Bad Customer Service: Are You Sure That Was A Wise Choice?


Airport hellFrom Aegonix

I've experienced travel hell on American Airlines, out of Panama City. It was raining a bit, and for that reason, "All American Airlines flights out of Panama City are grounded."

They forgot that approximately half of the entire airport is built out of these huge ass transparent panes of what modern man likes to call "glass."

We could see out onto the tarmac, and the runways, and see other American flights taking off, landing, with planes from a bunch of different carriers doing the same thing. Only one plane wasn't moving; ours.

The gate agents refused to turn around to admit that they were wrong.

So yes, the desk people decided it was so much easier to face down a plane's worth of enraged, stressed traveling Custys and lie to their faces, than to turn around, see that other flights were working, and try to distribute people to other flights. Or give us the real reason why the plane wasn't going anywhere.

The end result was not pretty. I wonder if they ever cleaned up all of the bloodstains after the riot. </snark>



Bad Customer Service: Stranded


Carolanne and victimFrom slimjim72384, AskReddit

This story is how American Airlines poor planning and even worse customer service almost caused me to miss my own wedding:

So, I live in Florida now but am originally from Rochester NY, as is my wife. My wife is a school teacher and I am in sales. She gets a lot more time of than I do. We decided to get married a few days after Christmas so we could save on not having to travel home twice that year. She went to NY a week earlier than me and I was slated to travel home a few days before Christmas. I left Florida fine and the weather report up north seemed mild so I didn't anticipate any trouble. I did have a brief layover in Philadelphia but I travel a lot so I know the Philly airport pretty well.

I arrived in Philly and hurried off the plane and to my connection gate expecting it to be boarding. It was not. I was informed that it would be delayed a half hour. After a half hour they announced that it would be delayed another hour and a half, then an additional 2 hours after that, for a total of 4 hours. By this time it was getting late and I knew I was in jeopardy of having my flight cancelled all together.

Shortly after midnight, after waiting about 5 hours, they announced that the flight was canceled without any additional instructions. People began bombarding the ticket counter. I hopped in what I hoped was a line and called my wife (fiance at the time) to tell her. She began crying hysterically, concerned that I would miss Christmas and the wedding, which were both still a few days away. I calmed her down and assured her that was ridiculous.

I waited in line for another hour and a half while they dealt each person's complaint. I got up the counter and didn't even really know what to do or say. The clerk explained that the flight timed out. (I later learned that they just didn't staff a pilot to fly the plane. The delays were them trying to find one.) I just asked the woman how I was going to get home. She informed me that there was a flight going to Buffalo in the morning that she could book me on and that the airline would provide a voucher for the local Holiday Inn. I had no problem with that. I called my wife to let her know what was going on. She was upset, but a bit calmer now. I headed down to catch the shuttle to the hotel.

Jason GrrThere were maybe 5-6 other people waiting as well, but other than that the airport was deserted. It was probably 2:30-3am by this time. we waited about 20 minutes before someone decided to call the hotel. The hotel manager informed us that the shuttles had stopped running but he would see if he could figure something out. Not but a couple of minutes later, a Days Inn shuttle pulls up. Our luck, right?

He drives us to the hotel. We all pile out and head into the lobby. The first person hands the clerk the voucher from the airline and he examines it. He informs us that the vouchers are for the Holiday Inn Express, which is a hotel across town and confirms that it was not him or that hotel that we had previously called. We didn't know what to do, pay for a room here? Luckily the shuttle driver volunteered to drive us over there.

On the ride there the driver is going on about how he was already supposed to have ended his shift. He stops at a fairly deserted street and tells us we should really pay him for going out of his way to get us to the other hotel.

There was an older couple (the ones who called the hotel in the first place) who looked a bit shaken by this. They immediately paid the man. I didn't see how much, but there was at least a twenty in there. I was exhausted by this point. Not wanting a conflict, I gave the guy my last six dollars. The driver seemed pleased and started to the hotel. We arrived there, handed over our vouchers and headed to our rooms. I passed out shortly after 4am.

The morning shuttle was leaving at 9 am so I didn't get much sleep. I showered and headed out about 8:45. The shuttle arrived on time and headed back to the airport. I went up to the front ticket booth, explained the story and handed the ticket that the woman from the previous night issued to me.

The clerk looked a bit confused. "Sir, there is no flight to Buffalo this morning."

At this point pure panic set in. I asked when the next flight I could be on was leaving. She confirmed there were no available flights to either Rochester, Buffalo, or Syracuse. She suggested waiting standby to try and catch a seat of someone who didn't show. I called my wife to inform her. She was beyond consolable at this point.

