Customer Service Hall of Shame

Did you see this article: [url][/url]

Any of you work for one of those companies or shop there?

I absolutely hate poor customer service. Its like a crusade for me.

I am not a Sprint customer but it makes me wonder why they have such BAD customer service.

This may be a wake up call for some of these companies.


  • 18 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Experience tells me that these very large corps just punish the punished. They never quite get it. You call in, get an announcement to the effect "you have been chosen...if you wish to participate in our survey..." Then some poor Customer Service rep gets on the line rotes their timed narrative and the beat goes on...
    It's just another Day.
  • I totally agree with you. I have
    long stated that someday I'm
    writing a book on the death of
    Customer Service. Instead of the
    norm, it has become the exception
    to find someone who is even polite,
    but when I do, I let a manager
    know about it. If retail stores
    (like Home Depot)can't provide
    you with service then it becomes
    self serv anyway, so fire everybody,
    lower the cost to me.

  • Have any of you seen "Give Em the Pickle" by Bob Farrell? Its one of the best selling customer service videos.

    I like it because it has a very simple message that is easily communicated.

    Walmart made the list of bad customer service and I tend to agree. For the gazillions of dollars Walmart makes, they could afford to invest a bit back into the development of their employees...and maybe clean their bathrooms occassionally.

    I have a long memory for bad customer service. I still remember a negative experience at Circuit City when I was 17.

    The scary part is you dont often hear from the customers. They just dont come back. With the amount of options we consumers have, there just is no reason to put up with bad customer service.

  • That is so true. Most people don't come back to compliment.
  • I try to compliment good service and will even contact an employee's supervisor. I will also make a complaint if necessary. I am amazed at how often some complaints are totally ignored.

    Why bother to list your companies e-mail address on your website if you dont respond to e-mails?

    The larger an organization grows, it seems to be more difficult to maintain a consistent culture of customer service.

    It would be interesting to study whether companies with bad customer service also have terrible internal customer service. Perhaps it starts there...
  • This weekend we stopped by the Home Depot to check out a new mail box. We walked in and asked the first worker we saw where they were. He told us on isle 9, right next to hardware (the next isle). We went up and down the isle, no mail boxes.

    We then went about the store looking. On our way we admired a door and was helped, but we didn't ask about mail boxes.

    After going all over the store and still not finding them, we asked someone else. The answer? Isle 9. We immediately asked a 3rd person who told us they didn't know.

    We decided to leave. We were sniveling to each other about it on our way out and passed a young lady who worked there. She stopped us and asked if she could help us. I told her that 3 people had been unable to point us to the mail boxes. She then gave me specific instructions. The hardware isle had a little short isle just off to the side, and she told us how to get there. We headed off and she helped someone else.

    Before we got to the hardware isle another worker came forward. She asked if we were the ones looking for mail boxes. She escorted us right to them.

    I would have left disgusted with HD if it were not for this one employee going out of her way. She knew we were not happy and stopped us anyway knowing that she might have to take some flak. Though by now we were running late, I made a point to find her and thank her on our way out with our new mail box. I expect to return for the new door in a few weeks. I am sure I would not have been back for quite some time if it hadn't been for that one worker.

  • I receive indifferent service most of the time. Not great, not bad, they just don't care and are moving me through their line. I'm speaking of grocery stores, Wal Mart, Target, department stores, etc.

    I go out of my way to one particular Starbucks almost every day because of a few people who work there. They act like they are happy that I walked in the door, and it feels genuine. (You know how desperate we HR people are for SOMEONE to act happy to see us!)

    I use this to train our staff at Orientation. People come back to places where the employees appear happy to be doing whatever it is they are doing. In my company, that list includes changing diapers, wiping boogey noses, searching for a lost shoe under six inches of sand, and cleaning up endless amounts of spilled paint/milk/food/younameit. It also includes all kinds of wonderful things, if you choose to focus on them instead.

    Every job can suck if that's how you choose to look at it. Unfortunately lots of people out there look at their job as something to "get through" every day, hence the indifferent, or even crappy service.

    I love that commercial where one person's good deed leads to another person's good deed, and so on and so on and so on. You can't fix everyone's attitude malfuction, but you can make a small difference for some people, who will then make a small difference for other people, and so on.

    End of "lecture."

