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Customer service at its very worst

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

It’s quite possibly the worst customer service experience we’ve ever heard of. You’re entitled to breathe a sigh of relief that your company didn’t make such an egregious misstep. But do heed the critical lessons this tale offers.

Here’s what happened:

A customer of Chase Bank in Auburn, Wash., tried to cash an $8,463 tax rebate check. Suspecting fraud, the bank teller refused to cash it.

The next day, Auburn police arrested the customer, who spent five days in jail before he was cleared of forgery charges. Unfortunately, he lost his job for not showing up during those days. And his car, which he’d been trying to pay off with the $8,463 check, was towed away and auctioned.

Shockingly, it took Chase a year to apologize to him—through a spokeswoman!

Should you find yourself needing to make things right, avoid Chase’s mistakes.

When something goes wrong, fix it. Fast. Allowing the customer to spend five days in the clinker was inexcusable. Really, the bank should have done its due diligence in the first place. Failing that, though, bank investigators should have cleared the suspect much faster.

Next, apologize. It’s also inexcusable that Chase took a whole year to say it was sorry. When you err, apologize and make meaningful amends, fast.

— Adapted from “3 Lessons from the Worst ­Customer Experience Ever,” Christopher Elliott, BNET.

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