Customer Service Horror Stories


If you thought those ghost tales around the campfire were scary as a child, you better sleep with the light on after hearing these customer service horror stories.

Image of the grim reaper, and haunted house, and a full moon

Customer service is a pretty huge deal for us. We are charged with facilitating a superior customer experience for people who call our customers. And we pride ourselves on delivering great customer service for our clients as well. Given that October is all about creepy, scary, terrifying things, we thought we would compose a list of some truly horrific customer service stories that could keep any business owner up at night.

1. Our first tale of horrible customer service begins with the U.S. government. Due to budget cuts, a mere 43% of callers actually get to talk to a human when they dial the Internal Revenue Service. The lucky few who actually get through to the IRS have to hold for 28 minutes on average. Yikes! Maybe nobody has explained to the IRS how government answering service solutions work.

2. Comcast is a notorious source of customer service horror stories. Seriously, they have 1,114 reviews on Customer Affairs and over one thousand of them are 1 star reviews (out of five). So you can pretty much throw a dart here and hit a customer service horror story. Let’s go with the guy in Illinois who spent 3 1/2 hours on hold. Rawr! The super scary part? He never even got through, because the Comcast office closed for the day!

3. How about this customer service rep that was so busy following a script that she forgot to listen? A woman dialed up a credit card company because her father, Pat, passed away and as the Executor of the Estate she needed to cancel the account. She told the rep all that and the rep replied, “Well, I need to talk to Pat.” Facepalm! Even if that rep can communicate with ghosts, this definitely qualifies as a customer service horror story.

4. And finally, a hilariously horrific tale with a good lesson to be learned. A particular historic guesthouse in New York books a lot of weddings at their establishment. And they hate bad reviews. So, they promised to tack on an extra $500 to the wedding bill for each guest that left a bad online review after their stay. Gasp! Well, it gets funny, because once word of this got out to the trolls of the internet, the guesthouse was inundated with negative reviews recounting fake, but giggle-worthy tales. Moral of the story? Don’t ask to be part of a customer service horror story by giving the online community a reason to attack you.

And one final lesson: refuse to let your business ever be associated with a customer service horror story. Boost your customer experience by teaming up with a professional business answering service today.

Related Articles

5 Ingredients for an Awesome Customer Service Recipe

Don’t Leave Customer Service Out of Your Marketing Plan