When I was running Client Relations (a.k.a. the “Sup Gate” where we handled escalated calls transferred from the reps, help calls for procedural/policy assistance, & calls from branch personnel) down in San Antonio, I overheard one of my senior Escalation Specialists “speaking” with a customer.
She appeared quite flustered so I approached her & asked her to put the caller on hold so she could tell me what was going on.
I was absolutely shocked when she told me about this “infamous” customer!
Apparently, he had made it a practice to call CitiPhone & regularly berate the reps…using language so vile & demeaning that not even I would use those words in mixed company!
And what bothered me even more is that every other rep within earshot was familiar with this POS & had already felt his wrath before!
I asked them why they hadn’t told me about this before.
“But, Mike, he maintains some very high balances with the branch & he’s always mentioning the branch manager by name!”
“I don’t care who he is nor who he thinks he is. Pls gimme his account number & then transfer the call to my direct line x6910. I’ll take care of him…personally!”
I was 20 stages past insane & furious!
I bring up his information on my PC & then pick up his call.
“Hi, this is Mike speaking. How can I help you?”
Mr. Rosenberg (?) tells me that he was just speaking with one of the representatives & that he…
“Yes, I know very well what you were doing! That’s why I asked her to transfer your call to me!”
I explained exactly who I was & even spelled out my name & provided my personnel number to him.
“My people have told me about the manner in which you regular speak to them. WTF is wrong with you? You speak like that to people, much less to young ladies that you don’t even know?”
“What did you say to me?!? Why I have a good mind to…”
“You, Sir, have a good mind to do nothing, understand? You’re just gonna shut up while I tell you a few things! I allow NO ONE to speak to my people in the vulgar & despicable manner in which you do.
“I know exactly the type of person you are…I’m from New York myself! I’m very familiar with where you live exactly in Manhattan.
“And you are so mistaken if you think that your high & mighty ass is any better than anyone else’s…you understand?”
“You can’t speak to me that way! I have a good mind to go see…”, he explained.
“You have a good mind to say NOTHING! Let me remind you that this call is now on my private line, which, by the way, is not being recorded. And if you’re recording me, I forbid you from doing so as Texas law strictly prohibits that without both parties’ knowledge & consent!
“But YOUR calls to MY reps are ALL recorded! Every single filthy name you called them is on tape.
“If you so much as open your mouth to me, I’ll fly to NY tomorrow morning & bring these tapes to your local precinct to file charges against you.
“Then I’ll find your ugly li’l ass…it’s apartment #1016, right?…and play them for your wife & daughter to hear. Every disgusting call you’ve ever made!
“Then I’ll drag you outside & beat the living shit outta you! Remember, this call is not being recorded & I’ll swear on the Bible that I never said any of this!
And I’m going to close out your CD & your Checking account & mail you a cashier’s check for the entire proceeds. Don’t worry…I’ll waive the early withdrawal penalty so you’ll have every stinking dime you deserve!”
“But you can’t do that!”, he protested.
“Not only can I, but I will. And as soon as I get off the phone with you, too!”
“Yeah?!? Well I’ll just go back into the branch & “Bob” will open new accounts for me!”, he boasted.
“Oh, no, he won’t! And I’ll make sure of that!
“If you ever call us again, I’ve advised all my people to transfer your call directly to me. Don’t forget that I can catch a flight to NY on any day of the week & bring those taped calls with me. And, trust me, I’ll do it! Besides, I have a lot of friends back in NY who’d love to take care of you & only some of them are with law enforcement.
“I’ve blocked your accounts already & noted your accounts.
“Feel free to call me directly at 210-677-6910 and don’t forget to spell my name correctly when you make a complaint.
“You have a wonderful morning now, Mr. Rosenberg!”
I went out onto the floor & told my reps that they’ll never hear from this guy again.
And refusing to provide them with specifics, I also told them to NEVER accept that type of treatment from ANYONE…EVER AGAIN!
They all felt so relieved.
I actually heard one rep say, “See, I told you that we should’ve told Mike before!”
BTW, they weren’t allowed to call me “Mr. LoRusso” or “sir”…just “Mike”.
I turned around & said, “You’re right! You guys are my family & I would never stand for someone treating my daughter like that!”
Then, about 30 minutes later…AND RIGHT ON CUE…I get a call from the branch manager on the Upper East Side.
“Mr. Rosenberg was just in to see me and…”
“Let me explain what this guy has been doing to my reps in CitiPhone and so much so, that’s he’s well-known across the entire call center!”
And I went into excruciating detail, including the exact words & terms he used.
“But he’s an excellent customer for my branch. His CD is well over $650K!”
“He WAS an excellent customer, but I won’t tolerate his behavior & what he said to these young ladies. He had so many of my people in tears with his disgusting mouth.
“And do not try to re-open his accounts or open new ones for him. I’ve already added his information to ChexSystems & blocked his SS# from ExSell!”
ChexSystems is a database used by banks to notify each other & merchants about “bad customers & accounts” and ExSell is the account-opening systems application.
“Oh, and if you want to escalate this entire situation upstairs, by all means, speak with your District Manager…’cause I won’t hesitate to start with your boss’s boss’s boss, you know, Maura Markus, and then work my way down. (BTW, Maura was the Head of U.S. Citibanking.)
“I’m really sorry that it had to come to this, but if you’d like, I’ll be happy to send you the .wav files so you can listen to his recorded calls yourself!”
“No, I understand, Mike.”
FYI, I have NEVER, ever spoken to a customer before in his manner in my entire life!
Nor to a animal like this, either!
There are times when ya gotta do what you just gotta do. It may have been ugly & equally as vile as his behavior toward my reps! (No, I wouldn’t have hurt him physically nor “make him have an unfortunate accident”, but I most certainly would have brought the matter to the attention of law enforcement.)
The other stuff was to instill a fear of God in him.
If a neighbor of mine would’ve said 1/100th of the things that he said to my reps to my daughter, you can rest assured that hands would have been thrown.
Many of them.
Mainly, in one direction.
There are 2 things I absolutely detest in life…bullying & nasty.
And he busted the scales on both.
Thank you, as always, for listening!