In this Knowledgebase

  • A CSRs Perspective
  • Factors that triggers customers

What are the signs of a Customer from Hell?

What option does a customer have when they are angry?

We are all customers with unique needs, and when those needs are not met, a different side of us comes out in ways.

To best understand the customer from hell, we must consider the following about a customer service representative (CSR):

A CSR one year may talk to as many as 15,000 people over various available channels of support or mainly one like the phone.

Out of the 15,000 customers, how many do you think were polite, friendly and easy to deal with? This will be industry-specific; however, what does not change across the board is how some customers can be extremely difficult to deal with.

What can lead to a customer making the life of a representative miserable?

Here’s a general list of customer-related issues that can trigger a customer to communicate their displeasure.


Anytime when a company does not deliver on their promise, product, this can affect the live of a customer



 Company policy is unfortunately most of the time overlooked or ignored by customers. Thus, when a service issues arises from a policy restriction that’s when the customer feel wrong and seeks out retribution from the company. Example, if a product return period is only 14 days, and the customer tries to process a return, they will be most unhappy to learn that the return “Policy” has not worked in their favor.

History of Service Issues

How many times has a company messed up your order? Worst yet, the action taken to remedy the service issue has only made things worse as there is not goodwill gesture by the company to make things better. The history of service issue may not be just your own personal experience, it may also come from others who have experienced the same service issue!

CSR Behavior

At times, CSR can be less than helpful, or at least appear to be that way based on high expectation of service. However, there will be unfortunately instances in which a customer has been truly mistreated, abused, or even be made less than they are. Just how we can be Customer from Hell, CSRs can also

Product Reliability

Has the product stopped working or had subpar performance from the start? There will be times that the cost of a product or service will be a factor in the way we react when it does work according to our expectations.

Legal Conflict with Company

It’s possible that a company could violate a law, a contract, or even its own policy that would make a customer erupt with dissatisfaction.

No matter what the reason is, as customers any small matter can put us in a position that we can make a CSR’s life miserable.

Here are some behaviors that make us Customers from Hell:

Ad Hominem Abuse

“You are a complete failure for working for such an awful company”

This is a tactic that is used usually out of emotion to attack the character of a CSR and or a company’s character for something they have failed to do.

Aggressive Tone

CSRs have headsets that are adjusted to hear a customer who is speaking with a normal tone. Unfortunately, when a customer uses an aggressive tone, the aggression is amplified by a CSR’s headset.

Combative and Argumentative

CSR cannot speak a word without being interrupted because the customer is focused on being right and heard at all costs.

Condescending & Disrespectful

Belittling a CSR because they work for a company that has done wrong is something that will almost always affect how a CSR talks to other customers in the future. When a customer talks to a CSR as less than they are, this will may always be flagged as a form of disrespect.


Using foul language could be the way that some people interact; however, when a customer swears, a CSR could be inclined to request to “Keep the conversation professional”.

Uncontrolled Rage

Highly Impatient

Customer does not give a CSR the opportunity to fix an issue, or is not willing to wait to be put on hold. This can also manifest as the customer talking over the CSR so that they can be heard.

Passive Aggressive

Being nice one moment only to lash out with unmitigated aggression due to a disagreement.


Action that MUST be Avoided with a CSR

Making Physical Threats

Telling a CSR that they will be harmed or hurt is something that can make the CSR’s manager direct the call to local law enforcement.

Threat to Self-Harm

If a customer does not get their way, they can legitimately threaten harm on themselves. This could be a bluff, but if the threat is real or not, a CSR of their manager could get law enforcement involved! Be careful with your actions.

A Customer from Hell will demonstrate behavior that is less than professional. Thus, to avoid being labeled a Customer from Hell, here are some simple tips that will help you get the support you need.

Before contacting support consider the following:

Be calm

Eat some comfort food, go for a walk, spend time with family or friend. Calm your spirt and don’t let your situation control you.

Be educated on the source of your concern

  • Who is truly responsible for your woes? If it’s truly a company’s fault, they need to be given an opportunity to respond to your service or product concerns.
  • Make a list of requests that you need fulfilled by the company
  • Research what you need from the company using their own policies, website and literature
  • If you know that you may not be able to control yourself, ask someone close to you to call a company on your behalf
  • Research your legal rights


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