People who work customer service have a tough job. It’s not easy to keep a smile on your face all day long, especially when you’re constantly swamped by rude or unreasonable requests from clients. You’re not allowed to pick a fight, after all. You’re the face of the company. The customer isn’t always right. But neither is the customer service. These folks recently went online to share the worst customer service they’ve ever received. These people definitely won’t be leaving a tip!
25. The Doctor Is Out
I’m going to say the front office at my therapist’s clinic. I didn’t get to go see her for almost a year because I was extraordinarily sick, moved house, and injured myself while moving to the point that I had to undergo surgery. I called to make an appointment and they said that since it had been over a year they had dropped me as a patient. Ok. So do I fill out new patient paperwork again? Well, she’s not accepting new patients right now. Ok, so can I see a different therapist because I’m seriously having some problems? (They’ve got like 20 of them in the same clinic.) Well, since you’re established with her and you have a rapport built up with her we don’t want to switch you to a new therapist. You could try calling back next month, but just so you know she’s booking four to six months out. At this point I’m pretty angry so I say, “I’m calling you guys because I’m having major issues. What if I was having thoughts of self-harm? Are you going to tell a person with who’s a danger to themselves that they can’t see a different therapist since theirs is booked until May?” And that’s when she hung up on me. I called back and said, “Hey I think we got disconnected,” and she hung up on me again. So yeah, a mental health clinic that hangs up on people that have a history of self-harm and are asking for help gets my vote for worst customer service ever.
I bought a tablet not long after they came out. The cables looked like micro USB cables, but contained 2 extra wires that made it so that regular micro usb cables couldn’t charge the tablet. The company sold these cables for $20 each, but they were so poorly made that they quickly fell apart. I went through 20 in the first year alone; granted, most of them were given to me free while my warranty was valid. After my warranty ran out, I went to buy another cord, as mine had once again torn up. None of the nearby stores had any. The website didn’t have any. I contacted customer service to see about purchasing one from them. They get my account info, then tell me they can’t send me one because my warranty ran out. I explain that I’m not trying to get a free one, I want to purchase one. The agent kept repeating that he couldn’t send me a free one. No matter how many times I said I didn’t want a free one, I wanted to buy one, he would repeat himself. I asked if they had any for sale, thinking they might be out and he just wasn’t explaining properly. Yes, they had them for sale, but he couldn’t send me a free one. In 30 minutes of arguing back and forth like this, I never did get it through his head that I wanted to buy one.
Paypal was terrible after I got a box of roof tiles shipped to me instead of a guitar amplifier I ordered on eBay. I called them and let them know what happened. This was the convo: Me: “So I got scammed. Instead of an amp, I received a box of roof tiles. I refused the shipment and sent it back. I can supply pictures.” Paypal Rep: “Well, technically the item was delivered.” Me: “It was a box of roof tiles, not an amp.” Paypal Rep: “The ball is in your court. We showed something shipped out.” Then he hung up. I was furious. I called Citibank, which was the credit card company I used through Paypal. When I told them the situation, they instantly refunded me my money. They told me that even if they had shipped out the amp but it was the wrong color, they would still refund me and try to get their money back from the seller. AWESOME customer service.
Health insurance. Having to explain to the “first line” of personnel who appear to be there simply to wear you down, what a procedure is, what the codes mean, and why something is, in fact, covered by my insurance. My doctor’s office actually provided me all the information knowing that my insurance was denying the claim assuming that I would probably just pay it. It took several phone calls but they did pay the claim. It was extremely frustrating, though, especially when you are sick and having to fight for your insurance to do their job.
Lovefilm. I tried cancelling, and all they would do is put my account on “holiday”. They simply refused to cancel my subscription. I eventually gave up and accepted the “holiday”. As that was ending, I tried again, they repeated the “holiday” thing, even though I couldn’t have any more “holiday” time on my account. Then they said that I can reduce my subscription (I was on an expensive one as it was for games), but I wanted to completely cancel. In the end, I sent them an email threatening legal action, as well as mentioning the Data Protection Act and telling them to remove all my details from their site as I didn’t trust them. They finally cancelled, buy my account was still there, including my payment details. So I sent them another email threatening legal action again before they finally removed my details. I’m glad Amazon bought them then gutted them.
