Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Customer Service Frustration

In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. ~Ephesians 4:26-27

How do you feel when you realize a service you rely on in your daily life, such as internet or phone service, has failed you and you will need to call customer service? For me, I usually feel a knot building in my stomach as I realize I'm about to spend far more time on the phone than I would like and there's no guarantee of the issue being resolved when we hang up.

For years, I was a master of sharing my feelings with the automated messages that play while you are sitting on hold. My personal favorite was disputing the "great customer service" that the company would brag about as I'm getting more and more frustrated.  At times, I would resort to yelling and cursing at the message because I knew I couldn't do the same to the representative who answered my call.

Recently, I found myself in this position yet again. This time, our internet and cable were not working. I had called to report the issue, they confirmed there was an outage in our area and I actually hung up feeling satisfied with that call. About 5 minutes later, the phone rang with an automated message telling me the service was restored. The only problem was that it wasn't. I stayed on the line to be connected to an agent to let them know I was still having issues.

Even though I had already gone through all of the procedures she suggested to restore the service, I humored the representative as she walked me through them again. When that didn't work, she told me a technician would need to come to the apartment the next day.

As much as I tried to be nice, I know my tone wound up snarky as I told her that it wasn't an acceptable solution because I had things I needed to do online, such as writing articles to make a little money. I could hear her typing on her computer and then, without any notice, she put me on hold.

Immediately, I felt my old ways creeping into my body. I cut myself off as I started to rail on her (to the message) for being so rude as to not tell me she had to place me on hold. You see, I've been in customer service much of my life and that was one thing we were always required to do, ask permission to put someone on hold and give them an estimated time of how long it would take.

This time, I stopped myself and began to pray. I asked the Lord to free me from the feelings of anger and bitterness and fill my body with peace. It was doing no good to anyone for me to get more upset. I asked His forgiveness for making negative comments about the representative who was simply trying to do her job.

From that moment on, I didn't obsess about how long I was sitting on hold, I didn't stew about whether or not she was going to figure something out and I tuned out the message and just sat looking at the beautiful spring day outside my window. When she came back on the line to tell me her supervisor was going to find a technician to come to my home that day, I was grateful and let her know I appreciated her help.

How we react to situations is completely in our hands and the only person we are hurting by getting angry is ourselves. The next time you are frustrated or angry about any situation in life, take a moment to pray for peace and clarity. Once you have done that, you may find that He answers your prayers and you are more capable of resolving the situation without hurting others or


  1. I'm bookmarking your post so I can re-read it the next time I deal with customer service!!

    Thanks for stopping by The House on the Corner ~ I'm following back!

  2. Amen to that. Didn't get to read till after I got home, but it was still great food for thought!

  3. Customer service on both parts is not easy. I was a customer service rep for over 5 years, and I completely understand every ounce of frustration a customer is going through. I really like how you turned to the Lord as soon as something went wrong. Some of us tend to forget to do that, when we know he is in charge, and without him nothing is possible. Great Blog.

  4. I completely agree with you. I think the reason I do try to be forgiving is because I've been in the rep's shoes many times.

    Thanks for visiting!



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