News : Financial Firms to Take Stern Action Against ‘Rude' Customers
Seoul, South Korea, Aug 9, 2015 -- The financial regulator is cracking down on people who abuse call center operators. This is good news for veteran call center manager Lee who described how stressful it is to handle rude customers.
"Some customers start with coarse language, which accounts for 60 or 70 percent of the dialogue," said Lee, who asked to be identified only by her surname. "Others go as far as to utter words defaming members of my family."
It's little wonder then that staffers suffer psychosocial side effects.
"My colleagues and I suffer from a lot of diseases and disorders, such as headaches, digestion disorders and insomnia, to name a few," said Lee, who has worked in call centers for 16 years. "This situation drives us to quit the job in the end."
But consumers repeatedly using coarse language to financial company representatives will face action, the financial regulator said Sunday.
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said it plans to file a complaint with the prosecution or a compensation lawsuit against customers who have a record of using bad language.
"We are running a taskforce team which is studying how to tackle customers' abuse of employees of financial companies," said an FSS spokeswoman. "It will announce measures to prevent them, including accusations and compensation claims."
She said it is part of FSS efforts to fight five key "evils" of the finance industry ; voice phishing, illegal money lending, illegal debt collection, abuse between financial firms and consumers, and insurance fraud.
The announcement came amid financial firms' concerns about the regulator's ratings system of their consumer protection based on several customer complaints. They said such a system made them vulnerable to customer abuse.
According to a Financial Economy Institute survey of 3,776 bank employees last December, 75.6 percent of them said consumer abuse was a key stress factor.
Some financial companies have measures to deal with customer abuse. Hyundai Card, a credit card affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, has a policy that allows call center employees to hang up on rude and abusive customers.
But small and medium companies do not offer such options. Call center operators have no choice but to listen to the abuse until the customer hangs up.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Financial Supervisory Service:
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is South Korea's integrated financial regulator that examines and supervises financial institutions under the broad oversight of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the government regulatory authority staffed by civil servants.
Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2015