This call may be recorded = victory

We all have experienced the awfulness of businesses demanding that we engage them via telephonic means to resolve an issue caused by the business in question. And we have all heard the generic IVR greeting that somehow navigated the slalom of focus groups, legalese enthusiasts and managers that stated that our words were potentially subject to digital immortalisation. 

Alas, the word may is a misnomer – your call will be recorded. The statement you heard as the call commenced isn’t false, however it is terribly dishonest:

Your call may be recorded for quality and coaching purposes does not exclude your call being recorded for any other of a multitude of purposes. Your call will definitely be recorded for legal and business purposes – semantically this happening is completely consistent with the message you endured as a customer upon calling to ensure that the particular form of fuckery that some particular business offered to inflict on you at least didn’t burn down your house or exfoliate your perineum with a belt sander.

The psychology of observance

Having a colleague, boss, sibling, parent, friend or other eyeball owner hover on one’s shoulder as one acts is typically considered an act of scrutiny by many and for good reason – there is an association between examination and confirmation of correctness. 

Alas, I have heard from many friends, family members and random people that I yell “your call will be recorded!” in the general direction of that the statement gives them pause – the idea of review and scrutiny can serve to demand some level of compliance to some arbitrary set of unspoken norms that are leveraged all too often.

And this is a problem.

Call recorded = victory

As this Arsehole has stated previously, one of your greatest assets is information. More specifically, as a customer you are in a position to expect that statements made to you are representative of the organisation you have engaged with and you can demand that such representations are executed.

There are two very recent examples that have served this Arsehole well on behalf of his Arseholly self and his family that reduce to a simple question.

Why are your customers paying for your company’s mistakes??!?

Example 1 – really?

My parents decided that they’d visit the UK before the island cut itself off from Europe for reasons that are best characterised as refusing to recognise that we’re all human beings and comprised of the same fucking stuff.

Alas, due to some changes being made by the airline that would carry my family from London to the US, the mile and status earn owed to my parents was hamfisted into oblivion in a fashion comparable to George Lucas’s insistence that Ewan McGregor surrender the ability to emote and act in Episode 2 and 3.

As I’m a completely reasonable human being I suggested that my Dad call the airline the mile and status earn was being credited to and inform them of the situation. The call boiled down to:

  • Yes, we see that the fare has not been credited properly – we’ll fix it.
  • Yes, your wife’s account will also be credited

Alas, only one of these things happened – there have now been multiple conversations with the people answering the calls we make, and they are ill-equipped to actually assist, regularly falling back on policy.

The moment a mention of “pull up the recording of my previous call” is mentioned, acquiescence comes more quickly than my cats do when my voice goes up by an octave.

The actual cunting fuck!?!

My parents decided that they’d fly north toward a den of boganality and my homeland’s bestest rollercoasters. As they’re not savages, they opted to fly at the front of the plane and upgrade with the multitude of point/mile earnings they’ve secured. Of importance in this example is the fact that the airline flown and the loyalty program involved are directly associated and promoted singularly.

Alas, this encouraged behaviour resulted in 2 of the 4 flights involved earning absolutely nothing in terms of points/miles and status recognition. When questioned, the response was:

  • Yes, we know that there is an issue
  • Yes, we will fix it

Alas, this did not happen:

  • Multiple phone calls were required to ensure that the conditions of the fares purchased were honoured
  • To date (15/Dec/2019), the promises of those conditions being honoured have not been fulfilled
  • At each interaction, staff have attempted to cite policy in an attempt to refute their employer’s responsibilities

These examples serve as an archetypal basis for holding companies to account – staff are disempowered, stated expectations are discarded and indifference is expected.

To quote my dad, there’s a lot to be said about getting some cunt about you.

As much cunt as you get about you though, please don’t be an Arsehole.