Ever feel like you got ripped off on your latest car purchase, or Comcast is screwing you over again? Chances are, at some point in your life you’re going to feel like you’ve been wronged by a company. The cases where you’re most upset are typically where there’s a lot of money on the line — either in making a big-ticket purchase or signing up for a payment plan for a good or service. Because so many retailers are big operations, it’s easy to feel like you’re the lowly customer, overlooked and overcharged despite only receiving subpar service.
While it’s easy to get angry when you believe you’ve been slighted, your best bet of getting the customer service you want is to be polite with the person who takes your call. Sometimes, that’s your only hope of seeing your cable bill go down, or getting a better phone plan. In most cases, the people in customer service for various industries will be the ones who deal with the brunt of your anger — along with the ire of the many other callers in their shift. It’s why retail workers and customer service reps are known to be some of the worst jobs out there. You might have a tough job, but you probably don’t have people calling every few minutes, yelling before you even say hello.
Technically, customer service is just one job, but their roles will vary based on the industry they’re in. Many angry customers will also report their complaints to the Better Business Bureau, who each year tracks the companies who earn the most complaints. Even if you’re not in customer service for these businesses, any job working for cell phone companies, cable suppliers, or car dealerships might put your customers on edge. Take a look at which companies received the most complaints in 2015. If your job isn’t in one of these industries, you can count yourself lucky.
Companies with most customer complaints
For at least the third year in a row, cellphone companies and suppliers ranked No. 1 for attracting the most customer anger. More than 870,000 people submitted complaints to the BBB about various industries in 2015, with the top 10 staying the same (some switched spots in the No. 10 list, however).
According to the BBB, the customer protection site had a 79% rate of success for resolving those complaints across all industries, though the success rate varies depending on the industry. Many of the success rates were in the high 80 and 90 percents for the top 10 industries, though used automobile dealers and auto repair companies had success rates of 74% and 65%, respectively.
The largest growth of customer complaints was in the retail furniture industry, the BBB reported, with an increase in complaints of 12.9% from 2014. “The furniture industry saw 5% growth in 2015, so that explains part of the increase,” said Rubens Pessanha, director of market research and insights for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “More than half of the complaints to BBB had to do with the products themselves: the quality, delivery, guarantees, and refunds and exchanges.”
The BBB points out that almost every one of the top 10 industries for complaints deal with everyday consumer purchases. The only one that doesn’t fall into that category is collection agencies, though it’s common sense why people wouldn’t be happy about a company calling in their debts. “No one who is dealing with a debt collector is happy about it, so it is not a surprise that we see so many complaints,” said Pessanha. “We are pleased to see the significant drop and encourage the industry to keep moving in that direction.”
The bottom line of the BBB report is that consumers do have avenues for solving their problems that don’t need to include waiting on hold for 45 minutes and then screaming at a customer service rep who didn’t create the issue in the first place. But if you’re fortunate to have a job outside of these industries, count yourself lucky — you don’t have the same likelihood of dealing with angry clients.