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18 companies that suck at customer service

John Webster | Nov. 5, 2015
A recent Forrester Research report shines a spotlight across different industries on companies whose people skills leave a bit to be desired, to say the least.

In response to our request for comment, Acer's vice president of customer service, Mark Groveunder, responded as follows:

 "With the goal of raising the bar on our customer experience, we've leveraged Forrester's U.S. Customer Experience Index this year to begin implementing key changes within our organization with a priority on customer service.  Customer needs are changing and we're working to adapt to not only accommodate them, but to really exceed their expectations.  We believe we've always provided good service, but we are taking it to an even higher level.  In that spirit, we launched "Project CX" that includes investing heavily in improving employee involvement, employee training on the importance of the customer experience and leveraging journey mapping to determine from the customer's perspective what works best and what doesn't in terms of our internal processes.  We're using this training to create cross-functional teams to identify the moments that matter in the various customer journeys and working to implement changes to improve the customer experience at these critical moments.  Toward the end of this year, we'll start implementing the changes based on our research, while we're also providing feedback to our product design teams on how to improve future products and to our web team on how we can improve the customer experience there." 

It can get crowded at the bottom 

The banks that were "too big to fail" already had their work cut out for them after the 2008 financial crisis and federal government bailout. Consumer Reports’ Consumerist website, in its annual poll to nominate the Worst Company in America, has consistently placed the company in the top three worst performers. At the same time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recorded tens of thousands of complaints about the banking giant over the past several years, most of them about how it services mortgages. Bank of America has received more than 30,000 mortgage complaints in the database since 2011, representing about 23 percent of all mortgage-related complaints. 

The company has made annual appearances on other worst-performers lists, including appearances in the Zogby Analytics and 24/7 Wall Street Customer Service Hall of Shame since 2009, and the American Customer Service Satisfaction Index five of the last six years, leading the pack in 2014. 

Don Vecchiarello, a spokesman for Bank of America, responded to our request for a comment with the following statement: 

"We take our clients’ feedback very seriously, and we are confident in our strategy and the investments we have made to improve their experience with us. Everything we do now is focused on making the financial lives of our clients better. We believe over time, we will earn a better perception in the eyes of our clients." 


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