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People In Customer Service: Your Worst Experience  
User currently offlineBritish767 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 284 posts, RR: 21
Posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

Hi all,

I was just wondering what the worst experience is for poeple on the front line: the people in customer service.

Today I had quite possibly one of the worst customers I have ever had to serve. I was working in T3 at LHR, and a customer who was flying to BOM on 9W wanted to buy an iPod (I work in an electronics store). He didn't know his PIN number, which is required if asked by the till. There was no way that I was able to bypass it, as the till does not actually let me. I explained this to the customer but he kept saying "look my flight is in 5 minutes just do it", and I explained for the 8th time that I wasn't able to do it (by this time I was annoyed and you could tell by the tone of my voice) he said "well how else am I supposed to pay? Just let me sign!". I told him that if he doesn't know his PIN number, then he simply can't buy the item. After this time I had to let me manager deal with it, who told him the same thing, and my manager got the same treatment as I did.

What are your worst experiences?

Ben

[Edited 2006-06-02 02:07:58]

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2660 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2595 times:

when you work with an LCC in a resort town, you get a lot...... but I remember one guy who missed his flight (showed 10 minutes before flight time) and threatened to kick my ass if I didn't get him on the flight (by the way, he could barely stand because he was so drunk). So I called the police over, and when the officer asked him to leave he said "f*ck you" and took a very bad swing at the cop. Never saw someone get thrown to the floor so fast... it was awesome.


I have no association with Spirit Airlines
User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2591 times:

I don't work in customer service, but I'm a tour guide at my university, so you parents out there can imagine.  Wink

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineTexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4274 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2583 times:

Flight attendant on a Challenger for a royal family. Complete and utter jackass. Berated us for 45 minutes when we did every single damn thing correct and even had assistance for them at their next stop, which was in Newfoundland, that I was paying for personally just to reduce their hassle. He used such language that my coworker was brought to tears and had to excuse herself to get composed. After she composed herself, I went into the back and beat the hell out of one of our reclining chairs. They are no longer allowed at work. And I have not had to deal with any pricks like that since. Had to deal with many pricks, but none as bad as that one.

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2553 times:

A Travel Agent (who SEEMED to be a straight male) who wouldn't change his ATB printer ink ribbon with me walking him through it over the phone. He ended up paying $296 ($280 labor/$16 'parts') to have a technician change a $9 ribbon.

Almost as priceless as the over 3,000 odd network admins I bitch slapped into realizing their networks sucked.


User currently offlineTootallsd From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2529 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 4):
A Travel Agent (who SEEMED to be a straight male) who wouldn't change his ATB printer ink ribbon with me walking him through it over the phone

Not to be a dick, althought I like them, why do you think we gay boys can not change the ribbon? I am most confused.

My worst customer experience was with my bank.

At Christmas, I collected money at work to buy bicycles for kids in need. Everyone was super generous and I think we were able to buy 18 bikes. The manager of Target through in the 19th because we didn't have enough money to pay for all of them.

At the check out, I wanted to write a check because I knew a credit card would cost the store 3% or so and that wasn't fair as he had already been very generous. So I write a personal check. Because of the amount, they need to verify funds. I'm not worried as I have a big savings account that is linked to the checking account. Well of course they deny me. The clerk is very polite and low key about it.

It's Christmas so now there is quite a line. I whip out my American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum Mastercard and I hear some trollop half way back in the queue mutter, sotto voce, "Yeah, like that is going to work."
s
It did of course.

I get home and call the Ready Teller. I ask to speak to a supervisor. He say's "No Can Do, gotta talk to me first." I tell him that I'm going to be very mad when he can't do something and I have to tell the story again -- I'm pretty mad mind you.

So I tell him the story. Then I tell the supervisor the story. Still mostly under control although my sarcasm is probably getting close to overboard. So the supervisor starts telling me some mumbo-jumbo about the database and a field being not set right. I totally lost it. I was holding the phone at arm's length screaming at the guy asking what is he going to do to make up for my embarassment in the store. I mean, I really lost it.

