Poll

Is it rude or not? (and explain why)

Yes
28 (18.8%)
No
108 (72.5%)
Other
13 (8.7%)

Total Members Voted: 148

Voting closed: August 07, 2013, 11:01:24 PM

Author Topic: Calling into a place close to closing time  (Read 7812 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2013, 04:52:19 PM »
Yeah, I think the problem is really twofold:

(1) The hours of a call center are not necessarily common knowledge. With a restaurant or store, they're posted on the door and you can see them as you approach. But with a call center, a lot of them are 24 hours or in a wildly different time zone from the person who is calling them. The caller does not necessarily know when your shift ends.

(2) When you call a call center, you might not know how big your problem is. Most of us have a general idea of how long it takes us to grab a quick item from a store, or to eat dinner, so it's easy to estimate whether we can be out by closing time. But (for example) the last time I called support for an issue with my phone, I thought I had a five-minute problem and instead I had a 45-minute problem.

cross_patch

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #46 on: July 29, 2013, 05:09:59 PM »
Well, I am in the minority because I voted that it is rude. Maybe that's a bit much, but I think all of us have worked in a customer service position at least once in our lives and have felt the sting of that dreaded last-minute customer either on the phone or in person. It stinks. And I believe that avoiding passing that behavior on to those currently in customer service is not just polite, it's considerate and kind--something missing all too much in today's world.

I make a point of never calling in or going in, excepting in an emergency or extremely urgent situation, in the last fifteen minutes. Let those who are working get out of there on time.

Thank you Amara for your reply, I am glad you are considerate of fellow customer service workers no matter if you see them in person or work with them via phone.   I know to be nice to those in retail and service industries because I could easily be that person I am working with, and those people are appreciative of the fact I am polite to them back which makes the experience much better.

So, if one were to extrapolate from your post, you're saying the rest of the people that posted here in disagreement are inconsiderate, unkind, and impolite. Duly noted.

You posted this before I could.  Totally agree with gorplady.

I have to agree.  This is one of many similar posts by OP and I took the time to vote in the poll hoping OP would see that people aren't out to get her or cause her frustration by asking her to do her job.  Apparently I wasted my time and my opinion doesn't count because I disagree with the OP.

Agreed.

Sharnita

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2013, 06:07:18 PM »
The original question doesn't really seem to specify "call center" so I am not clear on why that is what we keep going back to as far as answers.  I would say - is can be.  There are plenty of places people call where they have at least a vague idea of closing time.  I think if you are unsure you can ask.  If you know your question will be time consuming or you recognize that it is taking longer than you anticipated, offer to call back during hours the next day.

I do think a customer should show a little initiative and concern on their own.

Curious Cat

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2013, 06:08:53 PM »
Well, I am in the minority because I voted that it is rude. Maybe that's a bit much, but I think all of us have worked in a customer service position at least once in our lives and have felt the sting of that dreaded last-minute customer either on the phone or in person. It stinks. And I believe that avoiding passing that behavior on to those currently in customer service is not just polite, it's considerate and kind--something missing all too much in today's world.

I make a point of never calling in or going in, excepting in an emergency or extremely urgent situation, in the last fifteen minutes. Let those who are working get out of there on time.

Thank you Amara for your reply, I am glad you are considerate of fellow customer service workers no matter if you see them in person or work with them via phone.   I know to be nice to those in retail and service industries because I could easily be that person I am working with, and those people are appreciative of the fact I am polite to them back which makes the experience much better.

So, if one were to extrapolate from your post, you're saying the rest of the people that posted here in disagreement are inconsiderate, unkind, and impolite. Duly noted.

You posted this before I could.  Totally agree with gorplady.

I have to agree.  This is one of many similar posts by OP and I took the time to vote in the poll hoping OP would see that people aren't out to get her or cause her frustration by asking her to do her job.  Apparently I wasted my time and my opinion doesn't count because I disagree with the OP.

