Poor customer service in Germany

522 posts in this topic

Yes, they may be separate departments but I think it's still stupid. Why bother to even send the thing if the company won't do business with someone from there? Plus their American branch doesn't have a problem with the same thing. I can order with Eddie Bauer USA to any address internationally or domestic with my CC that's billed in Europe-- so why is it so different with the German branch? Plus shopping in person doesn't seem to decrease fraud-- when I have been in their stores in Berlin and Munich (before they closed the German stores and went catalog only last year), they never did anything like check the card against my ID-- so in theory I could have stolen a CC to use in the stores and they'd never know.

 

I have been a loyal EB customer for over 15 years and mae an effort to keep shopping with them when I moved overseas and they're losing a customer because they can't offer better payment options/terms. So more business from me for Lands' End Germany who sends me a catalog to Austria AND is willing to take my money even though it's billed here and not in Germany!!

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I wish all supermarket cashiers were as meticulous about cleanliness. Here, to avoid having to unpack wet & sticky goods on arriving home, we frequently have to place our purchases strategically onto the conveyor belt carefully avoiding the glistening streaks left behind by other customer's leaky goods. It would be nice if the belt were regularly cleaned up as is the case at least at 'your' Rewe.

 

Well, if the cashier groans and rolls her eyes at the customer every time she has to wipe the belt, then I think I'd rather put up with a not so clean belt.

 

One of the underlying problems, I believe, is that many Germans in the lower ranking services resent their work and therefore resent the customers who cause them to work. This means that every little extra effort, such as counting a handful cash, accepting a 50 Euro note or wiping the belt, is perceived as an extra burden and makes them angry.

 

There's no understanding that such things are just part of the normal job of a cashier and that you have to live with them if you take up such a job.

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Arcor!!! Saturday night I was happily surfing the net from home. Sunday morning, suddenly, the internet did not work. Called up Arcor. They said "oh, well, according to our information, you shouldn't even have internet where you live - it's not possible". Well, duh, we have had it for the last 5 years and it was working yesterday. So what the hell is the problem. Instead of trying to help us solve the problem, they just kept insisting that we didn't have internet access and never did.

 

The search for a new provider starts today.

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Maybe you should take a few minutes to re-read this. I don't think it's bad at all that the sales person asked you to keep your child under control.

 

She was trying on shoes in a shoe store. How is that out of control? She wasn't throwing shoes around just for the heck of it but dropped them on the floor before trying them. Ever seen a shoe store clerk bringing several shoes to various customers? They don't put each of them down with extreme care either.

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Arcor!!! ... They said "oh, well, according to our information, you shouldn't even have internet where you live - it's not possible". ... Instead of trying to help us solve the problem, they just kept insisting that we didn't have internet access and never did.

 

I love that - the classic german "does not compute" moment. I tell ya, you don't ever - anywhere in germany - want to be a Sonderfall. The whole teutonic machine breaks down.

 

"But who's responsible here? Who's allowed to make a decision on this?" I ask. <Finger points to Ordnungsblatt on the wall>

 

<_<

 

PS - I found Kabel Deutschland a very good, fast, affordable, reliable provider, and would be with them in a flash if they had the infrastructure in our building.

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They said "oh, well, according to our information, you shouldn't even have internet where you live - it's not possible".

Ah, yes, those four little words. Did you ask them if that meant you could stop paying your bill?

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Arcor!!! Saturday night I was happily surfing the net from home. Sunday morning, suddenly, the internet did not work. Called up Arcor. They said "oh, well, according to our information, you shouldn't even have internet where you live - it's not possible". Well, duh, we have had it for the last 5 years and it was working yesterday. So what the hell is the problem. Instead of trying to help us solve the problem, they just kept insisting that we didn't have internet access and never did.

 

The search for a new provider starts today.

 

so are they going to pay back the last 5 years worth of payments for the "non-existent" internet connection?

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This must be industry practice. Deutsche Telekom told us the same about three weeks ago! They said it was impossible that our internet was down as well. "unmoeglich!". When we explained we had been paying for and getting internet from them for the last 2 years she hung up! We thought we were calling for an argument, but reached abuse instead...

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wow i had the same thing with alice. the girl yelled at me, and eventually hung up on me. no joke! then, we wrote a letter to alice saying this is unacceptable, and we expect to get the money for the phone call back (it ended up being like 7 eur. 7 to get yelled at and still not get the problem solved?! that's when i really knew i was living in bizarroland). they wouldn't reimburse us. so we canceled and switched to kabel deutschland.

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well it seems to be pretty widespread, I know a few people that this has happened to.

They very nearly got me, but being with a "local" ISP, I was able to persuade

them.

A latest victim is my nephew, who has been left with ISDN after having DSL

for ages, he's also been told that "it shouldn't work at all", and left

scratching his head as to how it worked so well for so long.

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Yeah, I did say "So, are you saying that I no longer have to pay the bill because I'm not getting the service?" Silence.

I finally got a technical person who seemed to know what they were talking about. He said that they "do not know what the problem is" but it is possible that the lines that support our little village are completely overloaded (possible because our population has about doubled in the last 5 years) and, here is the interesting part, "we are going to try our own equipment and see if that works". OK, so if they had their own "equipment" that could work, why haven't they been using this all along?

