Customer Service Rep Allegedly Tells Customer To 'Burn In Hell,' Loses Job
Rank this one right up there on the short list of things you should never to say to a customer: "Burn in hell."
But it was precisely that phrase, reportedly uttered by a customer service representative at Telenor, Norway's largest cellular phone company, to a teenage customer that has resulted in the worker's termination, according to The Local, an English language news site serving Norway.
Telenor refused to say whether the offending employee was fired or quit voluntarily, but a spokesman told the VG tabloid newspaper, "[I]t was perhaps unavoidable with such a serious incident."
And it started like this. Last week, 16-year-old Maiken Fredriksen Iversen phoned Telenor to complain that she hadn't received a message warning that she was about to exceed her monthly usage limit.
The phone company employee instructed Iversen to download an "app" to track her usage of text messages.
"I said that shouldn't be necessary," Iversen told VG, "since I'm supposed to receive a notification via SMS" -- a form of text messaging.
The agent reportedly then told Iversen that she could be more helpful. But she responded by telling the employee that his response was insufficient, before wishing him a good day and hanging up.
That's when the apparently enraged customer service rep took matter into his own hands, sending Iversen a text message minutes later that said: "It's rare to encounter this level of cheek. Hope you burn in hell!"
Iversen could hardly believe her eyes.
Angered by the incident, the girl's mother, Mette Fredriksen, called Telenor for an explanation.
But when the company failed to provide an apology, Fredriksen reported the matter to the police as well as the media.
Just a few months ago, a McDonald's worker in South Carolina was arrested for allegedly spitting in iced tea cups after customers complained that the drinks weren't sweet enough.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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