I stated this in my previous post, but I also work in a call center and I voted "not rude" So please don't think the OP speaks for ALL call center employees.

Joeschmo

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2013, 06:21:28 PM »

If you are entering a store or calling a place of business, fully expecting that whatever you need to get done will be done by the time the place closes, according to their posted hours, then you aren't rude.

If you do the same, but know that what you need will take more time than is left on the clock, you are rude.


POD

It's all well and good to say that the CSR should take up their unpaid time with their employer, but we all know that in this day and age that the response will be, "You're fired." So IMO by calling when you know your question can not be answered during normal work hours, you are taking advantage of others.

I've worked in customer service although not a call center and have always been paid for my time there.  There may be some employers who do this but in my experience I have never came across one and I wouldn't think I was taking someone's off the clock time for my request or taking advantage of them.

Yvaine

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2013, 06:22:24 PM »
The original question doesn't really seem to specify "call center" so I am not clear on why that is what we keep going back to as far as answers.

I think it's context from the OP's previous posts about her job.

AnnaJ

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2013, 06:26:21 PM »
Part of the issue is the difference between calling vs. physically being at a location.  If I'm in a store or restaurant I may have noticed the closing time, especially if it's later in the afternoon or evening.  Many businesses make announcements, as several people have notes in earlier posts, or non-verbal cues like dimming lights or seeing workers cleaning make it evident that it's almost closing time.

Calling for help...I have no idea what time places close unless I've called them before when they aren't open and heard the hours.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to many of the hours - I've called services that I would think should be 24/7 to discover they're closed, while other places surprise me by being open around the clock.

Add to that the whole time zone issue - I'm in the Pacific zone, and when it's 4PM here it's 7PM on the east coast and I often need to wait until the next day.

So, a long way of saying no, I don't think it's rude.

Vall

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2013, 06:30:00 PM »
I voted not rude.  If a business says that they take calls until a certain time, I take them at their word.  My DH's work schedule makes calling to places that keep daytime hours very difficult.  He calls when he can and sometimes that is close to closing.  These are calls that I can't make for him.  Either he calls when he can or not at all.

I also agree that people don't necessarily know how long it will take to solve their problem.  Sometimes it goes quicker and sometimes it's longer.  There usually isn't any way of knowing for sure.

I've always worked for businesses where I don't get to leave exactly on the minute every day.  That's just a part of the type of business that I have chosen to work in.  However, I've always been given comp time or paid for the time that I've worked.  If someone isn't getting either of those things it sounds like a problem with their company rather than a customer.

Teacup

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2013, 10:28:09 PM »
Yeah, I think the problem is really twofold:

(1) The hours of a call center are not necessarily common knowledge. With a restaurant or store, they're posted on the door and you can see them as you approach. But with a call center, a lot of them are 24 hours or in a wildly different time zone from the person who is calling them. The caller does not necessarily know when your shift ends.


I agree that it depends on the "place."  I vote no, but just because something is not rude, it does not necessarily mean it is the most considerate option.

In retail, I've had many customers call right before closing time.   The only time I felt like they were being rude was when they hemmed and hawed and told me their life story.  This doesn't mean they were being rude, it just felt that way on my end.  Keep that in mind when you call right before closing on a Friday night.  I'll try to give you my absolute best customer service, but I'm only human and I would like to start my weekend too  :)

RebeccainGA

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #54 on: July 30, 2013, 08:14:20 AM »
I believe there's a fundamental difference between, say, calling a store two minutes to closing time, or going to a restaurant 10 minutes before COB, and calling a call center, especially a tech support related one. The entire point is taking phone calls.

In a store, or a restaurant, there are other things to do after all the customers have gone home. There's a kitchen to be cleaned, inventory to be restocked, registers to cash out, and none of that can happen until after "closing". That sort of thing simply doesn't exist in a call center environment. You may have an email to send or a ticket to fill out, but by and large the emails are sent and tickets created throughout the course of the day or even during the customer's call. There's not a whole other set of work that can't start happening until all customers are gone.