I waited around the airport pretty much all day waiting to see if I could catch a standby seat. I had no luck though. At around 8pm that night I got a call. THE call. The one that would save me from this misery. My phone was almost dead and I didn't even check the caller ID when I answered.

It was my buddy Kevin. "Hey man. Your Fiance called me today."


Freddy and jason pals

Me: "Oh, yeah?"

Kevin: "Yeah. She says you're stranded at the Philly airport."

Me: "Yeah, I will probably not make it home for Christmas or the wedding."

Kevin: "Nah man. I'll come get you."

Me: "What?!"

Kevin: "Yeah. how far is Philly from here?"

Me: "I don't know, five hours maybe."

Kevin: "Alright. I will be there in a bit."

He arrived just after 1am, with my fiance, who ran up and hugged me. I was so exhausted that I slept most of the car ride home.

Thankfully Christmas and the wedding both went off without a hitch.



Bad Customer Service: Use The Internet, Which Is Not Working


Freddy crosseyedFrom RHUer

I have a (I think funny) mini-story about [Three Letters Ampersand] from custy standpoint, similar to yesterday's.

We cable internet (back mid 90's, so this was HUGE) and we were having problems with our internet so my dad called the main phone number.

It sounded like the guy on the other end was being a bit of a jerk.

Dad: "I can't do that."

Dad: "I literally cannot do that. I need help restoring the internet first."

Dad: "Listen. To. Me. The internet is down. I cannot go to a chat to fix the internet. I need to be connected to someone who can help me fix this problem."

Dad: "Are you telling me [Three Letters Ampersand] doesn't have a phone number for assistance with the internet? THE INTERNET, WHICH ISN'T WORKING RIGHT NOW?!"

I could actually tell that the line went quiet for a beat or two and then my dad was transferred. We had the internet back pretty quickly.



Bad Customer Service: "I Can't Call You From My Phone!"


Jason NyerpFrom RHUer

I once went to a pay phone to report a problem with my home phone line.


It was discovered that none of the phones on my street were working and I volunteered to walk downtown and make the call.

Me: "I would like to make a report on an outage."

Support: "I'm sorry, I'm not recognizing your number as having an account with us."

Me: "I'm calling from a pay phone."

Support: "I can't help you unless you make your call from a phone that has an account with us, sir."

Me: "My neighborhood is having an outage. I can give you my account information if you need me to."

Support: "Sir, I do not recognize the number you are calling from. You need to go home and call us back from a phone that has an account with us."

Me: "I can't. We're having an outage."

Support: "I am trying to help you with your problem sir, but I cannot help you unless you call with a phone that has an account with us."

Me: "I HAVE an account, but my phone is non operational! My phone is not working! I cannot call you from a phone that is not working! My entire block is without phone services!"

Five minutes. It took five minutes before this nitwit understood and would take my account phone number and account information verbally rather than from their caller ID.



Bad Customer Service: Airport Mistreatment


Airport hellFrom Blastwave

I got to the airport late one night for a red-eye flight, and first off my flight had been delayed an hour. Then another, and another! I politely asked what was going on, and was simply told that they didn't know. After another 45 minutes, we got told it was a maintenence issue (wiring in the tail? something like that). I was visibly upset, I was 3000 miles away from my boyfriend and best friend and couldn't call them because we hadn't purchased cell phones yet (thank god for Tracfone, we all have one now). I had to stay all night in the airport and only by luck were we all bumped onto a 6am flight (now seven hours late. T_T and my boyfriend was out of his mind) and just crammed in with everyone else.

What did we get? A useless breakfast card passed out 15 minutes before boarding (for $5 at the airport McDonald's that was 20 minutes down the terminal... it would have been useful if they'd given them to us earlier on), and a $10 coupon to a *local* hotel (so useful when I'm trying to fly 3000 miles AWAY from there) that already charged about $150 a night, that expired the next day.

I asked, very politely, a bit nervously, if it was possible for them to call up one of the security posts or something at the other airport and call my boyfriend in and tell him I was okay (which I know *can* be done)... and they said no.

Long story short, My boyfriend had nearly had a full blown anxiety attack in the airport, and I've never flown Delta again. T_T

(Since I didn't mention it, I want to say I was nothing but incredibly polite, I know airline workers go through hell and I surely do not want to make it harder on them. But it took four hours (3am!) before they passed out a minimum number of blankets and pillows... and never gave one to the poor sixty year old woman next to me who was obviously cold (I had a sweater, she didn't), and so I gave her mine, because I didn't need it as much)



Tech Support Hell From The User's Side



From Carhop:

So I had an interesting morning one day this week, in the "May you live in interesting times" curse sort of way. My shop opens at seven so customers can come by before work and drop off their cars for the day. This means it's one of the first businesses open for the day in my area. Also, we use a software that works up our labor and prints invoices, etc., as well as helps us look up parts, decode VINs, and generally makes my job a ton easier. This software is reliant on the internet. Thus begins my story.

