Worst customer service you've ever had (rant happy)

Riotguards

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Feb 1, 2013
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so yeah tell your stories of horrible support, this can be anything from phone calls, emails or personal

my personal worst is getting locked out of my outlook account (and xbox live account) because of a password change, turns out i accidental misspelt my verification account email so its impossible for me to verify my account, so now i have to wait 30 days until my account is open again

i counted support and all they did was jerk me around and say "we cannot do anything because its they system", like the F*** you can't do anything, they wouldn't even put me onto someone who could do anything about it but rather told me to wait it out or cancel my xbox sub while i wait (which i told them nope)

i'm just so frustrated because now i can't watch netflix or play any online games (granted i was only playing destiny, which thankfully i'll go get a refund because of this) but the fact that they wouldn't do anything is just insulting
 

Jamash

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Jun 25, 2008
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How is not giving a random caller access to your account without the proper verification horrible customer support?

I know it's frustrating because you know you're you, but they don't know you're you just because you phone up and say you are, which is why such account verification exists in the first place.

Would you rather that anyone could take ownership of your Outlook and Xbox Live account just by phoning up and claiming that they're you but they entered the wrong e-mail for account verification?

It's not horrible support, it's good customer support working the way it should be, which is by not unlocking your account to a random caller who claims they are you but says they don't have the proper verification because they entered in the wrong e-mail address.
 

Lilani

Sometimes known as CaitieLou
May 27, 2009
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Riotguards said:
so yeah tell your stories of horrible support, this can be anything from phone calls, emails or personal

my personal worst is getting locked out of my outlook account (and xbox live account) because of a password change, turns out i accidental misspelt my verification account email so its impossible for me to verify my account, so now i have to wait 30 days until my account is open again

i counted support and all they did was jerk me around and say "we cannot do anything because its they system", like the F*** you can't do anything, they wouldn't even put me onto someone who could do anything about it but rather told me to wait it out or cancel my xbox sub while i wait (which i told them nope)

i'm just so frustrated because now i can't watch netflix or play any online games (granted i was only playing destiny, which thankfully i'll go get a refund because of this) but the fact that they wouldn't do anything is just insulting
That isn't really poor customer service, just a security system you unfortunately got trapped by. And I can promise you, yeah, there ARE some systems which just can't be bypassed, at least over the phone. The 30 day thing is a security measure, and you should be quite thankful they don't just take the word of any schmuck that calls and says you're you.

Bad customer service is when the person is determined to not help you when it's within their means to do so. Bypassing the explicitly programmed security systems which exist FOR the customer's benefit is not good customer service, it's risky customer service. When I worked in retail there were times when I had to badger people who were perfectly innocent, but were in odd circumstances that needed clearing up. Their credit card was being denied, or the item had an altered or damaged tag, or they didn't have proper ID, or I perceived they were behaving suspiciously. The vast majority of the time it turned out to be nothing, but for the safety of not only myself but other people as well (for if someone's using a stolen credit card, there's someone out there who's getting charged). Yeah it's a pain to some people, but the consequences for not taking these precautions far outweighs the momentary inconvenience there in the store.

A true example of bad (and actually illegal) customer service occurred in a town near where I live, where a woman with a service dog was belligerently denied service [http://www.koamtv.com/story/26529762/woman-with-service-dog-is-denied-service-at-a-nevadamo-business] at a Taco Bell.
 

Johnny Impact

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Aug 6, 2008
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AOL customer service. Yes, I'm old enough to remember dial-up, and even (gasp) a time when there was no internet.

Anyway, my family got AOL as soon as it became available in the boonies where we lived. I gave up most of my allowance to pay the bill. The service was bad. I mean, everything was bad, the internet was just being born, but this was BAD. During off-peak hours, I'd sit for over an hour trying to log in without success. Peak time was simply "don't even try." If I were lucky enough to establish a connection, it would drop after 3-10 minutes. This went on for as long as we had AOL.

