We’ve all heard stories about ‘Karen’ customers. What about if the roles were reversed? Customers share stories of customer service workers who were beyond rude to them. Content has been edited for clarity.
Extreme Couponing Or Extreme Attitude?
“I never use coupons, and growing up, my mother always did. Using coupons became, to me, synonymous with adulthood, like I was being fiscally responsible. I always clip coupons, but then I forget about them until they expire. But this day was different. I had coupons, and I was getting some razors at CVS.
I got to the razor aisle and tried to open the drawer. I was in full view of the two cashiers having a casual conversation at the front. I was trying to make it obvious I was waiting. Nothing was happening. I looked at the cashiers, and they were looking at me blandly. Finally, I went up there and asked for help.
One of them said, complete with an eye roll, ‘You can’t open it, you need a key. Everyone can’t figure it out.’
She said it like we were all morons.
Okay, so she saw me over there struggling, knew I was never going to be able to do it, and just watched with disdain. I got my razor and went to check out with my glorious coupon. I whipped out my coupon, which was one of four on a torn-out magazine page.
The second cashier said, super fast and super low, ‘You need to separate them.’
I guess I took a bit too long as I was trying to decipher what she had said because she followed up with, ‘Gosh you must be dumb,’ muttered under her breath.
She said this while I was standing right there. She grabbed the page of coupons out of my hands and ripped the coupon out.
I stared at her in utter shock, probably doing nothing to dispel her opinion of my intellect, paid, and left. I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t even figure out how I should have responded.
‘Excuse me, but did you just call me dumb?’
Or, ‘Please don’t call me dumb.’
Maybe even, ‘Can I speak to your manager since you just called me dumb?’
Well, I didn’t do any of those. I just walked out and wrote a review on Yelp. That’ll teach them.”
Sassy Sandwich Shop
“It was at a time in my life when I had to stay over with a friend in another city and get up at four a.m to get to work at 5:45. I couldn’t risk arriving at six a.m to open the facility on time.
On this particular day, I had an emergency the night before, and I didn’t get to bed till two a.m. I woke up late and didn’t have time to eat. I had to rush for the bus and get to work. That day, I had a short shift, so my break was 30 minutes, and my break was not until eight a.m.
By the time it rolled around, I had too many people needing help to leave, so I didn’t get to have my break until 10. Feeling weak by now, I stepped out, notified the desk guard, and went to a coffee and sandwich shop nearby.
Three people were working, and no one was in line. I stood for five minutes while they talked. I tried to make eye contact with any of them so I could smile and wave (basically notify them that I was standing right there), but they ignored me, or didn’t see me. How? I don’t know. After a couple more minutes, I knocked on the counter and cleared my throat; still nothing. Finally, I had no choice but to either speak up or leave.
Now, the reason I didn’t speak up immediately was because of the bad experience. I was trying to avoid the onslaught which usually comes when I asked for better services.
That day ended up being one of the worst.
I took a deep breath and said, ‘Hey guys! I hate to interrupt your conversation, but I’m on limited time, and I need to get back to work. Can any of you take my order?’
I got three dirty looks, and one of the staff trudged over, heaved a heavy sigh, and said, ‘Fine. What do you want?’
I was extremely put off by the attitude, but I was also in a hurry, as I had 15 minutes left by now. So I started my order, paid, and then moved away from the counter. Then I was starting to walk away, and I overheard the workers’ conversation.
Staff One: ‘Who does she think she is, coming in here?’
Staff Two: ‘Oh, you’re late. I noticed more of them are getting brave of late. Pretending they can afford to eat here.’
Staff Three: ‘We all know they work at Walmart and come here with unprescribed medicine money. And she’s there all like ‘I’m on my break.’ Probably stole those clothes and waiting for her next child support cheque from baby daddy number seven.’
I was sitting at a seat not visible from the counter, and I suspected they didn’t know I could hear. Especially since I had in-earphones, which were off even though I still had them in.
They called out my number, and I walked to the counter, took my order, threw it in the trash, and said, ‘Voices carry. I suggest you do your smack-talking in the back next time.’
Staff number one just sneered at me and said, ‘Maybe just don’t come back here and nobody will have to say anything.’
I left, grabbed a protein bar and an energy drink at a convenience store, and pushed through the last few hours of my shift.
