Let’s talk about customer service fails

Let’s talk about customer service fails

We live in a society that lives and dies by customer service. Everywhere you look, there are examples of customer service, both great and awful. This isn’t a new phenomena; it’s been the rule for the better part of the last forty years or so. I point this out because today, a very simple thing just grated me the wrong way and it’s set me in a mood.

What is great customer service?

This is a subjective answer. Everyone has their own interpretation of “great” but we can agree, I think, that anything better than bad is a shade of good. Just meeting the needs of the customer is okay customer service but, to really earn those stellar reviews, you have to exceed the expectation, anticipate the need, and communicate directly and thoroughly. Each of us has our own interpretation of what those expectations are and so “great” customer service is never a single answer.

What is bad customer service?

I’d wager you’re already thinking about some of the memorable customer service fails that you have experienced. Pizza delivery and it was flipped upside down? Trying to return an item to the store and the clerk insists the item wasn’t returnable to their store because it was purchased at a different store? Is Comcast your cable provider? All of these are examples of an extremity of bad customer service so I could set the scene (yes, that does mean I intend to share a story). A glaring example of a customer service fail.

My pet peeve

I can put up with quite a bit. I’ve been seeing a dentist down here in Ocala for the last year and his staff has always been amazing. Especially with someone like me, who breaks out into hives just thinking about it. I was told in my last appointment that I was going to need a partial denture for three teeth in the back of my mouth. We scheduled everything and I did my impression. Now, I was supposed to come in this morning at 10AM to see the first cast from the impression. I get there at ten to ten and I’m sitting in the waiting room for almost ten minutes. When she finally goes come out, she looks at me and I watch her face crumple.

“Hon, I knew I forgot to call someone! Usually we get our dentures and our partials turned around in about a week and I looked last night but I could have sworn I saw yours.”

Okay. So I’m here for no reason this morning. I must have limit because I can’t do significantly loud noises.

“Well I noticed last night that your partial didn’t come in.”

… folks, I almost lost my shit right there. You knew last night and didn’t bother telling me?

So I’m working on cheering myself up with bad television. Now my sneak peek at my partial and hope they don’t look


  1. Just last week I stumbled on some random web page that I don’t even remember what it was about, but it had an absolutely gorgeous webfont. I mean it was beautiful. I immediately lusted for that font to license for my own project.

    I used FireFox “inspect element” to figure out what the font was, and did a bing search for it. It is licensed by a small company. I went to their web site and could not find a price listed anywhere. There was an “add to cart” option that required personal information including the domain name and my home address, but no price.

    So I e-mailed them and asked them.

    The response I got was that I had to add it to the shopping cart to get a price. I responded I wanted a price before I added it to the shopping cart. They responded “The way our system works, you have to add it to the cart first”

    I highly suspect that after adding the intended domain name, they have an algorithm that guestimates the value of the site based on links to it and they charge a higher price if they think they can. But anyway – the fact that they refused to give me a fucking price by e-mail on something I was already sold on and really wanted – that just p*ssed me off and I spent the next three hours finding a font that I like from a vendor that lists the actual license cost.

    It is really bizarre that when they are selling something a customer wants to buy, they won’t give a price. That’s just whacked.

    1. I completely agree, Alice. I’ve had several instances where they insist they must know more before they give me a price. My typical response is to shop elsewhere.
      I don’t even bother engaging with them beyond “If you can’t give me a price, I can’t give you my business.”
      Now I’m curious as to what the font was LOL


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