I asked people I knew if they had problems. Inevitably there were some but nothing like what I'd experienced. I called tech support. After holding for 40 minutes I was put on the line with a rep who dismissed the problem out of hand: "Oh, that's your local phone service, nothing we can do."

Ah....no.

My mother was regularly able to make transatlantic phone calls to my aunt in Israel. They never had a dropped call, it never took an hour to get through, and the signal was clear enough that you could distinctly hear the clicks when Mossad listened in. I could call my friend a few doors over, or another friend two towns away. Anyone in the house could call anyone they wanted at any time and get through in a single attempt. The only time there was ever a problem was when we tried to use AOL. That meant the problem absolutely was AOL.

I explained this to the reps on multiple occasions and was rebuffed every time. Once in a while they would give us a different number to dial in to the service, but it never helped. Eventually we must have had some sort of "chronic complainer" tag on our account because they began to simply get us off the phone as quickly as possible.

Imagine buying a car, then discovering it would only run for ten minutes, three times a week, and you never knew which ten minutes it was going to be. When you called the dealership to complain, they told you your local roads were faulty, it was nothing to do with them. When you called them again to say that wasn't good enough, they hung up on you. Take a zero or two off the price and this was essentially what AOL had done to us. They did not sell us a service, they sold us a promise and gave us just a hair more than absolutely nothing. The little they did give us was measured in frustration, not satisfaction.

We bought Roadrunner as soon as it became available. I put my entire allowance towards paying part of the bill. Suddenly we had a connection. Not excuses, not ten minutes three times a week, but THE INTERNET, delivered in all its fledgling glory at any time of the day or night. We finally got to see the way things should have been all along.

Two days after we cancelled AOL, an apologetic, obsequious AOL rep called to see if there was anything they could do to keep our business. In other words, they absolutely did not give the faintest ghost of a shit until they weren't getting my money anymore. If I could have spit on him through the phone line, I would have. I had to settle for hanging up on him.
 

Harpalyce

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Mar 1, 2012
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Probably the worst customer service I've had recently is trying to buy some sketches from an artist I, up until said bad customer service, admired.

It took hunting them down for them to even acknowledge they got the payment (yes, I pay up-front, I realize this is foolish but, like I said, I admired this artist and thought it'd be OK), and they only got back to me 2 days after the money was in their hands. And then for the next month and a half, nothing but dead silence. They had an art docket they promised was kept 'as up to date as possible' with no mention of my work on it. They also constantly were asking for art requests to doodle during this. I'm an artist myself, I really try not to begrudge personal work; sometimes you just need to goof off with your hobby instead of doing commissions and I understand that. But soliciting ideas to sketch for free while I had around $40 worth of work needing to be done did rub me the wrong way, I'm sorry to say.

After the silence reached around a month and a half I finally got fed up. As nicely as possible, I asked the artist if there was any update. I tried to even frame it as my fault - maybe I asked something they didn't want to draw, blah blah - so it would be easier to save face. I made it clear that all I wanted was an update, but if they couldn't provide it, a refund please. Again, as nicely as possible. I really made an effort to walk on eggshells. Like I said, I respected this person.

It took pulling a personal friend of them over to grab their attention to get a response. And they only really did anything after several days of me saying "hello? an update please?" as kindly as possible while seeing them continue to post art on their art blog... but the thing that made them actually hustle was me exhasperatedly saying I was going to file a PayPal dispute if I didn't hear from them.

The next morning said artist refunded my money with a snippy public post obviously talking about me, berating 'stupid customers' for not checking their commission terms. ...which hadn't been written when I put in my commission. ...especially the new rule which amounted to 'don't ask how long it's going to take'.

The worst part of it to me is just how much respect I lost for them. We'd been on the verge of friendship. Now I'm pretty sure that although no public posts have been spotted, they've probably been working on making me persona non grata in our shared fandom.

