I think customer service at a lot of places is really bad. Some places have really good CS though. I've been a little surprised lately to find people who actually talk to me on the phone and try to help solve the problem. I'd like to see businesses get away from the automated menu, at least the extensive ones. I don't mind pushing a button or two but pushing 50 buttons only to be connected to someone who can't help me is pretty frustrating. Why do they ask you to enter your account number and then when you finally get a person, they ask you the same thing again?
I've gotten to the point that I ask for a Supervisor fairly quickly if I don't get what I need. I've also gotten to the point of not being able to keep my mouth shut if someone in a store treats me rudely.
As a rule of thumb, I've found these things to be mostly true:
If you are not getting anywhere on the phone with Customer Service, ask for Steve or Rick. Most every business has a Steve and a Rick, the gay guys who will take care of your issue with no problem. I swear this is true. Try it!
If you're making a doctor's appointment and you get Dolores or Roxanne, DO NOT give them any crap. They can give you an appointment tomorrow or three months from now. Believe me, if you are rude to Dolores or Roxanne, you will never get in to see the doctor.
If you are calling a service person and have to leave a message for Tom, don't expect a call back...ever. If for some reason you really do get to talk to Tom, he will tell you that he'll get back to you but he won't.
Don't bother staying on the phone if you get Misti, Malinda or Tamra, They don't know who they work for nor do they care. They're busy watching the clock waiting for their next break.
Last of all, if you happen to get Ahmed on the phone don't assume that because he sounds Indian and may well be at a call center in India that he doesn't know anything. Listen to him and follow directions. He can help you if you are patient and follow instructions and explain your problem logically. Do not under any circumstances say "I want to talk to an American", because you will end up with Misti, Malinda or Tamra.