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Rude shop assistants rival tradies

Rude shop assistants are rivalling call centre operators and late tradies as the people that most infuriate Australian customers, according to a survey on consumer gripes.

The survey of 1730 people by business review website,, has found rude shop assistants are one of our nation’s biggest gripes, with 30 per cent of respondents listing them as their biggest retail complaint.

The survey asked reviewers to rate common customer service gripes (from what made their blood “simmer” to what made it really “boil”) in three environments – bricks and mortar retail, over the phone, and when tradespeople are working at their home.

When it came to retail, rude salespeople came out on top, with three in 10 people saying this was their biggest complaint, followed by 22 per cent rating staff who don’t say hello.

This was followed by badly trained sales assistants (15 per cent), staff that are too focused on flogging product (11 per cent), and salespeople upselling to products of no relevance (7.9 per cent).

Rude sales assistants were rivalled by overseas call centre workers, with having to deal with offshore centres topping the customer service list, also at 30 per cent.

Twenty per cent of respondents choose automated phone services as their biggest gripe, with 12 per cent saying being put on hold for more than five minutes made them angry.

In comparison, when ranking their experience of tradespeople carrying out work at their home, 35 per cent said waiting around for tradies to arrive was the worst customer experience.

“In-store shopping is a very emotive task with more factors coming into play than just price and convenience,” says Fiona Adler, founder of Womo.

“The results illustrate that we have a need to feel special and make a connection with what we’re buying.

“These similarities occur over the phone too! We need the operator to empathise and make a connection with our issue.”

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