Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Customer Disservice to Be Proud Of

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Customer Disservice to Be Proud Of

Article excerpt

I was trying to get $100 out of an ATM machine when the screen went blank. I had no money and no receipt.

The bank guard sent me to the teller. I waited in a long line, then told her what happened.

"Could you please check if I lost my $100?" I said. "No," said the teller. "How can I find out?" "Fill this out," said the teller, handing me a stack of papers. I did less paperwork for a home loan. "It takes six weeks," she said. "Six weeks? You can't check now?" "No," she said. The woman handed out words like $100 bills. She didn't know anyone at that branch who could help me. She didn't know the bank president's address. I knew one thing. I'd never go to that bank again. That was rude. But it wasn't a worthless experience. It might be worth five big ones. St. Louisan Nancy Friedman is offering $500 for the Worst Customer Service Experience. Every customer has been snubbed, snapped at, yelled at or hung up on. Maybe you promised someone would pay. Now they will. "This is the revenge of the customers," Nancy said. "I'm paying a $500 reward for the worst horror story. I want true stories, on the phone or in person." Even if you don't win, you may see your awful experience in print. Nancy calls herself The Telephone Doctor. Her training company improves customer service and telephone skills. She's writing a book called "Terrible Tales of Customer Service . . . and how it can be done better!" Nancy has her own terrible tales. "I went into an almost empty bagel store. I said, `A dozen bagels, please.' The woman started bagging the bagels. I added, `If I could have them sliced, I'd appreciate it.' " "Jeez, my lucky day," said the woman, sourly. "It left a bad taste," said Nancy. "Now I get my bagels sliced elsewh ere. I spank them with my checkbook." Many customers do. "We surveyed 500 adults: 48 percent refuse to do business with companies because of poor service in person, 42 percent refused because of rude phone service. …

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