Pricey readers: Yearly throughout this era I transfer away from my column to work on different inventive tasks. Hope you take pleasure in these “Greatest Of” Q&A from 10 years in the past.

Amy dickinson

At this time’s matter is: customer support.

I additionally invite readers to subscribe to my weekly “Asking Amy” e-newsletter, at Amydickinson.substack.com, the place I put up my favourite Q&A, in addition to feedback on what I learn, watch and hearken to.

Pricey Amy: This week I used to be fired from a customer support place. I had solely been at work for 3 weeks.

The incident that led to my termination occurred once I was exhausted and caught off guard by a really younger consumer who was offended with a solution I gave her. I used to be not at my greatest however tried to direct her to my supervisor.

The lady refused to see the supervisor and tweeted about me and my firm that evening.

The following day, I known as my supervisor to alert him to the offended buyer. I used to be shocked to be taught that our headquarters bought wind of the tweet, which stated I used to be not being good to this buyer. I’m a caring individual and about thrice her age (about 20 years previous).

Inform your readers to depend to 10 when they’re offended, even when they’re “proper” in a buying and selling state of affairs. It is a character take a look at for learn how to complain about folks.


Pricey fired: Twitter and Fb (and different social networking websites) made it very straightforward for shoppers to unfold their reward for services and products. These identical instruments are utilized by shoppers to complain about companies and designate particular workers. I admit to having achieved this myself.

Lately, after a really irritating encounter with an airline worker on a delayed flight, I took to Twitter with a nonspecific and sneaky criticism, completely delivered in 140 characters.

Inside minutes, I heard from the airline’s head workplace, asking for the identify of the worker I used to be complaining about. I refused to supply it (and the lesson for me is that I’ll by no means do it once more).

Generally a criticism is a vent and never a floor for punishment or dismissal.

I agree together with your warning to depend to 10 earlier than urgent “ship”. I additionally urge firms to not overreact to Tweets or unverified posts, particularly when such complaints might be used to enhance service by means of coaching.

(February 2011)

Pricey Amy: I am responding to the letter from “Fired,” the customer support technician who was fired after an offended buyer took to Twitter to complain.

I’m chargeable for customer support and have observed in recent times that offended prospects have develop into extra confrontational and aggressive.

Whereas registering complaints by means of social media could make all of us extra knowledgeable shoppers and assist organizations serve prospects higher, it may possibly additionally result in outrageous abuse of customer support workers and can’t be thought-about a adverse. made.

Dangerous customer support shouldn’t be tolerated, however as a rule I see prospects who come on the lookout for a combat, who wish to put up that scathing evaluate, who need retaliation for an unknown transgression.

It isn’t unusual for shoppers to yell at us, insult us, and threaten to fireside us. They do not need their downside solved.

My colleagues and I’ve requested shoppers to take our photographs, and a few are posting these photographs with hateful feedback – and even our names – on Fb and Twitter pages.

A buyer videotaped a dialog with a customer support rep on her telephone and posted it on YouTube with the rep’s identify, known as her a “silly pig” and inspired additional confrontations with strangers.

Many occasions we’ve discovered on-line opinions of our group that embody unsubstantiated allegations of racism and theft, sexually specific and overtly racist opinions.


Pricey administration: Simply as networking by means of social media permits for a lot of great tales of optimistic connections, the flexibility to surreptitiously report courting and put up inconsiderate or unfounded complaints can result in abuse. Individuals with complaints ought to suppose twice earlier than tweeting, and administration ought to affirm the veracity of complaints earlier than making sudden actions.

(March 2011)

Pricey Amy: It can be crucial for folks to grasp that in-store waiters and salespeople are terminated for buyer complaints.

I solely complain if the service is significantly missing. If the service is nice, I discover the supervisor and sing his praises.

Equal Alternative Lessor

Pricey landlord: I agree that we should always all be placing as a lot power into our reward as we’re into shaping our indignant and clever complaints.

(October 2011)

You’ll be able to e-mail Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or ship a letter to Ask Amy, PO Field 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can too comply with her on Twitter @askingamy or Fb.


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