What not to say


Here’s a few phrases to avoid when talking to customers on the phone:

– “The system won’t allow it” (repeated emphatically using the exact same inflection each time)
– “You only have one more chance” (implying that something terrible is going to happen afterwards)
– “My name is John” (when it’s obviously more like Sidhur or Pravaneek or Nayarameth)

All of these are courtesy of Yahoo’s inept customer service staff, who took nearly half an hour on the phone just to reset a lost password and insulted me every step of the way. Apparently, you can’t reset your password online unless you remember arbitrary data that you entered when first creating the account. Getting a new password sent via email is a multi-step process that requires calling them on the phone and dealing with some of the rudest people I’ve ever spoken to.

The best part of all this? I only needed the password so I could log in and provide an updated credit card for one of Yahoo’s paid services. I can sort of understand crappy customer support for free things, but using this approach for a paid service is bound to drive customers away.