I knew trying to commission cool little fandom artists was going to bite me in the ass eventually, but it's pretty depressing when the inevitable happens.
 

Mezahmay

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Dec 11, 2013
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The worst customer service I've had recently was with my college campus police. Is that still customer service? For the sake of venting, it's absolutely customer service to me. It was really cold last winter and my car was having battery troubles. Turns out the battery had a drain I fixed a few months ago and everything's fine now, but during one of the snowy nights the residential students get to park in the parking garage with the condition we leave by like 8pm the next day. Naturally my car's battery drained low enough to prevent starting the car overnight and I couldn't get it started. A campus police officer tried and he couldn't get it going. I suspect it was his jump box being low on juice more than that battery going bad since I got it jumped a day or two later. Anyway, during the two days the car stayed overnight in the parking garage I received a warning and a ticket. It wasn't a large ticket but I didn't want to pay for this when I've got other things to worry about and work to do. I sent a few emails and sent in a formal appeal explaining that I physically could not move my car. They denied my appeal because I knew about my car's battery issues and that I had to leave by a certain time. I interpreted that as a fuck you at the time. I still do now.
 

Ghraf

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Sep 16, 2014
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I tend to try to avoid "customer service" as much as I possibly can, so I don't have many experiences with it, good or bad.

But, there was the whole thing Paypal freezing people's accounts until they sent in a bunch of ridiculous information, like proof of address, proof of residence, social security numbers, driver's license copies, etc. Supposedly it was needed by people in specific countries, however I live in a country that should have been uneffected by it and was still requested to send in the information. I closed my Paypal accounts shortly afterwards because I didn't even have to bring that much information to the bank when I set up my account there.

Maybe not worst customer service, but definitely worst policy change. I bet they lost a lot more customers than me over it.
 

Issurru

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The only one I can remember that happened even somewhat recently was Square Enix, they were completely tits-ass useless. Long story short was I was in a guild with a few members here on the Escapist we were saving up to buy a house not long after they released and everyone was doing their part to chip in and be a big happy family. Then BOOM my account got jacked, I had access to EVERYTHING that was in the bank. Lo and behold ALL 11 or 12 million gil was taken from the guild bank plus everything I had on me. We contacted SE numerous times, I called them everyday for a week about progress and got nothing in response other than once that I was put into the wrong queue. Hell I even then asked for a rollback on my account after about like a month or so and they couldn't even get that done! Or even give me a response as to what would happen to any money I made after my account got jacked up until I got rolled back, so I couldn't even play during the month I had paid for because I was expecting it to all get rolled back and have essentially just done nothing but waste time and effort.

That happened in like January or February of this year, and to no surprise I still haven't heard jack shit about my account. Which is sad because while Sqaure does lots of dumb things I figured they could at least get a simple rollback or give me a reply of ANY sorts other than "It'll get looked at, eventually" I was rather enjoying my time playing that game until it completely soured me to the entirety that is FF14:ARR, hell I even bought a nice big Collectors Edition for the original god awful excuse for a game that was Final Fantasy 14 and was willing to keep throwing money at them due to having fun playing with the people in the guild. But NOPE, guess not anymore since I don't care to give a company money who can't even give a simple, "Sorry, there's nothing we can do." Response to a customer
 

chozo_hybrid

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Jul 15, 2009
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You can't fault them for the security working how it should. Yet you want them to try break the rules and risk getting in trouble because you messed up. As someone who works in customer service, it's people like you, who fail to understand how things work, that infuriate the people trying to help you. You made the error that caused the issue and they have told you how/why/when it will be fixed.

Bad customer service is when someone is an ass-hat and won't help you when it's within the rules, their power and their job in general. Like having someone refuse to let you use a voucher for something like a movie ticket when it was valid, like I had someone do a little while ago. I politely asked to see their supervisor and the young lady refused to call their boss or anyone applicable until she needed help with something, which only took five minutes. The Manager (who happened to be the one helping her) helped me out and gave me some free food to make up for it. That was initial bad service, turned into good service based on the way the manager handled it.

