How To Avoid Customer Service Nightmares

The holiday shopping season is cranking into high gear which means lots of shopping and shipping, but if you have a problem, woe be unto you if you need to talk to customer service. As Lisa Guerrero reports, depending on who you're trying to reach, you

They are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore.  People from all over the country are venting their frustration with customer service.  

“I would have kept holding, but they hung up on me,” posted one angry customer of the U.S Postal Service. 

Another person screams at a different company’s agent, “I've been on the phone for three hours. None of you know what the (expletive) I’m talking about!”

The agent responded, “I’m sorry about that, sir.”

“What the (expletive) is going on?” replied the angry customer.

Watch the Segment
Inside Edition found example after example posted online of people freaking out.  One guy blew his stack because he got a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger, saying, “Is there cheese in hamburger? There is no cheese in hamburger," he yelled.

Another frustrated customer also went ballistic over his order, screaming, “I want a cheeseburger.”

Perhaps the biggest customer service gripe many have is with the Department of Motor Vehicles, where sometimes long lines start before the offices even open.  Pick almost any state and you'll find complaints.

In California, one guy tries to lighten the mood with a little dance. But there is no hiding the frustration many people feel.  A customer at one DMV was overheard yelling at a clerk, "Oh, you are threatening me now and you shove this like you want to shove this down my throat.”

If you think calling the DMV might save you time, think again. INSIDE EDITION’s I-Squad called customer service hotlines in every state to see how long it would take to get someone on the phone. 

The worst was Massachusetts, where we were kept on hold for nearly two hours.

Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero and Adam Goldkamp of called a few customer service hotlines. In one call, a recorded operator voice says, “hold time is greater than one hour.”

A surprised Guerrero tells Goldkamp, “One hour, do you know all the things I could do in one hour?”

Facebook doesn't seem to be much better.  We tried to get a human being on the phone but their customer service recording said, “Unfortunately, we do not offer phone support at this time.”

Guerrero’s reaction was, “What?! So, I can't talk to a person.”

What about the post office?

On this day, Guerrero got the complete runaround when she wanted to get someone on the phone. No matter what she did, it didn't work

She could be heard yelling at the automated operator, ““Help! Operator!.” 

One guy, Jeff Pearson, a game store owner in Lafayette, La. also had a beef with the post office.  He posted his frustrating experience online where you could hear him saying  “I would have kept holding, but they hung up on me!”

Pearson says he was just trying to track a missing package.

Guerrero asked him, “You were on hold for three hours?”

He responded, “Over three hours, three hours and ten minutes.”

Guerrero then asked, “And you're just trying to track a package?”

He said, “That's all I’m trying to do is find out, what is going on with the package?”

Fortunately, there are tips to deal with customer service Hell.
First Adam Goldkamp says don’t rely on pressing “0” over and over.  It used to be effective, but it doesn’t work much anymore.  “Companies are getting better at figuring that out.”

Also, avoid calling during busy hours like lunch time or on Monday mornings.

Use social media to complain.  Many companies monitor what's posted online. 

And believe it or not, Goldkamp says get mad at the recording.  It's true.  Some automated system recognizes the anger in your voice. 

“If you are angry and elevate your voice and possibly yell into the phone, you get pushed to the front,” he said.

Guerrero asked, “So you are telling me that I better get on the phone and start yelling "I want a representative!!”

“Definitely,” he replied.

One last tip, be nice to the customer service agent once you get a real person on the phone.

Goldkamp said, “I tell people, just be nice to them and then the person is more likely to help you out faster.

Inside Edition researchers called each state’s DMV customer service telephone number five times and recorded the wait times. 

THE 10 WORSTThese states had the longest singe-call wait times

Massachusetts:  1 hour 55 minutes
California:  1 hour 15 minutes
Tennessee:  31 minutes
Missouri:  33 minutes
Ohio:  28 minutes
Florida:  18 minutes
New York:  22 minutes
Virginia:  19 minutes
Colorado:  28 minutes
North Dakota:  16 minutes

THE BESTFor these states, the calls were answered with no, or very short wait times

New Jersey
South Carolina