These customer service nightmares include all sorts of
“She Says It Can’t Be Awesome Every Time”
“To start off, I am a server. I can usually tolerate a lot of crappy services, usually giving the benefit of the doubt.
There was a pizza joint I liked to frequent. One day, a friend and I went in and ordered something called ‘Nutty Bread.’ It’s basically gooey Nutella cooked into a folded over pizza dough. We waited and waited for it, I flag down the waitress and she goes looking for it. She comes striding back with it, drops it on the table without a word, and disappears. We look down to basically this burnt piece of folded up dough with burnt Nutella inside.
I try flagging her down, she avoids eye contact.
Finally, I get her to come over. I tell her it’s way overcooked and inedible. She picks up my fork and starts poking at it, telling me it looks okay to her. Here is how the conversation went:
Me: ‘I’ve had this plenty of times before. Usually, it’s nice and soft and gooey, this is just overcooked and inedible.’
Her: ‘Hmmm, yeah. Well like, the only way I can see it is: It can’t be super awesome every time because then your expectations will be too high the next time you order it!’
I burst out laughing. I thought she was joking. I even had her repeat herself, which she did – followed up with ‘Did you want me to pack it up for you?’
I did. And I am actually pretty good friends with the owner of that place so I swung by their house to show and tell them about my experience. The scream of ‘She said WHAT?’ still resonates with me to this day. Let’s just say she didn’t have a job by the next day.”
How Many Calls To Comcast Does It Take To Get Something Fixed?
“I had cable and internet with Comcast in the Atlanta area, and I was paying top dollar for basically everything they offered as my bill was over $150 a month. So imagine my surprise when I came home on Wednesday to find my service had simply gone dead. I made a couple calls, (and every time I say I made a call from now on, assume a 30-45 minute ordeal). Eventually, Comcast dude on the phone goes, ‘Um, yeah, not good, we’ll need to get a guy out.’ Fine, when is he available? ‘Three days.’
So with no other choice but to wait I scheduled the appointment and then decided to take a look myself. I went to the street-side cable box and pulled the lid off. Shocker! My cable had literally been cut right at the feed, like sliced off. So I called Comcast back and they denied any knowledge (my bill was paid in full btw) and claimed someone had been ‘messing with their equipment,’ but promised to get a ‘maintenance order’ in which would result in a crew coming the next day.
That crew never arrived. Whatever. I bought a new connector and redid the connection myself, but kept the Friday appointment so they could put a lock on the box and also so they could do a pro job of re-doing my connection since my hack job left me with some digital snow.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had to get Comcast out to your place, but I’ve learned through past ridiculousness that you must be able to accept three robot-calls in advance of their visit or they’ll cancel on you automatically. You must press a button on each robot call to confirm that yes, you are still taking half the day off from work to wait on their convenience. No, the fact that the entire problem is at the street level makes no difference.
So I get and accepted the first robot call. The next morning at 8:15 the second call came in and dropped – it just disconnected mid-sentence. Uh oh. I called Comcast (remember 30-45 minute deal here). Spoke with a live human to confirm they were still coming and explained that their robot call had dropped on me. Was assured they were and that my appointment had been ‘confirmed with dispatch.’
While in the middle of the call with the live human, the third robot-call came in and I switched over just in time to have it drop again. Crap, now I’d missed two calls. Out of paranoia, I called BACK to speak to the live human again. This time I was again assured I was still on the schedule. During that 30-45 minute affair, the fourth robot call came in, this time telling me my appointment had been canceled.
Feeling quite a bit like I was trapped in an Abbott and Costello routine, I called a human back for the third time. Again I was eventually assured my appointment was scheduled and had been referred to dispatch. By this point my 9 AM-11 AM appointment window was closing, so I retired to the front porch to wait for the guy.
Oh, he came all right. Big XFINITY van, right at 10:50 AM. Drove right up to my house, and then right on by with me waving at him to come back.
Comcast literally cannot override their own robots to get a human being to use his common sense and make a 5 minute stop (he drove within 10 feet of the street box which needed the new connection and lock).