That was on a Friday evening.

Sunday morning, FEDEX arrives with a really nice set of crystal candlesticks from Gumps in San Francisco and a hand-signed apology. That has never happened before or after. I really appreciated that he did something because of course he couldn't fix the bad situation in the store.


User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2512 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Sometimes I happen to answer a customer service phone call at our company, an Internet Provider, just to chime in and find out if there are particular problems I wasn't aware of.

Our recurrent problem seems to go like this:
Customer: "I haven't paid my bill and my Internet is disconnected, can you please put it back online?"
Me: "Of course, but you'd need to pay those last 3 bills before I can do that, I'm sorry sir"
Customer (shouting): "WHAT? I need Internet NOW! You either put it back into service RIGHT NOW or I'll talk to the MANAGER!"
Me: "I'm sorry sir, I can't do that and by the way - I am the manager  Smile"
Customer (shouting even more): "Then I'm going to SUE YOU! (click)"

Then 1 month later in some cases a court invitation actually comes in. This gets sent to our lawyer who goes to court, wins the case (each and every time), then the customer needs to pay all his bills *and* our lawyer.

Why can't people just pay their bills? We're not a bank... mind you that if a customer remains polite and explains that he's got a valid reason for not having paid his bills, we might even reactivate his account, but this never happens. It's always a "you do it or I sue you" attitude.

-Manuel



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2509 times:

I tried to buy a computer once from GKirk.....

User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2507 times:

Quoting British767 (Thread starter):
I was just wondering what the worst experience is for poeple on the front line: the people in customer service.

Customers.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2506 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 6):
Why can't people just pay their bills? We're not a bank... mind you that if a customer remains polite and explains that he's got a valid reason for not having paid his bills, we might even reactivate his account, but this never happens. It's always a "you do it or I sue you" attitude.

Nothing new to us. In the past, people in Germany threatened to sue us because we did our work the way we were supposed to, and some even said they would call their lawyer in New York. Please, did those people even have a lawyer in New York?  Yeah sure

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 6):
Then 1 month later in some cases a court invitation actually comes in. This gets sent to our lawyer who goes to court, wins the case (each and every time), then the customer needs to pay all his bills *and* our lawyer.

Serves him right.  bigthumbsup 

These last 3 years have been the worst experience of my life when it comes to my line of work. I constantly have to put up with managers who are bitching about backlogs, when most of them don't even bother to answer a few support e-mails themselves when a very bad backlog is around. Plus the supervisor misleading people, the constant pressure, the bad customers, etc.

The worst of the worst experiences for me were these:

1. I got a reply to a support request I responded, and in that mail, the guy calls me an asshole and copy pasted the same sentence calling me an asshole 18 times in his e-mail. I did not do the guy anything, yet he did take the fact that I didn't tell him what he wanted to hear so personally, that he flamed me until I was almost charcoal.
2. One guy deliberately undermines my work in one of his responses. First, I respond to someone that I need more information to resolve the issue. Then the other guy apologises for my response by saying: "Please excuse the response from the other agent. Of course we know everything we need,...". However I was right in asking for more information all along. So why the hell did he do that? I had to ask someone else to respond to the mail, because the guy shattered my credibility to the customer.
3. An ex-coworker makes an abuse report and then specifically said this: "Oh and BTW, I don't want that fat bastard Richard to respond to this mail". I was stunned by this and almost wanted to just lose my temper on the floor. But then I told one of the managers on duty about this, and she told me she would directly respond to him through the regular company inbox and that I should close the ticket in the support queue for rude and abusive behaviour.

The list goes on and on and now I wish more than ever that I can find either a better job or can finally leave the country and get back to Europe.


User currently offlineLfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3335 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2503 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I work in customer services at CompUSA and I have to deal with the drunk and cigarette smelling older europeans ( no offense!). Old bastards feel the need to yell and shout at me asking for the manager. They complain that its their 3rd time bringing in their laptop for some other part and they think we fix it in the store. nope... we ship most of the units down to Texas. now dont call me and find out the status of your computer the day after you checked it in when i told you its gonna be about 7 to 10 business days. dont leave the store and go sit in your car and then give us a call checking on the status of your computer.

