Are customer service individuals allowed to tell you “no” when you ask to speak with a supervisor?

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Are customer service individuals allowed to tell you “no” when you ask to speak with a supervisor?

I have called HP support for the last 6 days, was held on the line for an hour each time, and I wanted to speak with a supervisor to let them know of all the difficulties their customer service representatives have been dishing out. They arranged to at home service visits, when none of them were even offered. I need to know because when I finally did reach district office, the man told me I needed to prove that legally when I ask for a supervisor it should be given to me.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under General Practice, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no obligation for a company to have any customer service at all. There is also no obligation for the company to allow or provide for  the "escalation" of customer service issues to supervisors. The law simply does not require these things, so a customer service employee may perfectly legally tell you "no" when you ask to speak to a supervisor. This is the sort of issue "dealt with" by the market, no the law--as long as you only related completely factual statements or opinions (e.g. "this was the worst CS experience I ever had") you can use blogs or word of mouth to spread the work that this is a bad company, not worth doing business with; you could also complain to the better business bureau about their practices. Thus, in theory, companies with bad customer experiences will do worse than those with good ones, providing an economic incentive for good CS. (Just be careful to not make factually untrue statements; that could be defamation.)


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