Consumer Products

This American City Has the Worst Customer Service

Customer service is among the most critical factors in business success. People who are unhappy tend not to be repeat customers and have to be replaced to keep revenue flat. Customers who return make it more likely for a company to grow as new customers add to existing ones.  Customer service ratings are often the lowest for companies that have a large number of customers that they need to deal with face to face. The generally includes banks, telecom, and cable companies. At the far end of the spectrum, companies with very expensive products and services know that quality customer service is expected. Car companies that do well based on customer satisfaction research tend to be brands like Porsche, which sells cars that often cost over $100,000.

It is unusual to look at customer service across all products and services in an area as large as an American city. However, TollFreeForwarding.com has tried to do that. The reader has to decide whether their methodology is fair. It is certainly unusual. The authors of their new study, used this approach:

We used two metrics: location-based Google search trends for ‘complaints number’ over the past year (April 2020 – April 2021), and actual FCC complaint figures for each state/city.

They then factored in population as measured against FCC complaints.

For some reason, most cities where there is poor customer service were on the East Coast. One explanation, according to Annalisa Nash Fernandez, intercultural specialist at BecauseCulture is:

“East coast culture in the US does tend to be more direct and outspoken, with people comfortable expressing dissenting and negative opinions, while west coasters take a more collectivist approach to preserve harmony.”

Hardly scientific, but plausible.

On a scale from 0 to 100 with 100 being the worst in terms of customer service here is how the top 10 cities ranked:

Pittsburgh (81/100)
Baltimore (74/100)
Atlanta (74/100)
Richmond (73/100)
Sacramento (72/100)
Orlando (69/100)
Las Vegas (68/100)
Jacksonville (66/100)
Miami (62/100)
Tampa (59/100)

Click here to see which cities have the best health insurance coverage.