June 7, 2011 / 10:12 AM / 6 years ago

Bad customer service irks most U.S. shoppers

<p>A customer views clothing items while late night shopping at a Walmart Supercenter in American Canyon, California September 30, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Americans are fed up with bad customer service, with 64 percent walking out of stores due to poor assistance and 67 percent hanging up on a call before their problems are even addressed, according to a new survey.

The most annoying gripe is not being able to get a person on the phone, followed by rude salespeople, according to findings from a Consumer Reports survey issued on Tuesday.

For a graphic showing shoppers' biggest customer service complaints, click here: r.reuters.com/tab99r

The findings are based on a phone survey of 1,010 adults conducted in March. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

SUBSCRIBERS FRUSTRATED WITH WAL-MART‘S SERVICE

Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s Walmart discount stores and Sam’s Club members-only warehouse clubs were ranked by the magazine’s subscribers among the worst in areas such as buying small appliances, electronics, cell phones and groceries.

Wal-Mart said that its monthly surveys of more than 500,000 Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members show that people are pleased. The world’s largest retailer, which has renewed its focus on offering low prices on a broad array of goods, said it is seeing its highest satisfaction scores in years.

Southwest Airlines Co was ranked as having the best staff on its airplanes, while US Airways Group Inc had the worst, Consumer Reports said.

When buying computers, Apple Inc stores and Micro Center were ranked by readers as having the most knowledgeable staff. The least capable associates were found at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco Wholesale Corp.

Apple also won accolades in areas such as buying cell phones in stores and offering good computer tech support over the phone.

A variety of other computer makers comprised the worst in computer tech support via the phone: Acer/Gateway/eMachines, Asus, Dell, HP/Compaq, Sony and Toshiba.

Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Matthew Lewis

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