I called Comcast back for the fourth time. This is the last in a long and sordid history I’ve had with that god awful company, so I simply told them I was canceling their service. They put me on hold for 22 minutes (icing the kicker, I think), then got back on the line to see if I wanted to negotiate a better deal. No, I wasn’t kidding, I am really done with you people. Well, in that case, the lady informed me, I would need to be sure to turn in all of my equipment to the nearest Comcast store location or I would continue to be charged for service.”
Treating A Person This Way Is Not Okay
“I didn’t get to go see my therapist for almost a year because I was extraordinarily sick, moved, and injured myself while moving to the point that I had surgery. I called the clinic to make an appointment and they said that since it had been over a year they had dropped me as a patient. Okay. ‘So do I fill out new patient paperwork again?’
‘Well, she’s not accepting new patients right now.’
‘Okay, so can I see a different therapist because I’m seriously having some problems’ (they’ve got like 20 of them in the same clinic).
‘Well, since you’re established with her and you have a rapport built up with her we don’t want to switch you to a new therapist. You could try calling back next month, but just so you know she’s booking four to six months out.’
At this point, I get angry and say, ‘Okay, so I’m calling you guys because I’m having major issues. What if I was having dangerous thoughts? Are you going to tell a person with these thoughts that they can’t see a different therapist since theirs is booked until May?’
And that’s when she hung up on me. I called back and said, ‘Hey I think we got disconnected’ and she hung up on me again.
So yeah, a mental health clinic that hangs up on people that have serious mental health problems and are asking for help gets my vote as the worst.”
“My Optometrist Let Me Believe For Years That I Was Going Blind”
“The worst customer service was from an Optometrist who let me believe for years that I was going blind.
In Canada, I am considered legally blind. I’m not totally blind, but a good reference point is that I can see clearly for a distance of 5 cm, then everything goes to crap.
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in the second grade and when I was in the 7th grade, I got a new optometrist and a whole new exciting thing to correct my vision. Contact lenses. Despite some hiccups, I mastered jamming the pliable lenses into my eyes quickly and finally had 20/20 vision. It was honestly one of the best moments of my life and I wore them for school and would take them out when I got home.
Everything was lovely until I began the 10th grade, he gravely informed me that because my vision was so poor, wearing contact lenses created a danger of oxygen deprivation that could very well cause me to go totally blind. When I asked how often I could wear contacts, he told me as little as possible. So I went back to glasses, despite the fact that they lessen my vision considerably and went about my life. Every appointment, he would tell me that this condition was getting worse and worse and that my eyes were being deprived of oxygen more and more. I started wearing the lenses only for sports, then only for special occasions, and then I just stopped wearing them.
A few years went by, and my family and I were informed that I needed checkups on a regular basis to see if I was going more blind. When I was about to start my second year of university, I went to the doctor’s office, which by now had become this miserable place in my mind, since there was never good news. No regeneration, just knowing that by the time I was 30, I’d be blind.
When I went for the last appointment before leaving for school, there was a new doctor and new nurses in the building and I asked for my doctor and was curtly informed that he and ‘his’ nurses were gone. The new doctor sat me down and told me the whole story as gently as he could. I was never going blind. There was mild oxygen deprivation, but nothing that could even come close to causing blindness, and the contact lenses were doing nothing. The original doctor had lied. And then the police got involved. Turns out, one of his patients was the wife of a billionaire investor, and she came to him with an irritated eye and he told her that it was a small infection, and could be treated with antibacterial eye-drops. And she began seeing him weekly for status updates, and she was using the drops religiously.
When this had gone on for 9 months, another doctor in the building noticed that she was in an awful lot and asked why she was always here, she explained that she had a simple eye infection and showed him the irritated eye. He called his brother, who is an optical surgeon and demanded his brother interrupt a consultation to look at this woman’s eye (they work in the same building). The brother examined the eye and called an ambulance and made arrangements to perform surgery at the hospital 3 towns over. Why? The ‘eye infection’ was actually cancer.
