Counting down the TOP 5 poor service experiences

I (we?) love to pick on banks for our horror service stories. But they are such easy pickings, that I thought we should cast the net a bit wider. (I have a ripper of a story for you on St.George here in Sydney - byut more about another day...)

#5. Department Stores




  • You can never find someone when you want.

  • They are generally over-priced and they don’t have enough trust for me to believe them when they say they have a bargain.

  • If you ask someone for assistance they invariably pass you on to some one else or point you to where you should go.

  • The Kath & Kim characters are actually quite typical of the service environment: I feel judged before I am served.

  • The worst thing about department stores is that they actually think they provide good service when the opposite is true.





# 4. Doctors




  • Even if they still take appointments, they never keep them anyway. The bigger ones are just arrogant enough to say ‘come and wait your turn’.

  • While you wait, they ‘entertain’ you with magazines that are 2 years old – and probably infested with germs.

  • The place smells like …

  • They ask for your Medicare card before they’ll greet you.

  • The doctor asks you ‘how are you today’ – what a stupid question for a smart person to ask.

  • Then, when you respond, they interrupt you in 17 seconds (according to research I read once, somewhere – and I believe it.)

  • It feels like they are doing it for the money – and they probably are.


(Pharmacies are a close tie because not only do you have to do what is invariably quite personal shopping purchases in a supermarket-like environment; to top it all if you are sick and have to wait for your script, you don’t have anywhere to sit.)


# 3. Getting a Tradie (tradesman - or woman for the non-Aussies)




  • It is impractical to get multiple quotes because it would take you a week. And they know it and quote accordingly.

  • Your schedule does not count, all that matters is there availability and their schedule.

  • What they say there availability is and what it actually is - are two different things.

  • What they say before the job and what they say after you have committed is very different.

  • Have you ever tried to get them to make good on a warranty?


# 2. Mature-age fashion purchases


(When considering this list of issues, bear in mind that the customer is over 45, going though certain lifestyle and physical changes.)




  • The stores are badly lit

  • The cubicles (dressing rooms) are too small.

  • People can see your legs – and the fact that you just pulled your pants/dress down to your ankles.

  • You are served by a Gen Y, that has no idea of what really suits you or what is appropriate

  • The sizes are almost invariably too ‘young’

  • They ask if they ‘can help you’ but it doesn’t look like they want to.

  • When you buy something a little younger, the sales assistant is not averse to suggesting that you are too old.

  • Or if they are right (and you shouldn’t be buying it) – they lack the skill to do so tactfully.



And now, drum roll please...


# 1. Service Stations (petrol).




  • Poor access.

  • Dirty environment.

  • I have to do all the work – and pay them for the privilege

  • The pumps are invariably set so slow that it takes 5 minutes to fill the tank.

  • I know I am being ripped off on the price.

  • I have to queue to pay – at a security grill.

  • They always try and upsell you junk and it always feels as if they are trying to extract money rather than serve you with an interesting offer.

  • They say ‘thanks come again’ when they don’t mean it and they know you have to come back anyway.


Do you agree/disagree? What are your candidates?