Last year myself, my wife, brother and fiancé, and sister and boyfriend went out to pizza in Salem, MA. We all ordered and then they deliver them to your table. Everyone’s pizzas came except my wife and I. We’re waiting for like 10 minutes until we notice people after us were getting food. Finally I go up there and they get all defensive and say they delivered it. “No, you didn’t” Finally they fess up that another customer had raised his hand and taken our pizza. They then just sat there looking at me like “OH WELL?” Had to argue with the manager to actually get the pizza I ordered. She tried to make us take other pizzas instead that were already made (and not what we ordered). Place lost my business for life.
Bought a washer dryer combo from Sears. Opened a Sears credit card to buy it. They both broke in less than a week. After a month of no repairs, I had them returned. Sears refused to acknowledge my return, and I had to fight with them for 6 months to take the charges off the credit card.
Totally a first world problem but the surrealism of the situation threw me off. I had an ol’ clunker of a Dell computer that I was trying to inject a few more years of life into. It was still good and I couldn’t afford a brand new box at the time. Wanting to install an extra hard disk, I cracked the case open only to find out the thing’s skeleton wasn’t the traditional “screw it into place” sort. Instead you have to put a pair of clips on your device and then slide/snap it into place. There was a pair of spare clips on the machine’s front end!… for an extra floppy drive. So, I called Dell in the hope to maybe order and get a pair of hard disk clips shipped. I figured it’d be just a handful of bucks. Totally worth it.
First person had no clue what I was talking about and transferred me to level 2.
Level 2 had no clue what I was talking about and transferred me to his supervisor.
Supervisor admitted that his office wasn’t made to handle these sorts of calls and thus gave me the phone number for another call center more specialized in spare parts.
Called the new number. Explain my situation only to get told by the girl that I had ended up in the billing department. She transferred me to their technical support.
Tech support guy had no clue what I was talking about and transferred me to another guy. (At this point I realized I had been given the number for a call center in India, and I could barely understand what they were saying.)
Other guy had no clue what I was talking about and transferred to yet another guy.
Yet another guy had me describe in excruciating detail the part I wanted, the computer’s model number, the computer’s serial number. Then proceeded to tell me he didn’t believe the computer could support a second hard disk. (BS, dude. The computer had two full-sized IDE plugs, the original HD and the optical drive used one of them.) I hand-waved his concern and stated it wasn’t his problem to deal with: I’d assume the consequences.
This guy put me on hold for 10 minutes only to hand me off to a lady who pretty much made me go through the entire story all over again.
And so, after an hour of this insane foray since my first call, the lady proceeded to tell me that the pair of floppy disk clips I was holding in my hand at this very moment did not exist. I froze, thanked her for the help, hung up, turned away, and went to get myself hammered.
I went to Sonic for lunch one day, and my boss asked me to get her a route 44 Blue Coconut Slush. The girl that brought the stuff to my car was on roller skates. She hit a rock, and the giant cup of blue came flying into my open window. She laughed her butt off and apologized while I got out to let it drip off of me instead of even more getting onto the tan interior of my new car. The girl left, came back with a wad of napkins and a handful of “10 cents off” cardboard circles and tossed them in my car. As I was trying to wrap my brain around what was happening, my friend called me and said her baby had just been born prematurely and she wanted me to go straight to the hospital. I got there and stopped in a bathroom to try to scrub blue dye off of my arms, face, and neck. I wasn’t very successful, but my friend and her husband had a good laugh after a stressful day, so that was a plus. When I got home, my husband saw that the inside of my car had been dyed blue and had a layer of sugary crust. He strongly suggested that I call the manager and ask if they would have my car cleaned. I called, and the manager told me to go see him the next day. When I showed up, he said he could have one of his employees vacuum out my car, and handed me a card with “half off drinks for life” scribbled on it. I chalked it all up to “Sonic sucks”, and planned to let everyone I knew use that card for the rest of my life. First trip there, my husband handed the drive-thru guy the card, and he confiscated it saying it was only good for that one time. At that point, I was pretty mad. I emailed corporate; the owner of that Sonic called me pretty quickly and claimed that it was his “idiot son” who gave me the card and that there is no such thing as a lifetime discount. I told him I didn’t care about a discount and that I just wanted them to clean my car. I ended up with 10 free combo meals and a car interior that still attracts more dirt in certain spots no matter how much I clean it.
