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Here Are the Industries We Curse at Most for Bad Customer Service

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- So you were left to stew in your own juices by a customer service representative, so much so that you went Defcon 1 over the phone, unleashing a torrent of curses that would make a sailor blush?

Hey, relax. You're in good company -- if, that is, you unloaded on certain industries.

Marchex says so in a survey detailing which of 20 service industries consumers are most likely to swear at over service issues.

First on the list of "F-bomb" focal points is the satellite television industry, with one of every 82 phone calls resulting in customers cursing at service representatives.

At the bottom of the list are veterinary clinics, which field the most calm, swear-free calls from customers (one out of 2,634 phone calls).

No matter what the call, it's much more likely for men to unload a swear barrage on a phone rep. Sixty-four percent of of the time it was men doing the cursing over the phone.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of obscenities are unleashed while the customer is on hold.

"Consumers expect great service and easy-to-understand pricing from national and local businesses, and they aren't afraid to voice their displeasure when they don't receive it," says John Busby, a senior vice president at Marchex. "This should be a clear signal to businesses that long hold times leave a negative -- and lasting -- impression."

The television industry holds two of the three hot spots in the survey, with the cable TV industry ranking third behind the satellite T.V. industry. (Housing contractors rank second.)

Rounding out the top 10 are the auto repair, tow truck, locksmith, storage, pest control, heating and cooling and housecleaning industries. Each has at least one in every 218 calls ending up with a string of obscenities flying from the mouths of unhappy customers.

At the other end of the scale, flower companies, along with property management, hotel and senior living businesses, absorb the fewest curses from customers with, at the most, one obscenity-charged exchange every 1,100 phone calls, Marchex reports.

In a separate study last May, Marchex revealed the states where consumers made the most and least obscenity-laden calls. On the "swear like a sailors" list were Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland and Louisiana. (Imagine being cursed at in Cajun!)

On the "goody two-shoes" list were Massachusetts (all those championships from the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins have apparently calmed the nerves of Bay State dwellers), Washington, Arizona, Texas and Virginia.

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