Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Epitomy of Stupidity

The combination of the incompetence of Sprint PCS' customer service department and the stupidity of my Wal-Mart's management team had my blood pressure pumping up higher than usual today.

In addition, my two week paycheck was directly deposited into my checking account yesterday, and because my bills are too high and my pay too low, one day after payday, my bank checking account has slightly more than four dollars in it, and has to last me two weeks. How that will happen will depend on whether God will be granting any miracles in that much time.

Back to the Sprint fiasco.

Before I get into this, let me explain Wal-Mart's overtime policy:

We aren't supposed to get any. If we accidentally, or on purpose, get a few minutes overtime, we can be disciplined. I've explained this policy before in a previous post.

So anyway, a customer came in about 4:30PM, approximately 30 minutes before my shift was to end. She wanted to purchase a contract phone. Now, under normal circumstances an entire cell phone transaction should not take more than 30 minutes. I figured I had time, because I was about 5 minutes under time for the week anyway. That would give me approximately 35 minutes to complete the transaction and still not go overtime.

But, of course, something screwed up in the Wal-Mart or Sprint computer system, and an error message popped up on the screen stating that I would have to call the carrier (Sprint) to finish the credit check over the phone.

Anyone who's ever had a Sprint PCS cell phone contract can probably tell you horror stories about Sprint's customer service.

Those stories are true.

The CSR (customer service rep) had to have the customer's name and social security number, which is standard operating procedure, but this particular csr insisted the customer provide her with a PIN and a security question and answer as well. I've conducted dozens of these carrier credit checks and never before has any csr ever requested this additional information.

Long story somewhat shortened, the csr gave me all the information I needed to complete the transaction except one thing. And, this has often been the problem in call carrier mode: A little thing called the credit class. I have to input the credit class before I am able to complete the transaction. I cannot skip it. I cannot ignore it. It has to be provided by the carrier before I can continue. If not, the sale can't be completed.

As has happened in the past, the csr refused to give me the credit class. They can give it. They have the necessary information. But, they are either woefully misinformed, or willfully stubborn. I hanged up and called back. The next csr I got gave me the same run-around. So again, I disconnected and called back again. The same number and department as the first time.

In the meantime, While in this battle for dominance between myself and the Sprint representatives, I have gone overtime. I cannot just halt the process. I cannot hand the transaction over to another associate. None of the associates who know how to sell cell phones are present yet, anyway, although the chain smoking girl was scheduled. She was just late. As usual.

Finally, already 20 minutes late to clock out, The third rep I talked to provided me with the pertinent information that I needed. She explained there is never any problem providing the agent with the credit class number. Apparently, that news hasn't matriculated throughout Sprint's Customer service department yet.

Now, the chain smoking girl arrives, and I asked her if she could finish the transaction for me so I could clock out and save Wal-Mart an additional payroll dollar or two.

Nope. She informed me that she has been told by our erstwhile assistant manager that she is not allowed to finish the sale for me. Well, that was news to me. He never told me that.


But if my assistant manager calls me in to discipline me, I swear I will go to the store manager and lodge a formal complaint. And if he backs the assistant, I will go over his head, if necessary. I will not take this treatment lying down.

I've mentioned this before:

I fail to see the logic behind not allowing me to get overtime to save a few bucks even at the loss of several hundred dollars profit to the company. If I get in trouble over this, I don't know what I'll do. I can't find a better job in this economy. Believe me, I've been trying.

So, I don't know what I am liable to do if this ends up biting me in the backside.

But it won't be pretty.

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