Turns out the original doctor (my doctor) had a gambling addiction, and it had become out of control to the point where he was unable to cover the costs with the way his job was, so he began isolating patients and telling them they had maladies that were bad BUT could only be treated with multiple office visits. I burst into tears, both for this woman facing cancer and being told over and over again it was basically Pink Eye and for myself. I’d been readying myself for the eventuality of going blind and it caused me sleepless nights and stress. Thankfully, the woman was treated and her eye was saved, although some vision was compromised, and she is cancer free.
Legally, there were several insurance companies paying for this monster’s blood, and while they got their money, justice was not served. The doctor’s license was stripped for some amount of time, and it’s been three years since that time and he’s started a new practice. I have to admit, I do still struggle to wear my contact lenses, it seems silly, but when someone you trust tells you over and over for many years that something will make you go blind, it’s difficult to reverse that learned fear and behavior. I’ve tried to tell myself that I was fortunate, I mean I could have had cancer and he would have lied. But there is still a great amount of bitterness and hurt that churns inside me.
I still go to the same doctor who told me all this, and he told me the first day that he would do anything to repair my trust in the medical community. That meant a great deal to me, and true to his word, he’s been an incredible medical professional, he’s always treated me with great dignity and respect and walked me through exactly what is wrong with my eyes (nearsightedness and astigmatism in both eyes), why it happens (my parents both have poor vision) and has gone so far as to give me a basic education in the study of optometry. Glasses are still worn about 80% of the time, but that 20% will hopefully become 30% with time.”
The Racist Gas Station Attendant And The Father’s Revenge
“On a long road trip Mom badly needed to pee, so Dad pulled into a gas station and Mom ran inside asking where the restroom was. The attendant told her ‘around back’ so Mom hot-footed it outside and to the back of the store, only to find the door padlocked.
A little ticked off that he didn’t say something before, Mom went back inside and asked for the key. The attendant told her ‘We can only give the restroom key to store customers.’ Aching at this point, Mom ran out to the car and told Dad the situation, he was already pumping some gas and when he was done he paid with a credit card at the pump. ‘There, now you’re a customer.’
Mom ran back inside and asked the attendant for the key. ‘I’m sorry Ma’am, but that man outside paid for the gas, you didn’t. Maybe you could buy some tacos? Or burritos? Habla Ingles?’ (My mom is part Native American but the guy was mistaking her for Hispanic).
Mom is not a confrontational person. She went back to the car and tearfully told Dad she could hold it. Dad asked why she still hadn’t gone to the bathroom and raged when he heard what the attendant had said.
Dad was 6’9, heavily tattooed, and weighed 400 pounds. The attendant meekly handed over the restroom key. Meanwhile, Dad bought a Big Gulp (actually, I don’t think he ever paid for it) and downed it in 3 sips while glaring at the attendant.
When Mom came out of the restroom, Dad told her to sit in the driver’s seat and keep the car running. They pulled up to the front door of the gas station and Dad stepped outside, unzipped his pants and peed all over the glass and floormat.”
“The Woman Insisted She Needed My Dead Grandmother’s Written Permission To Close The Account”
“When my grandmother died, my mom was closing down her bank accounts, insurance etc. I don’t remember what utility this was for, but she got through to a customer care team. Usually, the company would ask to see a death certificate, offer their condolences, and that would be that. But this particular woman insisted she needed my grandmother’s permission, in writing, to have the account closed, over and over again. I was in the room and started hearing my mom shouting: ‘She’s DEAD. What part of her being dead do you not understand? She’s not capable of signing a document to close the account as she has passed away, she is no longer alive.’
Apparently, the woman kept repeating: ‘I’m sorry, but I must ask to have a document written and signed by [Grandmother] to close the account.’
They went back and forth like this for a few minutes, until mom asked to speak with a manager, who was very understanding and apologetic once they’d reviewed the call. They obviously had procedures in place for when a customer dies that didn’t involve a corpse writing and signing a document.
My mom is a better person than I am, though. She was offered financial compensation for the emotional distress (shouting about your own mother’s death to an ignorant stranger does a number on you) but she declined and asked that the call be used for what not to do in sensitivity training in the future. The manager she spoke to said he had already suggested the same thing.”
