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to want to tell the customers to shove their laptops up their arses

(56 Posts)
lappy Mon 04-Mar-13 17:54:11

I work for a very customer service orientated company. Any problems that arise can be quickly dealt with and almost always after one communication. I do generally love my job, it's a great company with great people but what's been starting to really get on my tits recently is the same old phrases that customers are starting to throw in. This is mainly emails but now it's starting to creep on to the Facebook page.

Such phrases as:

'not the quality I expect from you'
'not good in this economic climate'
'disgusted with the service' ...this is usually over something very trivial and non-intentional! Disgusted is more often than not spelt as discusted.
'imagine my horror' ... again usually over something as life-shattering as a parcel arriving with a slightly bashed corner'
'as a valued customer' apposed to what?
'as a loyal customer' ..if you say so.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't complain if something has gone wrong, you definitely should so it can be put right but why is everyone using these same old phrases? Where have they picked them up?

I'm getting really bored of them now.

FillyPutty Mon 04-Mar-13 18:32:14

They probably don't look at complaints emails all day long like you do. YABU to expect original, non-hackneyed prose.

AnnaRack Mon 04-Mar-13 18:38:47

They are hackneyed phrases but try and see it from your customers' point of view, tgey are trying to vent their frustration and get something done about their problem!

aldiwhore Mon 04-Mar-13 18:40:08


YouTheCat Mon 04-Mar-13 18:43:59

I haven't yet had to complain about any service, but when I do I shall be sure to be interesting and entertaining in the hope that someone in CS might get a giggle and move me up the queue a bit wink

saintmerryweather Mon 04-Mar-13 18:45:04


CockyFox Mon 04-Mar-13 18:47:09

That is the appropriate way to complain. State your surprise at the poor service/product you have recieved while acknowledging that the company is much better than this.
What you prefer a foul-mouthed outburst?

CockyFox Mon 04-Mar-13 18:48:04

* what would you prefer

TomArchersSausage Mon 04-Mar-13 18:48:29

Blimey they're complaining about things that have gone wrong, not trying to win the Booker Prizeconfused.

Go through their complaints with a red pen and write 'could do better C+'wink

montage Mon 04-Mar-13 18:51:21

Mail them back and request that they frame their complaint in more interesting and diverse terminology. Let them know that they will be ranked, and attended to, in order of originality.

I think sometimes people hide behind standard phrases when they are not necessarily in their comfort zones or are getting defensive in advance.

"imagine my horror" is great though - please do let them know you can't quite visualise it and ask that they forward you a picture of their horrified selves. Like shock

HumptyDumptyBumpty Mon 04-Mar-13 19:32:21

Montage, I love that suggestion - perhaps you could ask for different media - photo/collage/sculpture!
OP, YANBU, people complain at the drop of a hat, and never think how/by whom it will be received. I had one person complain that we'd moved an event (we emailed to tell her, but she 'doesn't check email' hmm) and failed to put a note on the door - the door of the place where the event was NOT HAPPENING. Just for her.
If you can accept that you'll never EVER please everyone, you will find life much less stressful and horrid. Took me bloody ages, but a lot calmer for it! Have a wine.

JenaiMorris Mon 04-Mar-13 19:33:44


I always go hmm whenever I read those phrases and I'm not in your line of work. They appaul me wink

Bearcrumble Mon 04-Mar-13 19:37:47

I bet you work for John Lewis. I know that recently their customer service on the online side of things has gone downhill. I think it is mainly the courier services they now use, the heartsink ones, you know - but they should really use a good courier or do it themselves.

Mia4 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:05:24

YABU, they probably got off an internet site, a template or just from what they now. Be lucky you didn't got what my friend who worked for a building company in customer services did, screaming, swearing, verbal abuse and threats. She was stressed and ill and really upset by it. I expect the old politer ways here would have been awesome to her.

lappy Mon 04-Mar-13 20:15:12

I don't work for John Lewis, but for 'a smaller but similar company' and one that has plenty of fans on this site wink. I thought I probably was being a touch unreasonable but feel better now having got it off my chest. Thank you for the wine Humpty.

Really don't expect our customers to go to the trouble of composing an original piece but please leave out the dramatics!

