Consumers negative about service

Two-thirds of consumers are negative about the service and quality offered by Dutch companies, according to a new book on customer service in the Netherlands.

The book Kloteklanten (literally, crappy customers) contains a tirade of complaints against banks, telecom firms and car dealers. Staff ‘are rude and arrogant’ and ‘often only interested in how much they can earn from a customer,’ says author Egbert Jan van Bel, marketing professor at Amsterdam University.
Among the main complaints is the lack of contact, with companies hiding behind websites and 0900 phone numbers, Van Bel tells the AD newspaper. Letters go unanswered and ‘40% of people are still waiting for the free phone, teddy bear or other free gift they were promised’, he says.
A request for personal consumer experiences brought Van Bel 25,000 replies. Several thousand people were also interviewed by market researchers.
The research showed that while 75% of those interviewed said poor service was a reason to change over to a new supplier, only 20% of company managers think service is significant in determining client satisfaction. One energy company boss told Van Bel that customers were ‘a necessary evil’.
Dutch Rail (NS) and the hotel and catering trade were considered to be the most customer friendly and sensitive to complaints.

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