These Customer Service Fails Will Horrify You


Customers everywhere have taken to the Internet to either roast or praise everyone from their Starbucks barista to a TSA agent. With sites like Yelp making it easy for people to share their two cents, a two-minute interaction can lead to either The Ellen Degeneres Show or unemployment.

While some complaints may be unfounded, there are some horror stories that are truly unbelievable. These customer service fails are so bad they’ll make you never want to spend money again.

Note: Some Reddit tales have been edited for brevity.

That’s a “fake giftcard.”

Kcee101 simply wanted to do something nice for her mother, who recently discovered Ann Taylor, so she bought an e-gift certificate. The duo went to one of the brand’s locations and picked out a few items to purchase – this is where things went awry.

The manager immediately without taking even a second look at the e-giftcard starts shaking her head in an exaggerated manner, extends her arm, tells my mother they do not accept this and she doesn’t know what this is, tries to give my mother the e-giftcard back to her. My mother standing there still in her work clothes, tired, feet sore, trying to enjoy our little after work shopping trip to take our minds off of work looks confused and extremely disappointed and obviously sad. I am standing next to her, a rush of embarrassment and confusion courses through my body, I calmly tell the manager that the paper is an e-giftcard and should work like a regular gift card. The manager tells me no, they do not accept the e-giftcard, and that it is a fake e-giftcard from a fake website (I am not kidding).

Kcee101, per the order of the store’s manager, proceeds to call the customer service phone number listed on the gift certificate. The woman on the phone instructs her to put the manager on the line. Problem solved right? Not so fast.

I pass the phone, she gets on my phone (remember she ordered me to call the number from my phone) tells the lady right away that the certificate is invalid and she has no idea who she is talking to, The idiot manager does not want to talk to the lady helping me over the phone. She tells the lady in an extremely rude manner that she needs her to call her store. The lady on the phone asks The manager what her store number is, she refuses to divulge any information about her store to the lady on the phone! The idiot hangs up on the lady on the phone because she thinks that i’m fabricating some sort of scam or something.

Finally, another co-manager arrives, and simply scans the gift certificate successfully. Naturally, the first manager never apologized. Naturally.

“That’s not a house, that’s a mailbox.”

Cell phone insurance is tricky – each carrier has plenty of loopholes for what is and what isn’t covered (hint: nothing if its even a little bit dented). IAmBecomeGay learned the hard way after dropping their phone, which resulted in a small crack but also total loss of screen functionality.

I go to “Cell phone store” where I got my phone and they say we have an insurance policy so to file a claim on insurance company’s website. They told me I would get my phone next day, believe it or not! Also all over insurance company’s website they boast next day phone delivery. So I file a claim, and get a message saying they won’t replace the phone, but that I need to take it to cell phone service provider’s repair shop. I drive the 30 minutes out of the way to the repair shop to get it fixed. The repair shop man tells me he won’t fix it, and that they don’t do that and I need to go to insurance co.

The cat-and-mouse game continued: the online store directs the customer to go in store, and then further to call the company, who explained that the phone could be shipped overnight to a home address.

All is going well. Until we are about to hang up and she stops and says my account has a hold on it and we need to wait 24 hours before moving any further. WTF? I pay my bills religiously… The next day they call and say we are suspected of fraud because that first day, I went on the website and tried to submit the claim again. (after the first claim failed) They need us to wait 24 hours for them to ‘process’ this info.

Finally, the poster gets to a point of progress: all they have to do is verify their address and a phone will be sent along.

‘No sir, that address is to a mailbox. Not a door’ Erm, well yeah we have a mailbox outside our house? ‘No, sir we need to deliver it to a house not a mailbox’ Well that is my house address as well…wtf? Put it at the door or the mailbox, idc. I need a phone. So he says ‘Ok, fine. It will take us 24 hours to process the new address and verify that we can ship to it’

At the time of posting, the user still hadn’t gotten his phone – a week later.

“She wouldn’t do that.”

