It's interesting that a recent study reports consumers in the United States have had enough of bad customer service.
I haven't experienced any of the extreme examples quoted in the above article, but I've had my share of lesser experiences. The worst one may have been the boombox I purchased, brand new, several years ago (well, more than several years ago now) which came complete with a homemade mix tape from the previous owner sitting in the cassette player part. (We did get the store in question to take it back.)
There's the dreaded letter you get that begins "to enhance our customer service" or "we are giving you more" and you know, halfway down the letter, that they will also disclose your costs have been increased.
There are the customer service phone menus, which are specially designed, I suspect, to make you give up. My spouse gets so frustrated with them that I really do think they are designed like that on purpose. I am a bit more patient. The best part is when you reach your destination, have to give all your account info to an automated system, then, when you get someone live, you must - give it all to the rep again.
I won't even blog about the call centers that are obviously not in this country, featuring reps whose English is barely understandable. That's my major frustration. Having said that, I also know people who work in call centers, and I never, ever give phone reps a hard time, even when I'm shredding the phone (or gritting my teeth) on the other end. You never should be nasty, either. (Just saying...)
Finally, there is the experience I had with a famous department store whose name begins with M. I promised my Facebook friends I would blog about it - I'm still thinking that one through. But I'm pleased to say that I have not bought anything from said store since August and I've bought a number of new clothes due to my weight loss. That billing problem experience, which stretched over three months, included several calls to their billing number. Said number was out of town, in a different area code, was not toll free, and had about the worst designed menu system I've experienced in a long time.
But we are expected to buy, and buy, and buy, and buy, to keep our economy going. And it's hard to vote with your pocketbook, when so many of their competitors feature the same nightmarish service.
It would be nice if we really had enough of shoddy experience. I doubt it, though. (Or, we can all start buying from Amazon. It's not local, and it's not a brick and mortar but know what? I have never, ever, had a bad customer service experience with them. Even on Black Friday, and I had to contact them this past Black Friday. Their service was perfection.)
What was your worst customer service nightmare?