General Question

Jeruba's avatar

The rep couldn't stay on the line with me because she'd exhausted her "commitment time." What does this mean?

Asked by Jeruba (48379points) February 24th, 2011

I called my health insurance company with a question about coverage. The representative put me on hold and attempted to research it, coming back several times to apologize and say that she was still waiting for information. She was very courteous about it. I’d guess she was on hold nearly as long as I was.

Finally she returned and said she couldn’t wait any longer because she’d used up her commitment time for today and wouldn’t be assigned any more until tomorrow.

What in the world is that about?

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11 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

HMPH! It means she’s allotted only so much time per customer on the phone per her manager. my geek husband was a phone tech for a while in the beginning of his career. He was only allowed so much time per type of tech issue

JLeslie's avatar

That is an outrage. Why didn’t she pass you to a supervisor? Not the girls fault, but really, completely unnacceptable.

markferg's avatar

You were becoming unprofitable. Being unhealthy is bad enough, but asking about it simply beyond the pale!

FutureMemory's avatar

When I worked in a call center, we were supposed to keep our phone calls under three minutes and thirty seconds. Every call was logged. During quarterly reviews we would be ineligible for a raise if our average went over that sacred 3:30 duration. It was a really shitty method of maintaining ‘efficiency’, since the customer determined the length of the call – the more items they ordered, the longer they would keep you on the phone, naturally. It got to the point that we would randomly hang up on customers in order to keep our averages under 3:30.

I can only assume the phone rep you dealt with works under similar guidelines. They figure if the call lasts that long, then the phone rep is doing something wrong, or the customer is asking too many questions.

Jeruba's avatar

Great. Thanks. After I posed my one question (which device is covered by my plan?), I was on hold the whole time. I listened to the same music loop several dozen times. At least it was Mozart.

Bellatrix's avatar

Sheesh. The bean counters have won and customer service is out in the cold.

laureth's avatar

Just like a lot of other things, this goes in waves, @Mz_Lizzy. First, it will look like good customer service is too expensive, so they throw it away. And then when sales decline, they realize that good customer service can be an investment that increases sales. That is, until it begins to look too expensive again.

jca's avatar

I would have asked for the supervisor, or i would write a letter giving the girl’s name, explaining that you know it’s not her fault but the policy of the company is awful (i would have complimented the girl in the letter, how she was going out of her way to help you but the rules of the company forced her to hang up on you). The company needs to know that their rule is unhelpful to customer service.

Jeruba's avatar

she did follow through. got the info & left me a lengthy voice msg the next day with all the details—so i cant fault hr.

jca's avatar

@Jeruba: I said if I were you I would contact someone over her and compliment her. I am not saying fault her, but I would definitely let the company know that their rules are unhelpful to customer service.

Jeruba's avatar

good idea @jca

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