Customer Service in general

Is it just me or does everyone’s skin crawl when after battling the maze of crap you have to go through just to get what you’ve paid for online - they finish with Have a Wonderful Day. I find it so patronising.

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Yeah, that is annoying. I’ve come accross it a few times.
Companies with good customer service ‘sense’ know how to talk to customers, but that seems to be a rare company policy or mandate thes days.

Well since you ask, I don’t personally find it an issue. In fact I often say “have a great day” myself!


I used to work in customer service for a large automotive manufacturer at their UK HQ.

It was one of the toughest jobs I’ve had, not helped by PR that said how reliable the cars were. I can’t count how many times that was thrown back at the team.

Sadly, I feel cs is at an all time low in many organisations.

Often the staff are not empowered to make decisions and get stuck in a cycle of actually not giving service at all, just defending the company line.

Many organisations, whilst having simple product offers (utility supplies, selling cloths), make life too complicated for themselves and consequently their customers.

How often have you gone into a store and the tills (checkouts) are not staffed, what are they in business for.

In my time in CS we calculated that each letter we responded to, cost £25 (long time ago). It didn’t take too long to realise it was cheaper to satisfy the customer at first contact. Result, happier customer and more likely to return.

The advent of AI in CS will be awful because ultimately when stuff goes wrong, people will want to deal with a person who can actually see/understand their issue.

My partner does work for Citizens Advice. A recent case over utility bills, really required someone to go out and look at the issues the customer faced, but instead the company kept trying to sort out on the phone and by letter/email. Result was it was refered to the ombudsman who found in favour of the customer. The utility company has ignored the finding!! They just need to stop faffing about and get out of the office or depot and sort the problem out.

Organisations of all flavours, who have customers, need to understand they’d make more money if they did it ‘right first time’.

The company I worked for had the slogan ‘Customer Comes First’ I’m not sure it was ever lived upto in the long run, but we tried. We didn’t have technology like we have now, but we did have committed people who wanted to do the right thing and it is those people that should be invested in, they are the face or voice of the company.


It’s generally not the in person customer service, they generally are doing their best and I imagine have to put up with a lot of crap.

It’s the online/text service that I often struggle with and it’s getting worse as the sack real people and replace them with IA.

Also it’s the online companies that have no real contact with their customers they hide behind curtain of dead ends and menus and firms. They offer no real help once you’ve handed over your money.


Gotye- “Thanks for your time”

and “big yes” to the OPs topic and ‘how WE feel’.

In handling issues it is not the outcome but the timeframe in which the outcome is reached that is the leading metric towards customer satisfaction.

in a world with juniors staffing the front desk, and AI/‘tiered’ auto responses- a bigger wall and a bigger gap is being created.

Worse; big companies know that after a certain amount of ‘hassle’ many customers will give up trying… It is profitable (in the short-term) to use such tactics.

I have lost hundreds of hours dealing with many of the largest companies, and still reached no outcome.
Eventually we will just walk away with the realisation “complaining is just good time invested into poor products”(not worth it).

I now attempt to always buy (ONLY) RELIABLE brands/products.
Poor people cannot afford to buy ‘cheap’ goods; and TIME is a finite resource that we all have in ‘near equal’ measure (nothing more valuable).


In England customer service does not exist. Nobody answers a phone they have no pride or interest in doing a job correctly and inadequate training followed by lack of management and supervision, poor speaking ability and worse still ears that cannot listen.


Apart from that is everything ok. :grin:


That’s rubbish. There are obviously some poor companies, but there are also some excellent ones. I’ve had a few brilliant experiences with customer service in the past few weeks. Just think how the poor people on the end of the phone, probably not earning much, feel about having to deal with people with your sort of attitude.


I’ve generally not had problems with people that have to face the abuse from angry customers think most do their best. For me the problem starts when everything is via a website or an app.


In my experience the reality in the U.K. today is that good customer service is the exception rather than the rule. In most cases the first hurdle is to actually get to speak to someone, which is often virtually impossible, even if an apparently relevant phone number can be found. If verbal contact is established, then getting the issue understood and efficiently resolved is almost never straightforward and seldom leads to a satisfactory conclusion.


Before I had my accident in 2017 I tended towards being grumpy and demanding in customer service situations. I didn’t really know it at the time but looking back I can see it. Since 2017 I’ve completely changed and am always really nice to whoever is on the other end. It just makes everything so much more pleasant and the positive is that I’m much more likely to have a satisfactory outcome. I sorted out a return on a dodgy router using Amazon’s chat facility, and today dealt with Lebara using their chat. I got great service from Naim support this morning. I’ve had serious issues with a watch recently and spend hours trying to sort it out, but never once got cross and ended up with a complimentary metal bracelet worth about £1,000. I think if people put themselves in the shoes of the customer service person, their experiences might be very different.