I've been working there for about a month and i really havent had any experiences. just pissed off customers. I have had this one lady try and check her personal email on my work computer. i told her no 3 times and she's like can I check my email on your computer? nobody will know... my ass there's a camera pretty much near me... I dunno everyday is a new experience for me.

Leo



Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently onlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12219 posts, RR: 35
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2470 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 6):
It's always a "you do it or I sue you" attitude.

And I thought that attitude was reserved to Americans...



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineKLM672 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2434 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 2445 times:

I work in a supermarket and there is this one lady that comes through that wants some items in paper and other certain items in plastic and then wants that plastic on top of the paper bag. If you do it right, great if you mess up she flips.

User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 2437 times:

My personal top 5:

1. Lufthansa Call Center (retards galore)
2. Ish Call Center (They switch of their phones when their cable TV is not working)
3. T-Mobile Call Center (completely clueless people)
4. T-Online Call Center (please wait 20 minutes for a free operator)
5. Mecedes Benz (what, your car is broken? Wait, I don't know what to do)

Patrick


User currently onlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12219 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 2424 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 15):
T-Mobile Call Center (completely clueless people)

That's not true with T-Mobile on this side of the pond. They have always been very helpful with me  Smile



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4756 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 2 days ago) and read 2418 times:

Oooh... I'm going to have a field day with this thread! Big grin

In the three years I worked in reservations, I had passengers yell at me, call me all the naughty words in the dictionary and more, threaten to sue me, demand that my supervisor fire me (thank God my sup always backed me up)...

One of my worst experiences is already documented on a.net, I'll reprint it for your enjoyment. So the call goes like this, swear I'm not making this up! (except for the pax name):

Me:  Smile Thank you for calling Taca, my name is Carmen, how can I help you?
Pax:  expressionless  I want to reconfirm a flight for tomorrow.
Me:  Smile Sure, what is the passenger's name?
Pax:  expressionless  It's John Doe, and the ticket says flight 211 out of Mexico City.
Me:  scratchchin  One moment please... (check in RES system) I don't have any John Doe for tomorrow on flight 211, but I'll check if he is on another fl--
Pax:  yell  How can he not be in that flight?! HE HAS TO BE ON THAT FLIGHT!! IT'S WRITTEN ON THE TICKET!!!
Me:  confused  Ok, I'll check again. Would you tell me the passenger's full name as it is written on the ticket?
Pax:  grumpy  I already told you, it's John Doe.
Me:  sigh  And the information printed on the ticket is flight Taca 211 departing tomorrow Friday 10th from MEX, right?
Pax:  hissyfit  YES! Just find that reservation fast and stop making me lose my time!!
Me:  Yeah sure Please hold on, I'm checking in the system. (check whole passenger list for all flts departing MEX today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that)
Pax:  mad  (mumbles various comments about the incompetent airline and its employees, some of which are too offensive to be reproduced here)
Me:  duck  Ma'am, I have checked all flights for tomorrow and there is no passenger under that name. What I can do is book a new reservation so he will not have any trouble departing tomorrow.
Pax:  irked  Ugh, fine, whatever.
Me:  listen  For that I will need some information on the ticket. Would you please read the flight information?
Pax:  grumpy  There is a C, an M, the number 211, a letter--
Me:  eyebrow  Waaait a minute... did you say CM211?
Pax:  mad  That's what I said, are you deaf or what?!
Me:  no  Ma'am, the ticket you have in your hands is for a Copa flight.
Pax:  irked  So? What's the problem with that?
Me:  no  Well, right now you're calling Taca, not Copa.
Pax:  confused  And aren't Taca and Copa the same company?
Me:  banghead  No, Copa is a totally different company.
Pax:  snooty  Oh, well, I'll call them. (slams the phone)
Me:  cry  God, why me?

On the flip side, I had passengers say it had been the best service they had received, tell my supervisor to congratulate me, tell me I just made their day, send me chocolates  yummy ... Looking in retrospective, the good experiences more than made up for the bad ones.



