We have a customer who asked for a simple change of some details on her account. She provided very few details, not enough for our normal accounts staff to identify her, and certainly not enough to authenticate that she is really the customer. We asked for the account number as confirmation and she started getting cross saying we were being unnecessarily bureaucratic and that she did not have it. As it happens she then sent a separate email on a different ticket with a copy invoice but that was not being handled the the same person and so she was asked again for the account number. At no point did she actually simply state "my account number is A1234A" (for example) but eventually we got the details and made the changes for her.
Annoying, a bit of a communications breakdown, but at least it was all sorted, or so I thought.
She is now ranting about reporting us to a regulator, and eventually got past "the regulator we report to", OFCOM, and "the organisation that we report to that represents OFCOM", to the fact that there is an ombudsman she can take disputes to. Her gripe is that we (myself and accounts staff) were rude to her!
Well, I am not a person to ask about rude. I find it hard to tell when something is rude or not and am well known for sarcasm and tactlessness. I am, I think, blunt to put it tactfully! This is why it is best if complaints don't get as far as me :-) It has on previous occasions got positive responses from customers and defused complaints quite well. Not this time!
Well, what do you do? I have spoken to the staff and they seem to agree that in their personal opinion she is a pain in the arse and has a screw loose. She takes up a lot of time apparently. Well - they are entitled to their opinion aren't they and I'm not naming her! So I am sure our loyal customers would rather we did not waste resources on stupid complaints and queries that just go on and on, so I've decided to give her 30 days notice, as we can. Its a shame if a business relationship breaks down and I would rather not, but that's life.
Even so, she is still adamant about reporting us to OTELO for being rude. WTF?
To quote from my last email to her...
There is no point in taking a complaint like this to some "higher authority". This is not school. This is real life.Anyway, I have provided her with a migration code, which technically we don't have to do if there is a pending cease on the line. I've also asked OTELO to confirm they don't consider complaints of being "rude". Basically such a complaint cannot realistically go anywhere. What could OTELO do. Rude is not technically wrong is it, in any legal sense? The most that she could ask for is an apology and as OTELO costs us either way why would I give one?
In real life people can be rude to other people and that is tough! Its a shame, but that is life. Sorry if this is a hard lesson for you.
What outcome do you think you could get by taking this matter to the ombudsman? Do you think we will be "dragged before the headmaster and told off". It does not work like that. We have a contract with you and we have adhered to that and so have you. That is all you can expect in life.
I believe your accusations are unfounded anyway, but that is beside the point. If we have been rude - so what? You were very rude to my staff in your emails for no good reason, so I suggest you take a life lesson here and drop it!
Did I do bad?
BTW I think this is the first customer I have actually sacked in over 12 years of trading!