Just thought of another one. Of the people that have complaints there seems to be an awful lot of them who are either retired engineers or are married to retired engineers confused

Oh and YouTheCat humerous and entertaining emails always much appreciated thanks

fryingpantoface Mon 04-Mar-13 20:18:45

I work in customer services and they really piss me off. Along with

"ruined my Christmas" you were missing an egg tray love. Piss off
"I pay your wages" no you don't.
"lost my faith" you've had it 11 months. You need an engineer repair
"not fit for purpose" you bought a fridge freezer that wasn't suitable to be kept in a garage. We told you it needs to be in a room that's between 10 and 32 degrees. You kept it in a freezer. It is fit for purpose. You bought the wrong appliance dickhead! You had it six months before it went wrong. I'm not giving you a full refund.

I work in kitchen appliances. And some people are stupid.

MrsGeologist Mon 04-Mar-13 20:20:15

DH and I call it 'complaint speak.'
It's often flowery, and in reality, no one speaks like that.

Zavi Mon 04-Mar-13 20:37:36

YANBU. How annoying for you to have to listen to the same tired old phrases being trotted out the whole time. When I complain, I prefer to say things like:

"Oi, big tits! I bought this pile of sh*t here 10 months ago and now look at the fuc*ing state its in. Call that quality, huh? Well, I call it fuck*ng pants. Now get the manager down here to give me my money back RIGHT NOW. Before I get CROSS"

Obviously I only call them "big tits" if the customer service representative is a female.

If it's a male customer service representative I usually address them "Oi, Scrote"

It doesn't half cheese me off when they start saying things like "There's no need to swear/shout/be rude"

truandrakni Mon 04-Mar-13 20:47:56

Don't forget my current favourite "I spend a lot of money in here" Really makes me cringe

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 20:50:23

How about, "I would like to know how you intend to compensate me for my inconvenience?"

I like the outrage, I always picture them frothing about it to their poor beleaguered families. It must be exhausting to be so dramatic about every little thing.

Everyone seems to think they're Martin Lewis these days grin

pregnantpause Mon 04-Mar-13 20:51:12

I work in a different type of customer service, but I have to agree that complaining people do have some very hackneyed terms. Many are frankly ridiculously over anxious about what in the grand scheme is a small and solvable problem and if they truely were as upset, 'horrified, as they exclaim then perhaps a trip to the gp is needed tbh.

people think that the more they ham it up the more they will get out of you. I also find that everyone is an expert or married to one. Or there's some sob story telling on how their fault has led to a tragic event.

NumericalMum Mon 04-Mar-13 20:56:46

I bought a lot of appliances from an online shop a year ago... I bought them all over the space of a few months. This company has phoned me almost daily since December to try and sell me their "very reasonable" replacement cover. I have the phone number as "do not answer" on my phone, but i did one day by mistake. I tried to be polite. It was when he explained to me it was only £8 a week as if I was an idiot for the 50th time that I shouted. PHew I feel better now, thanks!

lappy Mon 04-Mar-13 20:58:39

It sounds like it's the same everywhere!

Just thought of another one I really, really can't bear. It's when they say that the service they've received is an 'absolute joke'

I just think get a grip. This is not life and death. Here is your money back, now go away and bother your husband/wife/partner/cat.

Bluestocking Mon 04-Mar-13 21:03:46

I am amused by all the disgust there is around - posters on MN are always describing themselves as disgusted by things that might be irritating or disappointing but probably not actually disgusting.
grin at fryingpantoface's missing egg tray ruining Mrs Disgusted's Christmas.

foxache Mon 04-Mar-13 21:04:15

Yanbu, it's Points Of View language, why oh why grin. When customers used to come in for refunds with either faulty or damaged stuff, it was always worse when they had a long, detailed, drawn-out story. It would mostly end in "...and I'm so disappointed". Nine times out of ten we'd refund or exchange whatever, but I somehow felt it was cathartic for them to have their say and for someone to listen to them hmm

When I was a student, I wrote to B&H about a defective cigarette I'd half smoked. Our shared house were desperate for free fags, so all hunched over a typewriter and wrote the most cringeworthy complaint letter, 'I was horrified, could have killed me (yes, ironic), my trust is destroyed'. One free pack and a stamp that got us.

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