    Kumbaya, Paul. x:-)
  • I sometimes feel like I have to go into a store acting like a butt just to get some service. They completely ignore the nice customers, but if you go in acting like an idiot, they fall all over themselves to help you. Go figure.

    My house payment changed about $25/mo this year for escrow. I have automatic payments set up, so the first one was short. When I received my next statement, they informed me that my last payment was in a holding account b/c it wasn't the correct amount. So I called and explained what happened and that I would be sending the extra funds immediately. Well, they wanted to charge me a huge late fee! I politely said I wasn't going to pay it. They had my money, they just put it someplace else. The rep was so rude, basically said I was stupid for not sending the correct amount, blah, blah, blah. I ended up getting it waived, but good grief it was a hassle! She acted like she was doing me a huge favor by waiving it "just this one time" since I had an excellent payment history. And don't even get me started on the cell phone companies.
  • A walmart employee snapped at my daughter one time. I was stunned. My daughter almost started to cry. We both walked out of the store without purchasing anything.

    The home depot illustration is a good one because it shows the power that just one employee has.

    I am a big fan of walking someone to whereever they need to go rather than pointing them somewhere. Its more personal.

    I checked into a motel on business recently. The first room they gave was dirty. The second was being painted. The third had someone living in it.

    I started feeling like Goldilocks. I finally had the front desk person walk with me personally to the fourth room which was clean and un-occupied.
  • In the book "Good to Great", there is a referrence to a company that implemented a policy called "short pay", where the customer is allowed to review the invoice for the products and/or services recieved, circle what they were dissatisfied with and deduct it from their payment due. The guy that invented this policy introduced it because he said it absolutely forces a company to pay attention to things that the customer is unhappy about. Customer surveys are only useful to a certain point and as he pointed out, negative feedback from cusotmers on surveys can be easily explained away. But when the customer has control over what they feel they should pay based upon the total purcahse experience, the company MUST pay attention to what goes wrong in the transaction, then correct it. That concept always struck me as not only revolutionary (if not somewhat risky), but also quite brilliant in its emphasis on TOTAL customer satisfaction. How many times would Walmart, Home Depot, or any other company continue to ignore complaints about poor quality products or service if customer "revolt" resulted in drastically reduced revenue on each transaction....??
  • I get a kick out of the Walmart commercials
    that so happy helpful employees. I wanna know
    where THAT Walmart is so I can go there!!

  • Its right next to the McDonalds that is staffed by a mixed-age group of happy, ethnically diverse employees wearing MATCHING uniforms.
  • Any place that takes me longer to check out than it does to shop...I try to avoid like the plague. This includes Walmart and SAMS Club. I hate the atmosphere in both of them. Junk piled in the aisles and on top of the shelves. Kids in these massive buggy like contraptions with their parents trying to maneuver around all this! ARRRRRGGGGGH!

    A study in contrast...Target. Clean looking, organized, aisles clear..plenty of checkouts. A real pleasure, even if it costs a little more.

    By the way, I have usually found employees at the Home Depot to be knowledgeable and helpful. By contrast, I have also done business with Lowes, who only hire arms and legs and they have no idea what they are selling.

    On line shopping gets better and better!

  • Rockie, I have never thought about Target that way but you are right. Its a totally different atmosphere.

    Personally, I find the canned greetings you get at Hollywood Video and the Gap to be, well, canned. You walk in and an employee says "hello" with all the feeling of a wet rag. I actually prefer when they dont see me come in and dont give me the zombie greeting.

    Our McDonalds actually has pretty good customer service. There is one employee there who always says "hey guy!" when you order as if you are best friends. It comes across pretty well. It also helps that he is smiling and appears to have a pulse.
  • Customer service legend and Oregon native Les Schwab died Friday at age 89.

    Now there was a guy who understood that the customer is everything.

    Hats off to you, Les!
  • Les Schwab's Tire Centers were unique in that anyone could come in and get a flat fixed, check air pressure and numerous other customer oriented services with extremely friendly service at no cost. All they said was that when you needed to purchase new tires please think of them.
  • And it works. I am a loyal Les Schwab customer. I wish they did auto repair.
  • This is a great video with a customer service message. I was "moved" when I first saw it and very few things do that to me.

    Turn on your speakers and Enjoy!

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