February 4, 2020 | Casey Fletcher

Customers Reveal The Annoying Things Companies Do That Instantly Turn Them Away

Marketing, customer service, sales—they're all essential in the business world, but there are some tactics that just take things a little too far. If you've ever been pestered by cold callers, upsold by a sales team or bombarded with subscription emails that you didn't sign up for, you'll know just how annoying it can be. These people share their own bad experiences with companies and what ultimately turned them away from ever doing business with them again.

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#1 Instant Quotes

Click here for an instant online quote..... Okay, now fill out all your requirements..... Okay, now give us your email address and phone number...... Someone will contact you later with your instant quote.

#2 Sending Sneaky Advertisements

Sending advertisements in the mail that is meant to look like either a personal letter/card or as a late bill. One is made to trick me into thinking someone wrote me a letter or sent me a card and since nobody ever does either, it is like a slap in the face to see it's an ad for a local car dealership or Dish Network. And getting a letter that is purposely made to look like a late bill (pink letter/FINAL NOTICE stamped on it, etc) makes me annoyed to have that moment of, "Did I forget to pay something last month?" Screw you, refinancing companies and other idiots that do this!

#3 Upselling

Employees constantly trying to upsell me. Once, I understand, but if I say no, that doesn’t mean try to sell me harder. I’m looking at you, oil change companies.

#4 Tourist Shops with False Prices

The tourist shops that sell a ton of t-shirts with all kinds of designs you can put on them. Always with a sign that says $20, but it's actually $20 for the shirt, $30 for the design, $5 to put the design on the shirt, and then after tax, your $20 shirt ends up being like $65. I bought a tie-dye shirt in South Dakota with a Black Hills design on it that ended up being $75. For a single shirt.



#5 Hiding the Close Button on Pop-Ups

Oh hi, thank you for visiting our website. Do you want to be placed on our mailing list? No? Oh okay. I'll just hide the close button really well so you can't exit this popup. I will never visit your site again.


#6 Poor Customer Service

Getting the run around from customer service. Twice now, I've received incorrect charging or missing items from my purchase from one store in particular. The first time, customer service was wonderful and I got a refund. The second time, I had to email the company twice to get any response, was told someone from my local story would be in contact (despite ordering online). The store finally called, I explained the situation, and they said they would send the item right away and would call me back for my details. They never called me back, so at that point I just wanted my money back. Come to find out, they didn't have the item in the store the person called me from. So I won't do business with them again.


#7 Making Customer Service Difficult on Purpose

Intentionally making customer service difficult to access so people will get frustrated and give up on refunds or problems with the product.

#8 Aggressive Marketing

I was shopping online, and in the bottom of the page, a box popped up saying I could message them on Facebook Messenger if I had questions. I decided against purchasing items from that site. Over the next three days, I received about 15 messages from the company via Facebook messenger, asking me to come back to the site for a 15 percent off coupon or whatever.

I ignored the first few but eventually I snapped and responded that they needed to fire their marketing staff because their messages were borderline harassment. Not only would I never purchase something from them, I tell anyone considering purchasing from them that they are stalkers. To my surprise, a human answered, apologized, and stopped messaging me. This incident was part of the reason I got rid of FB, but any type of aggressive marketing is a sure no-go for me


#9 Hollering at Customers

Kiosks in the mall that holler at me when I walk past. If I want to buy your stuff I'll talk to you. If you bother me when I'm going somewhere else I will never ever ever buy your crap.


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#10 Bad Customer Service

Not me, but my boss once bought a brand new truck. He needed a bed cover so he contacted a company near us that specializes in aftermarket bed covers. They offered a single product (brand new truck model didn't have any choices), gave him a quote, he eventually took it in and had the install done by the company.

A few days later I'm loading the bed and notice the paint along both sides of the rail are down to complete bare metal, and the bed cover was the cause. He called the installers, sent email with pics and they claimed it was on him to make adjustments....? He called the manufacturer to confirm and they went full Switzerland and wouldn't pick a side, and instead cited their contract (48-page document) and on page 30 something it stated the "installer must check for friction points and adjust accordingly." He showed this to the installer and they refuted any responsibility due to him being the owner and "should've known" and would not do anything. He had to have the entire bed repainted and won't ever use that brand cover again and makes a point to tell people to avoid the install shop.

