Jennifer Shoultes is fed up with customer-service departments. Here's how she puts it: "Nobody has time to press 1 for English, listen to...

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Jennifer Shoultes is fed up with customer-service departments.

Here’s how she puts it: “Nobody has time to press 1 for English, listen to music for 10 minutes, get passed from one department to another and then the call is disconnected.”

We can all feel Shoultes’ frustration, because we have all been there.

It took Shoultes weeks to get an overcharge on her Sprint bill resolved. She sent a letter to Atlanta, then she was told to send a letter to an office in Virginia. She also was given a fax number for a complaint department in Kentucky. She finally reached Josh in Minnesota, who fixed her problem. He took $50 off her bill for the inconvenience.

“I don’t think that it is fair that loyal customers should have to jump through hoops just to get what they signed up for,” Shoultes said.

Companies often say customer service is a priority, but many customers feel ignored and dismissed.

But consumers are finding ways to vent and get their needs met. Some have made videos depicting their experiences with a company and uploaded them to YouTube and other Web sites. Others vent on blogs.

One of my favorite Web sites that spotlight poor customer service is, which features stories and tips written by consumers.

Consumerist’s editor, Ben Popken, said the site gets more than 350,000 visits a day and has helped customers resolve many issues. With such sites, there is always a chance of misuse by a rival business or disgruntled ex-worker, but Popken said his staff uses its best judgment to thwart sabotage.

Companies often post a response to the stories. He said a Comcast customer wrote about not being able to get an erroneous fee removed from a bill. The bill was eventually sent to a debt collector. After the customer posted the story on, Comcast contacted the person and removed the charge, Popken said.

In another case, he said, Sprint set up an 800 number for Consumerist readers when Sprint executives began getting calls from customers after someone posted the executives’ direct phone numbers on the site.

Consumerist,, and other sites give consumers a chance to fight back.