AT&T wireless back in the mid-2000’s. I moved states and changed my phone number with AT&T to a local number. However, they kept trying to send me bills from the previous number saying that I broke contract and needed to pay an early termination fee since I ‘discontinued service’ with one number to set-up new service with another number. I refused to pay it, spent about 20 hours on the phone with customer service, went to my local store 6-8 times to discuss this with various representatives, and even had a collection agency call me. After about 4 months of this and having my service cut off and cut back on multiple times, they finally decided to stop pursuing me after I wrote numerous letters explaining what happened to a number of people. Every time I would start telling them my story after they pulled up my account information they would go: “Oh yeah, looks like you have some history with us.” After it finally got settled, I was at the end of my contract with AT&T and they tried getting me to sign another contract with a discounted new phone. I told them that the only way I would sign back up with AT&T would be to have a written offer of 6 months of free service plus a free phone for putting up with the BS of the previous 4 months. The manager told me they can’t offer free service and I told them as politely as I could to have a nice day and that AT&T should remove my name from any future correspondence or I would consider the communication harassment. I haven’t heard from them in almost 10 years now.
I will tell my story of Time Warner Cable. Here is the start of the story. I moved from 1 block, to another in the same town (1.5 miles apart), and had 10mbs internet which worked fine. My roommate could watch Netflix, and so could I, also while playing online games. I moved to a new apartment, and got better internet with it. I now had 25mbs — awesome. However, when pinging, I only ever got about 4mbs. Watching Netflix was impossible, let alone Netflix and an online game. I originally called them, letting them know. Their first line of defence was, “You need to upgrade to better internet.” No, no I don’t. Then, plugging directly into the modem, and all the troubleshooting steps. Many times the call would drop, and I would have to start all over again from troubleshooting step 1. Telling them I just went through this did not help. They ended up swapping out the modem twice saying, “Oh you have the wrong one.” I had 4 onsite technician visits. First tech tested everything, and his exact words were “I don’t know.” Second tech visit said I was never home and “left a note on the door.” I called out of work to be home, and they never showed, never knocked, and no note on my door. Third visit, was from a tech who, when I called him, started going through my troubleshooting steps over the phone instead of coming out. I told him it still happens when directly plugged into the modem, then he asked me, “Do you use it while on wireless? That’s your problem.” I prompty told him to [bleep] himself, and he hung up on me. I got the 4th tech to come out, and he FINALLY checked the outside pole to realize there was something wrong the line outside on the pole. All done, right? Wrong. So he schedules a maintenance crew to come out and check the poles. A month rolls by, and still nothing and no one. This is when I start the whole thing over. I call and speak directly to a supervisor who states, “We cannot send out a maintenance crew unless a tech visits you first.” When I told him they had, he repeated that sentence 10 times.
Wells Fargo. I had closed a savings account years ago. Somehow, Wells Fargo claimed that I had incurred a withdraw from the savings account. It turned out to have been an error on their part. However, they tacked on an “overdraft fee” of $15. I noticed it in my checking account. When I inquired, they said that it was because there were no funds in the savings account. But the account had been closed for years! I spent an entire week calling and e-mailing different departments (referred to me by different reps). I felt that I was at the mercy of whatever erroneous charge they wanted to throw at me. Ultimately, I believe nothing would have been corrected had I not e-mailed every Wells Fargo director that I could find on the internet. Eventually I was advised that they had recalled the bogus late fee, but made sure to get it in writing. I stopped banking with them at that time.
This was actually very recently. There was this little ramen shop in Chinatown that I loved. Finally decided to take my boyfriend there. Started out fine. I order curry udon. The guy repeats it back to me, I confirm. Done deal. I get my food. It’s curry ramen. Having worked in the food service industry, I don’t get all upset, I just flag down the waiter and let him know politely that I got the wrong order. He was fine with it. A few minutes later he brings out my curry udon. I was happy. Until… 5 minutes later the manager (the guy I ordered from originally) comes out yelling at me, waving a receipt in my face saying how I ordered ramen and I got ramen, blah blah. I tell him no, I ordered udon. He argued with me. Thing is, I don’t understand why he was so angry. They cost the same thing, so it’s not like I was trying to scam them. He had zero reason to treat me that way and yell at me in front of the whole dining room. I used to speak very highly of that place and recommend it to my friends all the time. Nope. They just lost a customer for life.
