#2. Immediately Ask to Speak to a Supervisor
This is another classic. If you really want to get your problem solved quickly, immediately ask to speak to a supervisor. Every customer service rep on the planet probably fields five to 10 calls a day from people who won't even say what they're calling about and demand to speak to a supervisor instead. The thinking behind it is that supervisors are the only ones with any authority to do anything about your problem. If you feel this way, let me ask you a question. How do you feel about your boss? Do you and your co-workers huddle around the break room and sing your boss's praises, or do you think your boss is some far less funny version of Bill Lumberg from Office Space who wouldn't know his head from his ass and most certainly couldn't step in and do your job competently in your absence? Right, it's probably the latter. Hell, half the reason I took this job at Cracked is because it's literally the first time I've had a boss who I trust to be better at my job than I am (remember this sentence come Christmas bonus time, Jack).
Please, not again.
Customer service reps feel the same way about their bosses as you do about yours, and they're usually right. Whatever you're calling about, that customer service rep has probably dealt with the exact same problem on dozens of other phone calls. Meanwhile, their supervisor sits in a cubicle and monitors how much downtime each employee takes between calls so they can justify giving them a 2 percent raise instead of a 3 percent raise, thereby ensuring the department they're in charge of comes in under budget for the year. Even if they got that job by being the very best customer service rep in all the land, their days of actually taking phone calls regularly have long since passed. By not even entertaining the idea of telling the person who answered the phone what your problem is, you're basically ensuring that your call gets handed off to a person who is less knowledgeable about how to fix it. They will figure it out eventually, but not as quickly as the person who deals with horseshit like yours hundreds of times per day.
"Sounds like you just need to plug it in."
Granted, there may come a time in any phone call when a supervisor will need to get involved, but the customer service rep will know when that time has come. If you can manage to keep things pleasant or at least somewhat businesslike, they'll just put you on hold and go ask that supervisor for the OK to do whatever it is you need done. I really can't stress this enough: Not being a dick is your best move when dealing not only with customer service representatives, but just people in general. And besides, if you immediately demand a supervisor and actually get one, what you've essentially done is identified yourself as a jackass. Except now, you're talking to a person who has no fear of repercussions for not helping you. If you at least give it a shot with the actual customer service rep at first, you can use the "transfer me to a supervisor" ploy as a backup. But if you start with the supervisor, who do you think is going to take your phone call above them if you don't get the help you're looking for? Wait, are you one of those people who asks to talk to "the company president" when things get out of hand? If so, just a heads up, everyone in that company now thinks you're hilarious. They don't even get to talk to the company president, and they fucking work there. But hey, you always have that one nuclear option in your pocket, right? You know what I'm talking about ...
#1. If All Else Fails, Threaten to Take Your Business Elsewhere
Right, take your business elsewhere. Great plan. That will get a customer service rep's attention! You're right, it will. But it won't be the kind of attention you're looking for. If you've approached the conversation from the "scream first and then scream some goddamn more later" angle, the old "Well I'm just going to close my account" tactic is music to a customer service rep's ears. Why? Because it means one of two things ... 1. You've given up and are ready to end the phone call. Because you're a raging dick, this is a good option for them. 2. They now have an excuse to transfer you to the "retention" department where you get to explain your situation all over from the beginning with no additional assurance that your problem will be solved. Again, because you are a flaming bag of rage-covered dicks, this is also a good option for them. Exactly what consequences do you think there will be for that customer service rep by ending your relationship with their employer? By presenting yourself as an out of control moron who can't ask what a deductible is without foaming at the mouth, they're more than happy to hear that you plan on taking your business elsewhere. Because that means you won't be calling them again. And just like every person you've ever dated, that's exactly what they want.