Experiment ‘exposes’ bad customer service, shows what happens when you’re on hold

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An experiment by YouTube’s Jack Vale “exposes” what happens when customers call retail stores.

Vale calls various retailers and asks the employees to check if they have a specific item in stock. The items include yoga mats, ink cartridges and DVDs.

Vale called the stores while sitting in his car in the parking lot. A second camera inside the store captured the employee answering Vale’s calls.


  • Brandi

    How about how people treat each other in general. Just like we saw in your video, even people who get paid, want go out of their way to help someone, much less just to do a good deed. Good manners and shivery seem to be to dead in today’s society. I just wonder how true that is?

    • :)

      Brandi, the word you’re looking for is “chivalry”. :) I don’t mean to be rude, just thought you might like to know how it’s spelled. :)

  • Charlene Morris

    Yeah walmart is real good for saying they can’t find your 2 year warranty on file then when you hand it to them they say oh I don’t know why that didn’t show up in the system oh wait here it is

  • Patricia Testerman

    yea, I kind of figured as much cause when I called once, they told me to hold for a minute while they checked but I guess they forgot to put me on hold because I could hear them talking to another customer and then pick up the phone and tell me “No, sorry, we don”t have any in stock”. I said “Really??” and they said “No, sorry”. and then I said thank you and hung up. I know they didn’t check but, oh well, I just went somewhere else and bought it.

  • Wanda Snyder

    I shop at the same store every day and I have consistent moved an item away from an area where it soesnt belong and speak to the store manager asking him to order the product i am looking for and the next day I repeat the same process. Before long the wrong item is overflowing the counter and yet i cant get the item I need. Why do I continue to shop there?

  • Leisa

    This is not a retail store but it is the maddest I have been in a long time. We have had Time Warner cable since we moved here after our marriage 32 years ago. We had their dial up internet for years. Then in 2010 we got a new TV and computer so I went in to their office and had our plan changed to High Def TV and wireless internet. The price was a little over $70.00. In the past 4 years the cost has risen to nearly $150.00. My son kept telling me I could get a cheaper deal somewhere else. When school got out I got on the phone and called around to find a better deal. I found a new plan with another carrier and set up a time for them to come to our home and set everything up. I must admit when the picture came up on the TV I could actually see the difference in High Def. I didn’t realize we were not really getting an HD picture. I packed up all of Time Warner’s equipment and went to take it back to their office. The lady behind the counter asked if I had already gone with someone else. I answered yes and she SAID TO ME: “It is so sad that you didn’t call us we would have worked out a new deal that would have cut your costs”. My question was “Why then are you charging customers an outrageous price if you don’t have to. You give new customers a fantastic deal and the price for loyal customers continues to rise to pay for new customer deals. If you don’t have to take advantage of us why do it”. Naturally I received no answer. I wouldn’t go back to Time Warner now if they tried to give it to me FREE!”

  • Ellen

    Was in Walmart and was looking for a particular movie and asked if they could check computer to see if they had it. Watched as the associate walked away and away from the computer and came back 15 seconds later and said no they didn’t have it….but in the mean time my granddaughter had found it and was holding it in her hand at the time I was told “no, sorry we don’t have it” She NEVER checked !!!!

  • Kam

    We had a similar issue with one of those TV, Internet, Phone Bundles. It was supposed to be a low price for a year, but every month we had to call because the price was much higher on our bill. Sometimes we were credited and sometimes we were not. Finally, after almost a year the person said “Oh you were supposed to fill out the rebate form to get that deal” What rebate form? At no time had anyone ever told us or had given us a rebate form. Then it was this person’s fault, and the next time we talked it was another person’s job to give us the form. It was crazy.

  • jess fritzges

    My worst experience was at Kmart. After tracking down a worker to get a price on a storage bin (because nothing in that store has a price or is on the right shelves) and seeking out the lid, two aisles over, I get into the checkout line. I am second. But, the lady in front of me needs price checks on 3 of her items and is complaining that the signs had different prices. The line builds and builds as we wait. The only other line is even longer and also stalls out for price checks. Meanwhile, more associates come up with a manager and I ask if they are opening more checkouts. I ha e been waiting longer than everyone else. The manager tells me I am in an open line and waves people from the other line into new checkouts. First time I ever dumped my things and left a store. I never returned to a kmart.

  • Jessica Hernandez

    I called Kroger to see if they carry Seven Daughters Moscato wine. I was put on hold for 5 min only for me to come back on tell me they didn’t carry and Seven Daughters’ wines. We decided to go a pick out a different wine about 20 min later and they had Seven Daughters wine in Moscato and several other varieties.

  • Curious

    One more reason to shop mom and pop stores instead. You get much more customer oriented service if the employees actually care about the business succeeding.

  • Patricia Leverington

    Walmart in my hometown had stocked a “black Friday” item a week too soon. I had really been wanting this item (Paula Deen cookware set) & finally had the extra money. The set on the shelf had extra pieces as a bonus, so I put it in my cart, finished my shopping, and went to check out. The item would not scan & I was told I could not buy this as was not suppose to be put out for sale yet. I talked to the manager, explained I had not gone into their back room to get this & since his staff had put it out, they should make it right with me. He refused, so I told them they could keep all the stuff in my cart & I would never shop in their store again. That was nearly 4 years ago. I have never been back.

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