I bought my fiancée some Michael Kors boots she wanted from Macy’s last Christmas. They ended up being about a half size too small. I kept the receipt, so we went back to the mall to just try and swap them for a larger size. I explained the situation to one of the people at the customer service desk, and she immediately got hostile with me saying “So you just want a free pair of boots..?” and “It’s just a half size too small.. if she can’t fit in boots that are a half size too small, are you sure you even know what size she needs?” What I thought would take 10 minutes ended up taking almost an hour. It was beyond ridiculous.
A restaurant dumped about two cups of soya sauce in my new leather purse. Completely destroyed it, never offered me anything to compensate, they didn’t even cover my bill for the evening. It was an accident. The jar was knocked off the table when they went to grab something else, but then they proceed to clean everything around the area and never mentioned the purse at all. I can understand not wanting to touch someone else’s purse, but absolutely no reaction from them whatsoever? “I’m pretty sure you just ruined my purse,” I said, as she scurried off. I was young, and a little shy, so I didn’t raise a stink. I should have. They should have paid to replace the purse.
I drove down to Lousiana to request a duplicate car title. You have to be physically present to do this. I also needed to have a letter from Chase releasing me from a lien on my car. I went to the local branch. They wouldn’t just type something up on the computer. That sort of power is apparently not granted to a mere bank manager… you know, he’s only in charge of a huge vault full of cash. No, the letter had to come from an office in Texas. I explained to Chase that they were forcing me to have to come back to the state a second time (7 hour drive). They offered to overnight the letter to the branch. That way, I’d merely have to stay an extra day. Fine, but the letter never came. When I got home at about 3AM (having waited around all day for that letter), the letter was sitting on my door in a FedEx envelope. Morons.
I went to a “family dining place” with my ex. It was the “crappy” one, and we knew it, but we were really hungry and it was there. It’s important to note the place is EMPTY except for us, nowhere near closing time. We walk in and get seated almost immediately. Then nothing for about 10 minutes. We find a waitress and get our drinks put in… About 15 minutes passed and they finally show up. We were going to order then but she just walked away. About 5 minutes later she’s back, and we order. Again, this is a “family” dining place. Think a lot of cheap, quick to prepare food. We wait. And wait. And wait. After about 30 minutes our food shows up. Mine is fine (chicken strips) but my ex’s is completely wrong. He just said screw it, and ate it anyway. We finish about 15 minutes after the food got there and waited to see the waitress walk by so we could grab the check. And waited. And waited. For about 30 minutes, because hey, we’re honest and want to pay the bill. So my ex gets up to try to find ANYONE to get us the bill. We can’t find a single employee. He yells out into the kitchen… Nothing. So… We just left. This is the only time I’ve walked out on a bill.
A couple of years ago when you could still actually talk to a real person through Bank of America, I called with an odd question that couldn’t be handled by the traditional number roulette menu. They had disabled the “press 0 for operator” which used to be so wonderful. Anyways, so of course I had to go through each new menu with the woman speaking “conveniently” and “comfortingly” slow so I don’t miss a single word. Next, new menu. Get with someone finally, I’m in the wrong place and need to be transferred. Whatever, fine. Get a new person, have to go through all my information before they’ll hear my question. In the wrong place, transferred. Info, wrong place, transferred once more. It had been around 20 minutes by this point. Then I hear, “Hi I’m Susie with Wells Fargo, how may I assist you?” What the — did you just transfer me to another bank?
I ordered some wallpaper through Home Depot’s website, and paid for it via paypal. It arrived with one roll badly damaged so I went into the store to return it. The 80 year old woman inexplicably tasked with manning the computer simply could not figure out how to process the return. I stood there for 15 minutes while she made various attempts, and I was trying not to give off any sense of impatience or make her feel rushed or flustered. And then she ultimately concluded that there was nothing she could do and that I should just go away and come back another day. I asked if there was anyone else in the store who might be able to try, and she just refused to call anyone. I told her to just take the wallpaper and my receipt, issue me a store credit for the amount, and then leave a note for someone who knows what they’re doing which explains the situation. It shouldn’t be up to me to drive 30 minutes home, only to have to come back the next day and hope that she’s not working and that something magical happened overnight to fix the computers. I was surprised that someone working customer service thought saying “go away and come back another day” was an adequate resolution.