So on this day, morning setup is done, and we're twiddling our thumbs waiting for a customer. About 730, one comes in for an oil change. Great! Well, it's a regular customer, but a new car. So I go into our software, and a neat trick it can do is give us the VIN by the license plate. I input the license plate, click the button, and...nada. I get a server error. Hmm...

Ok, not really an issue, I'll fiddle with it later, and just manually put in the year, make, and model of the vehicle. (You would be surprised how many people cannot tell me this information. And not just the octogenarians that can reasonably be given a pass, but the twenty and thirty-somethings that just blank. "Well it's a Chevy...") This vehicle happened to be a Volvo. Volvos are my experience. So we always have to be sure we use the right oil (Castrol 5w-40 in general, don't ask me why because I'd be lying) but this time, the software also won't give me the type of oil and amount. Now I'm getting internet connection errors which I know is bull because I had just checked our email ten minutes prior. Well, I manage to scratch up the tech sheet so my guys can get started. Bossman is grumbling about the software not working so I start digging around. We're able to look up parts, since the buttons in the software simply direct to other web services, so that's good. Moreover, the internet seems to be working just fine, I tried a couple of websites, include RHU which I hadn't accessed from work before to make sure I wasn't getting cached versions, but it all works fine. However, anything dealing directly with the software doesn't want to work. Great! I get to call tech support! (Because Bossman doesn't have the patience. Ha!)

So I call up the tech support line. In an effort to be more efficient, this company has done away with "Can you please restart your computer, software, modem, etc.?" and gone to a system where they use Team Viewer to remote into the computer and fix whatever is wrong. Makes it all way faster. So the tech gets into Team Viewer just fine and can remote into the computer no problem. So he starts trying several things, and one is a manual update by transferring the files from the server to our computer. Bingo! Can't even get to the hosting site. He tries another one of their sites, can't get there either. Hmm... "That's weird...we're not having any issues with the servers here, but you can't seem to get to them."

OCTOCAROL 243Lightbulb!

Back in the spring, working in corporate hell, I had a similar issue accessing the payroll website from the office. Turned out some construction worker somewhere south of Dallas had accidentally cut a fiber line. "Hey...since you've got control of my computer right now, can you run a traceroute?" Now, I don't 100% understand the science behind it, but my basic understanding is that a traceroute traces the path from your computer, through all the little web lines and nodules, to a specific destination you want to go to. Tech guy goes "Good call," and runs it. Bam! Six hops in and the signal to the software website and servers goes dead. It can't go any further. (Apparently, this company lives in a cul-de-sac of the world wide web.) "There we go. Thank you, sir, I believe you've done all you can, looks like I need to contact our ISP." Total time spent, fifteen minutes.

Now the real fun begins. I have to work through the robotic maze before I get a real person. And then I swear I get the most inept Level 1 tech support gal in the business. I explain to her what's going on, what I've already done, diagnostic-wise, and that I'm reporting an outage and they need to look into it. This woman, I kid you not, stereotypical valley girl voice, like Clueless or Legally Blond. I'm seriously surprised she wasn't smacking gum at the same time. So first we have to go through all the basic troubleshooting; reset this, reset that, etc. Finally:

Incompetent Tech: "Um...well you're able to get to the internet, right?"

Carhop: "Yes, but not all of it. There is something down somewhere."

IT: "Well...that's not really our problem...I mean, like, you can get on the internet, so your service is working."

CH: "It isn't working properly, I can't get to the one place I need to run my business."

IT: "Well, there aren't any reports of any outages. It's gotta be on their end. You need to talk to them."



OCTOCAROL 242What I wanted to yell: "I'M REPORTING AN OUTAGE RIGHT NOW." I mean, were it somehow possible for me to survey the entirety of the web, I'm sure there would have been more websites I couldn't access, but the only one I was aware of was the one we needed to run our software. Instead, I just got off the phone as gracefully as I could. Total elapsed time with ISP: FORTY MINUTES.

So I take a quick breather and call back the software guys, just to make sure I've got as much information as I possibly can, and all my ducks are in a row and it really and truly is not an issue on their end. I'm on the phone with them for maybe ten minutes, and suddenly the other line rings. Bossman picks up. I don't pay attention to what's going on until he hangs up and interrupts me. "Hey, that was ISP. The issue is on their end; they just started getting calls about it."

I think I may have startled the software tech with how hard my forehead hit the desk.

Luckily it wasn't a cut fiber line this time, someone somewhere just needed to reset something, so we were up and running two hours later, but I swear working with that ISP is not good for my blood pressure.

May work not drive you to drink this week.