Would Bad Customer Service Put You Off?

I don’t know if anyone remembers but a little while back I got a bit hot-headed on Twitter about the questionable customer service that I had received from my local Chanel counter (more on that later) and I’ve recently been seeing a lot of kafuffle surrounding the Kylie Jenner company and their awful customer service skills. Then I got thinking, people still seem crazed over the lip kits, regardless of the bad company’s ethics, which seems totally bizarre to me so, would bad customer service put you off?

During a trip to my local Chanel counter in Debenhams a couple of months ago, I received awful customer service, which wasn’t the first time. The sales assistant was serving a lady when I reached the counter but I was the only other customer, I selected the lipstick that I wanted and waited. I saw the assistant clock me, so I assumed I wouldn’t be waiting too much longer. Then another lady arrived, in a word she looked snooty and I said to Brent, “You watch, she will get served before me” another man approached and was sniffing the perfumes, by this time the assistant had looked at me numerous times, however once she had finished up with her customer she went straight over to the man (the third customer in the queue) and said to him “I’ll be with you in just a moment, I’m just serving this lady as she was next” to which she walked over to the other lady, completely ignored me and turned her back to me. I put my lipstick down and instantly left the store with Brent running after me with his mouth hanging open because I was spot on. All I can think of is that this other lady looked as though she was going to spend more than me, so instead of making a super quick sale of £25 which would have taken under five minutes, she completely ignored me. I instantly turned to Twitter which I don’t usually do but as I said above, this was the second time this happened to me. I then went home and bought two lipsticks from Charlotte Tilbury instead. I’m not one for making a scene so I wasn’t going to start demanding to be served next, I silently (kinda) complained and let me tell you what happened.

After complaining on Twitter, I instantly got a message from Debenhams asking me to let them know which store etc and that I would get a call from the beauty department manager (in my store) the following week. Well she rang, asked me what happened and literally couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t want freebies, I didn’t want special treatment, I just wanted and earnest apology which I did not get at all. She said she would bring it up with the member of staff involved which I highly doubt she did. Since then I have refused to spend money in my local Debenhams department, especially not Chanel. The only exception is the YSL counter as the lady on there is brilliant, so helpful and nice and always so happy. Dior I miss as there’s never anyone there and the girls on Urban Decay and Benefit are always too busy having conversations with each other to notice they have customers. I most certainly won’t be buying from Chanel in my local Debenhams store again. My bad customer service experience has instantly put me off, not the brand as such as other places have been fine but it’s clearly just my Debenhams where they can’t get decent staff.

Whilst on Twitter the other day, I saw a couple of people tweet about their dismay regarding the Kylie Jenner company and how bad their customer service is and it’s really quite shocking. Some people are getting rude responses saying there’s nothing wrong with the product when there clearly is, others are being told that it’s not their problem and most people aren’t getting any response at all – Amy sheds some light on peoples experiences and shares her own in her post here. Although people have threatened to report them, it doesn’t seem that anyone is yet to do so but people should! The way they are acting is just atrocious and to be honest, I think the company should be shut down. However the rate they are going, they very well might be if they don’t sort themselves out. Although Kylie personally doesn’t run the company, she is the face of the brand, her name plastered all over it and her reputation will soon go down the pan if she’s not careful. Currently, the hype of her (overpriced) lip kits are still out weighing the negative feedback as people are just so obsessed with recreating her signature pout. I’m not a fan of any of the Kardashians and I only semi-like Kendall Jenner because she seems to be the only one doing something with her life other than solely riding off her name. Saying that, the lip kits just look like any other liquid lipstick/lip liner, I personally adore mine that I got from H&M for a fraction of the price.

Misguided is another brand that I hear awful things about, I’ve seen so many tweets about how rubbish they are that I personally have been totally put off and will never chance shopping with them.

What I’m trying to get at is, even after shocking customer service, people are still flooding back to the Kylie Cosmetics brand. I went back to Chanel after a negative experience but once it happened a second time I will no longer give them my custom. So the question is, would you be put off by negative experience? Would you stop shopping somewhere after receiving bad customer service or even just hearing about other peoples stories?

If you’ve had any problems with any brands or any customer service stories, I’d love to read them, so feel free to leave them in the comments below.



  • Kat

    That’s such poor service, I really don’t blame you for leaving at all! However, I’m not surprised you received it in a Debenhams store, as my local store is just as bad. I went to return a top I wore once that bobbled really badly on a night out and they looked at me like I was crazy and just kept smirking at each other the whole time… didn’t manage to get a refund as it was apparently somehow my fault it bobbled after 4 hours but hey ho, got some store credit instead. I used that the same day on some makeup and now I don’t visit there anymore.
    My local John Lewis is another one that disappointed me, me and my sister went in to browse the perfume and beauty section and my sister bought a product from the Liz Earle counter (who were pleasant and friendly.) We spent a fair bit of time trying out the perfumes, especially the Chloe range and the looks we were getting from a couple of staff members were awful, they actually started to follow us about the perfume department very unsubtly as if we were going to shoplift the testers (?!) despite my sister carrying around a John Lewis bag that clearly shows we’ve already made a purchase. We weren’t “messing around” or acting silly, we were just casually browsing the section. My sister wrote a complaint to the general customer service and received a response back basically saying they only followed us around because we were acting suspiciously and looked like shoplifters… Funny how I’ve never received the same level of scrutiny when I’ve visited with my mum. I’m starting to think perhaps you shouldn’t use testers in a store, as again we received dirty looks in my sisters local Debenhams (again) for trying out perfume testers in there for a couple of minutes. I haven’t visited my John Lewis other than for a click & collect order as I don’t enjoy browsing there anymore, so poor customer service is definitely off-putting to me. xx