What do I know, I'm just an 'immature troublemaker with only a passing interest in aviation' (or so they say)
User currently offlineIFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2380 times:

My first job in my industry was as a help desk tech support analyst while I was still at college. The helpdesk was internal to the company, and the company was a natioanl hardware retailers (anyone in UK remember Great Mills DIY?).

I pick up the call and it goes something like this:

Me: Good morning Great Mills Helpdesk, James speaking...
Caller: Yeah, my server thing in the back is making a bleeping noise.
Me: OK, are you by that computer right now?
Caller: No.
Me: Can you get to that computer:
Caller: No.
Me: Well I need to talk you through a couple of things and I'll need you by that computer.
Caller: Well there's no telephone in that room.

(I hear in the background someone else say "Don't be a d*ck, Frank, that's a cordless phone!")

Caller: Oh, wait, yes, I can go back there...hang on...(sound of walking and then a door opening, and I immediately hear the bleeping that he reported)...ok, I'm there.
Me: OK, I can hear the bleeping. Normally that sound happens when one of the keys on the keyboard is pressed down for too long.
Caller: Which key
Me: It doesn't matter. Any of them. Can you check to see if there are any keys stuck?
Caller: Well, we never use this computer, it just sits here and whirrs away all day. So nobody has even touched the keyboard.
Me: OK, so nobody could have dropped something on the keyboard?
Caller: No.
Me: Alright, then lets reboot the server...press CTRL+ALT+DEL on the keyboard for me.
Caller: Hang on, let me move the mail off of the keyboard.
(can you guess what's coming next???)
Me: Wait, what did you say?
Caller: I need to move the mail off the keyboard...oh, wait...it's stopped.
Me: I thought you said nothing had been dropped on the keyboard.
Caller: Well, I didn't drop the mail, I just put it down on the keyboard.
[B]Me: Well that's the problem.
[B]Caller:
How do you know?
Me: Because the mail was pushing one of the keys down.
Caller: Wait, how do you know that?
Me: Because that's what the bleeping was telling.
Caller: OK...ummm...thanks (hangs up)

 banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead 
 banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead 


User currently offlineEssjay From South Africa, joined Dec 2000, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Good topic...I was thinking about asking the same question.

I work for a large German car manufacturer, and let me tell you that we have our fair share of NIGHTMARE customers!

The most common rants go something like this:

- "I demand a new car!" (yeah, sorry to hear about your shit; we'll repair your car as per the warranty conditions...1 failed component is really not the end of the world)
- "I want a loan car NOW" (um, sorry...guess what...we don't have a fleet of cars on standby for you to use when yours is being repaired, so if the dealer cannot help you, here's the number for Avis!)

Quoting British767 (Thread starter):
There was no way that I was able to bypass it, as the till does not actually let me. I explained this to the customer but he kept saying "look my flight is in 5 minutes just do it", and I explained for the 8th time that I wasn't able to do it (by this time I was annoyed and you could tell by the tone of my voice) he said "well how else am I supposed to pay? Just let me sign!". I told him that if he doesn't know his PIN number, then he simply can't buy the item.

I've had similar situations. A customer called in wanting to get the PIN for his radio. I informed him that it is physically impossible to do it over the phone and that he would have to take his car to a dealer. No matter how many times I repeated this, the bonehead just couldn't accept it. Even if it was possible, what idiot thinks that he can get this kind of information over the phone...he could have stolen the radio for all we know.

I have been sworn at numerous times, had curses put on me (supposedly), threatened ("if you were standing in front of me now I'd deck you!"), you name it. But it's all good...my colleagues and I have a good laugh at the expense of the psychos, and most of our customers treat us with respect and are grateful for our help.

It's worse for our dealers, who are really on the front line...and yes, sometimes it's a war zone out there. Physical altercations, verbal threats, being threatened with weapons, having cars driven through glass showroom doors, even "I'll get my Taliban friends to come and plant bombs at your dealership".

Welcome to the motor industry...  Wink


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