It’s commonly believed that the customer is always right. But that’s not true. Especially in these stories where the clients seemed to come straight from hell. They like to come in and ruin people’s day while feeding on their pain. They’re misery-spreaders. And they need to know that what they’re doing is so far from ‘okay’ that you can’t even see the line they crossed anymore because it’s merged with the horizon.
The ‘Clients From Hell’ project (now rebranded as ‘Not Always Right’) shares stories about the most memorable and hilarious tales of dealing with rude, entitled, or simply downright dumb customers. Today we’re featuring the experiences of freelancers and designers. Remember to upvote your fave posts as you scroll down, Pandas.
We reached out to businesswoman Aatikah Santos, the CEO and Founder of Khaila Beauty Bar, for a chat about dealing with difficult and frustrating customers, as well as how some people still fully believe that the customer and client are always right, no matter what.
“I like to remain calm and take a couple of minutes before responding because I am representing my business. I like to try and make everyone feel welcome no matter what they say. When speaking to rude customers, I try my best to resolve the issue, but sometimes customers can be so difficult that they don’t want to resolve it and would rather just keep getting upset,” she said. Scroll down for our full interview with Aatikah.
Businesswoman Aatikah, the founder of Khaila Beauty Bar, said that it’s very rare that she’ll ever have a customer complain. “I usually get flooded with emails from people who have never purchased from me saying there are problems with their orders. These people have usually come from my TikTok storytimes,” she shared with Bored Panda.
In her opinion, sometimes the client knows fully well that they’re in the wrong. However, they revert to the phrase ‘the customer/client is always right’ and this can be very hard to deal with. “I think businesses and consumers have overused the phrase too much and now it’s just become a way of buying and selling. For bigger companies, they can afford to write off products, but when you are a small business, it becomes an issue.”
Aatikah was also kind enough to share some of the best and worst experiences that she’s personally had with clients. “I have had so many of both, but the best customer experience I’ve had is someone coming out as gay to their family and used my eyeliners to tell their family. They were so thankful and happy to have finally done it, It makes me so happy that people can be true to themselves because you can wear makeup no matter who you are,” she shared with Bored Panda.
“The worst customer experience I’ve had is someone claiming they had never received their package and they did in fact receive it. But this story circled back to the phrase ‘the customer is always right.’ I knew this person wasn’t being truthful so I took it upon myself to check her social media and sure enough, I found proof that she was in fact lying. After weeks of emailing back and forth, she finally admitted to lying.”
The ‘Clients From Hell’ online project moved to ‘Not Always Right’ in mid-December, 2021. Founded way back in 2009, CFH, by their own admission, wasn’t getting the audience that it used to. So, in order to revitalize things, they rebranded. The CFH Twitter page has over 81.1k followers, while the NAR Facebook page has over a quarter of a million followers.
‘Not Always Right’ is “about leveling the playing field for those of us who toil and sweat every day trying to juggle demanding customers and often unreasonable corporate expectations.” The goal of the entire project is to entertain people while reminding them that everyone’s a human being. Whether they’re an employee or a customer (whether from heaven or hell).
“Keep your cool and remember that whatever abuse they’re giving you is no reflection on you as a person. That customer doesn’t even know you, so there’s no way it could be. But on the other hand, don’t be subservient,” the expert told us.
“Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and tell customers that abuse is not tolerated. And if it persists, hand them over to a manager as soon as you can and let them deal with it,” Alexander said.
According to Alexander, some companies train their customer service representatives to stand up to bullying customers. He shared how one of them, based in Denmark, operates. “First, they’d tell the customer, ‘We don’t accept abuse—please stop yelling at me.’” Then, if the behavior persists, the employee would hang up.
“If the customer called back and kept up the abuse, the call would be escalated to a manager, who would tell the customer, ‘There are over 20 other mobile phone companies in Denmark to choose from. We don’t feel you’re a good fit for us, so we will be terminating your contract.’
The expert told Bored Panda that employees need to understand that just because someone is rude doesn’t automatically make them a bad person through and through. “You have to remember that in many cases a customer who behaves badly is not necessarily a bad person. It can be a good person having a bad day and that’s why they’re acting out.”
However, sometimes customers are rude because of more selfish reasons, not because they’ve had a long, hard, and bad day. “The sad truth is that some customers act this way because they’ve learned that it works and will get them discounts or preferential treatment,” Alexander said.
In Alexander’s opinion, we should change the motto ‘the customer is always right’ to ‘be nice—or at least don’t be a [jerk].’ “And this goes for both customers and employees. Whenever I’m a customer anywhere, I always try to be kind and positive to the staff—even when occasionally I have to complain about something. It’s literally the least I can do.”