While not quite as dramatic as the Starbucks barista identity theft that was caught on camera earlier this year, Aperson3334‘s tale comes close.

The user stopped at a fast food restaurant with his dad to get dinner when they saw the cashier take pictures of their credit card with her phone.

When we pulled up to the next window, this conversation happened: D: Thanks for the food, I need to talk to a manager. HP: Our manager is on his break,and he’s not in the store. I’m in charge while he’s gone. D: Okay, I’ll come back later, then. Can you write down the name of the person working the first window? HP: describes person D: That sounds right. HP: writes name, gives D paper Can I ask what she did? D: She took pictures of my debit card with her personal phone. HP: I’ll talk to her. D: You should do more than that. You should call the police. HP: Our manager is in the silver Mercedes in that parking lot. D (to UM): Excuse me, but this person took pictures of my debit card. UM: Okay. And? D: You don’t see anything wrong with that UM: No. D: So you don’t care if she steals my identity!? UM: She wouldn’t do that.

Aperson3334 said while the debit card was canceled and the incident reported to the police, the chain’s district manager didn’t seem too motivated to investigate.

“You should have planned ahead.”

KirbyFurbyLirbyDerby wasn’t the unfortunate victim of this airline fail, but after hearing the saga, she’s been haunted by it for years.

Basically a very overweight woman, accepting her girth and the limitations of plane seats, purchased two tickets in order to avoid the awkwardness of half-sitting in her neighbor’s lap the whole trip. When she arrived, she learned her two seats were two middle seats, in two different rows. She tried to explain, but the flight was packed and the gate attendant hautily explained she should have planned ahead. (Pretty sure the author specified she’d chosen her seats and they were f—– up by overbooking, but not 100%)

After boarding, the woman hoped to rectify the situation by explaining her predicament to an understanding passenger.

But when she found her seats, she found an off-duty flight attendant in one of them. The stewardess happily told the woman how lucky she was to find an open seat, then REFUSED to move when the woman explained that she’d paid for the seat. According to the stewardess, ‘well you can’t possibly use both in two different aisles!’

“It is customary to tip your server.”

Anonymouse79 was with a group of international friends in a “pretty touristy city,” when he encountered this “brusque” waitress.

We ordered appetizers from the bar, each had a couple of drinks… She did everything with the utmost economy, barely acknowledged our existence other than to take orders, etc. We had to wait a fair bit for our apps to come out (not that anyone was complaining; we were too busy socializing to really notice).

It wasn’t until it became time to settle the bill, however, that things took a turn for the worse. The waitress drops the receipt with a warning:

‘In this country it is customary to tip your server. You are going to leave me a tip, aren’t you?’ Not in a friendly, I’m trying to educate you way, but in about as snarky a tone as she can muster. Honestly, I was speechless. I think this is the only time in my life I have ever considered not leaving a tip. I can’t remember how much I left, but it couldn’t have been more than 10%.

“And my hair looks fine.”

Cowbelle needed some hair therapy after getting poor scores on a test. After neglecting her locks for several months, she knew her hair would need major TLC and planned to give a large tip. Unfortunately, any gratitude toward the hairdresser was unwarranted.

I get to a generic chain haircut place and greet a hairdresser and I tell her that my hair is in need of some serious help and I asked if she could help me. She smiles and takes me back to get it shampooed, and we put conditioner in my hair and then she starts to comb it out. After a minute or two she calls over the other hairdresser to come look at my hair. They both loudly talk about how awful my hair is and then she promptly hands me the comb and says that ‘they can’t take the time to comb it out for me.’

Both women continue to loudly talk about her hair and how she’s “going bald,” before moving on to her makeup. The stylist even suggests she just shave her head, instead.

She splits my hair into 5 sections and cuts each one about an inch and then takes off my apron. She spent about 30 seconds actually cutting my hair and didn’t make sure it was straight all the way around or anything. Both hairdressers keep making really passive-aggressive comments about how bad my hair was and I feebly agree and say ‘thanks for the help’ and pay.