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August 04, 2021

Who has the worst customer service in Canada?

Any Seinfeld  fan remembers that scene from the third season where Jerry and Elaine get stumped by a snooty car rental agent.

You know the one, where – despite Jerry’s calling ahead – the woman informs him they’re out of cars. It leads to old Jerome dropping this beauty: “See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to hold  the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation – the holding.”

Anyway, it’s a nice little nugget of pop culture that reflects how poor customer service was (and continues to be) in modern-day commerce. But whose customer service is the worst?

924207_angry As a contributor to a finance/consumer-related blog, you begin to realize there are certain companies and businesses that draw the ire of readers no matter what the subject.

For instance, Rogers could unveil the cure for cancer tomorrow, but all anyone would want to talk about is how they gouge us each month for cable TV, and if they have to wait one goddamn minute longer on hold to speak to someone about it, they’re going to explode.

It’s a no-win for companies like these. Air Canada, Sears and Bell seem to draw similar fury from pissed-off Canadians.

Of course, in most cases these reputations are deserved, and we shouldn’t feel totally bad about trashing those companies who have trashed us first.

As it happens, the Consumerist today wondered which industry has the worst customer service, a loaded poll that’s garnered the kind of results typical to what we’ve come to expect.

Based on their readers’ feedback, the big losers are still telecom companies and airlines, notching about 32 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively, of negative consumer appreciation. Banks also featured noteworthy disdain: almost 10 per cent of Consumerist readers thought financial institutions had the worst customer service of any industry.

But what if we took this a step further and tried to highlight which Canadian companies – not just industries – boasted the worst customer service in the nation?

Certainly Rogers, Air Canada and Sears get honourable mention here, but which businesses continue to rub you the wrong way? Based on your experience, who has the worst customer service in Canada?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...