We've all been subjected to the torture of terrible customer service -- hours on hold just waiting to talk to a breathing human, even if their first field of study obviously wasn't the English language.
What do people usually do about it? Nothing.
That's why we invited Chris Illuminati, Asylum contributor and co-author of "A**holeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way and Getting Away With It
," to explain how applying the a-hole principle
can help you effectively deal with bad customer service.
"An a**hole knows how to take a stand, get what he wants, and walk away the winner -- all without breaking a sweat," he promises.
Keep reading for Illuminati's crash course on how to apply a few a**hole methods from the book into your next customer service experience.
No is not an option.
One of the 10 Demandments of Being an A**hole is never taking the word no
for answer. Never let a customer service rep tell you that you can't do something, you can't return an item, or that it isn't possible to accomplish what you're requesting. Tell them matter-of-factly you're not leaving or hanging up until you get results.
If they do tell you no, try another person. Most companies don't spend the time to perfectly train every single person that walks through the revolving door of customer service. Keep calling until you find someone unfamiliar with protocol and willing to do whatever you ask to get you off the phone. Tell them that you spoke with someone else and they said it was possible. Lie. It's fine, we're all going to hell.
Climb the ladder until you reach the top.
The last thing any working grunt wants to deal with on a given day is crap from their boss. This is why an a**hole always asks to speak to the next person in command. If a customer service rep is giving you lip, ask to speak to the manager. If the manager is a wall of moron, ask to speak to his or her supervisor. Keep climbing up the ladder until your issue is resolved.
If you keep getting passed around from person to person, make a nuisance of yourself by calling every single person in the chain every day of the week until someone solves your problem. Leave messages with each person. Be sure to write down everyone you've called and the date and time. Use all this to build your case.
Take your problem to the masses.
Word of mouth in online social media circles is having a huge effect on the average consumer, and businesses have noticed this trend. Businesses are terrified of word leaking about just how terrible they are at helping the customer.
So if you're at the end of your rope, use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to turn one little voice into a thousand negative voices. There might even already be a "Wal-Mart Sucks" Facebook group, or an entire anti-McDonald's Web site appropriately named McSucks
. If the group doesn't exist, get one started and bother people to join. They're playing Farmville all day -- they've got nothing better to do.
Or shoot an email to consumer vigilante Web site The Consumerist
, which exists to inform reader of the latest scams and rip-offs in the world of consumerism.
An a**hole never lets someone else come out on top. Many people think the customer service rep, or the company in general, is in control. As the consumer, you hold the power in every situation.
If a credit card company is constantly harassing you with daily phone calls but won't reduce your interest rate; cancel and move the balance to another card. If you can't watch "The Dog Whisperer" because your cable is constantly out, change to another provider or cancel all together. Cell phone provider pissing you off? Pay whatever it takes to get out of the contract and find another provider. If they're smart, they'll do everything in their power to keep your business.
In any case, always be prepared to walk away. Will you miss them anyway?