Consumer loyalty is taken for granted with some annoying customer service policies. For many companies, it seems to be a matter of seeing how many fees, how much bad service and poor communication customers will put up with before they cancel their accounts and turn to the competition.
Here are 10 annoying customer service policies.
1. Hidden Charges – Some companies only advertise their package prices without making it clear that there are pro-rated charges from the start of the contract to the bill date, which could be more than a month of additional charges, not to mention the accompanying taxes and fees.
2. Different Prices – Savvy customers who compare rates sometimes find that store prices may be higher than online charges.
3. Exchange Only Policies – Ever get a gift that you just don’t like from a store where you’d never shop? Well, imagine trying to return that gift to the store only to find you can’t get a refund for the item, but you have to shop in that store to exchange the merchandise for something else you don’t want.
4. Paper Bill Charges - Companies save on postage and printing costs by requiring customers to receive their bills online, and then penalize consumers with a monthly fee if they want their bills mailed.
5. Non-user Friendly Websites – Who needs all the swirling colors and dancing images on some websites that take forever to display? Even without special effects, some websites just move so slowly you almost give up on getting the information. Turtle slow pages with incorrect instructions are the worst. These sites tell you to click here and this or that will happen and it doesn’t. Employees for these websites should use their own sites occasionally to see what customers experience.
6. Automated Operators – Talk about wanting to scream. Whoever thought an automated voice that can’t possibly give enough options for every situation that also delays customers from speaking to a live person was good for business? This service saves companies from paying more employees to take calls, but creates a frustrating experience for consumers.
7. Unfulfilled Promises – Customer service reps shouldn’t make promises they can’t or don’t plan to keep like claiming a particular cable channel is in a package when it isn’t or saying a technician will visit when the tight repair schedule can’t squeeze in another person.
8. Bank Fees – What’s more annoying than fees for things like writing checks, having a bank credit card, talking to a teller, or taking your own money out of the ATM?
9. Company Jargon – Using acronyms for services and products that customers aren’t familiar with isn’t good communication.
10. Rude Comments – With all the unintentional things that can offend consumers, the customer service department should be especially careful not to say anything impolite. Asking something like, “So what do you want me to do about it?” instead of asking “How can I help you?” can make the difference between keeping or losing a customer.
What annoying customer service policies have you experienced? Let us know.