Is Rudeness Inevitable In A Service Economy?

Is Rudeness Inevitable In A Service Economy?

The funny thing about a service economy, writes Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal, is that it’s created a world where people who interact with the public are deliberately trained to be rude and compassionless. She thinks it’s partly because we threw out manners right as we reached a cultural moment where we interact with strangers more than ever. But that’s only part of it–she also notes that clerks are trained to get in your face and aggressively push for higher sales, and that the dreaded “Dead Face”–that stony look that’s used to shut down any communication at all–is probably taught by consultants as an efficient way to handle people. [More]

Geico's Customer Service Reps Are So Infuriatingly Polite I Can't Stand Them

Geico's Customer Service Reps Are So Infuriatingly Polite I Can't Stand Them

Customer service representatives on the phone can be rude, brusque, and just plain useless. But what happens when their phone demeanor is so polite and full of thanks and apologies that it’s excessive and a waste of everyone’s time? It’s part of the script, but is it productive? That’s what John wondered during a recent call to his insurance company, Geico. [More]

Be Polite, Not Pushy For Better Customer Service

Be Polite, Not Pushy For Better Customer Service

Does the squeaky wheel get the grease or do you draw more flies with honey than vinegar? Consumerism Commentary endorses the latter method when it comes to getting the best customer service possible, making the case for why politeness gets you farther than pushiness. [More]

They Wouldn't Like You When They're Angry — Or Would They?

They Wouldn't Like You When They're Angry — Or Would They?

Maybe the Fonz didn’t know what he was doing, because researchers have found that being the coolest cat in the room doesn’t always do you favors, while a flash of fury might just help tip the balance in your favor.

Pennsylvania Training Its State Liquor Store Employees To Be Nicer

Pennsylvania Training Its State Liquor Store Employees To Be Nicer

If you buy your devil juice from Pennsylvania, you might notice a difference in the way you’re treated starting later this month. Pennsylvania is spending $173,000 to train employees of its state-owned liquor and wine stores to be more polite, reports PhillyBurbs.com: “The board wants to make sure clerks are saying ‘hello,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘come again’ to customers coming in for wine and liquor.”

The Worst Tip We Have Ever Received

The Worst Tip We Have Ever Received

Yes, our pro-consumer bias has its limits. For instance, when a customer service representative tries to help you, don’t respond by telling them to “go back to school,” or by mentioning that your fourth-grade class can “spell better.” Of the tens of thousands of tips you have sent us, this is one of the worst. Do not be this guy.

Just Asking Politely Sometimes Does The Trick

Just Asking Politely Sometimes Does The Trick

Reader Tim tried to pay for his Subway meal with a debit card today but was foiled by a technical snafu with the card reader. He didn’t have cash on him, but there was an ATM machine in the store, so he withdrew the funds and paid the old-fashioned way. The trouble was, he was now stuck with a $2 ATM fee for a $12 purchase.