What’s the collective noun for morons?

What would say the collective noun for morons is?

If the last couple of weeks is anything to go by, the answer is ‘Call Centre’.

Like a lot of people, my partner had a store card with a very well known retailer of children’s clothing – at least up until January this years, when she paid off the balance and instructed the company to close the account.

Of course, children’s clothing retailers don’t run their own financial services departments, they outsource this kind of thing to a specialist company – in this case Creation Financial Services Limited, which is based in Solihull.

So all very simple then – my partner makes the payment, the company takes the payment and then closes the account.

But no, it’s not quite that simple… because they didn’t manage to do the last bit and close the fucking account – not that my partner was ever made aware of that small omission.

At the end of September, my partner suddenly receives an invoice showing a balance of £29.99 on this account for a single transaction which reads only as “cpp payment default’ – this being the first missive of any sort from this company since the account was ‘closed’.

So, naturally, she queries this using the only contact number she has to hand, which is the customer services department of the retailer – only to find that they haven’t got the foggiest idea what any of this is about. Nothing to do with us, contact Creation.

Oh, and by the time, the payment that she doesn’t owe the company is late, so that’s a £10 late fee (plus VAT) already added to a bill she doesn’t owe.

So, next we contact Creation – in writing. The reason we put this writing is twofold, first to ensure that we have a proper record of correspondence and second because we don’t have a phone number for them, or at least not one that doesn’t necessitate being stuck in a queue for ages on a national rate line, running up our phone bill – we did try but got pissed off after 15 minutes.

And we got a letter back – the mysterious cpp Merchant Default is for a year’s cover under their card protection plan (that’s for a card that was destroyed in January relating to an account that was closed at the same time) but sorry, nothing to do with us, you need to talk to the insurance company.

Oh, and by the way, have another late payment fee on us.

My partner phoned me at work a short while age – she’s not received a default notice for insurance she doesn’t want on an account she closed 10 months ago for a card she no longer has – and can I try an sort the idiots out.

Get on the phone using the number we now have from this last letter and, lo and behold, I’m through to the trained call centre chimp in a matter of a minute – but then this is the credit collection department.

Run through the account number, give my partners name and out address, explain the problem and in return I get ‘can’t discuss the account with you, you’re not the account holder, and in any case its the insurance companies problem’.

No, you complete fucking shithead, it is not the insurance company’s problem – its your fucking peoblem.

It works like this – if you’d done what you were told in January, and closed the fucking account, then there would be no fucking account to be insured and therefore no insurance premium to be paid, no invoices, no late payment charges, no default notice and I would not be wasting my precious time on the fucking phone trying to explain all this to a complete dickhead who, so far as one can reasonably ascertain, seems congenitally incapable of taking a shit unless given explicit instructions on a company-issued and approved fucking script.

Look, you complete and utter twat.

I don’t need you to give me any information at all about this account or the person to whom it relates, it’s my partner, we’ve lived together for a long time and we have two kids, which is why she had the fucking store card in the first place.

Having rapidily ascertained that you are too fucking stupid to understand the problem, let alone sort it out, all I need you to do is put a note on your system to say that I’ve called, that I’m just a little bit pissed off with all this and that I’ll be back in touch in due course once I’ve settled down sufficiently to write you a letter with using the word ‘cunt’ several times.

Yep, a call centre of morons it most certainly is…

9 thoughts on “What’s the collective noun for morons?

  1. The Financial Services watchdod issued a report earlier this year, basically saying that the four companies who dominate the UK store card market are a bunch of rip off crooks. A call centre of crooks, perhaps.

  2. A handy tip I’ve devised when phoning up for something in my other half’s name while at work is to have a female colleague stand by. If the call centre op uses the “ooh! data protection act! can’t speak to you!” rubbish I simply put my colleague on to say “hello, I am [insert name] and I give permission for you to speak to my other half”. Sorted.

  3. Argue the point tell them to f off as many times as you can, they seem to keep doing this as the majority of people just pay up to get it over with. Robbing bastards should all be shot!

  4. I simply wondered if after some time you have managed to resolve this problem.
    I would also add that I once had a similar problem and in part to recompense me for the time I spent in getting them to agree that I in fact owed them nothing, I resorted to costing my time albeit on a reasonable basis of 20 pounds per hour and added in the time spent typing out the various missives I sent added an additional 5 pounds to cover postage (recorded delivery) stamps and paper and envelopes, accumulatively adding the amount in the preceding letter to the new letter.
    It was amazing how speedily my complaint was resolved.
    Perhaps you may try this.
    Do remember the RECORDED DELIVERY.

