So, I have always had this idea that you “have to be mean” when calling a customer service center of some kind if you want something. I have been determined to change this attitude.
I just got off the phone with my Internet provider, CenturyLink. I called them because I was thinking about switching to Comcast. I crunched the numbers, and I would be able to save about $235 if I switched, including the cost of buying a new modem.
So, I decided to call up CenturyLink to see if they could give me a deal. I presented my case, calmly and with courtesy. The woman did try to reduce my monthly cost, but she could only do so with reducing the Internet speed. She tried to offer me a package deal with DirectTV, which I wasn’t interested in. At each offer, I said thank you, but that I wasn’t interested. I was finally transferred to the “Loyalty” department.
The woman in the Loyalty department did more or less the same thing, and she presented an offer with TV that seemed pretty good, until I found out the final price. I did have to ask a few times what the price would be before she would tell me, but each time I asked with patience.
I then finally said something to the affect, “well, I appreciate you trying to work something out, but it seems that you guys can’t save me any money. I’ll have to switch to Comcast. I’ll be calling back later to cancel my service, because I’m not sure when the Comcast service will be activated.” Then, all of sudden, she found a deal with Internet-only that would save me about $25 a month. Now, I could have gotten angry that she didn’t offer this to me right off the bat, but I didn’t. In fact, I found it to be humorous (I didn’t laugh audibly, but had a smile on my face). I get it — business is business. You don’t “show your hand” until it’s necessary. So, when she offered me the deal, I just calmly accepted it. I told her that I appreciated her help.
It’s taken me awhile to get here. I could easily have gone a different direction. I could have chosen to feel my time was being wasted. I could have chosen to feel that I was being “manipulated.” But I have realized something — getting angry at these little “injustices” is simply not worth it. It just causes me more stress. I become more irritable, and may even take out my anger on others. Also, in the past, I would always avoid these phone calls since I tend to avoid conflict. But, really, I have been the one creating the conflict. If I don’t create the conflict, there’s nothing to avoid. I might actually one day look forward to making these phone calls. Well, probably not :).