An Employee Keeps Eyeing Her And Her Service Dog
“I had an employee at a big box department store grasp my balance assistance dog’s harness, pull her away from me, and demand to know what my disability was because ‘I didn’t look like I needed’ my dog. That was fun. For background, I have a neuromuscular disorder that impairs my ability to walk. I’m a part-time chair user and prefer forearm crutches if I’m going to be walking for any length of time. However, this was a quick in and out trip, so I figured I’d walk more or less on my own. For this kind of work, my service dog wears a special harness with a handle and a thick, padded chest plate for gentle pulling work – not more than a guide dog would do – which helps combat muscle weakness and provides momentum. With pulling assistance and for short distances, I look more or less normal when in motion; I sway/tip when standing still and my muscles are known for just quitting on me and sending me flopping to the ground. I’m also 21, so people tend to give me the ‘you’re too young to be disabled!’ line. Great stuff.
So I’m walking around the store, (I don’t even remember what I was looking for) and I realize an employee is eyeing me from down the aisle – she’s probably thirty-something, but I’m a horrid judge of age. Point being, definitely older than me. I keep seeing her pop up and she’s always STARING at me, in this really weird way – not judgmental exactly, but like she’s kind of perplexed and not sure what to make of this situation. Every time I see her I’m in motion, so again, I look pretty okay (if you’re not looking closely.)
I go to cut down the middle of the store toward the checkout because, at this point, my muscles are twenty kinds of done, I’m tired, and I want to be sitting, and she’s there unloading boxes. As I pass her, she stops what she’s doing and comes after me, and she catches up pretty quick because, you know, I don’t walk all that quickly, and then GRABS the harness handle that I am holding. My dog stops short, I nearly fall, and she goes ‘EXCUSE ME. EXCUSE ME.’
So I’m like ‘What?’ And she seriously, honestly looks me dead in the eye and goes ‘Why do you have this dog? You don’t look like there’s anything wrong with you that you need a dog for. You can’t have the dog in here.’ I don’t even remember what I said, I mumbled something and then had to physically yank my dog’s harness handle out of her hand so I could leave. Notably, I did not buy any of the things I went to buy there.
Oh, and talking to the manager and contacting corporate twice did zilch; no response from corporate at all, the manager was absolutely useless and hemmed and hawed before saying he’d ‘talk to her.'”
She Wanted To Buy It, But The Guy Just Couldn’t Get It Through His Head
“I bought a Nook tablet not long after they came out. These cables looked like micro USB cables but contained 2 extra wires that made it so that regular micro USB cables couldn’t charge the tablet.
Nook sold these cables for $20 each, and they were so poorly made that they quickly fell apart. I went through 20 in the first year alone; granted most of them were given to me free while my warranty was valid.
After my warranty ran out, I went to buy another cord, as mine had once again torn up. None of the nearby Barnes & Noble stores had any. The website didn’t have any. I contacted customer service to see about purchasing one from them.
They get my account information, Nook serial number, then tell me they can’t send me one because my warranty ran out. I explain that I’m not trying to get a free one, I want to purchase one. The agent kept repeating that he couldn’t send me a free one. No matter how many time I said I didn’t want a free one, I wanted to buy one, he would repeat himself. I asked if they had any for sale thinking they might be out and he just wasn’t explaining properly. Yes, they had them for sale, but he couldn’t send me a free one.
30 minutes of arguing back and forth like this I never did get it through his head that I wanted to buy one.”
Delivering Food On Roller Skates Can Cause Some Issues
“I went to Sonic for lunch one day, and my boss asked me to get her a route 44 blue coconut slush. The girl that brought the stuff to my car was on roller skates. She hit a rock, and the giant cup of blue came flying into my open window. She laughed her butt off and apologized while I got out to let it drip off of me instead of even more getting onto the tan interior of my new car. She left, came back with a wad of napkins and a handful of ’10 cents off’ cardboard circles and tossed them in my car.
