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I work in a call center doing tech support. I've worked there less than a year but passed my probation period. I have done tech support before for and have worked as a call agent before (but never done tech support as a call agent before).

I had a call today where someone's computer happened to stop working during the call, and he was convinced I had done something to break it from my end. Though I explained to him, that even if I tried, I wouldn't be able to affect his computer as we only control the internet. After 30 minutes he still wouldn't believe me and just started yelling.

Regretfully, I hung up, but my manager found out and now I may be fired (UPDATE I was fired). I don't think this is fair as I was under the impression we could do this as others hangup in similar circumstances.

How can I smooth things over with my boss so I don't get fired?

EDIT

In other questions I've received references to this question and think it's important to add some details.

  1. The company repeatedly emphasized the importance of keeping calls short and this call was over the allotted time.

  2. We were never given specific instructions on disconnecting calls, and even after speaking with management they were unable to provide official policy or guidelines.

  3. The customer I disconnected from called in every day and always got the same answer, and after 30 minutes was not accepting that his question was out of scope of support. Additionally, it doesn't make sense that the rule is "never hang up" because what if someone called in to cancel all services but couldn't answer the security question.

  • @Lilienthal yes, how to smooth things over, and what to do in similar situations where my boss is trying to enforce rules in a position she doesn't really know (for example I don't think being more empathetic like she said would have helped the situation). – dashofpepper Dec 13 '17 at 11:48
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    Would it help if I explain my view with my manager? No, it will help if you apologize and promise it won't happen again. – AffableAmbler Dec 13 '17 at 21:38
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    There isn't much to question about. It's not up to you which customers can or cannot use your company's service. Listen to your boss, tell them it won't happen again, and follow their advice on how to handle things in the future. – Dan Dec 15 '17 at 13:38
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    In the call before you hanged up , did you state that the customer has to stop swearing (e.g. like sir , please if you keep swearing , I will have to terminate the call) or did you just hanged up – SomeGuy Dec 18 '17 at 12:28
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You're going through a disciplinary action because the customer raised an official complaint. The company is following a policy here and can't simply log and ignore the complaint without any transparency regarding process and outcome.

Go through the process and learn what is and isn't "the line" when it comes to handling angry customers. You'll probably get some additional advice and guidance on how to mitigate the situations before they get to this stage.

Don't assume that you're going to be fired unless you really don't want to fix this. The customer might insist that you get fired, but that's a different issue that the company should protect you from.

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    Best advice. When I worked the help desk, there was a procedure in place that dictated what to do when a customer was being unreasonable. Learn what your companies is and follow it. – Mister Positive Dec 13 '17 at 12:46
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    The call centers I'm familiar with all had a policy that let you hang up on an abusive customer, with a warning. "Mr. SoandSo, if you keep swearing, I will end this call. Can we focus on your problem?" That said, call centers are notorious for having flatly contradictory performance standards (keep call time low, but don't let the customer go without solving his issue). It kind of forces employees to compromise their standards. – kbelder Dec 14 '17 at 0:08
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    Not even 'kind of'. It forces everyone to compromise and gives managers a stick to beat you with. – Borgh Dec 18 '17 at 13:06
  • Apparently he has been fired, which is very weird. (see his edit) – Mafii Feb 16 '18 at 11:01

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