Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Dear CSR Lady

I kinda behaved badly yesterday when I spoke with the customer service rep. Nothing outrageous or over-the-top, but I was impatient and determined to make my point. Which was: I’m tired of jumping through hoops just to satisfy the limitations of a computer.

She acknowledged my concerns, but was steadfast in her request.  She asked me to call back with additional details. I said I would.

Great, another chance to navigate the telephone answering system. I gathered the data but decided to wait because who needs two CSR sessions in one day?

This morning, I picked up the phone to make the call. Well, first I peed, because who knows how long I’d be on hold? Then I cleared my desk, and arranged all my paperwork. Then the cat came begging for lovies, so I did that. Hubby wandered into the room, with the latest weather update. We bantered a bit about the coming week and the election outcome – or lack of election outcome – and what we’d make for tonight’s dinner. I got myself a glass of water. Then I decided to brush my teeth to really deal with the coffee breath.

On my way back to my desk, I stopped at the living room window to check the state of the suet in the bird feeder. While I stared out over the backyard, I mused about the phone call, and the long wait to get through to a human. Navigating the answering system used to be an endurance test. Now it’s even longer with the additional COVID-19 information.

I reflected on yesterday’s session with the CSR and how I needed to make my point. Surely she has heard these complaints before. I wondered how her world has changed with C-19. Was she working from home? Probably. Was she in one of Ontario’s hotspots? Could be. Her job as a CSR is challenging enough. She didn’t need to catch grief from an impatient client like me.

I thought, I should acknowledge what happened, and if not apologize, then at least thank her for listening to my frustrations. But I know that chances of getting the same CSR are slim. And if I did, wouldn’t it be awkward? Probably.

Then it dawned on me: a way to solve two problems at once! I could use the old-fashioned way of submitting the information! I’ll write a letter to the company with the missing data.

And then I’ll write a blog post to my CSR lady.

girl writing

A Girl Writing ca 1860-1880 by Henriette Browne (1829-1901) Oil on canvas Museum no. 1083-1886 Dixon Bequest

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39 replies

  1. There’s nothing like being told “the computer won’t let me” (or some version thereof) to make my blood immediately go into boiling mode. I too have lost my “cherub-like demeanour” (thank you the late John Pinette!) when this happens. I am sure the CSR has heard much worse.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I so loathe having to deal with CSR’s. I need to have had a good night sleep and the phase of the moon has to be right. Obviously, I miscalculated. The time change and full moon and two large cups of coffee made me fully primed to be pissed off.

      Speaking of miscalculations. After I sat down and gathered the data, I realized that I had made an error and didn’t pay enough! Now I’m in arrears! ARGH!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve had two customer service issues lately that are just mind boggling in their stupidity

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading all your avoidance measures. I had some real issues when I bought my new computer earlier this year, and wasn’t always nice to the CSR people. I did send an apology to a supervisor, and boy, did they ever bend over backwards to help me after that. We did get it all straightened out in the end, with patience on both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos to you Maggie for reaching out to your CSR. Don’t feel too bad about the encounter. We aren’t being given the opportunities we need to contact people when things go wrong. It’s almost always an uphill climb to get to a human. I hope you get the problem resolved.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am beginning to think that a prerequisite for succeeding at some of these jobs is that they must first fail a personality test.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I avoid dealing with things like this for the very reasons you mention. I know that when I do have to call I go into the conversation ready for battle. I say why I’m calling and then immediately launch into my narrative, usually only to find I need to speak with an entirely different person, or I could have just closed my mouth and actually listened before going on and on. CSR folk certainly do not get paid enough to listen to the rest of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do know what I am talking about! I’ve done exactly that. Now when I call, I just say, Hi, I need some help. Ask me some questions and I’ll tell you the answers. I figure that there’s no point trying to direct the conversation when the CSR is obliged to fill in a form.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We are dealing with something similar with my husband. He cannot get into his online account. Call the phone number given, placed on terminal ‘hold please, your call is important to us.’ Finally someone picks up and connects to ‘someone who can help you.’ Wait a minute–what?! Get that persons recording to leave your name and number and they will return your call in 48 hours. Rinse. Repeat. It’s a racket, Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not a fan of customer service people on the phone. I’ve less patience with people lately, and a disembodied voice on a phone is difficult to feel any concern for. Still, it’s good that you acknowledge what happened– and the sort of person you want to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that’s what is at the root of this, really. I disappointment myself. When the conversation starts, I make every effort to be warm and pleasant. I’ll crack jokes, too, trying to inject some lightness and humanity into the exchange. But when dealing with this particular agency who are all about rules and regulations and protocols – well… you know the outcome.

      Still, I strive to be a better person. Baby steps, eh?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. When I bought my computer some 7 years ago or so, it took 2 3-hour sessions with someone whose English was their 27th language. It was so tiring to try to understand. Now I do the type in thing. No accent there

    Liked by 1 person

    • Man, your 7-years-ago story is the stuff of nightmares.

      I’d much prefer to communicate by email or online chats. As a matter of fact, that’s where yesterday’s conversation went sideways – I asked if I could email the data rather than have to go through the wait in the CSR queue. “Oh, no!” she said, “We can’t do that.” In sarcastic tones I replied, “So you can email me, but I can’t email you.”

      “We’d have to get security clearances and first born child and a $1,000, 000 bond.”

      I exaggerate. Can you tell?

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh Maggie, this is a post that truly represents a large slice of Life. I have for quite a while taken to the writing of complaints from the outset, specifically to avoid the phone’s countless selection of numbers and only possible eventual connection with a human; but I also like having hard evidence all the time. Call me a suspicious old fart; but I forget as soon as I hang up ..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had a similar issue the other day. People are just on edge all over apparently.


  12. An absolutely hilarious post that reminds me of everything I do to avoid the thing that must be done. Thanks for the laugh. FYI, I have avoided all news, especially US news, since last Saturday. I have so much more time! No more scrolling thru CBC, NY Times, Huff Post or gulp Fox (for the opposite view) and giving my time and attention to negativity. I am born again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world where you could actually look forward to calling the customer service reps? HA!

      You are a braver soul than I in terms of news watching – I could never watch Fox.

      Enjoy your rebirth!


  13. Procrastination solves everything … well done! (nice to see you here)


  14. “Well, first I peed, because who knows how long I’d be on hold?”

    LOL, we are sisters in that regard. Or is it just plain common sense?

    I feel your pain and then some. I tried getting information from the Social Security Administration on two separate calls, about 45 minutes each…on hold, transferred, on hold again, a thousand voice prompts…and then I hung up in frustration. I called a local tax accountant instead and got all the help I needed.

    My comment is late, but at least we now know the outcome of the election. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I was starting a comment to you yesterday and was overcome with a “complicated migraine,” which is very very sickening. I’ll make this brief. I was just saying “LOL! Good luck with that snail mail letter.”!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hate to deal with computer service representatives. It always is go frustrating trying to get everything figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You are not alone, and I’m so ‘mature’ that I can remember when each company had a department of customer service reps who actually answered the phone on the first couple of rings and who could help you resolve an issue. 🙂 Now, we all definitely have to take a bathroom break before even attempting a call. Recently I needed to contact a company so I sent an email. They replied that that email box was handled in another state, and I needed to call a particular number. I called that number to be told it was the wrong number so call another number. When I called that number, an automated voice repeated the number to me and disconnected the call. I’m not real sure where to go from there and there are no other contact options. Annoying doesn’t quite cover trying to contact a CSR these days. Hope your computer keeps working. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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