Consumer

Poor Customer Service

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Where do you get the worst customer service? Computer tech support comes in dead last in consumer reports ratings. But there's plenty of poor service all the way around. The good news? Consumer reports says there are ways to get better help.

Sam's Club and Walmart rated worst.

George Starr knows how to fish around to get good customer service. George got Sony to send him a $1,500 flat-screen free of charge when his old TV broke - even though it was out of warranty.

"The only thing I could really summarize it would be wow!"

But consumer reports found plenty of people aren't happy with customer service. 65 percent said they'd walked out of a store because of poor service in the past year.

Among the worst stores for service - Sam's Club and Walmart. Overall, people complained about phone service, too.

"67 percent of those surveyed told us they didn't get their problem solved. Their biggest complaints - too long a wait on hold, can't get a human being, and too many menus to navigate to get to a real person," Marks said.

But websites like Dial-A-Human or Get-Human Can Help. They list customer-service numbers that will get you to a real person. Or do what George Starr did - use social media.

"I found a Facebook site going through Google called 'I Have a Defective Sony TV.' And it gives you the e-mail address, phone numbers, tells you exactly the steps that you need to do," Starr said.

"Social-networking sites such as Facebook and especially Twitter are powerful tools because companies are actually monitoring these sites to listen to what's being said about them. So if you have a complaint, go online," Marks said.

Consumer reports finds it's not all gloom and doom when it comes to customer service. Some companies do a very good job, including Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Crutchfield.com, which sells electronics.

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