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Consumer News

Consumer Reports Offers Tips For Finding Better Customer Service

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Where do you get the worst customer service?

Computer tech support comes in dead last in Consumer Reports’ ratings, but there’s plenty of poor service all the way around. The good news though is that Consumer Reports says there are ways to get better help.

George Starr knows how to fish around to get good customer service. He got Sony to send him a $1,500 flat-screen free of charge when his old television broke, even though it was out of warranty.

“The only thing I could really summarize it would be ‘Wow!’” said Starr.

But Consumer Reports found plenty of people aren’t happy with customer service.

Sixty-four percent said they’ve walked out of a store because of poor service in the past year.

Sandy Cook from Peters Township recently left a line to buy lottery tickets.

“They had to do too many chores and not enough employees, so I left and went somewhere else,” said Cook.

Among the worst stores for service, Sam’s Club and Walmart. Overall, people complained about phone service, too.

“It took me 15 minutes and all I wanted to do was tell them I didn’t own a car anymore,” said Franklin Park’s Ralph Minto, of his experience.

“Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed told us they didn’t get their problem solved,” said Tod Marks, of Consumer Reports. “Their biggest complaints – too long a wait on hold, can’t get a human being, and too many menus to navigate to get to a real person.”

For Julie Chandler from Canonsburg, even getting a person can be frustrating.

“Whenever you have to call for customer service, and you have a language barrier, that’s kind of one thing that I can say is a challenge,” said Chandler.

But websites like Dial-A-Human or Get-Human can help. They list customer-service numbers that will get you to a real person.

Or do what Starr did, use social media.

“I found a Facebook site going through Google called ‘I have a defective Sony TV,’ and it gives you the email address, phone numbers, tells you exactly the steps that you need to do,” said Starr.

“Social-networking sites such as Facebook and especially Twitter are powerful tools because companies are actually monitoring these sites to listen to what’s being said about them,” said Marks. “So, if you have a complaint, go online.”

Consumer Reports finds it’s not all gloom and doom when it comes to customer service.

Some companies do a very good job, including Apple, Southwest Airlines and Crutchfield.com, which sells electronics.

RELATED LINKS:
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