Just had a similar situation with a large well known UK Hair dryer and Vacuum Manufacturer, that after keeping you waiting up to an hour on the phone waiting to speak to customer service, take 4 months to issue a refund. Poor service all way round.

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My parents are 90, my Uncle is 95. Their lifeline is the telephone. With no communication from Virgin media, both have been cut off due to change to digital lines. We then spend time getting them switched back on…….for Virgin to cut them off again. Customer service has no clue about the transition. We had to call retentions and insist on an engineer to connect to the digital system……a 2 hour job.
If we were not around they could not get help, let alone call 999.
The mobile phone world is not for them😥


It’s the systems, or lack of them, and the management that imposes them that’s the problem. The customer service staff are just stuck in the middle. I am always pleasant and patient in dealing with them, but sometimes the frustration at lack of understanding and effective mechanisms for dealing with complaints give rise to extreme frustration and endless hours of wasted time. Smaller companies seem to be easier to deal with and are capable of dealing with problems than large multinationals. I have recently had excellent dealings with Ruark and NFU Mutual (not a small business) but prolonged tortuous, and ultimately unsatisfactory, experiences with a very large mobile phone maker, a major car company and with a manufacturer of coffee machines.

Think problem is some (although becoming rare) direct contact is still working but most multinational companies are becoming faceless and hard to track down someone responsible.

Just because you’ve had a good experience it’s unrealistic to believe others haven’t had the opposite experience.

Also I find it rather ironic that it’s communication companies that are the hardest to communicate with.


A couple of Christmases ago, a flatpack bike ordered for one of the grandkids arrived with a wonky front fork, which wouldn’t accommodate the front wheel hub.

A quick phone call got things moving, with a request for a photograph, if possible, just in case I was getting it wrong.

An hour later, and a new one is on it’s way, with instructions for me to re-box the original, as best I can, and the courier will collect it when delivering the replacement.

Next day, and I’m all sorted, so I sent an email thanking the woman on the other end of the phone for her prompt and efficient customer relations.

But wait, … … … we’re all very good at complaining when things go wrong, yet not so swift to compliment folks on a job well done.

It must have taken me all of a couple of minutes to compose and send another email to the MD of what is a small family run outfit, saying what a pleasant experience it had been contacting them.

I also dashed off another one to the woman with whom I had chatted the previous day, just to let her know how impressed I had been with her actions, and that I had copied this one to her boss, with a postscript that “You never know, there might be a wee bonus for you, this close to Christmas”

Dead chuffed to hear from her again a couple of days later, to be told that her boss had indeed called her in, given her a severe talking to, and told her that there would be £250 extra in her next pay packet.

Net result?

We both get a warm happy glow, and just in time for Christmas. :christmas_tree: :christmas_tree:


An increasingly common issue I’ve found is poor communication of changes to services.

Even with communication preferences set to paper alone so many companies have started sending unsolicited texts from numbers not known to me so they automatically go to Unknown Senders on the phone and are frequently missed especially if time sensitive.

My bank, only weeks ago, after repeated coercive/underhand attempts to get you to go paperless in the app* announced they ‘were having issues with paper statements’ (our preference, especially for the joint account) and would ‘upgrade us’ to online statements. Balderdash! I may learn to accept it, but I spend considerable time already navigating to download electronic statements from banks/utilities/cc providers etc. * (Showing ‘Go Paperless’ splash screens which opted you in when you clicked Continue to your Accounts, rather than manually choosing options).

So many apps now also refuse to work without an update when you a) may not have decent internet access to do a large update or b) simply want to review transactions or whatever you could do without the faff the day before. I have an app which allows remote viewing of security camera/plugs etc - for the last week or so it refuses to allow me to access these services roughly 9 times out of 10 trying to force an Update (there was a Maybe Later option as well before). When an alert flashes saying person/motion detected I want to see the camera feed now not after an update has gone through. Poor.

Next is the interminable hoops to go through multiple stupid menus with long messages at each step telling you to do it via their app or online when you really need to talk to a human promptly. I already know I can do certain things through an app but others need verbal contact not an online messaging system which could take hours or days for a response.

If you can eventually get through to a human, most are very helpful though often limited in how they can help without escalating the matter which is not always as quick as you’d like. You can send detailed emails backing up your complaint/concerns and it becomes patently obvious in subsequent responses that no one has read them.

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Whether or not annoying depends on the circumstances - if the’ve been really helpful, and apologetic for the problem having arisen, and say it with apparently genuine feeling, than it is nice. If if comes across just as a set finishing line, with no soncerity, then irritating. If that after only begrudgingly helping, with no apology for whatever was the problem, then

That is a very sweeping, and incorrect, statement. There are plenty of businesses that do care, and bend over backwards to get things right or help if something goes wrong,

Sadly there are also all too many at the other end of the scale, and even one ix one too many.

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