Friday, March 06, 2009

The Customer Service Hall of Shame

Today I received a call from a young man indicating he was conducting some research on behalf of Bank of America. It was a customer satisfaction survey. After he told me the conversation was being recorded, I took the liberty of giving him a piece of my mind. I told him it disturbed me that Bank of America was spending, perhaps millions, to get opinions on their customer service---and the fact that they could be using bailout money was downright disgusting.

Bank of America's attempts to improve its customer service comes on the heels of poor ratings they've received over the past couple of years. In a 2008 MSN Money-Zogby International survey, 31% of respondents familiar with Bank of America's customer service rated it "poor." In 2007, 30% rated it "poor." Why? Because employees don't seem to have a clue on how to really help you when you call them on the phone. One time my husband discovered a charge with his online account but the employee he talked to couldn't explain the charge. He later discovered the bank had changed a policy but failed to inform him about it. Why the employee didn't know about this change in policy is beyond me.

Bank of America ranks #7 on the Customer Service Hall of Shame List, along with these other Companies:

1. AOL

2. Comcast

3. Sprint Nextel

4. Abercrombie & Fitch

5. Qwest

6. Capital One

7. Bank of America

8. Time Warner Cable

9. HSBC Finance

10. Cox Communications

Perhaps if these Companies put more money into training their employees on how to give good customer service and in depth training on what the company does, they wouldn't have to spend so much money trying to figure out their problems.

Are there any companies you think should be added to the Customer Service Hall of Shame?


Pam Archer said...

Office Max, Charter Communications, Delta, and Hancock Fabric

Virtual Woman's Day said...

AT & T tops my list. Still trying to get my Flower shop bill straight after 11 months AND several letters to the National Board of Directors. I even received a call from one of the VP's listed on their annual report (who received one of my 7 letters) telling me the problem was solved. NOT!

I actually changed carriers in January and they still don't know - they are still billing me even though I cancelled service the first week in January. No wonder these big companies are in trouble. Their head doesn't check with their "butt" to see what's going on down there....

Thanks, Bev for letting me vent!

Heidi Richards Mooney

Eileen Williams said...

Years ago when I was right out of college, I went to work for the phone company as a service rep. Their training was amazing and I will never forget some of their lessons. One thought that has stayed with me was: you may have heard the complaint many, many times, but, for your customer, it's important. So put yourself in their shoes.
I wonder if any of those old training lessons are still around. Customer service reps could really use them these days. That is.... if you're actually lucky enough to finally reach a human being!!!!!

Beverly said...


I had a major problem with Sun Com once. When they split, the decided not to take North Carolina customers in a certain area code. I was in that area code but, for whatever, reason, they refused to let me out of my contract. Fortunately, I was working in television at the time and threatened to put my story on their airwaves. That got a response!

Sad that these companies don't seem to respect the value of good customer service anymore. As they got bigger---some of them got worse.

Christina said...

Sears is in my hall of shame and we're never buying another product there.

We were supposed to have a service call on our lawn tractor, had to wait 6 weeks to get scheduled, then on the DAY of my appt at 2pm I HAD TO CALL THEM because the service tech had not arrived, only to be told the tech was sick and I had to reschedule...and wait another 6 weeks for an appt!!!

Beverly said...


My experience with Sears was good for the sales part--it was the people they contracted to do their service work which was awful! The contractor apparently failed to notify the City he had done some electrical work in our home several months ago--which can result in a fine if not handled in a certain amount of time. I have called this guy several times and he keeps insisting he's handling it. He has until next week to take care of it or I'll be contacting the Better Business Bureau.

Chris said...

Bank of America is the absolute worst in customer service. I have dealt with the rudest people with this company and I will never, never use their service again.

Rita@Goldivas said...

Once I called Washington Mutual with a question, and when the rep couldn't answer it, he hung up on me!

Susan Adcox said...

Discover Card called me to tell me they were going to give me a free trial in their service which provides checks on your credit rating. I get those credit reports for free, so I told the young man I wasn't interested. He said that all I have to do is call and cancel. I said I am not calling and cancelling a service I did not sign up for and that I do not want. Then he spouted something about what phone number to call and hung up on me! It is not right for companies to be able to enroll you in programs without your consent. I haven't received my bill yet so don't know whether he went through with the transaction or cancelled it.

Outsource Call Center said...

Oh' that was too bad! I believe that, Customer service is vital to the success of any business. Despite how good your product or service is, customer service can make you up or it can break you. So you better treat your customer in a very nice way. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post.