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How to deal with Rude customers?

izumi777

New member
Yes, but not often. I couldn't do anything about it. So, I just talked to them nicely like other customers but in my mind I wish these customers to move to another hosting company as quickly as possible.
 

Acehost

New member
Ive noticed you have to handle each customer differently. Once you figure them out and how they communicate you can handling them on a more personal level to keep things in line. You are not going to be able to make everyone happy.
 

server

New member
Have you ever dealt with rude customers? How do you deal with them?
Any thoughts?

With years of experience this question solves naturally. For beginning, you can put requirements for professional behaviour in your TOS and warn that rude customer that you won't continue conversation (if that's the type of communication you are using) until he calms down. But again, gaining experience in this field is important, then it will be less unpleasant and much much easier to deal with such customers. And there are not many of them.

Just look how police officers deal with offensive people - professionally, without any emotionality. You are not in position of police officer, but you can at least imagine you are:)
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
The situation will always dictate the answer.

When I ran hosting and had Live Chat, I had a 1-strike rule that our employees could enforce on any person they deemed to be unruly. I had 3 women working for me, and I was very protective of them.

The rules we had in place was that they could tell the person that due to language (or whatever it was) they were going to require the user to enter a ticket, or they could pass them to another staff member.

In the 17 years running it, I only ever kicked one user. They had been with us for several years, and whatever the issue was in their site (I can't remember, it was something to do with their site layout - web design - not even web hosting related), we provided the warning and then blocked the user. I then packed their files and emailed it to them. And because I was a nice guy, I even refunded the remaining unused time.

But every situation is different. Many users who start out angry, lighten up quickly and admit they were just frustrated. We've even had a user that wanted to send flowers, but since the employees were all remote and I wasn't going to hand out home addresses, they sent a gift card which I forwarded to the staff member.

Today, in our marketing company, we have the same 1 warning. If the client starts to get angry on the phone, we hang up. They're not angry at us, they're angry at a situation, but we still don't need to be subjected to it.

I terminated one client a number of years ago as they refused to call one of our staff by their name, and instead made fun of different names every time the staff member answered the phone or emails. That was a 5 figure monthly deal, but my staff and respect was much more important. The client was warned, then they were terminated.

And just like here on the forums, a warning is provided, but if someone goes out of their way to ignore the warning, there's really only one solution left.
 
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Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
In the 17 years running it, I only ever kicked one user. [...] I then packed their files and emailed it to them. And because I was a nice guy, I even refunded the remaining unused time.

That was very nice of you indeed. That went probably even against your own TOS?
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Never had many rude customers in my 18 years, but i do remember 1 customer.

I had a trainee (17 year old) from a Gov. scheme that i was training in IT, she was great with customers and my customers liked her, i was going to offer her a job after her training finished. I gave her the responsibility of running one of my ecommerce sites and she was doing great. One day i had to go to a meeting and and asked her that if any hosting clients made contact just inform them i will contact them when i return.
When i returned she was not where to be seen, so i tried to call her and got no answer, then i got a call from her training coach saying she was not returned as she was abused over the phone. so i went to her house and to cut a long story short it appeared while i was away a hosting client called and started to shout and abuse her as she could not help him and i was not available, it turned out the issue was caused by the client in the first place. So i called the client and told him abusing my staff is not acceptable and gave him 1 hr to remove his files from the server before i remove his account. The lass never returned to work for me due to this client and the training provider would not provide me with anymore trainees
 

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
There's a point of no return with some clients. I recently had a rude client who I designed a site for where he essentially accused me piggybacking on another site I designed (however that's done). Apparently he did not understand name servers and when I explained DNS to him, he calmed down. He was a PIA from the get go, but eventually was completely satisfied with his site and I haven't heard boo from him since then.

Cursing, name calling and the such are never permitted, but thankfully I've never run into that.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
There's a point of no return with some clients. I recently had a rude client who I designed a site for where he essentially accused me piggybacking on another site I designed (however that's done). Apparently he did not understand name servers and when I explained DNS to him, he calmed down. He was a PIA from the get go, but eventually was completely satisfied with his site and I haven't heard boo from him since then.