    • Claudia

      It seems a lot of people have received back customer service in Debenhams which isn’t a good reputation to have. I can’t believe you were treated like that in John Lewis, that is shocking. How embarrassing for you to be followed like criminals. I don’t blame you for not wanting to go back, I wouldn’t either! xx

  • Yiota

    Customer service is everything! I did the same thing in my local MAC store where I received no attention from the shop assistant so I left. I asked for help, the girl told me that she will be with me in a minute, never happened so I left. What does it matter if I was going to spend a small amount or a fortune on their products? I am still a customer that needs service. However, the opposite thing bothers me also. When shop assistants run behind you all the time saying “do you need any help” “did you see our offers” “have you tried this new product” “this one is better than the one you are seeing” etc.. leave me alone so I can see what I came here to look.. if I need assistance I will politely ask it. 🙂


    • Claudia

      I actually forgot to mention MAC, I don’t know how many times I’ve been ignored in there, or sold the wrong shade because they’re too distracted by people around them. YES! That drives me nuts! I hate that and also traffic stopping is awful. I went for an interview with Urban Decay once where we had to do traffic stopping for an hour, I had to stop all these little old ladies and ask if they wanted to try the new blackest black eyeliner, was mortifying! Never again xx

  • Sarah

    You were so right to leave! We shouldn’t put up with bad service anywhere, but especially not with luxury brands who have a higher standard to maintain to justify the price (and yes, part of the allure and the marketing ‘sell’ is the sense of luxury and special treatment, which absolutely includes the sales experience in store!). They should be ashamed, the store manager even more so. Chanel would not want this to represent them. It just goes to show that so much is down to the individual and the sales person, they can make or break a brand experience. I used to just quietly accept bad service, but I won’t anymore. My worst experience was at Toni & Guy years ago, I was 17. It was my sixth form summer ball and I had saved up my Saturday job money to go and get my hair done. It was only £40, but that was a lot to me then and I wanted to feel special. I asked them for loose big curls with a couple of braids around the crown. Showed them pictures etc. I asked if they could set my hair in heated rollers to get the big loose waves. My stylist was doing two other people at the same time, she insisted that it would look better to wet and twist the hair, pin it and leave it to air dry (so she could leave me and go and see to her other clients). When she was done, I was left with tight, frizzy corkscrew curls and two tight braids like cornrows or something. Not want I wanted at all. Sadly, at 17 I was too shy to complain. I paid, went home, cried and washed and redid my hair straight. Complete let down, waste of money and I was late to the ball. I have never been to Toni & Guy since and considering I’m now 30 and have spent a fortune on cuts, colours and blow dries since they have missed out on a lot of custom! I hate careless customer service because we pay the wages at the end of the day, now I will never put up with it and I walk out if I’m not pleased! Good for you x

    Sarah | seriouslyshallow.co.uk

    • Claudia

      Your story is so sad, how awful that your ball was messed up because they didn’t do their job properly. I had a bad haircut at 16, like yourself I took a picture and she just lobbed off loads that I ended up with a long bob type hair, nothing like the picture. I was so shy I didn’t say anything but I cried so hard when I got home. You’re right, we do pay their wages, the least they could do is show us some manners. xx

  • Silvia

    Very good post, it was nice to hear about your experience. Your are totally right, i would stop buying from a brand if i received a bad customer service. There are so many make up/skincare brands out there that these kind of things really make a difference when I decide whom i want to give my money to. I dont have such a bad experience , or maybe I cant think of any now. The positive thing is that now, thanks to social media, is easy to let people know about these episodes and it’s nice too to got the attention of debenhams right after you wrote on Twitter, it wouldnt have in the old times and if didnt have many followers.
    Wish a happy weekend 😉

    • Claudia

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. That’s very true, social media has definitely helped me decided with where I want to shop and spend my money. Hope you had a alovely weekend xx

  • Yana

    Unfortunately, nowadays bad customer service is very common and I simply don’t get that. I lost count of how many times shop assistants gave me look like ‘ew, do you really think you can buy something here?’ and behaved as if they were royalty. Nope, thanks. As soon as I notice it, I simply put back what I was about to buy and leave a shop. In contrast, whenever workers treat me with respect and actually are willing to help, I am 100% sure I will end up buying something from that shop.

