Thursday, 1 October 2020

Can Users Refuse To Have Their Customer Service Call Recorded?

Doña Eugenia’s hysterical call to a Tigo customer service agent was leaked on the social media, raising doubts about to what extent can users refuse to be recorded.

Q COSTA RICA – A call to customer service should be a private matter. At least that is the reasonable expectations of clients calling to make a complaint or obtaining assistance about a service there are paying for.

However, a recent conversation between an irate customer and a Tigo customer service center agent that went viral on the social media has raised doubts about the extent to which users can refuse to have their calls recorded.

The discussion on the subject went public after a recording of a very emotional and sometimes vulgar rant by Eugenia Maria Cartin Barrios to a Tigo customer service was leaked to the social media.

- paying the bills -

Doña Eugenia, earlier this week, went public to bring awareness to the problem. On national television, Doña Eugenia explained that she was very upset when she made the call months ago, upset at the lousy internet service provided by Tigo.

In the audio, Doña Eugenia is hysterical during the call, a call she may have or not known it was being recorded, but never imagined it would go public.

Talking to Teletica, Doña Eugenia said she was only asserting her right of a customer demanding the service she is paying for.

Doña Eugenia publicly accepts that perhaps her reaction to the customer service agent was not her best, but said her patience ran out after having had so many days of problems with her Internet service.

Wendy Rivera Roman, director of the Agencia de Protección de Datos de los Habitantes (APDH) and Manuel Emilio Ruiz, board director of the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel), both government agencies, warn and advise how to deal with the issue of customer service center calls.

- paying the bills -

Rivera explains that calls are monitored and recorded for commercial reasons. This is usually done to verify the attention the user (customer) is receiving and for supervisors to verify the work of their operators. The APDH director stresses that decision to record of not the call is between the user and provider.

Ruiz, for is part, had a similar explanation. The state regulator board director added that the provide (company) can use the recording as support in disputes with customers.

Both Rivera and Ruiz are clear that there is no mechanisms to prohibit the recording of calls, the only recourse customers who do not want to be recorded have is to hang up. The options are then to either communicate via email or online chat.

Despite the claims by authorities that there really isn’t much they can do, Doña Eugenia’s lawyer says they “will go to the last instance.”

“At TIGO we are very sorry that the information (recorded a few months back) has been leaked on social networks … the purpose of recording the calls is to monitor and always improve the service … we are analyzing what happened,” was the company’s official response.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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