It's honestly rare that I encounter what I would call bad customer service. Might be that because I work in a similar environment that I cut them some slack. But I think it's more likely that someone doesn't get what they want, for a real reason, and decides it's bad service, much like you did in your post.
 

Elfgore

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Well every time I have to talk to Steam Support, a small part of me dies. They are honestly the worse customer support I've ever seen. It's like they don't even read your fucking message and just copy-paste the same old response. For example, my Steam account is locked out on the internet, my computer is down as locked. I do the thing to get the code, only to get a five-digit code, the input requires six. I sent a message to Steam Support and their reply literally fixed nothing, they just sent me the same link explaining what I had to do. Fucking useless!
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Mezahmay said:
The worst customer service I've had recently was with my college campus police. Is that still customer service? For the sake of venting, it's absolutely customer service to me. It was really cold last winter and my car was having battery troubles. Turns out the battery had a drain I fixed a few months ago and everything's fine now, but during one of the snowy nights the residential students get to park in the parking garage with the condition we leave by like 8pm the next day. Naturally my car's battery drained low enough to prevent starting the car overnight and I couldn't get it started. A campus police officer tried and he couldn't get it going. I suspect it was his jump box being low on juice more than that battery going bad since I got it jumped a day or two later. Anyway, during the two days the car stayed overnight in the parking garage I received a warning and a ticket. It wasn't a large ticket but I didn't want to pay for this when I've got other things to worry about and work to do. I sent a few emails and sent in a formal appeal explaining that I physically could not move my car. They denied my appeal because I knew about my car's battery issues and that I had to leave by a certain time. I interpreted that as a fuck you at the time. I still do now.
Dude, are you kidding me? They were absolutely right to deny your appeal. You did know that your car was having battery problems and you didn't replace the battery, and you you did nothing about it which lead to the ticket. Hell, even if you didn't replace the battery you still would have had options. You could have called AAA and gotten them to jump start the battery, or they could have given you a tow. Instead you let the car sit there for 2 days and did nothing, that's absolutely your own fault. Hell, the cops even tried to give you a jump and you're still shitting on them.

captcha: get over it

You tell him captcha.
 

Ghraf

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I forgot to mention how god-awful, pants-on-head retarded EA Origin customer service is. If you've ever dealt with them, you know what I'm talking about. Serious outsourcing going on there. I don't think they realize that "copy and paste pre-written phrases" doesn't qualify as customer support.

Oh, and the thinly-veiled "screw you, buy more of our shitty products" they give you in the form of a 15%-off coupon everytime you fail to be supported. It's like eating at a restaurant that uses rotten ingredients, complaining that the food is disgusting, and then getting a coupon for another shit sandwich made of the same exact rotten food.
 

marioandsonic

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Anytime I've ever had to call Comcast.

Usually, I have to call them when my internet service slows to a crawl for a couple of days. This tends to happen at least every other week.
 

ecoho

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worst was PlayStation support. took 3 hours to fix a simple problem and in that time I was told it was my fault, I should know better and flat out told I shouldn't be wasteing their time. Funny thing was when I finally got pissed and said I want the head of their department and that I would hold they were all rainbows and smiles......

Oddly enough had one of my best experiences with EAs support staff, go figure.
 

Starbird

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Softbank in Japan.

I was told, flat out, that 'we don't like selling phones to foreigners' when I wanted to buy the iPhone on contract several years ago. The reason given was that foreigners apparently buy the phone, pay the first month, then unlock it and sell it back in their country.

Eventually I got the phone, after paying cash for the handset.

Two years later the phone got damaged and I wanted to upgrade to the 4S. I went in and was told 'we don't sell phones to foreigners' again. They refused to even sell me the phone. They did however offer to replace my 3...FOR THE ORIGINAL PRICE I PAID FOR IT.

