Complain About Bad Service

I wrote about paying more for good service. This time I’m facing the opposite. I’m debating if I should complain about bad service.

It’s getting cold outside. Some mice or rats decided to come into my attic for shelter at night. I called a pest control company I used in the past. They provided good service to me before. Not this time.

They sent a different guy, maybe their mouse trapping specialist. For the service, he had to come to my home several times: closing the vents, setting the traps, checking on the traps, resetting the traps, and checking on the traps again.

He just couldn’t keep the appointments. After each service visit, we set a time for the next visit. I would make arrangements around my work schedule to be home. Every time he would call right before the appointment time to reschedule to a different day. Sometimes the rescheduled visit had to be rescheduled again.

I’m getting really tired of this poor level of service. But because I want those mice or rats out, I didn’t say anything. Today will be his last visit. I hope he will show up as agreed.

After it’s all done, should I complain to the company about the poor service? If it’s just a bad employee, the company may not know how bad he is because he’s doing his own scheduling. If it’s a bad company that overloads its employees with a ton of work, I may be blaming the guy for something not of his fault. The complaint may affect his pay or his employment.

Should I use this company for services in the future?

What would you do in this situation?

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  1. Michael S says

    As stressed as people are right now, I am avoiding confrontation with folks at all costs. You just do not know what will set someone over the edge; even though you maybe right. Rescheduling date last minute is inexcusable. Find another company. The fact you do not go back for repeat business is all you need to do. I gave up on proactively begging people to give them my money some time ago. That is what it feels like sometimes.

  2. AM says

    I agree with Michael S. Let the company figure out why they are losing business. At most, I would tell them only if asked a specific question.

    But if you happen to complain, then let them figure out whose fault it is. If they habitually overload employees then they must get complaints like this fairly regularly. If it is the management’s fault, that means they simply ignore these complaints, and they will ignore yours. It is also possible that after enough complaints they will realize they have a systemic problem and will try to fix it.

    If they are truly incompetent and blame it on the guy without realizing that they are part of the problem, they will keep losing business and he might have to go work elsewhere.

    In the end, just as customers match up with businesses based on both price and quality, so do employees sort themselves into organizations based on pay and existing level of management BS vs. their skills and tolerance for such BS.

  3. Money Beagle says

    I think it’s important to let them know of the problem in some fashion. E-mail is fine if they have that. After all, I’ve heard it said that a company doesn’t know it’s making customers unhappy unless they’re told about it. Whether they choose to address the problem or try to make it right is up to them, but you should do your part in trying to correct this problem. After all, I doubt that even if they do start seeing business drop off that they’ll suddenly figure out the reason. Not if they haven’t already.

  4. DT says

    Talk to the owner or the highest level of management you can.

    “If I was the owner, I’d want to know. Wouldn’t you?” is my
    general guide.

    Good criticism is a fine art. Make sure you blame company
    behavior not company employees. Keep it simple and state
    the facts, make it clear that your expectations were not met.
    State plainly but honestly how you need a higher level of service
    than what you are getting. Make sure the owner knows that you
    cannot recommend them any longer to your friends and
    neighbors. Stay polite, sincere, non-threatening, and then
    cancel your arrangements with said company, negotiate your
    final bill, pay it, and move on. Life is too short.

    Also, Yelp or Angie’s list is supposed to be good ways to
    research businesses. You can always leave a review of
    your poor experience on these sites as well.

  5. Anie says

    I’m with the “if you don’t tell them, how will they know” crowd. I always make a point to let someone in upper management know if I have encountered trouble or frustration, repeated or not.
    The way I see it, there is probably someone else out there right now who would have that job and fill it with better service than the one whom you are currently dealing with.

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