Consumer Recourse: Fighting Bad Customer Service

Bad Customer Service Doesn't Have to be Tolerated

In today's age of under-paid customer service employees, getting bad customer service seems to be the norm. However, just because it's becoming increasingly common doesn't mean we, as consumers, should put up with it. After all, these people technically work for us since it's our money that pays their salaries. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle bad customer service. If you run into a sticky customer service situation, this is how to handle it.

A Minor Disagreement

The days of "the customer is always right" are long gone. If you have a disagreement with a store employee about something minor (such as the price of an item) ask to have the department manager called over and take it up with them.

If the department manager also offers bad customer service, ask for the store manager to be brought into the discussion. Usually minor disagreements can be resolved quickly by bringing management into the situation.

Downright Rude

There is never an excuse for a store employee to be rude to you and sometimes this can go beyond bad customer service. I was in line behind an elderly lady while checking out at a big discount store recently and she was questioning the price of something. The girl at the counter had the nerve to accuse the woman of trying to get away with something. Talk about bad customer service!

If this ever happens to you (or if a store employee is rude to you in any manner whatsoever) this is what you do. First, ask for the store manager immediately. Do not yell, do not argue. At this point, you stop acknowledging that the person who gave you such bad customer service even exists.

When the store manager arrives, calmly (without being emotional) explain exactly what happened, why it's unacceptable and that you are prepared to take it further up if the matter isn't addressed immediately.

Escalating The Issue

If the store manager apologizes for the bad customer service and takes acceptable action, do nothing. Thank him or her and be on your way. However, if he or she does not handle the matter appropriately then ask for the name and number of the district manager.

If the district manager doesn't seem to care about the bad customer service you experienced, ask for the contact information of the regional director. Keep going up the line until someone acknowledges and apologizes for the bad customer service you experienced. It may take time, but the people in charge need to know who is dropping the ball when it comes to customer service if you hope for things to change.

Bad customer service may be common, but it's not acceptable. By taking these steps, you can help put a stop to it.

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