PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly every consumer has experienced it at one point or another, but it seems Americans’ patience with poor customer service is wearing thin. 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on how to get the customer service you want.

A new survey finds two-thirds of Americans have walked out of a store in the last year simply because of frustration. It used to be that the customer was always right. But a new survey finds that lately, the customer is mostly frustrated! Tod Marks of Consumer Reports says, “There’s a lot of discontent but the inability to connect one-on-one and get somebody who’s sympathetic and who listens to their problems and can do something about that really did tick off a lot of people.”

Consumer Reports found 64 percent of Americans surveyed had left a store at least once in the last year due to poor service. 67 percent said they’ve hung up the phone on a customer service line without their problem being resolved. The worst industries, according to the survey are computer tech support, TV and cable providers, and phone and internet service providers. The best industries? Brokerage firms, eyeglass retailers, and pharmacies.

When faced with poor customer service more and more people are enlisting friends and followers to get a companies attention. Most companies have an eye on what’s said about them in the social sphere. Marks says, “They don’t want a little problem to escalate into a bigger one in which case the company’s name gets sullied and it gets a bad reputation. So they respond, they monitor places like Twitter and they often intervene or interject themselves into conversations.”

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Whether you’re handling a complaint on the phone or in a store, be sure to keep a record of who you’ve dealt with, as you might need that information if you to follow up. Also, if you’re not getting anywhere, ask to escalate complaints to the next level. Quite often bringing a manager into the picture can change the tone considerably.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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