I threw the order away because, frankly, with everything I heard, I didn’t trust it or what they could have put in it. Second, I lost my appetite. I was guessing they all had each other’s backs, so no one would go to their manager about it. I’ve seen and heard many things, but this was one of the most horrible experiences I’ve dealt with as a customer seeking service.”
Bratty Bank Teller(s)
“So we had been with a certain national bank for about 12 years. We had issues with them off and on, but it wasn’t enough to make us want to go through the hassle of finding a new one.
Then 2016 happened.
It was a chaotic but exciting time for my family. We sold our house and upgraded just a few miles away. Naturally, we were excited but had a long list of things to update. Included on that list was the bank information.
We walked into the local bank branch to change our address about a week before we moved. No harm, no foul. It was easy enough.
Most of our banking was done online, so it wouldn’t be shocking not to receive statements to our new address. I started to realize some letters to the new address were just addressed to my husband and not myself. Odd, but it’s not alarming yet.
My debit card expired in December of that year, and around late October I received an email indicating a new debit card had been mailed to me. Sweet!
Only it didn’t come. We waited, and waited. We would call, only to be told it could take a few weeks. No new debit card for me. Meanwhile, my husband had already received his.
We went online, and we realized they had the old address for me still listed. Once again, we trudged down to the post office to get it changed.
Side note: Why wasn’t the mail being forwarded? Good question. Anyway, the next week it was, again, going to be sent to me. And again, no new debit card. It was sent to my old one.
This went back and forth for weeks. For some reason, they would not update my address. Usually, they would just cancel the debit card sent to the wrong address, but in mid-December, they canceled my working card, too. Oops.
Finally, we reached an agreement with a supervisor a new card would be overnighted to one of the few branches open on Christmas Eve. It would be in their mailbox by 11 AM, which left us time to still head out of town for the holiday.
We made our way down to the branch. It wasn’t close to us, but I needed a working debit card. We went into the branch, which was located within a grocery store. Two people were working. One other person was in line. One teller was on the phone.
When we reached the counter, we explained our situation. We were hopeful this would solve our issues. Unfortunately, it went south. Fast. The first teller flat out told us to get to the back of the line because she was busy with other customers. We looked around. She was busy with us. We were customers with a healthy bank account, so, how were we not customers?
We asked for clarification. All we wanted was for her to check the mailbox for an overnighted envelope with my debit card in it. Mind you, I had no working card.
She started yelling, saying she couldn’t leave her customers and to, again, get to the back of the line. We calmly explained we were customers, too. At some point, she would have to assist us. We just needed her to check her mailbox. Please.
I was almost crying at that point. This entire situation has been a mess despite doing everything we could on our end. By now, we had both tellers screaming at us to get out of their bank all because we wanted her to check the mailbox for my debit card. Which their bank continuously failed to send to the correct address.
I wish I were kidding. If I could get the video footage of it, I would.
We immediately placed a call to the bank’s call center to at least get it and noted what was going on. The supervisor, though at first defensive of the tellers, quickly admitted that they both acted inappropriately. We were even given a credit of like 50 bucks for our trouble.”
Sorry For The Inconvenience
“Several years back, my son and I attempted to exchange a product that wasn’t working. We had the product in its original box and the receipt. We stood in line for more than an hour. It was one of the largest retail stores in the United States, but I’m not going to mention its name.
You would think they would have had another employee working in the customer service area.
The person who was doing returns and exchanges sounded like she was having a bad day or something, as many of the people she came into contact with her were visibly and verbally upset at her demeanor.
Well, it finally came our turn to interact. She was still the only employee handling returns and exchanges. My son and I explained to her how the product was not working and only wanted to exchange it for the same product or pay the difference for a better product.
That was when things went from bad to worse. She said, in a louder tone, everyone nearby could hear, she couldn’t return it because it was a used product. My question to her was how she would know if it was bad or not without using it. It was a coffee maker. She repeated her remark even louder.
I asked to talk with a member of management. She said they were busy. I said I would be happy to wait. Then she said she wouldn’t return a used product even louder. My son and I were talking in a normal tone.
Finally, the member of management made their way to the customer service area where we were. He asked the employee what was wrong, and in a loud voice, she said we wanted to exchange a ‘bad’ product that was used. Then he talked to my son and me. He saw the coffee maker in the original box, and we had the receipt.
