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

How many of the 15,000 customers were polite, friendly, and easy to deal with? This will be industry-specific; however, how some customers can be challenging does not change.

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

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


Anytime a company does not deliver on its promise or product, this can affect a customer’s life.


 Company policy is, unfortunately, most of the time overlooked or ignored by customers. Thus, when a service issue arises from a policy restriction, the customer feels wrong and seeks out retribution from the company. For 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 no goodwill gesture by the company to improve things. The history of service issues may not be just your own experience; it may also come from others who have experienced the same service issue!

CSR Behavior

Sometimes, CSR can be less helpful or appear that way based on high service expectations. However, there will be instances in which a customer has been mistreated, abused, or even made less than they are. Just as we can be Customers from Hell, CSRs can also.

Product Reliability

Has the product stopped working or had a subpar performance from the start? There will be times when the cost of a product or service will be a factor in how we react when it does not work according to our expectations.

Legal Conflict with the Company

It’s possible that a company could violate a law, a contract, or even its 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 where 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 tactic is usually used 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 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 may permanently be flagged as disrespectful.


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

Uncontrolled Rage

Highly Impatient

The customer does not allow a CSR to fix an issue or is unwilling 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

I am 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 they will be harmed or hurt 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 to 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 to help you get the support you need.


Before contacting support, consider the following:

Be calm

Eat some comfort food, walk, and spend time with family or friends. Calm your spirit, 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 a company’s fault, they must be allowed to respond to your service or product concerns.
  • Make a list of requests that you need to be fulfilled by the company
  • Research what you need from the company using its 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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