I have a method I use when calling support hotlines which rarely fails to get me a positive outcome from the call – I call it the Squeaky Wheel method (remember the squeaky wheel is the one which gets the attention). At all times using this method I ensure that I remain completely polite but firm.
What I do when I call the hotline number is:
- I immediately ask the person who answers for their name and the call reference number (most reputable call centres track calls using a reference number – asking this establishes your seriousness and shows that you know your way around hotlines!)
- Then keep asking questions until you get what it is you want to know – do not hang up until you found out what you called to find out
- If the person in the call centre can’t answer your question, appears to be fobbing you off, or gives an unsatisfactory answer – ask to speak to their supervisor immediately
- If the supervisor is busy or on another call, offer to wait until (s)he is free. Do not hang up and under no circumstances accept an offer to call you back – they won’t!
- If you are on hold waiting for the supervisor, they will get to you as soon as they can generally because most call centres monitor call times and while you are waiting on hold you are driving up their average call times – this drives them crazy so they will try to deal with you quickly
- If the supervisor is unable to answer your question, ask to speak to their supervisor, etc. You will eventually by not hanging up and insisting on speaking to superiors, get to someone who can answer your question, or annoy them enough that they will tell you what it is you want to know.
At all times while using the squeaky wheel method, keep a note of times and dates of calls, the names of the people you dealt with (and what they said) and the call reference number.
This method will work in almost all situations to get you the information you require from a call centre/support hotline. The only time it failed for me was with Bank of Ireland Credit Card Services. I was complaining to them about a cock-up on their part with my credit card details. I moved up the chain with my complaint until I got to David Glennon (Mr. Glennon’s title was Support Manager, Customer Service, Credit Operations) – Mr Glennon was less than helpful, refusing to answer my questions and cutting off communications when I asked to speak with his supervisor. Well I guess as a manager in the Customer Services division of a multi-million euro organisation he obviously knows more about customer service than I do – treat them like dirt and ignore them and they will go away!
I have applied for a credit card with another bank. And I’m moving house shortly but I’m not applying to Bank of Ireland for my mortgage.