So there I was, all sippin' my water and enjoying my morning at work when the phone rang. I answered in my normal way, "Good Morning! Thank you for calling Company X, this is the bleach blonde, how may I help you?" The obviously brain damaged person on the other end (I could tell he was brain damaged by his voice) said, "I was calling for extension 999." "Oh! Well in that case, you've reached extension 999, and how may I help you?"
I'm sorry I was polite. I really am. Because what I was about to encounter was the most wretched phone conversation I've ever had with a customer of Company X in the 12 years I've been there. He started in on me immediately, "I got a letter you sent saying that you weren't raising our fees by 6% but instead by only 3% this year and I did the math on it compared to last year and clearly you don't do math very well." Oh - okay sure - it's possible there was a billing error, let me look at that for you and yes - I did hold back on your annual increase because that's the kind of nice bitch I am. So I check it out and notice that it really was only a 3% increase per line item, but they had added two additional products to their bag of goodies since last year and that was why the TOTAL was more than 3%. So I explained this to the brain damaged rocket scientist on the other end of the phone and asked if there were any other mysteries I could solve for him today. He made some snide comment under his breath and I asked him to please speak up as I couldn't hear him. He commented about how we made him sick and hung up.
My phone immediately rang again - so like an alzheimer's patient, I pick the damn thing up - and it's him again - only this time he's a DRUNK brain damaged rocket scientist and he's belligerant and yelling at me and telling me how worthless we are and how our products provide no benefit to his company. I suggest that we cancel a few of the products in his goodie bag if indeed they serve no purpose. I then suggested I speak to his boss since his boss frequently references for us and has also allowed us to print written testimonial regarding their satisfaction in our marketing material. Then the drunk says, "I suppose you're charging me for THIS call right now?" I am not a lawyer sir, I work for Company X and it provides a product to you which your organization has approved purchase of and all indicators show satisfaction with those products. If there are problems that I'm unaware of - let's get those out in the open now so I can resolve them.
But he won't let up - for 45 minutes he ripped me a new asshole and belittled and berated me and my beloved Company X. At one point, he briefly sobered up and apologized and said he was just frustrated by bills. I empathized with him and just as I thought we were kissing and making up, he must have swilled back another shot of liquid courage, because he again lashed out at me - screaming and calling us ridiculous, stupid, nickel and diming company and blah blah blah. He then suggested we offer our services at NO charge. Because THAT is a GREAT way to make a profit. What is your title there, sir? I'm the CFO. Oh - so do you offer free product and services to your customers also? NO - he does not - but THAT is different -
By this time, I'd really lost my patience with him and again suggested we get his boss, who approves all purchases, on the line to hash this out. He AGAIN suggested that I would charge him for that conversation. I looked back through all of his invoices- they'd never been charged for any additional services - we'd comped everything. Then he again suggested we offer one of our services online - then under his smart assed breath he said, "of course you would never do that because then you couldn't charge me." Sick of his bullshit, I said, "Sir, I can assure you I would find a way to charge YOU for that if it were online."
I've got a call in to his boss and when I get him on the horn, he will be told that the whole conversation, attitude and behaviour was atrocious and inexcusable and I NEVER NEVER NEVER WANT TO HEAR THAT FUCKER ON MY PHONE AGAIN AND IF I DO - I WILL CANCEL YOU AS A CUSTOMER.
I think he likely wanted to renegotiate his fees lower - to which I would have been happy to do - HAD he approached me in a professional, polite and respectful manner. I do it all the time: "Yo! Bleach blonde - things are pretty tight here in the industry - can you throw me a bone on this annual fee?" Sure thing brotha! And we kiss and hug and make out and move on. But this guy approached me ALL wrong. ALL wrong. And I wasn't about to even suggest lowering his fees because of his asinine attitude and mouth.
Then I left for a 10 day vacation. I think I deserve it. (but before I left, I made a note to NEVER give him anything for free again - EVER - AND to DOUBLE his rates next year.)