Bad customer service is not just frustrating for consumers: it costs them billions of dollars andcountless hours per year. One angry Virginian even cited Verizon’s horrible customer service as the cause of her heart attack.
Despite this, many companies are notorious for providing bad customer service year after year. In the 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index, the infamously bad customer service at Comcast fell even lower and earned the company recognition as one of the worst brands in America. Comcast has suffered so much damage from angry customers – some of whom have taken to Twitter and created viral rants to vent their frustrations, according to Quartz – that it is investing $300 million to improve its customer service.
Yet, giant companies are not the only perpetrators of bad customer service. For LegalShield associate Larry Smith, a trip to a local jeweler ended in disaster when a cherished family ring was destroyed. “I never expected it, but was even more surprised when the owner refused to do anything,” says Smith. “That’s when I called my LegalShield attorney. After she called the company, I was able to go back later that same day and pick up a check for $2,000. It was that simple.”
Unfortunately, many people are not aware of their rights – or, worse, they voluntarily waive them. According to Michael Fiffik, an attorney with a LegalShield provider law firm, “Consumer contracts are notoriously one-sided. The company is producing the contract so it generally contains only matters of concern to the company – the customer’s obligations, the company’s remedies in the event of non-payment and right to get out of the contract easily, etc.” He continues, “Consumers almost never read the ‘small print’ and companies know that so they fill these contracts with provisions benefiting only them.”
A variety of federal and state laws exist to help protect consumers. For example, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). The CFPB is empowered to examine and issue rules relating to unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices. According to the2014 Consumer Response Annual Report, the CFPB received approximately 250,000 consumer complaints last year alone.