Amazon Chat Support Gave This Man "The Worst Customer Experience"

"Do not use Amazon chat support," Chris Williams warns. "This just happened to me."

Anyone who's spent several hours on the phone with their local Internet provider during an outage can tell you: There's little more frustrating than bad customer service. Chris Williams knows this feeling of frustration well, if his account of a recent encounter with Amazon chat support is legitimate.

"That was perhaps the worst customer experience I have had," Williams told Fast Company via email. Williams reached out to Amazon via chat after encountering an email address almost exactly like his own. Worried it was some sort of phishing attempt, he was connected with "Farah," who started the conversation off on the wrong foot by calling Williams by the name Brittni. "my name is not brittni.. my name is Chris Williams."

Farah apologized profusely for the mistake, but the conversation went downhill from there:

"Every question I asked, and was asked, the time between each of my responses to her took between 5 - 15 minutes," Williams says. So, understandably, he snapped, and demanded to be in touch with another representative.

Williams assured Farah: "I AM POSTING THIS CONVERSATION ONLINE. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED." And indeed, he put the entire conversation in a Google Doc and shared it on Hackernews.

A rep never did call Williams. Instead, he called them, but "they seemed confused and were unable to help." He was forced to change the password on the bogus email account himself and change the email address so it was dissimilar from his own. He said the experience left him "disappointed that Amazon would hire or outsource their customer support to people unequipped to handle issues like this ... Amazon has been a wonderful resource but experiences like this make me question the security of my account."

[Image: Flickr via user gatordawg99]

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45 Comments

  • Amazon customer is the worst. This article is spot on. These friggin Indian Dot-Heads don't know their ass from their elbow. They ask fifteen irrelevent questions, transfer you to atleast 3 different people who are equally as incompetent as the one before and they never solve your original issue. Another billion dollar comapny who outsources their customer service to India, planet Earth's asshole where people literally shit out in the open instead of using a toilet. Water so polluted with human feces they have to ship in fresh water daily. Gross.

  • Jack Bland

    Good grief, did anyone read this? All I see is a pompous #(*, Chris Williams, flipping out on someone who's being obviously forced to chat with multiple customers at once. She was not asking for an apology you baboon... she was asking IF she could apologize...

    You're telling me an app developer can't use his big boy brain and try on some deductive reasoning towards the person he's talking to? I could tell immediately as she got his name wrong. What, did you think she thought Chris could be misspelled like Brittni? Do you not ask yourself why things happen? Are you a baby?

    Next time you're chatting with customer service at some random company, instead of worrying about what you want and when you wanted it consider that most outsourced chat agents are forced to take anywhere from 3-5 chats at the SAME TIME. It's the way of the business, a world full of Chris Williams' is a world full of bad customer service

  • It's not great customer service, but far from the worst I've seen or experienced. This is a garbage article. Should not have been written.

  • Amanda Yakun Zhao

    I just experienced the same situation today and I pissed off now!! I was using chat to report the missing Usps package which was happened twice on me this week.I'm angry with Usps but not with the chat staff and i didn't use any impolite word, and guess what- the chat staff whose name is VALERIE asked me to respect her and closed the chat when i was typing, even pretend she has been waiting for me more than 5 minutes. I actually paused for less than 60 second. who else i could complain this WORSE EVER customer experience?

  • pchalama

    Amazon has horrible customer service and they have no transparency - they claim to be the perfect company and that their merchants/customers are always the ones at fault. I personally experienced an issue with a gift card that I received from Hallmark and when I tried to apply to my Amazon account, it first accepted and then after a week the gift card money disappeared when the time came for me to use it....Amazon says that it was applied to a different Amazon account holder (coincidentally/conveniently at the same time on the same date that I applied it to my Amazon account) and that Amazon is not responsible because Hallmark must have given the random/system-generated Gift Card Claim Code to a different person (who also happened to have Amazon account and wanted to apply that same Gift Card Claim Code to their Amazon account on the very same date). They have no reason to be in business with such shitty attitude and it will soon catch up with them now that there are alternatives!

  • Their customer service sucks !!!! Between Square Trade and Amazon I spent 3 hours with every new rep telling me different and wrong things. It's beyond ridiculous. They outsource to South Africa as well. America is going to shits.

  • Linda Pace

    Customer chat support service is an important part of your business. In different way you can say that customer representative might be a face of your company. Many companies offer customer chat support outsourcing service. You can hire if you don't want to increase extra expenses on it and just focus on your business. Galore Technology is one of the top company for customer chat support service. Experienced and skilled chat operators always there to help you. http://www.galoretech.com/customer-chat-support-outsourcing.php

  • Kyle Lyles

    Amazon outsources some of its customer service. Chat is one of them, and that's why this was so bad (if it were real.)

  • Linda Pace

    Customer chat support service is an important part of your business. In different way you can say that customer representative might be a face of your company. Many companies offer customer chat support outsourcing service. You can hire if you don't want to increase extra expenses on it and just focus on your business. Galore Technology is one of the top company for customer chat support service. Experienced and skilled chat operators always there to help you. http://www.galoretech.com/customer-chat-support-outsourcing.php

  • cherylaka

    I just had a very similar experience that started in chat and has been going on with about 7 different customer service reps who can't figure out something simple. I ordered new software, when it arrived it had been opened (seal broken), scratches on the disk, and the box was definitely used. I still don't have this resolved. Part of the problem is that by the names and communication skills I can tell Amazon outsources their customer service. Appears to be somewhere in India. I also have two Amazon accounts under the same email, and Amazon was never able to get that straightened out. I have been shopping with them since 1997 and they get worse each year.

  • Jessica Robin

    this seems fake. amazon has awesome support, i have never had an unhelpful chat to this date. and ive been with amazon for a few years now.

  • Five Ws

    There is an email address that LOOKS LIKE MINE. OHHHHH nooooo! I am gonna call Amazon since they have drones they can take it out!!!! What does this article mean? Encountering this email where? Five Ws. Start there Jenna and maybe this article will make sense. I wonder how those professionals in Argentina are getting along.

  • Fireborne

    When dealing with new potential vendors the first thing I ask is "Where is your call center located?", if they don't say USA I don't use them!

  • Jack Bland

    Judging by this comment, I would like to inform you that outsourcing unfortunately is a side effect of everyone in the USA not wanting to speak to you (or people like you) for the amount of money that is offered.

    The companies then can't find enough employees, so then they reach out overseas where people tend to be a little bit less picky about who they talk to.

    The problem is you.

  • Kyle Lyles

    Amen! Also ask them if their IT department is mainly H1B indentured slaves working at 50% wages, unable to change jobs. All while taking jobs away from Americans.

  • perfectlysafe

    This looks like a case of moderately poor customer service exacerbated by the fact that the customer is wildly unhelpful. I don't understand from what he's written what the nature of the problem is - it appears that he's asking amazon to delete someone else's gmail account. If he's asking for something that amazon might be able to help with, then it's not clear what that is.

    And if you're waiting ten minutes between responses and the person at the other end is obviously a bit confused, then it might be wise to spend two of those minutes explaining exactly what the problem is OR spend all of it inventing a contraption that makes it look like steam is coming out of your ears.

    Finally, bad customer service doesn't excuse Chris Williams' infantile behaviour. What a complete prick.