Halloween is just around the corner, so there is no better timing to talk about the horror which can occur with really bad customer service.
We've all been there, trying to contact customer support on the phone or writing biblical length texts on live chat trying to explain the entirety of our situation.
So much of this horror show is unnecessary, as Timing, empathy, and assertiveness, plus in some cases just common sense are the trifecta that these companies missed out to improve their customer experience.
💀 Samsung - shipping policy nightmare.
Context: A customer decided to buy the latest Samsung phone and have it delivered to their apartment complex.
There were several problems: the leasing office didn't sign for packages, the FedEx delivery person couldn't access the property and the customer couldn't be present to sign for the package.
Basically, the customer was left feeling trapped and feeling powerless.
Main takeaway: absurd policies that outweigh common sense and practicality can leave customer support feeling powerless when dealing with issues, affecting the credibility of your company.
The risk is that customers fall into thinking that if policies are this ridiculous and stiff, what else can I expect and go wrong with this company in the future?
You can read the whole samsung shipping fail on reddit
⚰️ Amazon - salty shipping costs.
Context: The customer ordered three cartons of toilet paper on Amazon for $88.77... and was then charged an astronomical shipping cost of $7,455.
The order was fulfilled by a third-party seller who probably MAYBE made a small mistake calculating the shipping cost for the order.
Neither Amazon nor the third party seller provided appropriate customer support for the issue, so the customer ended up writing a letter to Jeff Bezos and receiving extensive media coverage due to the ridiculous nature of the incident and the terrible customer support they received.
Main takeaway: your customer support must help address third-party situations which arise.
Abusive policies or mistakes from third-party sellers damage your brand reputation as much as anything your own business does, and at the same time, destroys customer experience.
You can read more about Amazon shipping horror story on the news.
🎃 MoviePass - a (real) horror movie.
Context: the hottest deal in town at the time, MoviePass offered a $9.95 monthly subscription for customers to see one movie per day.
No wonder it quickly reached over three million subscribers.
The climax of the horror movie came when the company realized their business model was unsustainable. As a quick fix, they began restricting subscription conditions and making cancellation something akin to an odyssey, or let's call it a nightmare (on MoviePass street).
Over 1,500 complaints were made to the Better Business Bureau website, which awarded MoviePass an “F” – the lowest possible grade.
Main takeaway: quick wins on growth and a lack of transparent offers hurt your brand credibility are the perfect recipe for catastrophic customer support. Your user base won't grow steadily and your customer support team will be frustrated by not being able to address issues properly.
Read more about the fall-out of MoviePass here
If you know any cringe-worthy customer experience stories which are worse than these, we'd pity you.
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