Finweek English Edition - - BUSINESSTRENDS CALL CENTRES - LEANI WES­SELS leaniw@fin­media24.com

IT TOOK ME a good three days to find the courage to open my credit card state­ment for March. It had been a heady month, filled with trav­el­ling, din­ners at good restau­rants and an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent where the rental car got scratched. Note to read­ers: Take out the max­i­mum amount of in­surance on rentals. It’s worth it, be­lieve me.

Now it was pay­back time. How­ever, I no­ticed there was a slight dis­crep­ancy on my ac­count – late pay­ment fees were charged when no late pay­ments were made. Usu­ally, and in the words of one of this col­umn’s avid read­ers, I’d rather put my eyes out than phone a call cen­tre. How­ever, this is Vir­gin Money and I’ve had the plea­sure of deal­ing with their op­er­a­tors be­fore.

As with my pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences, the call was an­swered al­most im­me­di­ately by some­one I can imag­ine hav­ing a drink with af­ter work. In other words, a friend ready to de­fend my hard-earned buffaloes. I also didn’t have to sit through end­less com­put­er­gen­er­ated prompts be­fore I could speak to a hu­man be­ing. The op­er­a­tor quickly no­ticed some­thing was wrong with my ac­count, fixed it there and then and the money was cred­ited back to me. I didn’t need to con­vince him I was in the right ei­ther. Plea­sure do­ing busi­ness, guys.

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