Should a company charge me extra to speak with an American call center?

Margery Wilson loves her Dell laptop computer. But she has just one complaint.

“Even though I purchase the in-home service option, on the few occasions when I have tried to obtain services, I am put through call center hell,” she says.
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Are you stuck in call center script hell? Here’s how to tell

It happened again last week. My superfast 10Mbps Internet connection died. It had flickered on and off for weeks, ever since upgrading from a 5Mbps account.

But now it was gone. Expired. Kaput.

I called CenturyLink, my DSL provider, and explained that I’d tried all the usual troubleshooting steps – including unplugging the modem and resetting it – and asked if they could send a technician to my office to take a closer look.

And that’s when I found myself in Script Hell.

More than ever these days, operators in large call centers are using scripts – pre-written responses to common questions – to deal with consumer complaints like mine.
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Two spam calls in two minutes? That’s gotta be a new record

Spam calls are out of control. I just received two unsolicited calls within two minutes. Two minutes!

They had the audacity to leave a voice message.

And I have the audacity to post them.

You’d think that recent legislation to end these kinds of annoying calls would have put a stop to this type of thing. Instead, for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent, it’s made it worse.
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Should you have the right to a copy of your phone call with a company?

There’s a reason I advise customers to stay off the phone when they have a problem with a company: If someone says something to you on the line, how do you prove it?

You can’t — unless you record the conversation. And many states either don’t allow that or restrict it, or recording the back-and-forth is impractical for a customer.

Meet Michael Trout, insurance reform activist. He’s got an idea: Why not pass a law that gives you the legal right to the phone conversation?
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Should I appeal my case to a supervisor now?

This is one of the most common questions I get from readers: When do I give up on dealing with a customer service representative and ask to speak with a supervisor? There are actually two answers. The first applies to phone calls; the second is for email correspondence.

Let’s talk phone calls first.

In this day and age of “no” you’re likely to get frustrated with a script-reading call center worker very quickly, particularly if he or she is doing his job correctly — which is to say, reading a script. Even so, asking for a supervisor may not necessarily work. I’ll get to the reasons why in a minute.
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