Not necessarily true. If someone is placing an order or has a customer's account open in our box office, we can't run end-of-day, reconcile accounts, or print reports until that customer is finished. We also have to print will-call for the next day's show, print tickets and confirmations to be mailed, and confirm reservations for VIPs. I highly doubt that most call centers simply have a "hang up and go home" situation.
Actually, having worked in multiple call centers, in multiple industries, and having had friends who were in other industries and other call centers, this is by an large the norm - you take your last call, send whatever last e-mail you have on that customer, and go home. Your situation is more like a box office (which I have also worked) than a call center - just because you have a headset, doesn't make it a true customer contact center, just a centralized office with no face to face (which is a different animal).

MommyPenguin

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2013, 08:29:53 AM »
I need to make an appointment for one of my daughters.  I keep forgetting to call, and finally remembered late Friday afternoon.  I called at 4:01, glad that I'd remembered, since I figured they closed at 5pm.  I got the after hours recording.  So I assume they must have closed at 4.  If I'd called 5 minutes earlier, I might have caught somebody on her way out the door, and never even known that they were closing 5 minutes later, as 4pm seems awfully early to close up shop to me.  So it can definitely happen out of ignorance of the hours.

I used to work in a library.  Many of the jobs required a master's degree, so we're not talking about a part-time minimum wage job.  The library would close at 9, and that meant that at 9pm, all customers were expected to be walking towards the door.  There were many warnings as the time got close.  It would sometimes be a few minutes after 9pm before we could lock the door behind them.  Then we had to do various closing activities, gather our things, and wait for the person in charge to finish specific closing out procedures on the registers and such.  It was never before 9:15 that we left, even with the very fastest closing manager we had.  When we had abandoned children or an incident or some-such, a manager and a second in command or the security officer often had to stay until after 9:30, maybe 10.

So no, I don't consider it unusual to be expected to keep working right up until your "done" time, and then take a few more minutes to finish things up.  When my boyfriend worked at a pizza place, as long as you walked in the door before they were closed, they'd serve you.  When I worked in a physics lab, I kept actively *working* right up until 5pm, and then had to do various closing-up activities before I could leave.  I think it's just the way the world works, generally.

darkprincess

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2013, 11:56:12 AM »
I don't work in a call center but I do take incoming call for people with problems. People know that they are not calling a call center. I usually will answer the phone as long as I am here and my computer is still logged in, even though I do not get paid more for staying late. I voted "other" because I would say that most people aren't rude however about once a week I have a call come in at closing time. Most of my incoming calls can be finished in under 4 minutes, however 25% will take 15 minutes , and 10% will take an hour usually because the person wants to bring up extraneous information or wants to fight solution I try to give them. For example if I was tech support and I said the first thing I need you to do is close the program and restart the computer they would refuse to do it. I can't move forward to help them until they do this.

Usually I will answer a call 2 or 3 minutes before I am scheduled off. I answer the phone and quickly recognize that this person's problem could take 15 minutes to get the details down so I can start working on it. I will let the person know that I have another appointment scheduled, I know a little white lie, but they do not need to know that I am leaving. I let them know that I will quickly take down all the relevant information and then start working on their problem or call them back the next day if I need more information. The people that I think are polite will answer my questions without expounding on the story and I only have to stay late 15 minutes. However several people will refuse to let me ask questions and will instead tell me their entire problem including what they had for breakfast, how their son is in military, their opinion on current politics, etc. They will not accept my solutions or suggestions of how to solve the problem. They knew I needed to get off the phone at a certain time yet they would not stick to relevant information or even recognize my time constraints.

Lucky for me I am allowed to get their phone number and tell them I will have to call them back the next day. Also lucky for me I am always a third uninvolved party to their problem, so they are not my customers. It makes it a little easier to politely but forcefully tell them that I can no longer talk to them.

