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 5410 times)

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PeterM

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 03:10:41 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.

gorplady

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 03:14:17 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.

camlan

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 03:16:53 PM »
I don't have time to call a company before work. My workplace has a very strict rule against cellphones at work--if you are in the buildings or on the grounds, you can't have a cellphone out. You have to drive off the campus to use one. I don't have time to do that on a normal day. Usually, I'm working right through lunch.

Working 8-4, I leave work and get home about 4:20. That's when I have time to call the utility companies, tech support, my bank, etc. I know it is near closing time for many of them, but I don't have a lot of options.

So some of the badly timed calls could simply be a result of time restrictions on the customer's side, that the CS rep will never know about.
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SlitherHiss

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2013, 03:22:01 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.

audrey1962

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2013, 03:29:35 PM »
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.

I believe these issues are best addressed with the employer, who sets the rules, rather than the customer, who often is not aware of the rules and how they work.

SingActDance

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2013, 03:36:40 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.

Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

stargazer

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2013, 03:39:21 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.

Goosey

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2013, 03:39:35 PM »
I am extremely polite to CSRs - and sympathetic. I worked in CS for years. But, if I need to make a phone call and you are still RECIEVING phone calls, I'm going to call. It's part of the job. Not one you necessarily like, but it's part of it. Customer service. If you need to be able to leave at a certain time, it is on you to talk to your manager about being able to stop recieving calls at a certain point so you can get out the door. Even now, when I am not a CSR, I am expected not to log off of my computer or get my things together until the end of my workday. 

I think it's rude to just assume that anyone who does this is going out of their way to inconvenience you. I'm sure most people do what they can to get things done in a timely manner and don't go out of their way to make your life miserable. The ones that do won't care that they're being rude.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2013, 03:46:44 PM »
I voted 'Other'.

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.

If something unforeseen happens and it takes you longer than you thought it would, you aren't necessarily rude but could be if what you are doing could have as easily been done the next day when you realized it was going to be a drawn out thing.

I don't want to work an extra 5-10 minutes everyday so why would I think it was fine to make someone else do the same?  Especially in a situation where they wouldn't be paid for that extra time, or at least get to come in late/leave early the next day to make up for it.
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Joeschmo

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2013, 04:11:06 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.

Deetee

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2013, 04:13:30 PM »
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.

I believe these issues are best addressed with the employer, who sets the rules, rather than the customer, who often is not aware of the rules and how they work.

I am in complete agreement. I think it is utterly WRONG that an (hourly) employee would be expected to stay a minute past the time they are compensated for. But I don't think that is on the customer. That is on the employer and the managers and there should be legal recourse for any employee expected to stay past quitting time without proper financial compensation.

Most large stores give announcements. Most small stores stop letting people in at a certain time. A restaurant may tell you the kitchen is closed or on very limited menu past a certain time. I am aware of these things and don't go into semi-closed stores (unless I know I can be out in 3 minutes)

I expect a call center to shut down incoming calls or redirect calls. This has happened to me when I called some places after hours.

So I completely agree with the OP that she shouldn't have to work past her quitting time, but I utterly disagree that it is the customers fault.

DavidH

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2013, 04:34:16 PM »
The problem is the most people aren't aware of the call center hours.  Many are 24/7 and they rarely tell you where they are located, so even if one tries to determine the end of a shift to avoid calling at that time, it's not possible.  Yes, it's rude if you know all about the hours and shifts to call in at the last minute, but that's probably very rarely the case. 

The issue of not getting paid for working late, not having access to the right tools to fix the problem that the customer is calling for are all issues for her employer to fix. 

Using her example, I'll take her word for the fact that it wasn't an emergency, but the fact that it required submission of a ticket to the next level may have prompted the call.  For example, IT where I work consists of a call center that pretty much tells you to try turning off you computer and then turning it back on and when that doesn't work they submit a ticket for a technician to come and fix the issue.  They have 24 hrs to respond to the ticket, so if I have the option to call before I leave in the evening or first thing the next morning I'd choose to call before I leave since that means it would be resolved the next day rather than than 24hrs from the next morning or 2 days later.

BTW, if the OP only wanted hugs, there's a part of the board for that.

Cami

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2013, 04:37:34 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.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2013, 04:45:05 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.

And since you need to do all of this, do you stop taking orders for new tickets at a specific time so that all of that work can be completed before the end of the working day?  If not, then I think your company should re-address their work schedule.

DavidH

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Re: Calling into a place close to closing time
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2013, 04:45:20 PM »
Just out of interest, let's use an airline for example.

How many people on here know when the call center shifts end for Delta or British Airways or Air France?  To make the example more real, suppose I'm calling from the US to speak to a representative in English.

I suppose I could always call early in the hour using the logic that shifts are likely to end on the hour, but that seems over the top to me.

If you really know the timing, yes, it's rude to inconvenience someone, but how often is it more about being clueless.