It's things like this that make me understand why retaliation is so common, a literal five minute conversation about adjusting would've prevented this.



#11 Hidden Text

Hidden small text surrounded by huge text that makes you believe something else.


#12 Annoying Radio Ads

If your radio ads include any of the following:

- emergency siren

- horn honking/tires screeching/other traffic noises

- alarm clock

- air horn

- baby crying

- any misspelling of the word "cars" set to music


#13 False Advertising

When their advertised prices are drastically different than the actual ones. Especially those places near the beach that are named “EVERYTHING UNDER $5” and then have $20 t-shirts...

#14 Constantly Busy Representatives

One business recently did this to me and it made me really mad. I tried calling them, and I got the message that "all representatives are busy." That happens, I don't mind waiting on hold, but then, instead of giving me the option to wait, the message just said, "call back later" and hung up on me. So I waited a bit, tried calling back, then the message did the same thing, "all representatives are busy, call back later," click. Thank you, no, that's rude and I didn't like that.

photo-1483070421852-a142ce0a385d (1)Unsplash

#15 Being Misleading

Being misleading about pricing, warranties or financing. If I even get a hint that is happening, I will walk away. I would rather pay a little more and deal with an honest company.

#16 Different Pricing In-Store and Online

Different online pricing versus in-store pricing. The same book at Barnes and noble might be 10 to 20 dollars more in store. That’s a surefire way to have me not shop in your store and only go online, and then at that point, I might as well use Amazon because the prices are the same or better and the shipping is faster.


#17 Not Showing Prices

If they have a website where you can view what they have in store, but don’t have the price of anything. I’m sorry, but I’m not going all the way to your store to find that you (probably) have a ridiculous price on the item I was considering buying.

#18 No "Right to Repair"

Not allowing customers "right to repair" their own products. I paid for the product and I want to repair it myself. Companies deliberately don't provide repair or workshop manuals for cars, bikes, washing machines or refrigerators. Some kind of "proprietary tech" excuse. If someone can provide or tell me where to look for workshop manual for Honda 1.5 litre idtec engine then it would be much appreciated.


#19 Automatic Subscriptions

Automatically subscribing me to your emails and making it nearly impossible to unsubscribe.


#20 Being Dishonest

How a car dealer lost a sale:

I was considering a new mustang. I wanted to sleep on it. He said if I signed right then and there he’d knock $1,000 off after saying earlier there was nothing he could do on price. I pushed the paper back to him and told him his dishonesty cost him the sale. If he could knock it down $1,000 then and there, he could have done it before, and can do more, he was not negotiating in good faith. No sale.


#21 "Special Deals"

Telling me that a given price is a special deal and the lowest you can do, then coming back with an even lower price when I say no thanks. Bonus points if the deal is only available if I make my decision on the spot. This comes up with distressing frequency with home improvement or maintenance businesses.


#22 Overbooking Flights

Dragging one of your paying customers off the plane because you made a mistake and overbooked the flight


#23 Annoying Adverts

Annoying adverts. I will never buy your product.

#24 Outrageous Promises

Podcasts tend to get the same advertisers over and over. I listen to them to make sure the data reflects I saw them, make sure the podcasts I like are getting supported. I am even a current subscriber to Stitchfix, and a past subscriber to Naturebox, and I even shopped for a Caspar mattress (didn't end up buying it though.)

HDTGM has a current sponsor I always skip. I hate their ad. It reads like clickbait lies, "Cops don't respond to security alarms! Unless it's our alarms!" They make outrageous promises of completely safe homes, which is impossible. It all sounds so sketchy and I can't believe they're getting still more air time.


#25 Treating Staff Poorly

When the owner or managers treat the staff like garbage.

#26 They Go Political

Put political signs on their property.

#27 Harass Customers

Target and harass me when I'm not even interested in their products. We just happened to make eye contact, mall kiosks.

#28 Ignore Due to Gender

As a young female who is starting a business with expensive equipment (photography /videography) anywhere that ignores me/talks to my boyfriend instead of me while I'm trying to spent thousands of dollars on equipment. If you can't be bothered to ask why I've been standing in front of a $3,000 drone for 20 minutes then I will go online instead. I'll go into a store alone and can't get service even if I try and call someone over, if my boyfriend is with me he gets instant service. Pisses me off beyond words.