So in my opinion the rude people are the ones who call, know that they are calling afterhours/at a bad time/after closing etc and then ignore the fact that someone is doing them a good turn by continuing to talk to them. This would be similar to a patron at a library hearing that the library is closing in 5 minutes but then does not start packing their stuff up. Or the shopper who hears the announcement that if you want to purchase something you will need to come to the counter now, and instead they go to the dressing room to try on a shirt, or the person who calls the call center at 4:55 that they know closes at 5pm and then tries to solve a problem that they know will take an hour. I think in this situation the knowledge of the closing time is the crux of the matter, and how the person reacts to that knowledge.

sidi-ji

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2013, 12:05:49 PM »
I voted not rude.  I work in retail and almost all sales folk work  15 to 30 minutes past closing to recover the floor.  That means that while it is not anyones' favorite thing,  if one of us is near a ringing phone we will answer the call.  But no one is dashing from a distance.   A case in point:  a customer called well after closing and wanted an item I was pretty sure that we had--but that I did not want to fetch right then.  I took the information, and told the  customer I would call her back the next day.  My manager over heard,  quickly grabbed the item, which pleased both the customer and me.

cwm

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #58 on: July 30, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »
Would it be rude to come in at 8:59 with a group of 30 people and demand service? Yes. That's extending the employees' working day past what they would deal with in the regular course of business. But for one person to call a call center shortly before it closed? Perfectly fine, no matter what her issue was. If it was an emergency, it needed to be taken care of immediately. If it wasn't, maybe she couldn't call back during the weekdays due to her personal schedule and this was the only time she could call. Maybe she had forgotten until that moment. Who are we to judge her based on when she calls in?

I don't understand why you'll judge the person coming in to order burgers at 8:59 but not the person calling in with an issue at 8:59. Both are going to cause the workers to stay late, and I see absolutely no difference between the two examples.

I didn't say I'd judge one person coming to get burgers. 30 people takes a considerable amount of prep time for food, and there's usually not that much on hand, so it would have to be cooked fresh, meaning at least a 15 minute wait for everything. If one person came in at 8:59 and wanted food, that's fine. We're open, we have the food. But large groups know that they're going to have large orders. I've never seen a group of 30 get just one or two burgers, for example.

For one person to call in is like one person coming in. One person's issue is generally a set amount of time. If one person called in with six or seven issues at once right before closing, that would be rude, as it would take more than the "standard" time for a call. And if that one person waited specifically out of spite to wait until the very last minute to make a call, that would be rude. The difference is that if it's a routine call (or a single person with a burger) it's not anything over the top and is expected by the company to be taken care of, otherwise they would appoint a different time to cut off phone calls/orders.

Yvaine

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2013, 01:37:07 PM »
I believe there's a fundamental difference between, say, calling a store two minutes to closing time, or going to a restaurant 10 minutes before COB, and calling a call center, especially a tech support related one. The entire point is taking phone calls.

In a store, or a restaurant, there are other things to do after all the customers have gone home. There's a kitchen to be cleaned, inventory to be restocked, registers to cash out, and none of that can happen until after "closing". That sort of thing simply doesn't exist in a call center environment. You may have an email to send or a ticket to fill out, but by and large the emails are sent and tickets created throughout the course of the day or even during the customer's call. There's not a whole other set of work that can't start happening until all customers are gone.

Not necessarily true. If someone is placing an order or has a customer's account open in our box office, we can't run end-of-day, reconcile accounts, or print reports until that customer is finished. We also have to print will-call for the next day's show, print tickets and confirmations to be mailed, and confirm reservations for VIPs. I highly doubt that most call centers simply have a "hang up and go home" situation.
Actually, having worked in multiple call centers, in multiple industries, and having had friends who were in other industries and other call centers, this is by an large the norm - you take your last call, send whatever last e-mail you have on that customer, and go home. Your situation is more like a box office (which I have also worked) than a call center - just because you have a headset, doesn't make it a true customer contact center, just a centralized office with no face to face (which is a different animal).

I'm going to agree here too--my call center job was also as you describe, Rebecca.