    • Claudia

      It does seem that way, I very rarely get anyone pleasant in most places and it’s a shock when I do! I was too scared to walk into a Michael Kors store once because even through the window they gave me snooty looks, it’s not on at all. I don’t blame you for putting the products back, I would too xx

  • Kerrie

    I hate receiving bad service, especially when you’re buying expensive products and want to know more about them! I’ve been ignored continuously at a Nars counter before so me and my friend ended up walking off and going to MAC aha xxx

    • Claudia

      Definitely. You would expect some respect from the higher counters but unfortunately they seem to be the worst of the lot. Haha go elsewhere, always! I went to YSL and Charlotte Tilbury both times Chanel ignored me and it felt good knowing they missed out on my custom xx

  • Natalie

    It took me over 30 minutes to buy a YSL lipstick. I have a really baby face and the assistant seemed to assume her other older customers were more likely to spend money and therefore more important. I had planned on purchasing quite a lot of products but her attitude made me quickly buy one and leave just shocked. Thanks for sharing. I really can’t believe sometimes that people flock to companies they know will treat them will an attitude.

    • Claudia

      It’s so awful, to be blatantly ignored whilst waiting for service is beyond rude. I can’t believe it either, I really wonder if all this bad service will put people off the Kylie products in the future xx

  • Natalie Davis

    I am definitely turned off by bad customer service. If I have to wait a silly long time because they’ve decided to go to different customers ahead of me because I don’t look like I’m really going to buy the products, I just leave. Sometimes I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, because maybe they really didn’t notice me/had a mental lapse but they’re actually helpful. If I get any of the snobbish feels, then I’m out. When I’m spending money (and especially when it’s a fair bit of money for a high end product), I don’t want to have a bad experience.
    On the other end, if the sales assistant is lovely and beyond helpful, I generally do buy a bit extra.

    • Claudia
      Natalie Davis

      I’m with you totally, that’s how I am now wherever I go. Twice I was in Miss Selfridge and was waiting at the counter, they were all talking amongst themselves and all looked over but no one came over to serve me so I left both times. so bad and so incredibly rude. xx

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Ugh. That made me mad. Bad customer service definitely puts me off and makes me less inclined to buy. Last week I was treated quite poorly by a MAC mua. She was very cold and it felt like everything I asked was too much. She wouldn’t even let my friend sit to apply eyeshadow. So were like fuck this shit, keep your eyeshadow.

    • Claudia
      Kiss & Make-up

      MAC are another company I have heard a lot of bad things about, it’s also stupidly busy as well with very little staff. I don’t blame you! xx

  • Zoe

    Bad customer service definitely puts me off, Debenhams doesn’t surprise me to be honest, I have experienced bad customer service a number of times from Debenhams, I also had a terrible experience at the Estee Lauder counter in Boots just after Christmas, I had an email from them saying they had re launched their EE cream with skin care too and telling me I could get a sample of the EE cream and 1 of a skin care product of my choice, I got the email a couple of weeks before Christmas but couldn’t go then due to my medical condition playing up, I emailed EL and explained and they said it wasn’t a problem and to go in store when I could, I visited on around the 9th January with both my daughters and my OH, my OH had gone to his favourite Sci Fi shop so we went for the sample, I got there bearing in mind I use a crutch and support from another person, the SA was busy, I was next in line but like you ignored for a couple who were older than me and the man dressed in a suit and the lady carrying a designer handbag, when the SA came to me I explained that I had received the email etc etc and she said to me “I don’t know anything about any emails” So I explained again and she said “I’ve not heard of it, have you printed it out?” well I hadn’t because I assumed the counters would know, she clearly didn’t believe me and all but called me a liar, then she said “I haven’t got any samples of the EE cream” but there was a tube of it sitting on the counter and I’d just seen her give the suited man/designer handbag lady a sample of a different base product taken from the counter and poured into a small plastic bottle, so I again explained that I wasn’t bothered about the skin care but would please like a sample of the EE cream and again she said “I’ve told you, I haven’t heard of any emails, have you got it on you?” by this time I was getting really annoyed as were my daughters so I just said “are you calling me a liar?” and she shrugged!!!! I just walked away and my daughter made it perfectly clear we were disgusted, I emailed EL as soon as I got home and gave the SA name and made it clear I wouldn’t shop with them again and I won’t, if I want an EL product I will go elsewhere now, I was fuming, she was so rude and so cheeky, as if I’d lie for a sample of a bloomin EE cream!! I should have got the email up on my phone but didn’t think because I was so taken aback at her appalling behaviour. Sorry this is an essay ha ha, but I know exactly what you mean and will not be shopping with them again! xxx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

    • Claudia

      It annoys me so much when they say they can’t give out samples when they clearly can, it’s just favouritism. The way they treated you is just shocking and so not on. I used to work for Boots on the makeup and wouldn’t dream of treating anyone like that and used to give out samples to anyone who asked. Such a shame all these miserable people are giving us awful shopping experience when we are giving them our money, you would think they would like the chance to sell to look good to their managers. xx