I blew a silly fuse, told them to get stuffed, cancelled my contract, went to a competitor and was given a 50% discount for switching over and ended up with an amazing Android phone, fantastic service and cheaper rates.

So yeah. Anyone coming to Japan - avoid Softbank.
 

Lil_Rimmy

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marioandsonic said:
Anytime I've ever had to call Comcast.

Usually, I have to call them when my internet service slows to a crawl for a couple of days. This tends to happen at least every other week.
Urrrgh, I had the same thing but with the company Exetel. We had their AMAZING SUPA FAST UNLIMITED ADSL2+ (because we are Australians shut up don't tease me with all of dat google fibre) ULTIMATE INTERNET ALL THE TIME that ran at about the speed of a decaying walrus and entirely fucking broke on a weekly basis, requiring me to run a full reset of the router/modem (and also had to switch back to our old router because everyone they sent us broke within a week or didn't fucking work on opening) to MAYBE get it to work.

In the end, they blamed cables for the slow internet, and said they could send someone to fix it but delayed and of course threatened that if it was our fault it would cost us arseloads to simply have the tech there (with "your fault" basically meaning the problem wire exists somewhere on our soil. So fucking anywhere.) and this all being despite our old internet being faster and a shitton more stable.

So we told them to fuck off and then switched to a new internet which actually runs ok (and is unlimited, which for an Auzzie is one step down from NBN (basically our version of fast internet, it's about as rare as a holy grail) and two steps down from Steam hosting in your own house. Well, for an Auzzie at least) Of course, as soon as we did they started going "OH NO IT"S FINE WE SEND ALL THE TECHS YOU WANT ANOTHER ROUTER?! HERE, STAY WITH US!" Seriously, fuck bad ISPs. Fuck 'em, the money grubbin' cunts.
 

Kyrian007

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Well, I never had a personal problem with my Cox internet service. Or nothing that a few minutes on the phone couldn't fix. But 3 of my worst customer service experiences were with them on behalf of my grandmother. I put together a computer for her, she had friends who retired to other states and with e-mail she could keep in touch. Cox has a monopoly for ISP's in our area and I'd never had a problem with them prior so we signed her up. Well, she was in her 90's so she had problems sometimes. And usually a call to me could get her going again. But one time she had something wrong and couldn't get me, so she called Cox...

And she got put on a list. A list I can't prove they have, but a list I KNOW they have.

The person she got on the phone (who probably realized right away he was speaking with an elderly person) suggested that if she had "x" service, she wouldn't have that problem. So she told them to do it. And her monthly bill was more than doubled, and she had not been told that it would cost anymore than she had been paying. She lived on a fixed income and would not have agreed if she knew the bills would go up. So I called and got the "upgrade" canceled and got a refund on her bill... pretty painless.

Until a Cox rep called her saying she had not been paying her full bills for her service and if she wanted it turned on again she would have to call back and pay the "overdue" amount in full. Again I contacted cs on her behalf, I actually expected that she had just been called by a scammer and that everything with Cox was still ok. Nope, my cancelation of her "upgrade" "hadn't been logged by billing." Somehow they expected me to believe that a glitch kept her bill at the old amount for 3 pay periods if the "cancelation" had not been logged. But I had kept it civil until the end of the phone call where the rep told me "It's not our policy to contact a customer and demand 3 months of payments that weren't on the mailed statement." My answer, "What do you mean it's not your policy... THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU JUST DID."

My next call to them was a few years later to inform them that I'd recieved one of her bills. I guess calling on her behalf had put me on her account. It was a few months worth of bills. I informed them that she had died a few months prior. The rep said she was sorry and that she would cancel the account and credit the payments. Then a month later, my service got disconnected because I didn't pay HER bill. I did get it corrected, but it was the last straw, I had a bundled tv, phone, and internet with Cox. I called and dropped tv and phone. I do still have internet, but the second a viable, legal or mostly legal alternative exists I'm eliminating Cox internet too.