This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Cable companies rank worst for customer service

Note that these complaints are not mutually exclusive. Some of the worst customer-service experiences start by trying to navigate an unhelpful phone tree, and then waiting for a long time on hold upon choosing the option for speaking to a representative.

Worst things once you reach a customer service representative

When they finally get through to a customer-service representative, consumers' problems may be far from over. Forty-seven percent of respondents chose poor language or communication skills on the part of customer-service representatives as their worst pet peeve. The next most annoying experience was representatives who stick to a prepared script rather than answering a question.

Both these problems are symptoms of companies treating customer service as an expense to be minimized, rather than an opportunity to be maximized.

What consumers can do about it

Here are some tips for getting more out of your customer-service experiences:

  1. Take names (or ID numbers). Start every conversation by asking for the name of your representative -- or an ID number if he or she won't give a full name. Sometimes, just knowing they are being held accountable makes customer-service representatives more responsive.
  2. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Don't hesitate to work your way up the ladder. Chances are the rank-and-file representatives don't have the authority to solve any real problems anyway.
  3. Try online service centers. More and more companies are gearing themselves to servicing customers online rather than over the phone, and you might find it a more efficient use of your time to go that route.
  4. Check your alternatives. If you have a serious gripe with a company, check out what alternative providers there are. This is good to know before you take the next step.
  5. Threaten to cancel. Sometimes this is the only thing that gets a response, but don't threaten it until you know you have a viable alternative lined up.

Some companies treat customer service as a numbers game rather than an opportunity to satisfy people. They expect a certain percentage of customers to leave over poor service, but they consider that cheaper than spending the time addressing their problems. If that seems to be the case with the companies you encounter, you shouldn't hesitate to take your business elsewhere.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs