is best way they know to conduct themselves. I used to have a job where I had to put up with this kind of nonsense a lot. I am now in a job where I have very little customer contact and feel a lot less job stress. Maybe it would help you to do the same.

  • 10 years ago

    They were both rude. Unfortuantely, people are like that; no way to stop those who insist they are right. I wouldn't even bother asking a customer to lower thier voice; that only irritates hot-heads even more. It's the nature of customer service, so you really can't let it get to you. People like that want to act like thye can get you in trouble, but assuming all calls are taped and you follow protocol, you have nothing to worry about. However, hopefully there are at least 10 nice customers to every rude one.

  • Misty
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    You're kidding, right? You need to take some customer service classes in how to defuse anger. Or else get another job. Because that is not going to stop. It's your problem to learn how to deal with it. If the lady wanted the fee waived, transfer her to someone who can, because you know you can't. Don't stay on the phone with her and waste her time. Why didn't you just transfer the guy to the manager instead of arguing with him? It sounds like you don't have very good phone skills. Don't just say, "your policy expired." You went back and forth with this guy over nothing and you gave him nothing to back up what you said. You need to say something like, "let me look that up, okay, policy #-----, effective date / / / , was paid up until / / / and then we received no further payment. A letter was sent to Mr. -------, at [address] on / / /, and again on / / /, but as of today, we have not received a response. Did you mail in the payment? If you have your cancelled check or your bank statement showing that you sent payment, then we can correct this." It's no wonder people get frustrated with you. You want to prove that you are right instead of just helping the customer obtain their objective. You'll be a lot happier in your job if you turn your perspective around. Who are you hurting by getting upset?

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Your managers are right; the people are mad at the company and are taking it out on you.

    No, this does not sound pleasant, but it you can't let these things roll off your back then you should find another job.

    Also, when someone asks to speak to your manager, you should get the manager for them immediately. I don't know why you were stalling in the second scenario. You should have transfered him to the manager right away. By not doing so, you actually provoked the rest of his outburst.

  • 10 years ago

    I enjoyed reading this.

    It made me realise other people have jobs they don't always enjoy.

    I think everything you said to the customers was correct and well said, however, do not take their anger personally. They are angry at themselves for being so stupid or the company. But not you. Just listen to all they say and be polite to all. When a customer becomes aggressive, I believe it is fine for you to hang up, tell them to call back when they've calmed down,discuss this tactic with your managers


  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Many people live in fear which is purposely created by our secret government, and as their fear and tension level continues to increase added to by reaction to earthquakes, wars, threats of terrorism, pandemics etc, some allow that fear and tension to affect their relationships with others, esp those in the *service* industries, who some see as public servants instead of people like themselves..

    I would say to you that you dont have choice as to how your *clients* behave and how they express themselves, but you DO have choice as to how you respond to that behaviour and whether you allow their rudeness and limitation to affect you!

    Of course, you can always choose to leave that job, although I can guess your response, but I can promise you that in the coming couple of years, the whole situation concerning how we obtain the money we need to survive will change COMPLETELY, and you will never need to worry about that again, as hard to believe as that might seem just now!..

    BIG changes are on their way, after this current dark and corrupt banking and societal system finally implodes, as it MUST to make way for something MUCH better for us all, for a new Golden age will commence in 2012!..I joke not!..I*m aware of Angels and they DO tell the whole truth, unlike our govts, the media and, sadly, religion!

    I suggest it might be beneficial to learn about detachment, an important spiritual quality when living on 3D Planet Earth at this time!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    i agree that people are rude over the phone but i can understand where they are coming from..

    when somebody is angry and they haven't spoken to anyone about it, the first person they do talk to will get the ear taken off them. they will just let all their anger out on whoever they get to first.

    if this is upsetting you i do advise you get another job. i understand it must not be pleasant.

    consult your manager before you make any plans though. He/she could have a plan for you.

    hope i could help. xxx

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    did you not know this would be a part of your job when you applied in the first place?

    That doesnt sound fair to go through that.. and if you dont want to deal with it, find another job as soon as you can so you are not angry and stressed out all the time.

    people suck.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


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