The amount of times I've been ignored or just brushed off because I'm a women in the electronics section is infuriating. I typically do all shopping online now for equipment. However my local best buy hired someone who knew me years ago and has been amazing every time I go into the store. I will only buy from the store if he is working (thanks Adam for saving me $175 from my last 2 purchases).


#29 Account Required

If I have to make an account to view, read, or browse anything on their page.

#30 Not Returning Calls

When I call to get bids for any home-related work, 60-75 percent of companies will never even return my call after leaving a message. To me, that means you don’t care about new clients, and I’ll never chase someone to get a bid.

#31 Difficult to Cancel Subscriptions

Subscriptions that make it really difficult to cancel. It guarantees I won’t be doing it again.

#32 Pushy Reps

Being pushy. Not giving me a chance to think it over. When my husband and I were looking to buy life insurance, one of the reps was very pushy. Basically said that if I care about my family, I wouldn't leave without buying. Instant no. Especially for big purchases, if you don't want to give me time to do my own research and think about it (even 24 hours) then you aren't getting my business.

#33 Don't Make it Right

Screw up and don't make it right. Things can go wrong, I get it. Own it and make it right and you have kept a customer. Try to shift blame and wash your hands of the problem and you have seen my last dollar.


#34 Not Giving Price Lists

The most head-scratching thing a business has done that made me immediately resolve not to use them was a swimming pool installation company. There are about five or six locally, and I went to each one to get a basic package and pricing list so my husband and I could get an idea of what we wanted and who we wanted to get quotes from. One salesman acted like I was asking him for a kidney. He said,” Seriously, you want a price list?” I’d already got a couple so I couldn’t see what the issue was and he said they couldn’t give me one because they didn’t want customers comparison shopping.

#35 A Constant Barrage of Marketing Emails

A constant barrage of asking me to subscribe or sign up.

#36 Annoying Pop-Ups

When I cannot look at the page without constant popups of:

"Someone in Cairo, Egypt purchased THIS SHIRT 2 hours ago"

"Someone in Tasmania, Australia purchased THESE SOCKS 25 minutes ago"

"Someone in Charleston, South Carolina purchased THIS PHONE CASE 3 hours ago"

Good god, just stop.


#37 Overcharging

Fuzzy's Taco Shop decided to authorize their own tip when I paid with my debit card. I tried contacting them via their website to ask why they charged me more than what my receipt says but all I've heard is crickets so far.

#38 Cold Calling

Cold calling, whether in person or on the phone, ends all possibility of getting any business from me. And this includes at work, where I do the bulk of the purchasing. It's not 1950. There are so many legitimate avenues to advertise a product or service. Announce to me (by the fact of your cold-calling) that you don't give a damn about my time, and I know all I need to know about you.


#39 Poor Website Design

Poor website design. These days, there's no excuse. There are so many options for buying a well-made website as easy as online shopping. It's like having a street shop with no sign, or indication of what's inside.

#40 Treating Staff Like Garbage

If I see or hear you yelling or cursing at your staff, baby-talking or condescending them in any way, I will get up and leave. If I see that one of your employees looks like they're about ready to cry and you're not even trying to figure out what's wrong, I will get up and leave. If I get any inkling that you think mistreating your employees will somehow make yourself look better, I will get up and leave... all of the shittiest possible reviews on every review site I can think of.

#41 Upselling Customers

Took car in for oil change. Suggested over $3000 worth of repairs. Took it to another shop, got the oil change done.


#42 Prices Not Displayed

If the prices are not displayed on the front page, and you have to submit any sort of info before you can see a rough estimate, I'm out of there. Even just a simple range is fine- I hate having to go through monotonous forms to give them all of my info, when they end up just quoting the same amount to everyone anyways. All sorts of businesses, from carpet cleaners to pet insurance, pull this shit. I hate it.

#43 False Promises

"[Movie name] is the #1 movie in America!" Before the movie has even come out in theaters.

#44 Mailing Lists

Adding me to their mailing list after I specifically unchecked the option to do so, refusing to honor unsubscribes, then having the balls to ask me a dozen times to answer a 29 question survey about my “experience.”

#45 Store Sign-Ups

Asking for my e-mail address or postal code at the checkout.

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