Has Customer Service Gotten Worse?

customer service

Is it me or has customer service gotten worse? I want to know if you feel the same way. Afterall, I have an entire category of Examples of Poor Customer Service. Having grown up in the restaurant business (many years waitressing/hosting/bussing tables) then serving 4 years in retail, I can say I’ve had my share of dealing with the public. I learned what and when to complain. I don’t complain till the last-minute but every situation has a breaking point.

The Easter Bike

For Easter, we decided to get our youngest a bike. We aren’t in the business of getting them really anything over $50 for Easter but considering as a 10-year-old he was riding a bike that was made for a 4-year-old, we knew the purchase was inevitable.

Because I plan ahead, I waited an impressive 48 hours before Easter to purchase Carter’s bike. Afterall, Walmart bragged online that I could order the bike that was in inventory and pick it up at its location just 5 miles away. Easy-pezy, lemon-squeezy. A few hours later, I received the following email:

walmart pickup

Now, a delay to me is 45 minutes at the airport. A delay is being told your table will be ready in 20 minutes but really you wait 30 minutes. In soccer, we have lightening delays that range from 30 minutes to several hours. In today’s modern world a delay means whatever is happening that day will probably still happen that day. This wasn’t just a delay but a major postponement. It was advertised I could pick it up Friday, yet they were estimating a 5 day “delay”.

Understanding shit happens, I repeated the process of ordering online and picking up in a different store as I’m not about meandering down the aisles of Walmart. I want it ready to go so I can get the hell out of Walmart or what I lovingly refer to as the armpit of society. Going to Walmart is basically like having a mammogram. You know it needs done, you have 20 other things you’d rather be doing but you suck it up, do it and appreciate that it’s over.

The second time went flawlessly. An elderly woman rolled the bike over to me and it was nicer in real life than in the picture. I was so excited to give the bike to my son. Sure, it took me driving to a Walmart 30 miles away but it was worth it to see his smiling face.

The Cancellation

On Monday, I called to cancel the first order and have my money refunded. Without much hassle, I actually got a human on the phone and her English was perfect. I grow more and more frustrated as companies outsource customer service overseas and don’t focus on communication as a top priority. If you’re talking with customer service, you’re probably already a little frustrated or have an issue. The last thing you need is a language barrier.

Wednesday morning, I checked my checking account to see if the credit came back on. Not only had the credit not come back on, but I was charged for the bike I cancelled on freakin’ Monday! Are you kidding me? And like clockwork, my phone dinged. I looked down to find a text from Walmart stating the bike was ready for pick-up. Now I was pissed.

After lunch, I called the same number I had called on Monday and explained the situation. This time, the gentleman on the other end clearly spoke English but not well enough to have an easy conversation. At one point, he offered to place another order for the bike.

“I just want to cancel the bike, not buy another,” I said, growing more and more frustrated. I offered to give him my order number in which he said wouldn’t be necessary. After 30 seconds, he asked for the order number and I read it off.

“Is that all, Angela?” He asked like a stuffy high school English teacher. It was as if I had just read my essay out loud to the class yet he felt it didn’t reach its true potential and I should have more.

“Is that all?” I asked. “What do you mean?” I was getting more and more pissed at this guy.

“Is that all?” He repeated in the exact same tone.


I looked at the email and realized there was a dash and an additional 5 numbers.

“Oh sorry, yeah,” and I repeated the numbers. God forbid he could have said “there should be an additional 5 numbers.”

So yeah, I think customer service is getting worse and there’s nothing we can do about it. Carter did get his bike and is over the moon about it. Here’s a picture of us on Easter, riding bikes. Yes, I do ride a large-ass pink bicycle and I absolutely love it!





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