Then the employee and the manager had a very animated conversation for about five minutes, and she left the area in a huff and kept staring at us. He motioned us to come over to him and told us to get the same product or a better one and pay the difference. Plus, he gave us a 25-buck gift card for the inconvenience.
He told us in a low voice no other customer could hear he sent her home for insubordination and she could be fired for her actions.”
He Really Went There
“We were at the post office to send a letter. The guy at the counter does not have a single second to assist us in how we fill the ‘counter-to-door’ slip. So, of course, I filled in all the slots I felt I had information to provide and left the rest out.
Upon submission, he spent exactly two seconds browsing through the slip before banging it on the glass barrier separating him from us, and he proceeded to say ‘You’re too beautiful to be this dumb!’
This was said with his highest pitch possible. So I look around because my sanity was trying to figure out if this man was talking to me. I didn’t respond in hopes someone behind, or somewhere in the room, would respond to this blatant insult.
He continues to say, ‘Young lady, I am talking to you.’
I asked, ‘What exactly are you saying?’
‘Can you read English, is what I said!’
I asked, ‘May I please borrow that slip?’
As I reached for it, he handed it to me. I ripped it, and then called out for the manager. I explained to her what just happened, handed her the torn slip, and walked out of there.
I always refrained from calling managers because I know how public servants have to deal with nonsense from customers but are fired at first sight the moment their manager was called. However, in this instance, I saw no reason to be compensated by this man. He deserved all that was coming to him.”
She Is Through With Customer Service
“In January, I went to get a new cellphone. While there, I also wanted to drop one number on the account, change the billing date to earlier in the month, and consider a new data plan. Part of the intention was to optimize service while containing cost. I accepted there would be some proration on the bill because of the billing date change, but when the first bill showed up, it was about 250 percent of the old bill.
Meanwhile, they never removed the one phone from the bill, and they were double charging me for my phone and connection. This took several multi-hour calls over several months, which did not resolve the issues. Eventually, I filed with my state attorney general and got it resolved in a few days. This was about 17 hours of my life.
Just last week, I went to make the first payment on my new health insurance plan. I drove to the bank shown on the bill, but they couldn’t process the payment. So I tried paying by phone, but the system wouldn’t accept my account number.
I waited on hold for an hour, all the while being told how they know my time is valuable until I got a representative on the phone. I said I wanted someone to take the information over the phone, but that wasn’t possible. I wanted a direct dial number back to her so I wouldn’t have to spend an hour on hold, but that wasn’t possible. I tried to explain with two failures already, I had no confidence I could get this done without actually talking to someone. She kept talking and wouldn’t let me explain. Eventually, she had me shouting at her to just let me talk and explain what and why I needed it.
Yeah, eventually she held my hand through doing this online, but they needed a better system. I sent them a note of complaint with recommendations.”
Sassy, Stompin’ Server
“I won’t mention the name of the restaurant, because the employees there were fired shortly after my visit. I did not turn them in; someone else must’ve.
My wife and I went in a few seconds before they had a big rush of customers. The employees got angry. We were at the head of the line, and they thought it was somehow my fault. They were rude as we went through the line. Then they told me to go sit down, and our food would be brought to us. The waitress brought it out, slammed it on the table, and stomped off. She was looking for a fight with someone. She almost got one.
In the next booth, a young couple with kids were arguing.
The man kept saying, ‘I’m gonna slap the heck out of you!’
The wife would reply, ‘I’ll bust you upside your head!’
Their kids ignored them and ate their food.
I looked at my wife and said, ‘Let’s eat our food and get the heck out of here. There looks to be two or three fights brewing.’
Right about that time, the waitress came out and slammed food on the young couple’s table, and stormed off. She then proceeded to slam other items around, stomping her feet all the time. The young couple started glaring at the waitress.
The man said, ‘I oughta just slap the heck out of her!’
The young woman said, ‘Let me bust her upside the head first!’
When we left the restaurant, I noticed several other angry people were focusing their attention on the waitress. The food was good despite the service.”
Food Service Drama
“I worked as a locum and placed an order for lunch. I got a notification that my food delivery driver was nearby, so I tracked him. Apparently, after several calls back and forth via a customer service representative, the rider decided to move on to his next delivery as he couldn’t find the dental practice I was working in that day. It was on the main road, and I later learned permanent staff there have ordered Deliveroo a total of 21 times in the past. So I said it was okay and understandable; these things happen. Please just refund me.
