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Is Poor Customer Service an Epidemic?

Updated on October 1, 2012
Poor Customer Service
Poor Customer Service | Source

First off, for all of you kind and patient customer service reps out there who do a great job and truly try to help people, this hub is NOT talking about you. I appreciate your hard work and give you praises because honestly, I don't know if I could do your job... I know it MUST be challenging at times, dealing with dissatisfied or even sometimes abusive customers. I truly thank you :)

So, I really am not the type of person who likes to complain but something happened to me last night that infuriated me so much that I just have to get this out!! Here and there, over the past few years, I have encountered customer service reps who were just flat rude when I have called for help. I don't call often for assistance but when I do, it's because I genuinely have a problem. The very few times I have called and encountered this attitude, it makes me wonder what is going on.

When I worked in fast food in the 90's, I was told that I was to be polite and be of service to the customer, that was my job. Something else they told us was that the customer is always right. Now, I realize that times are changing and that doesn't fly at every place BUT I would expect that since someone is employed in customer service that they are supposed to in the least be respectful and helpful, you would think, right??! Unfortunately, nowadays, many times times that just isn't so.

I know everyone has their good days and their bad days, even Customer Service Reps, but I'm a super easy going person and to have had this happen to me as often as it has, it has me wondering if being rude is pretty much the norm these days and if that is the case, how sad it is that it's so acceptable.

What happened last night was that the electricity when out here again, the second night in a row. The night before it had gone out at 3am in the morning and I immediately woke up because my fan went off. I can NOT sleep without a fan and unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating. The minute the fan went off, my eyes opened and that was it. It was on after a couple of hours but it was still irritating as we are in the middle of a move right now and I was already so tired. So I was SUPER irritated last night when it happened again. It was storming last night but the storm had pretty much passed and all the sudden the electricity went off again at 11:30, just when I was finally getting to go to bed.

I waited about 30 minutes and decided I would call the electric company and just see if there was a recording saying they were working on it and maybe an estimate of how long it would be out, because if was going to be hours I had already decided to go to the 24 hr Wal-Mart and buy a battery operated fan if it was going to be out for hours like before. So I call but a man actually customer service rep actually picks up the phone. Here was the conversation:

Me: Hello, Sir, I wanted to report that our power is out.

Customer Service Rep: Ok, What is the name on the account?

Me: Jamie Brock

Customer Service Rep: And what is your phone number?

Me: And I tell him..

Customer Service Rep: OK, Thanks and the man tries to hang up!!

Me: WAIT! Sir, am I the only one who has called? It's been off for over 30 minutes now?

Customer Service Rep: NO, you are like the 50th. Thanks. Tries to hang up on me again...

Me: WAIT! Sir, Do you have any idea when it may be back on or if they.....

Customer Service Rep Interrupts me and says: No I do not and he HUNG UP ON ME.

I just sat there and cried, I was so tired already and the man was not helpful at all and actually just plain rude. I really felt like there was no call for that kind of behavior.

I finally decided I just needed to go to the 24 HR Walmart and get a battery operated fan but decided I would try ONE more time. It was about an hour and half later and I was praying that I would get someone else. Unfortunately, it was the same guy on the phone.... I said, "sir, I just would like to know if anyone has even been dispatched and if there is a chance it will be back on soon otherwise I need to go to Walmart to buy a battery operated fan or I will not sleep tonight". He says, "They have 4 different crews working on it." I said, "Thank you, that is a huge relief to hear that." and then I said thank you and hung up.

Sure enough, within 30 minutes it came back on.. but WHY did that man have to be so rude? I usually blow things off but like I said earlier, it's just happening so often now.

I was telling my husband about it and he said, " you do realize there are people that go without electricity for days". I do realize that.. it wasn't the fact that the elecricity when out, I mean, stuff happens. It's the point that the people at the electric company do not have to be so rude about it. Electricity is high.... I just feel like a paying customer should be treated better than that.

Thank Goodness there are still some very nice and helpful people out there in customer service but I really feel there are fewer and far between. Nowadays, it really does seem that so many business could care less if they had your business or not. It's just very sad to me.

OK, that's enough for my rant. I just want to take the time again right now to say THANK YOU to all of you reps out there who truly care and try to help your customers. I know you are still out there and I APPRECIATE people like you and PLEASE, please, PLEASE keep up the good work :0)

In conclusion, I would like to mention one particular company. As much as I hate having to call anywhere for customer help or support, I have had to contact them on a few different occasions over the past couple of years because of problems with my account but I have YET to encounter any rude or unhelpful person on the other end of the line. The company I am referring to is PayPal. Anyone I have ever spoken with there truly seemed to care about resolving the problem and were extremely helpful to me and I really appreciate that.


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