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9 Things You Should Never Say to Customer Service Representatives

We’ve all been on the phone with a customer service representative who isn’t particularly helpful, but there are certain things you may want to say that are counterproductive. Losing your temper will only cause more issues. Here are nine things you should never say to a customer service representative.

  1. “I’m going to call my lawyer!”
    Saying “lawyer” or “attorney” will only end the conversation. These words will halt any communication with the company, and you’ll be left with the same problem and then some. Threatening legal action only causes further issues, and even if you’re telling the truth, going to court is rarely profitable. If you have a good reason to contact an attorney, it’s best not to announce your intentions to the customer service rep.
  2. “I’m going to get you fired!”
    Chances are you aren’t. The customer service representative has probably followed proper procedures and likely has no direct link to your issue. These reps are just doing their jobs. Saying you’re going to get them fired will only make them your enemies and halt any assistance they may have had to offer.
  3. “I’m going to bankrupt your company!”
    Making this statement is similar to threatening to take someone’s job or to sue. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to bankrupt a company. Keep in mind what you want to accomplish. If you suspect illegal practices, go to the proper government authorities. Even then, it’s highly improbable you’ll bankrupt the company.
  4. “#@*&!”
    Cursing at an employee gives him or her the right to hang up the phone due to your belligerence. Not only will you not get your problem solved, you will be labeled as “crazy.” While the representative may not respond to your attitude, other customer service reps are likely to if you come back or call again. If you want to accomplish something, never curse on purpose—if you do, apologize promptly.
  5. “I’m never visiting this store again!”
    This tip goes along with threatening to never use the company's product again. Most customer service reps have heard this statement at some point, and the customer usually returns anyway. Customer service departments want to retain loyal employees, so if you’re not planning to come back, then there’s no reason for them to try to help you.
  6. “You’re a             !”
    Calling names is inappropriate. If you want your problem fixed, you’re talking to the person who can help you. Customer service reps can be your best friends or your worst enemies. Treat them with respect, and they’ll help you.
  7. “I’m contacting my news station!”
    This threat goes for Twitter, Facebook, and newspapers, too. If you plan to contact the media, you'd better be high up the chain of command, otherwise, you’ll have no impact. If there is a true injustice, news stations may take your story, but chances are they won’t. It all depends on what else is happening in the news that day. You can complain on Facebook and Twitter, but such a move may not work in your favor.
  8. “I’m going to hurt you!”
    Don’t EVER threaten to hurt the person at the other end of the phone or chat. Not only is doing so completely rude, threatening bodily harm is a crime. This law also applies to bombing, shooting, killing, beating up, or any other form of verbal threat. Your calls are recorded, and you may have the police knocking on your door.
  9. “Let me speak to your supervisor!”
    If the customer service rep just can’t understand, then it makes sense to ask for a supervisor, but give him or her a chance. If you ask for a supervisor immediately, you may never find out what the rep can help you with. Next, you’ll have to wait on hold for several minutes or longer until the supervisor is available. Then, as it turns out, the customer service rep could have handled your problem after all. Chances are, the supervisor will turn things back over to the rep anyway.