6. You Don’t Have To Be A Customer To Be Disgruntled
My brother lives next to some big factory. It wasn’t a problem except for all the 18-wheelers that go in and out all day. My brother found out that his road was supposed to be restricted (no 18-wheelers). So he called the Department of Transportation and had the sign put back up. He then waited a few days to see if the trucks would change their route. They didn’t. So he called the plant manager and asked him why the trucks were still going down the road since the sign was up? He apologized, said it was all a big mistake, he’d take care of it, yada yada. A couple more days and still trucks were coming. My brother called the plant manager again and found his number had been blocked. He then got the fax number to corporate and sent of a letter reporting the illegal trucks and oh by the way, your manager blocked my number so that’s why I’m contacting you. Well, they just about groveled at his feet. No more trucks came by and the plant manager called to apologize.
I went to a bar after a college football game with some friends. I’m 21, but I don’t drink too often, so I offered to be the designated driver for the night. So we show up to the bar, we get in, we are having a good time just hanging around and singing karaoke, and then I go up to the bar asking just for a Diet Coke. The bartender pours my drink and then turns around and asks for my ID. I handed him the same ID I gave the bouncer and have previously given him when I have ordered drinks, and he immediately tells me to leave (with my ID in his hand). I told him I was the DD and he just yelled at me (so the whole bar could hear), “This is a fake ID and if you don’t leave voluntarily, then I will make sure you leave.” I’ve got terrible anxiety so I just left — all of my friends were confused — leaving my ID there because the bartender demanded $100 to get it back. Of course, a cop was waiting right outside the bar where I parked and pulled me over since he saw me just walk out of a bar. I told the cop that the bartender took my real ID but I gave him my name, social and a government identification from my job. The cop could tell I was sober and my government ID is a lot more legit than a license, so he ran my name and it came back saying I was 21. The cop marched into the bar and demanded my ID was relinquished immediately, much to the bartenders surprise. One of my friends caught him saying I needed to pay him for my “fake ID,” and in his stupor told the police officer and showed him the video. The bartender was immediately arrested on the spot. So having a crappy bartender led to his arrest… And now that he doesn’t work there I don’t get carded there anymore.
Jiffy Lube. I am male and live in a rural part of the South, so I am required by some statute from Jesus to know a lot about cars, but I don’t. I walk in to get my oil changed and they ask what kind. Naturally, I didn’t know off the top of my head so I said I needed to go look. They laughed in my face and it was a huge guffaw. “OH MY GOD. You don’t know your engine oil number? Why are you even HERE?!” And the whole place just erupted in laughter. I felt like I was in a movie. I told the guy to shove his oil and went to Walmart where I got treated like a human being, ironically.
There’s this restaurant in my neighborhood that has the worst service of any place I’ve ever been. I’ve gone half a dozen times because it’s close and the food is really, really good. But the last time I went, I ordered the steak and eggs and my girlfriend ordered something really basic. So we’re sitting there for a long time — long enough for the people next to us to sit, order, and get their food. So I’m about to flag down the waitress and see what’s taking so long when she walks over and says, “I’m sorry, but the kitchen says you aren’t allowed to have your steak.” “They say I can’t have it?” “Yeah, sorry but they say they can’t make it for you.” “I don’t understand, you mean you’re out of the steak?” “No, they keep making it wrong.” “They… huh?” “They made three already but they keep making it wrong. Cooking it wrong. You can have something else.” So then I order something else, we wait over half an hour again, and the waitress says they lost our order ticket and we left.
Had dinner with my family at a restaurant near me when I was a teenager. I think this was the third location of a local place. First location was decent, second was trying to be a little fancier, and the third fancier still. The prices at each location were higher than the location before, but without too much improvement in quality. The service was mediocre, and the food not much better — especially for the price. We got the bill, and my mother tipped about 15% (which is low for her, but still a standard/typical amount in the US). The manager of the place brought the bill back and told my mother she didn’t leave enough of a tip. That’s when my dear sweet mother zeroed out the tip line. I’d never seen her do that before, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she never does it again. We haven’t been back in over 15 years, and I honestly don’t understand how the place is still in business.
I went to a Ford dealership once to browse their preowned vehicles. The salesman greeted me in the lot, asked me to follow him to his desk, and told me that I have to fill out a credit application so he could help me. I said that I wasn’t comfortable doing so. I literally just got there. His response was “Well, there’s the door.”