5 Examples of Terrible Customer Service

Last week we brought you 5 examples of Customer Service that you should follow. This week, probably to a few more stifled laughs, we’re bringing you 5 examples of terrible Customer Service. Things that you shouldn’t do. No no’s. Horrorshows. Just don’t.

1. Telling consumers they don’t know anything

Elaine B. explains that she was only trying to contact Comcast to find something out about her bill. “I couldn’t understand the different groupings of channels which had no explanation just names like Extended Package. She couldn’t explain it and kept getting the same channels in different groupings. I said, very politely, that I didn’t understand her explanation, and if there was someone else who can explain it to me so I would understand.”

The woman apparently replied: “You’re stupid.” Then she hung up.

Errr, yeah, probably avoid calling the person you’re selling something to ‘stupid’. Poor form.

2. Taking too long to respond

Bernard ordered a white BIRKELAND bed from IKEA for his eight-year old daughter.
The day after he took delivery of the boxes, the delivery company called saying that they failed to deliver one part of the bed and would deliver the missing piece in two days time. On that day the delivery company never turned up. They apologised and promised to deliver the next day. “I hired a decorator to decorate my daughter’s room, which included putting up the new bed,” Marr explained. “I then get a call from the decorator explaining to me that there seem to be parts that don’t belong to the bed. After some confusion we realised that the delivery company delivered some parts of a completely different bed and that the slats for the bed I originally ordered were still missing.”

After ringing customer service they apologised and said they would send a courier company to deliver the slats in two days time and pick up the wrong parts and once nobody turned up. He rang again, got another apology and an explanation that the store manager didn’t sign off the delivery. When the missing slats were finally delivered, they didn’t take the wrong bed parts with them – which got him calling customer service once more. Having to go through virtual assistants, email and submission forms, it took them nine months to respond in full.

3. Due diligence!

This could possibly be the worst customer service experience of all time! Ikenna was looking forward to paying off his car loan, tried to cash a tax rebate cheque of $8,463 at Chase Bank. The bank worker, however, immediately expressed doubts that the cheque was legit. He said: “She asked me what I did for a living. Asked me where I got the check from, looked me up and down–like ‘you just bought a house in Auburn (posh area in Alabama), really?’ She didn’t believe that.”

The police arrested him for forgery the next day. He spent five nights in jail before bank investigators and police were able to clear him. By then, the car he had hoped to pay off had been towed and auctioned off and he also lost his job because he didn’t show up for work. Furthermore, the bank did nothing after the incident, not even an apology. Only a year later, after being contacted by an attorney and a local reporter did the bank an apology.

4. Not listening to the customer

Chris Williams was worried that someone named “Brittni” was phishing his email address and contacted Amazon’s customer support team through its live chat function, to ask Amazon to block an email address that appeared to be associated with his real address. The conversation didn’t go as planned. Here’s a sample of the transcript:

CW: Someone created an account using my gmail account but with a “.” in it. This is still associated with my email address and is not my account. How can I delete this account? My name is not brittni.. my name is chris williams. my actual account is ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com. this other account was created using ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com
i believe it is some sort of phishing attempt but I don’t want this account associate with my email.

Farah: yah..Im just here..but before we proceed let me check your account for security purposes okay? mAY i KNOW THE ACCOUNT HOLDER PLEASE.

CW: ok. my real account is ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com NOT ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com – i had to password reset in order to get this account. Chris Williams.

Farah: May I know the account holder please..

CW: Account holder is Chris Williams.

Farah: your first and last name plese

CW: First = Chris
Last = Williams

Farah: okay let me check this out for you okay? one moment plese. ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com ..this one is your account am I correct on this?

CW: yes… ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com is my account.

Farah: okay..Il reset your password..just check the link on it..so you can have your new password okay?

CW: no, i don’t need you to reset my password.

Farah: OH OKAY..I ask an apology for that one..

CW: i need you to delete this “ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com” account because it is not mine. please don’t change my password.

Farah: ah yah sure..I’m not going to change your Password maam..

CW: maam? what is going on here?

5. Being unsympathetic and unwilling to work with the client

In a blog, RicemanFTW describes his latest interaction with American Express, explaining that he had made a decimal point mistake when making a payment from his iPhone. He discovered the error before AmEx, notifying both the bank and AmEx, whom were understanding and going so far as to say that they would cover an overdraft charges.

“A few days later, I get a call from the wife saying that she can’t use the card…I check the account, no suspension notices or anything. I call AmEx up and I’m put through to their returned payments department. I end up on the phone with a very unsympathetic rep who basically accuses me of trying to defraud them so that I can make illegal purchases. When I inform that I had contacted AmEx a few days before to notify THEM of the mistake I had made he told me if that was the case then I should have stopped the payment.” In the end, the service rep said: “That’s what customer service does. They tell you what you want to hear.” And suspended his account.

Don’t be like those guys. Ever. That’s some of the worst Customer Service around. After all, the customer is (sometimes) always right! Do you need some training in Customer Service? If you can’t erroneous above then you definitely do! Check out our Customer Service courses, here!

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