There are two kinds of phone calls that one receives throughout one's busy day: calls from people you like (i.e. family & friends) and calls from people you don't like (everybody else). More often than not, I have a tendency to get the latter, be it on my personal phone or work phone.
Today's post is about a call featuring both phones.
When it comes to answering phone calls from people I don't like, my default phone manner is super aggressiveness, specifically, sugary-sweet to the point of making anyone with earshot desperately chew it back.
This past Thursday (10/1), I received a phone call from Ally, the super smart folks who handle my my perpetually late car payments. Now, I'm very used to getting phone calls and letters from them about my perpetually late car payments, and frankly, it doesn't bother me. I always abuse the grace period given because when you're functioning with one paycheck, you learn quickly to prioritize your bills.
Anyways, back to the phone call.
I have crappy reception where I work, so the 1st phone call lasted about one minute before I hung up (I don't do scripted stupid very well). I went back to my cube, took out the # from my phone, and dialed. A side note: while censorship is a serious concern, self-censorship can be a life saver, especially if you're dealing with a business you don't like on the phone at work.
So after getting the prelims out of the way (name, mail addy, s.s.#), we moved onto the main event. Now, my philosophy in dealing with Ally is to admit and agree to every possible bad thing that they would say is happening.
1} late payments? check;
2} potential hit to credit? check;
3} added finance charges? check;
4} problems with future loans? check;
Somehow, when you admit to, agree to and say that you are comfortable with all of the bad things happening, it throws them for a major loop. They don't know how to respond to that as it's not part of their script. In fact, after I'd stated the following items:
1} one income family;
2} paycheck supports family of five (four actually, but who's counting);
3} bills have to be prioritized (gas and electric first, everything else second)'
4} can't get anyone to refinance;
5} not worried about my car being repoed because I'm making payments every month, untimely as they are.
In fact, the only thing that she could suggest/ask was if I wanted to make a payment over the phone. I told her as a rule, I don't do EFTs.
Believe it or not, this phone call went on like this for about 13 minutes, with me reiterating multiple times those previous nine+ bullet points and her agreeing with me yet reiterating the questions that I had already agreed with. Finally, I attempted to end the call by saying, "Look, I have to get back to work. So, if you don't have anything new to add/suggest in this conversation, I'll have end this call."
Believe it or not, this last part went on for another two minutes, with her agreeing with me, then attempting to reiterated her previous points, and me politely repeating what I'd just said. Finally, I just hung up on her in mid-sentence and ended the call.
Sadly, this is a scenario that is repeated about every three to four months or so, simply because it has to be. I did find out this time around that I have 32 perpetually late payments left to make, so ultimately that was the one piece of new information that was gleaned from this tiresome phone call.
I wouldn't suggest this as a line of defense when talking to a bank, but really, it does throw the CSR for a major swerve when you take away their main line of conversation.
(c) 2015 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.