CX Stories

3 Terrible Customer Experience Fails of 2015 that would make you wanna CRY!

Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru

“Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement” ~ J.C. Penney.

A customer approaches any company for his/her needs, hoping to fulfil them and, possibly, build a long-lasting relationship with that brand. He expects to get his money’s worth and that is the least that he could ask for. But what happens when he receives the complete opposite?

Businesses must realise that poor customer experience could cost them heavily. The damage can sometimes be everlasting and the consequences detrimental to the business. In today’s age, customers don’t think twice before posting their reviews on social media. And we all know that word-of-mouth travels fast, perhaps twice as fast when it’s not-so-good. To give some perspective, let me share a statistics that will help you understand the impact of poor customer experience on businesses:

Customer experience fact


But it’s the customers who ultimately suffers!

There are numerous stories that describe customers’ plight against terrible service levels they have experienced. The reasons for poor service levels can vary from a below par automated service and inexperienced staff to lack of attention paid to the customer and sheer carelessness. Whatever the reasons may be, none of them are justified. There is no reason big enough to not give a customer what he deserves!

We looked up some customer experience stories that could have definitely been better for the customer. Lets look at 3 terrible customer experience fails of 2015 and understand how these could have been dealt with better.

Poor service results in a man almost selling his house!

In late 2014, Seth Morabito and his family purchased their dream home in Kitsap County, Washington. A software engineer by profession who will need a good speed internet, Seth moved in only when Comcast, the largest broadcasting and cable company by revenue, had confirmed that it could provide broadband services to his area. Seth works remotely from home, so for him the internet was more of a need than a requirement.

In January 2015, the Comcast technician who came over to fix his connection informed him that the area did not have the infrastructure for such services and that Comcast’s nearest connection point is 2,500 feet away.

What followed were multiple complains and discussions but none of them yielded any result. Many options were discussed and various departments including the engineering tried to help, but to no avail. One alternative that was given was to dig and plan a cable connection from the nearest point to Seth’s new house; and this would cost Seth a whopping $50,000 –  60,000!!

In the end, Seth had no choice but to put his house up for sale due to the false confirmation provided by the company. However, things are better for him now, he was able to find an alternative that could get him online and he could also keep his house, but the harassment that Seth had to face due to the gross lies told by the company is not something that can ever be compensated.

Lesson learnt: Set the customers’ expectation right, always!

Source: A Happy Ending For Man Who Almost Had To Sell His House Due To Comcast’s Incompetence

A 5 month wait to make a telephone call!

British Telecom won the ‘Wooden Spoon Award’ (Worst Customer Service Award) for 2015. A couple from Smalley, Derbyshire experienced terrible service levels by the company. They had reported a faulty cable to the customer service team and were waiting for a technician to come and fix the issue. This would have taken an hour to do so.

What they didn’t realize is that they would have to wait for a staggering 138 days (almost 5 months) for someone to show up and eventually get them back to making a simple telephone call!

Brave face: John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, accepts our wooden spoon award at the firm’s central London offices this week

John Petter, the Chief Executive of BT Consumer, accepts the wooden spoon award.

Lesson learnt: The little things MUST be sorted quickly! No questions asked.

(Story source and pic courtesy: BT wins Wooden Spoon award)

Record breaking duplicate emails

TalkTalk provides Pay TV services to UK and services almost 4 million customers. One of its customers from Vale of Glamorgan (Wales) received almost 19,000 duplicate emails. When she enquired about the problem, she was told that there was a technical fault with her account.

Not surprisingly, she made numerous calls to the service helpline and wrote more than a dozen emails to the company. Despite all her efforts, the problem persisted for two months!!

Here is a copy of the email to TalkTalk:

on ‎31-12-2015 03:18 PM

“I have over 19,000 emails and cannot delete any of them as they keep reappearing. I have a flight booked to Australia on Wed and I cannot locate my tickets or insurance as trying to scroll through all these emails is a nightmare. I really am at the end of my tether with all this. I spoke to talk talk on Tues who said it was apples fault. I rang Apple and was on the phone for over 2 hours. They tried to help but didn’t think it was their fault. Apple have rung me 3 times since to see if I am ok and if my problem resolved. Lovely customer care. This is now beyond a joke.”

Lesson learnt: Technical glitches do occur, but 2 months to resolve a problem is a long time. Expedite your actions on consumer complaints by prioritizing them.

(Source of email: TALKTALK – Sent a customer 19,000 duplicate emails)

Were there any other such stories of bad customer experience that you have read? Stories that all of us must learn something from? Do let us know!

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