Off Center
Unlike most journalists in our industry, I like to dig a little deeper to uncover the story behind the story behind the story. While others are busy writing puff pieces about speech analytics and maximizing customer relationships, I’m busy bribing unethical vendors and call center professionals who don’t mind paying a pretty penny to keep me from writing about their scandalous activities.

Then I write about a couple of the juiciest stories anyway. I can’t help it – it’s just how I roll.

Here are what I consider the two biggest news stories you likely didn’t hear about in 2010.

Major Health Insurance Company Confesses that Your Call Is Not Important to Them

After nearly 20 years of telling customers that “your call is very important” while they are busy waiting on hold, Pilfer Insurance, Inc. has decided to come clean. Ralph Shires, director of member services for Pilfer – third largest health insurer in the U.S. – stated that it has all been a big fat lie. Says Shires, “Not only is your call NOT important to us, but we don’t like the sound or the tone of your voice, either.”

The frank confession came as a shock to the thousands and thousands of Pilfer customers who every day loyally and patiently wait on hold for a live agent to answer their call and politely deny their claim.

Long-time Pilfer customer, Kathy Baxter, is still recovering from the dismaying news of the health insurance giant’s confession. “After you’ve had major surgery and are coming up on five minutes waiting for a human to answer the phone, it just makes you feel so special when you hear that automated voice assure you that your call is very important and courteously ask you to stay on the line so that somebody can assist you. But then you find out that the machine really didn’t mean what it was programmed to say over and over, and it’s like your whole world comes crashing down all around you.”

Over the years, several studies have delved into whether or not your call is, in fact, important to the companies you call, but no conclusive evidence either way had ever been uncovered. Pilfer’s admission has shed ample light on what for years has perplexed researchers.

Ironically, Pilfer’s pioneering brashness and honesty is expected to win the hearts of millions of people who have grown sick of corporate rhetoric and propaganda. As a result, experts predict that hundreds of other customer care organizations will come forward and admit that they, too, would rather take a hot stick in the eye than have to continue spending the time, money and resources needed to handle your phone call in an efficient and friendly manner. 

Leading Consultant Allegedly Kidnapped by Vendor after Announcing that FCR Cannot Be Accurately Measured

When renowned and outspoken call center consultant Bob Salducci recently insisted that true first-call resolution is nearly impossible to gauge, it made a lot of waves in an industry that has become obsessed with the FCR metric. However, Salducci hasn’t said a whole lot since then – it’s tough to talk when you are bound and gagged.    

According to sources, Salducci was kidnapped by several members of the sales team at Kaneta Inc., a leading provider of customer care solutions whose bread and butter solution purportedly measures FCR at both the center and agent level.

Several witnesses say that they saw Salducci being forcefully whisked into a van outside his office in downtown Phoenix by five men and women wearing Kaneta’s trademark purple, aqua and gold polo shirts. Further tipping off witnesses that Kaneta was behind the abduction is the fact that the van into which Salducci was forced was also purple, aqua and gold, and had “KANETA” written on both sides and the back in two-foot tall letters.

A spokesperson for Kaneta vehemently denied the accusation that Kaneta was involved in the heinous crime in any way, stating, “Kaneta is a leader in customer care technological innovation. We were smart enough to come up with the industry’s first FCR algorithm, so I’d like to think that, if we decided to kidnap anybody, we’d be smart enough to use a less conspicuous vehicle.”

When asked to explain, then, how half a dozen witnesses all reported the same details of the crime, the Kaneta spokesperson replied convincingly, “Kaneta is a leader in customer care technological innovation.” He denied to answer any further questions, but did take the time to hand out free cocktail tickets that featured Kaneta’s booth number at the next major contact center conference.

Details of the crime emerged after one of Salducci’s consulting partners, John Reynolds, received an email featuring a picture of Salducci tied up and wearing a purple aqua and gold gag. The email message stated that if Salducci Consulting didn’t rescind Salducci’s slanderous FCR statement immediately, the abductors would torture Salducci by making him write a whitepaper entirely in Latin.

The email itself provided even more incriminating evidence against the aforementioned number-one suspect in the case, as the sender’s email address was

Consulting has not yet decided if it will agree to the kidnapper’s terms for Mr. Salducci’s safe return, explaining that the firm has been considering making some staffing cuts anyway due to the lagging economy.

Darrel Friedtd
1/7/2011 01:28:15 am

You had me at "pilfer."

1/7/2011 01:31:23 am

You had me at "you had me".

Thanks for reading, Darrel!


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