Her: ‘No sorry we can’t do that.’
Me: ‘Ok, can I get it re-delivered?’
Me: ‘The rider has my paid food in his rucksack, what is going to happen to it?’
Her: ‘It goes to the homeless.’
Me: ‘Can I at least pick my food up from the restaurant or somewhere else?’
Her: ‘No, you cannot.’
Me: ‘This is unacceptable, I’ve not had my food, the rider could not find the business on the main road, I’ve given you verbal additional directions and landmarks and you won’t give me a refund or let me collect it?’
Her: ‘No, I cannot authorize it.’
I had forty-five minutes of total phone calls. It made me cry due to the sheer frustration of dealing with these robots reading from a script including a ‘manager’.
It was time to make a call to my bank to cancel the payment, and, until it exited my account, I couldn’t cancel and must claim it as a disputed payment. I will do this in a few days.
Six hours on, I was still seething about the fact 15 pounds had been deducted from me and I had not received the food. This warrants the worst customer service experience I’ve ever had.
Before that day, I have enjoyed 13 successful orders using this delivery company and enjoyed them. Perhaps 13 is unlucky for some. After today’s fiasco, I looked online at a UK company rating website called Trustpilot and gave Deliveroo a score of 3.3/10 in customer satisfaction.”
Here’s A Giftcard
“Mine had to deal with an online shop. I will not mention it by name.
It was November 1st, and this shop was having a pre-Black Friday sale. I decided I was going to get my Christmas shopping done early. I ordered what would have been 500 bucks if the sale wasn’t going on.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving, and I still hadn’t received any of my orders. So then I called customer service and told them I haven’t received anything and I hadn’t been updated on my order.
Then I gave the person all the information, and they were like, ‘Yeah, I see the order.’
I respond with, ‘And?’
They said, ‘I see it.’
I decided this person wasn’t going to give me any information, so I waited till the next day to place the call again.
This person told me all my items arrived at my door two weeks ago. I said they couldn’t have arrived and I hadn’t received a tracking number for my order yet.
They said, ‘Well, I can’t help you then. Your order was delivered.’
I inform the person if they looked at my account it still stated ‘in processing to be shipped’. How could I receive items if their website states they hadn’t been shipped? I figured since it was Black Friday weekend, I would wait until the following Wednesday before I attempted again.
I called and was told my stuff would get to the place when it got there. At this point, I was annoyed. I asked for the manager and told the manager who I spoke with and the conversations. They proceeded to tell me I needed to relax and deal with the late shipment.
Fast forward to the week of Christmas. I still hadn’t received any tracking number, update, or anything on my order. I would call once every two or three days to try to get an update. December 23 was when my order arrived, and two items were wrong. One of the items was missing and one was not what I ordered.
I waited until after the holidays to get this sorted. I was also told the missing item would be another two weeks before I would receive it. Cool. Guess what? Two weeks go by and nothing. I call again to try to cancel the order.
They said, ‘Sorry, but you can only cancel orders within the first 24 hours of purchasing. You can return it after you receive it.’
I was irate at this point. I got on the Better Business Bureau website and wrote an honest review. Within an hour, I got an email from the founder of the shop and was informed I was a selfish customer with too many demands. I was also told I was misinforming anyone who looked at the review of all the information I was telling, and I should be ashamed of myself for degrading a business. As an apology, I got a $10 gift card from the shop.
It took two more weeks before I got the item, and it was wrong yet again. I just decided I wasn’t going to deal with them anymore. I haven’t purchased anything from their shop in six years and will never buy anything from them again.”
Don’t Ask Questions
“It’s a tie between two niche shops, one of which has now closed.
There used to be a quaint little photography shop in our small-ish downtown (brick walls, stained glass) that sold exclusively one of the major camera brands.
When first on the market for a DSLR, my husband and I went into this shop and asked the owner a question about lens and body pairings.
The worker asked, ‘Why are you here when you know so little about photography? Go take a class and then maybe you’ll know what you want.’
We were shooed away in front of other clients. Okay, dude. We will go spend our money elsewhere. Hateful elitists and successful business owners do not make for commercial longevity. The snobby store closed its doors a few years ago. We didn’t spend a dime in there. Apparently, nobody else did either.”