I work in the beloved (sarcasm much) customer service industry, where the current standard appears to be the customer is mostly wrong, and you help those who contact you as it benefits the company you work for more than the user of the product or service.
I also see a lot more companies hiding the details of contracts or agreements, making it harder to know what you are signing up for unless you read every word. Which from my experience I DO RECOMMEND READING ALL THE DETAILS, before signing on the dotted line and providing someone your personal information.
On the flip side of this, I also tend to see and hear a lot of consumers not being informed on what they are signing up for. Reading all the details in important for everything. In the land of recurring payments and auto-debiting, it is so easy to lose $500.00 bucks on auto renewals because you did not check your bank or the terms of the services you use, and there usually is some clause which prevents you from getting refunded. While the company is out to get money, you should be prepared to protect yours by being informed.
Being in the realm of online services offered, mainly used by college students, I deal a lot with young adults 25 and below who do not pay attention to what they are agreeing too and their parents (since they often are the ones footing the bill on our services). While there are many times we have younger customers who are rude, there are times where I wonder more about the parents of today than the younger generation.
For example, today on the phone I had a parent who thought it was appropriate to cuss me out and call me names because she was not aware of a policy or the terms her child signed up for. Rather than to grant me some understanding as I was trying to help and explain how the situation occurred, she would rather get disconnected due to verbal abuse.
I do not think at any time it is appropriate or necessary to use language of this caliber to achieve your “aims”. The funny thing is, I have had more parents get irate and verbally abusive than anyone else, in the almost year I have worked for this company.
So what does this tell me about their behavior and teach their children? It is appropriate to speak to someone in a demeaning or demanding manner in order to get what you want or think you deserve. Or to play the childish game of name calling and nasty remarks to belittle someone into giving you what you think is fair.
It makes me wonder if the reason for the shift in the way customers are handled has to do with their behavior toward companies and the growing rise of credit card disputes and Better Business Bureau complaints. Rather than contacting a company and asking for a refund, they would rather file a dispute and contact the company and be nasty after they have been denied the bank claim.
On a personal note, as a consumer, I believe the customer should be treated as though they are right, and I do my best to practice this, even with those who test my patience and try my nerves. I try and treat people how I wanted to be treated, even those who do not reciprocate. I wish this was a stance more companies took, rather than just the people who work for them.
I am not saying this negative treatment or stance is the case for all companies, including the one I work for, but I see this growing trend of places being more and more financially minded, rather than toward the consumers who have helped build their empire. However, we as consumers do not demand more from the companies we buy from, in terms of how we are treated, so as long as we continue to buy, they will continue to provide service in the same ways.