As I was trying to wrap my brain around what was happening, my friend called me and said her baby had just been born prematurely and she wanted me to go straight to the hospital. I got there and stopped in a bathroom to try to scrub blue dye off of my arms, face, and neck. I wasn’t very successful, but my friend and her husband had a good laugh after a stressful day, so that was a plus.
When I got home, my husband saw that the inside of my car had been dyed blue and had a layer of sugary crust. He strongly suggested that I call the manager and ask if they would have my car cleaned. I called, and the manager told me to go see him the next day. When I showed up, he said he could have one of his employee’s vacuum out my car, and handed me a card with ‘half off drinks for life’ scribbled on it. I chalked it all up to ‘Sonic sucks,’ and planned to let everyone I knew use that card for the rest of my life.
First trip there, my husband handed the drive-thru guy the card, and he confiscated it and said it was only good for that one time. At that point, I was pretty angry. I emailed corporate, the owner of that Sonic called me pretty quickly and claimed that it was his ‘idiot son’ who gave me the card and that there is no such thing as a lifetime discount. I told him I didn’t care about a discount and that I just wanted them to clean my car. I ended up with 10 free combo meals and a car interior that still attracts more dirt in certain spots no matter how much I clean it.”
“I Told Him I Don’t Want To Work With Someone Like Him”
“I had scheduled an appointment with a car salesman to look into buying a new car. I knew I had good credit and I get paid enough to afford a new car. Now, I knew there might be some trouble since this would be my first car so I brought my older brother with me. Right when I come in asking for the dude, Richard, he goes straight to my brother and introduces himself and completely ignores me. Alright, whatever he probably didn’t notice me. My brother tells him that I’m the one looking for a car. He looks at me and says, ‘Oh YOU’RE looking to buy?’ I say yeah and tell him what car I had in mind as beforehand I had done a TON of research. I noticed that when I mentioned the car (it was a 2015 challenger) he gave a look of, well, if ‘pfft’ had a face it would be that. I gave a concerned look and he tells me, ‘Oh I can already tell you that you’re not going to be accepted for that car.’
I ask him why and he says that since I’m a new buyer we don’t really get accepted and that I would need help from a cosigner. I tell him I have my brother to help in case I would run into that trouble. He says, ‘Well let’s just see.’
Moments later when he gets the keys to the car he tells ME to go get the car from the back so I could go on a test drive while he helps out another couple. By now I’ve had enough. I ask him if I could work with someone else. He has the gall to ask why. I told him because I don’t want to work with someone like him; someone so negative. He says, ‘Whatever fine’ and leaves to help another couple. Jerk didn’t even ask for somebody to help me.
Well, I guess a newbie was there and I asked for his help and already he was positive and enthusiastic. I talk to him and we go for a drive, I told him I’ve done the research, I know what to do and I want the car. He comes back with a manager or some other and we get to business. So I left with a new car and Richard didn’t get the commission for a sale.”
“I Asked Her If She Was Calling Me A Liar”
“Returned a broken hair straightener (which I was told it was fine to do before I bought it on sale) and told the lady, ‘it doesn’t work.’ I didn’t need to give a reason, but I felt like I should. Before I could finish completing my sentence, she stops returning it, stares at me, and says, ‘I’ll go to the back and check it then.’ I’m like okay. She comes back two seconds later and goes, ‘It’s fine, it turns on.’ I still wasn’t reacting to her tone (rude and accusatory) so I tried to explain, ‘Yes it turns on but-‘ nope, cut off again, ‘So it works!’
I then spent 5 minutes TRYING to explain that it would turn off mid-use because the wiring was faulty. Each time she would cut me off. I then asked her if she was calling me a liar. She said no and mumbled something. The girl working at the next register pipes up, ‘She’s not calling you a liar, it turned on.’ At which point I asked, ‘How do you know? You didn’t go to the back.’ When I realized she was the manager I asked her, ‘Are you the manager?’ And she turned red and mumbled something before running off.
Anyway, after 20 more minutes of this insane exchange, I was given a number to contact and I left the hair straightener there because I was livid.
I tweeted at the company, they gave me a full refund within 24 hours and offered a gift certificate which I refused and instead encouraged them to train their staff better. I will never go into a Superdrug again.”