  5. Can I assume you will not be recommending this company to your friends?

    On a slightly different tangent, when dealing with these sorts of people the phone is so much easier untill it all goes wrong. I recommend writing.

  6. Been trying to sort financial stuff out today and been met with the “you’re not the acount holder – we can’t deal with you from 3 different companies. Am totally pissed off – been married to husband for 30 years – we are a partnership, we don’t give each other “permission” to deal. He is also working abroad during week so not easy to pass the phone over. Love the tip to get a colleague to do it. Reading above script has made me feel so good that I’m not on my own with the “fucking ranting” effect of the data protection act. Companies need to think this through when they set up new business and ask automatically if there is anyone else who should be noted as authorised to deal with this account or whatever.

  7. I am currently working for the above company, as I’m sure you are aware there are laws protecting your data, to protect you, the person on the phone if they were to give any information, or even admit that your partner had an account, would have broken these laws, and could be finded, but more than likely sacked. A simple 1 minute call from your partner, they would have added you, given you a password, and you can deal with the account. THIS IS THE SAME WITH ALL COMPANIES!!!!!

    However, on a more helpful level, just plain refuse, tell them they made the error, and as such you will not be paying. Ask them what the notes from when your partner called and cancelled say, and ask to speak to a manager. Teamleaders will almost always remove charges. But most of all, be calm, be nice, tell them you want it sorted, and its remarkable how far someone who has been shouted at all day will go to sort it out for you.

    Or, do not take finance out on a store card in the first place!!

  8. Mark:

    Yes there are laws covering Data Protection… and it just so happens that…

    a) For five years in my previous job I was the company’s Registered Data Controller and, therefore, directly responsible for dealing with all data protection issues, and

    b) Before the call which spawned this little rant, I had taken the opportunity to review the company’s entry of the Data Protection Register via the Information Commissioner’s website and was fully and completely aware of what the company could and could not do with my partner’s personal data.

    The problem – and its by no means confined to this one call centre but spans the whole industry – is that these companies do not provide adequate training to their staff on DPA and its provisions as it applies to the personal data of their customers nor do they ensure that they have a member of staff in the office who has been adequately trained.

    Pretty much all you;re told to say by your company is ‘computer says no) because a capacity for independent thought and use of initiative is not considered a prerequisite for the job – and to be fair, you;re not paid well enough to make it worth exercising either, even if it were permitted.

    This could have been resolved in a matter of five minutes had there been anyone on hand I could have spoken to who did understand both DPA, in general, as the specifics of your registration, which more than adequately covered the actions my partner required, which was for your company to cancel the insurance policy that she didn’t need and hadn’t required since the preceding January.

    Put it this way. The company had no difficulty under DPA in forwarding my partner’s personal information in order to set up the policy, so why would/should it have a problem doing the same on closure/cancellation of the account.

    It shouldn’t and doesn’t – and I should point out that I certainly didn’t rant down the phone at the poor bastard on the other end of the call. What you’re reading here is the internal narrative that went with the call.

    Now do you see the frustration?

    I do know and understand DPA and what is and isn’t permissible.

    You, and your other colleagues, should know and understand your company’s own registration sufficiently well enough to deal with issues like this or have the back up of someone who does.

    That you don’t is become many, if not most, call centres treat their staff as if they were a bunch of trained chimps, rather than as people employed to do a proper job.

    This is by no means the worst example of call centre stupidity I’ve had to tackle – I have one persistent ‘caller’ in my current job who keeps trying to sell me a phone system my employer neither wants or needs whose employees are so badly trained that they find it impossible to deviate from their script at all, even to answer a basic question.

  9. All I was saying, is the person that “cancelled” the account did not do so, this is creations error, they are required to ammend this, had the account been closed properly this would not have happened, unfortunately some of the people in a business are always going to be challenged mentally. However the insurance is with a 3rd party, and this is where the issue arises.

    Forwarding your details with your partners signed permission is different from giving out details to someone “claiming”, which of course has to be assumed, is a different matter entirely. Just thank yourself lucky you have a claim, and can afford the payments.

    Creation on the plus side for me, do pay rather well however, enough for me currently, although its definately not a career!!

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