Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

The Angry Customer: The only way to get what you need August 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 5:18 pm
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Companies make mistakes. It’s a fact. People run businesses and humans are far from perfect. Most errors are forgivable and somewhat easily fixed. This summer I have been living in a city by myself and have had a few mix-ups by companies. My father taught me that no matter what the situation is, there is no excuse to be rude. So when I approached some customer service representatives I have tried to be as professional and nice as I possibly could be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Let me focus on one example of an online transaction I had. (I am not going to reveal the company.) This website was offering a one month free trial membership. I signed on, decided it wasn’t for me, and before my month was over I called the customer service hotline to cancel like I was supposed to. 17 minutes later, no answer. I called again the next day on my lunch break and once more, did not talk to a person. I emailed their help desk and they replied to cancel my account I had to call the hotline. I tried a third time and what do you know no answer! Before I knew it the month was over and my account was charged over $30. I finally had to write a not-so-nice email explaining my frustration and in two hours I received an apology, canceled account and my money was being sent back to my bank. I was pleased yes, but confused. Why did it take me being irate to get what I wanted?

In general, I am not a person who gets angry. I don’t like to get in arguments with strangers. Yet it seems respectable customers are incapable of having a wrong righted. Why? Is it because unsatisfied customers who don’t throw a fit will stay with your business? Wrong. Companies seem to promote bad behavior because of their business model. If you are perpetually only providing helpful service to rude customers, you are creating rude customers. Not only is this bad PR but, this attitude makes customer service jobs undesirable and incredibly difficult. Why do you think workers at a lost baggage department at an airport have some of the highest suicide rates? Because customers have been trained to be mean to get what they want. Yes, people should rise above and present themselves in a professional and classy way at all times. However, sometimes you just need your mistake fixed. How do you do that? Complain rudely and loudly enough until you get it.


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