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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Wolves/London
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    164

    Termination of clients for support abuse.

    Simply put: is it right to terminate clients for using foul language in support on a consistent basis?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    2,813
    Have you warned them about their behaviour already? Is the language aimed at your staff as abuse, or is it just general use of foul language in his 'day to day' speech?
    - Jamie Harrop

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Wolves/London
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    164
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Harrop View Post
    Have you warned them about their behaviour already? Is the language aimed at your staff as abuse, or is it just general use of foul language in his 'day to day' speech?
    I'm talking about language aimed at staff that could be considered to be abusive (in a theoretical situation).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    PA, USA
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    5,137
    If you respect your staff, you would warn and even terminate the customer.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    West Yorkshire, UK
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    I'd usually warn the customer first. Tell him what your intentions are if he continues using abusive language in future. If he does it again, I'd terminate him. Firing a client is as common as a client firing their provider. Sometimes, it's the best option for all.
    - Jamie Harrop

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    550
    If you're looking for a reason, tell them you are required by law to provide a non-hostile work environment for your employees, so if this customer prevents you from doing that, then you have to drop them.

  7. #7
    I would also look at why this customer is using the language. Is he/she upset at an issue that could have been resolved and did not in a good time frame.

    Was the customer suspended before a warning. I would look at all this and see if that could be a reason for the language. So if you have tried to work with the customer and they are still doing this then yes terminating them would be the best option.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    205
    I actually just had a ticket opened saying "Where the **** is my account email now *****"

    The client had not received his account information email (we verify some orders for legitimacy before delivering account information)

    I simply sent him his email and told him that we do not appreciate foul language.

    I think the best way to be is blunt - and if they keep abusing that line that you set then termination or suspension is probably the best way to go.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    JNB, ZA
    Posts
    92
    I've only ever done it three times in 12 years, but there comes a point if a client goes too far - like swearing or worse, threatening me or my staff, I won't think twice.

    It's a good idea to make sure you put it in your TOS as well.

  10. #10
    I agree I have had a few in the past myself. The TOS is a good place to put it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    54
    Don't do it if this is the first time it has happend the client could just be in a bad mood. But if the issue happens time and time again, I would suspend the account until they provide a formal apology to the staff member.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Corona, CA USA
    Posts
    384
    The mere fact that you have leased a service to a customer for one period of time does not oblige you to continue doing so, if we are talking about asking a customer to go away at the end of their current paid up time there is obviously no issue.

    If you are talking about yanking the cord abruptly in the middle of a lease period then I guess the ToS should rule.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    74
    If this is a repeat thing, and you have already asked them to no use such language politley and they are still persisting in doing so then yes, I would tell the client that you will no longer be responding to their tickets and they have until the end of the current billing period to copy their data off your servers and at their renewal they will not receive a bill, they will just be terminated on whatever date the current period ends.

    Might also be worth flagging their details so as to not accept any more orders from them.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    6,984
    I normally tell my staff to tell the customer to cool down before calling again and hang up the phone. Customer support staff are also human, they do not deserve to be abuse in anyway.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,664
    Quote Originally Posted by kyle-tilthosting View Post
    Don't do it if this is the first time it has happend the client could just be in a bad mood. But if the issue happens time and time again, I would suspend the account until they provide a formal apology to the staff member.
    Funny you say that, we ran into this issue a couple of years ago and he flamed everywhere how harsh it was we expected them to do the right thing. I have always had a policy that screaming/cussing at each other is not the correct way to do business. If it has reached that point then the safest and smartest thing to do is part ways and provide them their data. Be prepared for the onslaught of flames on the forum though.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    165
    It doesn't happen much with us, but if it does, responding as opposed to reacting works well. Let your staff (or yourself) escalate the issue to somebody else who is perceived to be higher in the hierarchy and let them educate the client and no matter what, don't let yourself be provoked, rewrite your answers a few times and never include sarcasm in your responses. It is the lowest form of communication and very damaging to your reputation. If you are unlucky your replies WILL be posted online in some forum somewhere, keep that in mind.

    If the client continues to be rude and inpolite I receommend them to switch providers because they are obviously unhappy. If they start the procedure today I will personally see to it that it is handled immediately and they get a full refund.

    Usually they respond with an apology. I can only remember they actually left two or three times in the past 10 years. But then if they do, good riddance. They dont pay enough (monthly) for us to put up with their attitudes.

    Just my thoughts...

    Goodluck!

  17. #17
    No I wouldn't. Your not in a industry that requires launguage to be monitored so close. I would simply let the person settle down, or slap them with a few days ban.

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