From: Capital of Nasty Distribution 
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 00:21:18 -0500
Subject: Capital of Nasty IV.17

Capital of Nasty Electronic Magazine
Volume IV, Issue 17, AD MCMXCIX
Monday, November 29, 1999
ISSN 1482-0471

"In the Beginning there was nothing, which exploded".
-- Melissa De Wilde




4.  Who did you talk to?
By cult hero

        I forget if it was a bank or Credit Card Company or the phone 
company that I was 'talking' with. I think anyone nearby would have 
classified it as an argument from the tone and volume of my voice. 
Until this phone call it never really hit me how often this happened, 
and how much anger it brought out of me. The snotty 'service agent' 
on the other side had asked me a single question, designed 
exclusively to give them a reason not to help you. "Do you remember 
who you talked to?"
        Of course I didn't. Whatever agent I had spoken to three 
months ago might as well have been a conversation seventeen years 
ago. The conversation today reminded me that during the previous 
conversation, the other agent had explicitly told me of a policy or 
something else they were able to do for me. The agent today said 
otherwise. At this point I stopped my sarcastic replies and realized 
that this question was asked of me more and more.

        It's amazing that despite the incredible technology we have, 
large companies still do little tracking in regards to customer 
interaction. When you call in to make a change in your account or ask 
about one thing or another, the company will often log it. 
Unfortunately, few will log who you talked to. This is absurd since 
they will dutifully quiz you on just that during subsequent calls. If 
you make a call in January and talk to Sue, she may tell you that the 
bank will credit your account or that the car rental place will let a 
24-year-old rent a car. When you check your statement or try to rent 
the following month, problems arise.
        Now you find yourself talking to Bob who shows no record of 
any such credit, or any such exception to policy. It's a matter of 
minutes before Bob will ask the loaded question: "Do you remember who 
you spoke to"? This is done under some stupid pretense that the given 
name of who you previously spoke with will magically resolve the 
situation. Bob acts like this name can be put into the computer and 
results will pour forth. 
        When the question is asked, you really have three options in 
answering this believe it or not. Each has its own merit:

1. If the person is reasonable, you can try the logic 
approach. "Bob, there are over ten thousand employees
in your organization right now. Do you really know
them all by first name? Will me giving you some arbitrary
name really resolve my problem?" The downside to this
approach is that you are admitting you don't remember
whom you spoke with.

2. Turn the question back on Bob. "Gee Bob, your customer 
tracking system should show who I spoke with since she 
failed to give her name." I would hazard a guess that 
often times they DO know who you spoke with, they just 
don't want to volunteer that name since it does nothing 
to resolve the current problem.

3. "I talked to Jane." Of course Bob knows Jane right? And 
no, you didn't get her last name. Let Bob figure that 
part out. When Bob comes back to you with continued 
failure to resolve the issue, you can explicitly say that 
customer satisfaction will only come if you can talk to 
Jane or if Bob can honor Jane's promises.

Each answer's mileage will vary based on who you are speaking to. The 
fundamental thing to remember here is that question is designed to 
give the company an 'out' for providing customer service. Don't let 
this tactic throw you off or weaken your argument. Be prepared to 
fire back with your own shots. Manage their expectations and customer 
service is still attainable.

	So if these companies start to stick you with the blame simply 
because you were so irresponsible and forgot a name, take a deep 
breath and continue. Put sarcasm aside (as tempting as it may be to 
flame the ever loving hell out of them) and play the part of the 
innocent customer.
A customer that is very sure of himself and remembers with 100% 
certainty that he spoke with 'Jane' so long ago. Let them figure the 
rest out.


cult hero looks like an ordinary, over worked, computer genius know-
how.  However, deep undercover, he and the followers of his cult, 
spread fear and terror in the hearts of spammers.



Brought to you by C.C.C.P. (Collective Communist Computing Proletariat)
Leandro Asnaghi-Nicastro          Colin Barrett

ZimID 708EC8D1  1994/09/14 EC B0 97 59 1D FE 7C 32  7E 04 2C 66 47 41 FB 7D