 

Extremely frustrating. Luckily, I called them from work when I could have a German speaking colleague who knows a thing or two about ISDN and DSL asking the right questions.

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wow i had the same thing with alice. the girl yelled at me, and eventually hung up on me. no joke! then, we wrote a letter to alice saying this is unacceptable, and we expect to get the money for the phone call back (it ended up being like 7 eur. 7 to get yelled at and still not get the problem solved?! that's when i really knew i was living in bizarroland). they wouldn't reimburse us. so we canceled and switched to kabel deutschland.

 

How did you manage to cancel so quickly? Does Alice have an easy out contract? I only ask because like nearly all of the Telcos over here I am locked into my present contract until the end of the 2 years I signed up for and still have to pay even if I do cancel.

 

Whats the secret?

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that's Alice's only selling point. Contracts are month-to-month. That's how they ensnare so many non-comittal germans. (Think of all the germans you know who prefer to rent their flat)

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Getting poor customer service even in B2B.

 

So, I am helping out consulting company X, who is being contracted by company Y (BIG German company everyone knows about), because they are expanding production of their products. One of the things they are looking for is for services in the facility management area, in a contract worth a ton of money to the company Z that gets it in the end.

 

I call one of the potential candidate companies for Z (one of the big names in FM) and boom, they tell me no one in the sales/marketing department can help me at the moment because they are in a meeting.

 

Yeap, potential customers worth millions in revenue are less important than an office meeting. Needless to say, their name mysteriously disappeared from the candidate list.

 

Oh, and in another call, another company asked me to explain how they could benefit from having a business relationship with Y (i.e. them selling their wares to Y and getting something called money for that).

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... I call one of the potential candidate companies ... and boom, they tell me no one in the sales/marketing department can help me at the moment because they are in a meeting ...

 

This problem is not unique to Germany - it is endemic across the world and was the bane of my life when I was in business and peed me off no end. I instructed my own UK, French & German office staff never, never ever, no matter what and at pain of instant death to tell any caller that the requested person or department "is in a meeting".

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Probably the worst part was that they did not ask to write down my contact info so someone could call me back ASAP. They just said, "try calling back again tomorrow".

 

F@ck 'em all.

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I missed this thread the first time around, but I've also had Telekom staff hang up on me. Lost internet connection, they said "It's not our fault" and hung up.

 

And I can sum up my godawful customer service experiences in Germany in 2 simple words - Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

I made a promise to myself 4 years ago to never ever fly through that place again. I'll happily pay extra to transit/leave from/arrive elsewhere.

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I'll second that, the service staff at Frankfurt airport are awful, they make the people at Heathrow seem charming, if that is possible, which it actually isn't.

The worst customer service I have ever experienced anywhere in the world was at a weekend visiting a mate in Leipzig. People there in shops and bars pretend not to understand you if you are foreign. They say 'was?' repeatedly, even though what you said is perfectly clear, e.g. ein Döner, bitte or ein Pils bitte, followed even when repeated by was? wie? verstehe gar nicht. It is just totally demeaning and racist. I thought it was me, then the mate I was visiting speaks very good German and we went to a pub, and he ordered a beer, quite clearly, and the waitress brought him a very expensive glass of wine, and she did it on purpose because we were English, you could tell, because of the sarcastic way she said I thought you wanted wine. It resulted in an unpleasant argument and us leaving. What a horrible, horribly narrow minded, snotty part of Germany that is.

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I'll second that, the service staff at Frankfurt airport are awful, they make the people at Heathrow seem charming, if that is possible, which it actually isn't.

The worst customer service I have ever experienced anywhere in the world was at a weekend visiting a mate in Leipzig. People there in shops and bars pretend not to understand you if you are foreign. They say 'was?' repeatedly, even though what you said is perfectly clear, e.g. ein Döner, bitte or ein Pils bitte, followed even when repeated by was? wie? verstehe gar nicht. It is just totally demeaning and racist.

 

I've seen people do the same thing in the US on the telephone when talking to someone with a foreign name but speaks natively. I agree that racist is the correct word for it, but it's not intentional like with the waitress.

 

 

I thought it was me, then the mate I was visiting speaks very good German and we went to a pub, and he ordered a beer, quite clearly, and the waitress brought him a very expensive glass of wine, and she did it on purpose because we were English, you could tell, because of the sarcastic way she said I thought you wanted wine. It resulted in an unpleasant argument and us leaving. What a horrible, horribly narrow minded, snotty part of Germany that is.

 

 

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I know I'm kind of distracting from the recent complaints, but I've been pretty impressed with customer service in Germany so far. It may not be...friendly, per se, but it seems a lot more efficent and better with regard to follow through than I've experienced in the U.S. Dealing with KabelBW, EnergieBW, DeutscheBahn - I've actually been really pleased and impressed. Even if I can't find someone who speaks english on a phone line, I always get a call back from someone who does.

 

Now if I could find a Doctor's office with a receptionist I'd be set.

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