We’ve all experienced bad customer service. Whether it’s the aggressive sales tactics of certain cable companies or the impossibility of getting an actual live human being on the phone, terrible customer service can ruin your day and make you never, ever want to do business with that company again. Here is our list of the top ten companies with the worst customer service. If you’ve ever encountered the companies on our list, we’re truly sorry. If you haven’t, then we strongly suggest you save yourself the trouble and steer clear.
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Following are the Top 10 Companies With The Worst Customer Service
If you’ve spent any time whatsoever in a Walmart, you’ve probably noticed two things. One, it is almost impossible to get someone to help you find something; either there’s just nobody around or, if you’re somehow lucky enough to get someone’s attention, they don’t know where anything is either! Two, no matter how busy they are, there are always only two or three registers open, which means you wait in an extremely long line for a weary, unhappy and possibly surly cashier. It’s not just you, and it’s not just your local Walmart. Out of 2,479 comments on Walmart’s page on Customer Service Scoreboard, a whopping 91% (2,264) are negative, many complaining about insufficient and grumpy workers. Why is Walmart’s customer service so terrible? An anonymous Walmart worker’s letter to Gawker sites policies that overwork and underpay employees in order to make as much money as possible from selling cheap merchandise.
9. Anthem Inc.
We usually don’t interact with health insurance companies under the best of circumstances, which makes it all the more important that the customer service be both competent and compassionate. Lapses in the quality of service is not only inconvenient, it can actually cause grave harm when necessary medical procedures are delayed or denied. Anthem Inc. is the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and serves over 73 million people in 14 states. It’s not surprising that a company with that many customers would wind up with at least some unhappy people (and there are a lot of them, as you can see from the complaints on Anthem Inc’s Consumer Affairs site). But Anthem has been fined in both Maine and California for bad customer service, including losing track of customer complaints and taking too long to resolve customer grievances.
For number eight, we go from a health insurance company to a pharmacy. When you need medicine, you want to be able to trust the pharmacy to be competent and courteous. Rude pharmacists are a pain, but incompetent pharmacists can be life threatening. Unfortunately, CVS Pharmacy customer service has a terrible reputation. The pages and pages of complaints on Consumer Affairs range from ridiculously long wait times to medicines being out of stock to prescriptions filled incorrectly. CVS also has a reputation for treating their pharmacists badly, which seems to be trickling down to the consumer.
7. Spirit Airlines
Air travel can be a frustrating experience. Extra fees, no leg room, cancelled flights, long lines…all of these are familiar annoyances for those who have to fly. Sometimes great customer service can ease the sting. Bad customer service, however, will always make things worse. Of all the airlines in the world, Spirit Airlines has been rated last in customer service by both Travel+Leisure magazine and the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Some blame this dissatisfaction on the fact that Spirit is a low-cost airline. However, the many complaints on the Consumer Affairs website suggest that the problem is predominantly with incompetent and rude service representatives, and that’s unacceptable regardless of price.
6. Best Buy
The ever-increasing popularity of online retailers, especially Amazon, has made things difficult for brick and mortar stores of various kinds, including those selling electronics. Best Buy has managed to stay afloat so far, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing, especially when it comes to customer service. They struggled in particular with order fulfillment problems. They have been working on upping their customer service game, focusing on their Geek Squad. However, their page at Consumer Affairs is full of complaints about rude employees, insufficient stock, and difficult returns. Recently a class action lawsuit was filed against Best Buy for allegedly not honoring their price matching policy.
5. Dish Network
Cable companies tend to be reviled, but satellite TV providers have their haters, too. Dish Network is particularly disliked, due to reports of deceptive billing practices, broken promises and incompetent customer service. While a lot of people are “cutting the cord,” poor customer relations are almost certainly part of the reason Dish lost a whopping 281,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2016.
4. Wells Fargo
Banks get a reputation for being cold and heartless in general, but Wells Fargo has managed to go a step further. In 2016, it was revealed that Wells Fargo employees had created over two million unauthorized accounts in their customers’ names without their knowledge or consent. While Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees over this scandal, this broken trust is going to take a long time to heal.
Mobile phones have become a vital part of our modern world, which means that almost everyone has to deal with wireless providers from time to time. Sometimes those experiences are pleasant. Sometimes they’re not. AT&T’s customer service is bad enough that even their own community forums are full of customers bemoaning AT&Ts poor service and seeming disloyalty to long term customers. AT&T was even fined $100 million by the FCC for misleading consumers into thinking they could actually get unlimited data.
2. Time Warner Cable
Your customer service has to be pretty terrible if your company is called to the carpet by the Senate and made to testify about your practices, but that’s exactly what happened to Time Warner (and Comcast, who we’ll talk about next). What was so bad that even Congress took notice? Try deceptive advertising, fraudulent charges and customer service so bad that one woman who called about an issue with her cable box later received a letter about cancelling her service with her first name replaced with the C-word. Really, Time Warner?
Number one in our hall of shame is yet another cable company, but one that stands head and shoulders above every other company on this list in terms of horrible customer service. A brief scan of the (very active) Reddit page for complaints about Comcast shows claims of overcharging, hidden fees, missed appointments and rude customer service representatives. (Fair warning: like many angry people on the internet, these disgruntled customers use a lot of profanity.) The inexcusably bad customer service was spotlighted in 2014, however, when a journalist recorded the last eight minutes of an eighteen-minute-long service call and posted it to the internet. The audio, which consisted of the journalist trying to cancel his cable service and the Comcast representative hounding him to state why, went viral. And although Comcast made a statement claiming that this was an unusual incident and not representative of how they train their employees, the fact that many, many people have chimed in to share their own similar stories suggests that isn’t necessarily true.
Do you agree with our list? Have you also had a bad experience with one of the companies listed here? Is there a company that you think definitely deserves to be ranked with the worst of the worst? Share your horror stories, and maybe you’ll spare someone else the aggravation of having to deal with truly worst customer service.