Nothing irks me more than bad service. Maybe it has something to do with being a waitress early on in my work life that I appreciate the skill and finesse it takes to convince the initially cranky customer to eagerly fork over a fat tip in the end.

Yeah, I was THAT good.

Truth is that it’s not that hard. Just don’t over promise and under deliver.

Not rocket science.

Even if you screw that up I’m willing to let you make it up to me. Wow me. Do it. Go for it.

You got nothin’?

Wow, that’s so lame.

I have a not-so-scientific running list of companies that have really let me down at some point in the area of customer service. Most of the time, the quality of the products they offer have nothing to do with whether I’ll purchase from them again.

Wanna know who they are? I couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are a few at the top of my list these days:

Uno’s: I’ve had bad meals, meals that have taken too long–way too long–and cranky waitresses, but given my background I can definitely sympathize, so I rarely leave less than 20% no matter what happens. But my last meal at Uno’s took the cake for ridiculously bad service; exceeded only by the inept management who not only failed to “wow” me with a heartfelt apology, but he actually managed to piss me off even more. (full disclosure: I used to work here and was fired, but that was over 15 years ago)

Dell: Have to say Dell, you really let me down. I was transfered at least six times before I was told that you could not modify my order that had been placed mere minutes earlier on-line. I know you’re getting a lot of press for being a real pioneer in utilizing social media to propel your customer service efforts, but so far, you haven’t impressed me. Let’s see if you respond to this post and I promise I’ll retract it immediately.

Comcast and The Dish Network: Nothing worse than these two companies who get your one year commitment and then after your one year is up, do absolutely nothing to convince you that you’re with the right company.  What do they do instead? Increase your monthly fees and hope you’re too lazy to switch to a different carrier. Well, I’m not lazy and I’ve moved on. Now you want me back? Too bad.

Target: Do they specifically train their employees to treat you like a criminal when you return something within a week of purchase with a receipt. Are you kidding me?

Walmart: One line, lots of waiting. I’m not willing to wait. Where’s the freakin’ manager in this place.

Toys R Us: How many questions can you cram in while I’m trying to purchase something at the register? No, I don’t want batteries from my non-battery operated item. No, I don’t want to donate to your charity today. No, I don’t want to save 10% on my $10 purchase. No, I don’t want to give you my phone number. No, I don’t want to join your club so you can track my purchase patterns.  How about encouraging your employees to think and act like humans? Ask me one question that makes sense based on my purchases? Oh right, that’s just crazy talk.

I could go on. As you can see, a lot of my picks are big time corporate folk with a lot of resources, but who are just a mess when it comes to the execution part.

Gotta a customer service failure story? Please feel free to add to the black list here….