Throwback Thursday: Customer Service Nightmares!

With holiday shopping season upon us, it’s a good idea to take a moment and remember just how unpleasant customer service can be for everyone involved. For this Throwback Thursday, we’ve gathered a few classic examples of how not to behave while buying or selling goods and services.

Jeff Klima

Ahh, “One per customer” is the great equalizer. You can be as rich as you want, but if the store has a limit of how many products you can buy at one time, it won’t do you a bit of good. Unless you end up buying the company, that is. If you’re that rich, you can do whatever you want. But this lady was only “sort of” rich, and so when she shelled out $800 to buy her way to the front of the line at an Apple store for the new iPhone launch, all she got was screwed. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Sara Parra

A combination of horror story and first-world problems, Trisha Paytas tells us about the horrible service she received on the eve of the new year in New York City. It really is sort of half and half, since by far her biggest complaint is the room’s size. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel in New York, you know that her room is actually kind of luxurious. However on the flip side, a room adjacent to a boiler is probably the nightmare of any traveler. It’s awful, it’s hilarious, and totally worth watching at least once.

Evan DeSimone

I’m going to cheat a little this week, like most weeks, when it comes to Throwback Thursday. Instead of digging into the past for a video of some innocent shopper getting trampled in a WalMart I’m going to look at a different kind of consumer nightmare. When it comes to being a customer nothing is worse than trying to deal with an internet or cable service provider. That’s the lesson that a customer named Ryan Block learned when he tried to cancel his Comcast service last summer only to be outright denied by a customer service rep for the company.

To be fair, the customer service rep in this scenario is likely just as much a victim as the customer. No doubt he has strict quotas to meet or faces some kind of penalty for failing to retain a customer, even one who is deadest on leaving. There’s no other reason for an employee to fight this hard for a single subscription. Most broadband companies are monopolies with almost exclusive control over the region in which they operate. That’s why, for companies like Comcast, “customer service” is just a polite way of saying “f*ck you give me money.” There were no winners in this nightmare scenario but it’s still worth a listen if only for the crazy lengths this rep goes to deny the customer what he wants.

Christine Linnell

Customer service horror stories have a queen, and her name is Angela. No article about the joys of pushy shoppers would be complete without the epic saga of one woman’s quest to find “Winter Candy Apple” and “Iced Gingerbread” scented candles at Bath & Body Works, and the evil Jen from the Appleton store who tries to crush her dreams by being totally rude. You’ve been warned: “If you don’t like swearing or angry people from Wisconsin, then turn your mother-effing camera [?] off now.”


What are your favorite customer service horror stories? Tell us in the comments!