Blowing Up At The Customer Service Rep Isn’t Going to Get You Anywhere

They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes… I had a really bad experience with my wireless carrier recently and I lost it with the customer service rep. After being passed from person to person and spending a couple of hours each day for a couple of days without getting any resolution it was was almost inevitable that I was going to blow my fuse- which I did.

You see, the people on the other end know they hold all the power. They refuse to tell you their names or at the most will give you a first name only, which you know is probably a lie. When you ask to speak to a supervisor after wrangling for half the morning you’re probably being passed to their buddy sitting next to them in the call center. They have all the power and know it.

So what will getting mad really accomplish? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Here’s how it went down- After getting abused by “customer service”, being put on hold and passed endlessly around from person to person, I finally lost my patience and gave them a piece of my mind. What did they give me in return? A fake case number to call the next morning with the assurance that everything would be fine. I should have known better. Not only wasn’t there a case number assigned to me, but the woman had, opps- deleted my account! No record of anything. Gone. My online account of over 6 years had vanished, disappeared without a trace.

When my wife got home I told her about my morning. What did she tell me?¬†“You catch more flies with honey“. Yup, thank you for that! But, of course, she was absolutely right. The proverb goes like this…


“You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”


Me getting angry isn’t going to get anyone on my side to help me. Me blowing my top at the girl on the other end of the phone isn’t going to help me reach my goal of resolving whatever issue I’m faced with. I need to get someone on my side if I want a happy outcome.

Now granted, this can be extremely hard to remember when dealing with atrocious customer service but it is imperative to a successful outcome. Having my account deleted was actually a good lesson for me- I think of it now whenever I’m dealing with horrible customer service (and let’s face it, good service is hard to find these days) so it comes to mind a lot.

“You catch more flies with honey…”

My wife explains it this way- “You need to get these people on your side wanting to help you, championing your cause!” In other words, do your best not to make the person on the other end of the line your adversary, you want these people to be your friend.

Okay, it doesn’t work every time, but it does improve your odds of a successful resolution. There will always be those snarly toothed, contentious tyrants out there who delight in making your life miserable, but this is a life skill that helps tame the shrew.

A biblical proverb offers this advice…

“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” -Proverbs 25:15

A gentle answer, a soft reply, can often wield more power than the hammer. Patience truly is a virtue. This is one of those things that requires us to make a conscious decision to act the opposite of what we would do by nature. Blowing off steam and venting our frustration is understandable, but most often not successful.