Cursing, name calling and the such are never permitted, but thankfully I've never run into that.

another bug bear of mine was when a client failed to pay and you suspend their account and then it is somehow your fault.

my clients used to get in total 28 days from first invoice to termination and still it was your fault they never paid. once terminated i would sent clients a letter before action and if this never worked i would just write the debt off, but leave the invoice action in my system incase the client attempted to rejoin. Only once did a client kick off after getting a letter before action when he ended with 'Take me to court and see who wins and it wont be you', so thats what i did and the £50 he owed me cost him nearly £300.
 

AstroHost

New member
Have you ever dealt with rude customers? How do you deal with them?
Any thoughts?

The problem with a rude customer is they are just annoyed about something. You've got 2 ways on handling this customer

1) Tackle the issue head on, talk to them, show some empathy and really get to the nitty gritty of what's annoying them and fix it to the best of your ability. Don't let them speak to you like dirt and control the situation. Show them you know what you are doing and you are in control. Every-time, they speak to you like rubbish remind them, that's not acceptable but use a soft tonne

2) Not advisable be angry and rude back. They will respond, with anger and just end up coming away with nothing and you will be angry.

That's my input, every call / issue / customer is different, so generally will judge my response based on their attitude and or tonne.
 

Harv45

New member
Just have it provisioned in our TOS though that is like the "last line of defense" in case nothing else works for most offenses.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Just have it provisioned in our TOS though that is like the "last line of defense" in case nothing else works for most offenses.

Dont forget your TOS are only good if they comply with current legislation within the state/country you operate from.

i.e. Your state/country legislation could state refunds must me given after 14 days, but you may have in your TOS refunds given after 30 days.

This would then make your TOS null and void, so does not mean just because you have something in your TOS that it is legal and can be enforced.

Best thing anyone can do is draft a TOS and then have this looked at by a lawyer/attorney/trading standards to make sure what you have written complies with current legislation and can be enforced if needed
 

SenseiSteve

HD Moderator
Staff member
Dont forget your TOS are only good if they comply with current legislation within the state/country you operate from.

i.e. Your state/country legislation could state refunds must me given after 14 days, but you may have in your TOS refunds given after 30 days.

This would then make your TOS null and void, so does not mean just because you have something in your TOS that it is legal and can be enforced.

Best thing anyone can do is draft a TOS and then have this looked at by a lawyer/attorney/trading standards to make sure what you have written complies with current legislation and can be enforced if needed

Most professionally written Terms of Service will include a statement that if any part of their terms are deemed invalid, the remaining terms stay intact. But I do get what you're saying - best to have your TOS reviewed by legal counsel.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Most professionally written Terms of Service will include a statement that if any part of their terms are deemed invalid, the remaining terms stay intact.
In the UK that would not work as any part of a TOS is invalid then it invalidates the whole document.
 

ServageOne

New member
In my experience, customers who are under pressure have a tendency to use harsh words. For such cases, we have our agents trained - they stay professional and polite and take the pressure away by answering the query the customer has. Usually, that is a good way to lead the chat or ticket into the right direction and the next chat or ticket by the same customer won't use harsh words anymore. In general, it is important for support agent to always try to put himself into the customers position. That is an important aspect for good services. We perform plenty of training for the agents - not only on the technical aspect - but also on empathy and pro-activeness to provide a tailored and hence good support.
 
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easyhostmedia

Well-known member
What usually makes me annoyed and a rude customer is when you email large national companies and you get the standard canned reply ' Your query will be answered within the next 10 days' my response is usually a stern email to companies CEO explaining my query will be answered in then next 48 hrs as in 10 days they wont be trading. This usually gets their attention
 

Terrum

New member
I think every company, hosting or not, has to deal with rude customers. It's a shame but it's the way of the world, people are brought up in different ways compared to others.

As for dealing with them, just be nice :) Most of the time, from my experience, they are only rude because they have either had a bad day, or they are worried about their service. They're paying you money for a service after all.

If it becomes intolerable, usually you can ask politely for them to be calm and assess the situation professionally and maturely, or you can refund them and be rid of them (but you do risk bad media by doing this, just depends on how much their rudeness is really affecting you or your staff!)
 

Wehostfast

New member
I personally still act nice towards them even though they are acting rude hopefully they will calm down and have some more sense into what they are saying when they are talking.
 
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