GET GEPHARDT

As companies abandon phones, customers are being mis-connected

Jan 30, 2024, 11:06 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2024, 8:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Michelle Burnett owns Home Clean Heroes of Salt Lake Valley. She prides herself on good customer service, but lately, she’s been getting dozens of calls from angry customers.

The trouble? They aren’t her customers.

From what Burnett has gleaned from the folks who call to yell at her, there are house cleaners that advertise on social media that don’t live up to promises.

“That’s going to ruin our reputation and our name,” Burnett said.

Why are these jilted customers calling her? The Better Business Bureau’s Tim Johnston has a theory.

“If you happen to check out a company’s website and look at how to contact them, you might find something that says we don’t provide support over the phone,” he said.

Johnston said more and more companies are hanging up their phones for good. If you want to talk to them, they expect you to text, email or chat. The trouble happens when people turn to search engines digging for phone numbers, and the search engine guesses wrong.

“It’ll provide something that it believes to be the right response. It’s not going to be 100%,” Johnston said.

It’s creating issues that Get Gephardt has reported on before.

Nick Olsen was trying to reach an airline that doesn’t have a phone number. He ended up being hung up on by whoever he really called, thinking it was the airline.

Canceled flight and missed cruise for Orem man, travel insurance stalls reimbursement

And it can be worse.

After he got packages he wasn’t expecting, Gordon Belnap searched for Amazon’s phone number. He connected with someone who claimed to be Amazon but was really a scammer.

“Scammers post fake customer support numbers online to fool customers,” Johnston said.

He said it’s wise to think about customer service before you do business with a company. If you are someone who likes to be able to get to the bottom of issues with phone calls, then maybe you want to avoid companies that have steered away from phone support.

For business owners like Burnett, his advice is to not ignore negative reviews or other issues, even if they don’t pertain to your company … Especially if they don’t pertain to your company.

“(Consumers) interpret a lack of a response by business to be a lack of interest in that customer’s concern,” Johnston said. “So even though it may not pertain to your business, may be a wrong connection, make sure that you promptly respond.”

That is advice Burnett is already following even though it’s taking away time she could be focusing on her customers.


To get in touch with Get Gephardt, send an email: Matt@ksl.com

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Homeowner Mark Shea tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt he paid someone to build a deck who abandoned the j...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowners ask why authorities can’t shut down an unlicensed contractor

Two Salt Lake County homeowners hired and paid someone to build decks for their homes but say he left the jobs unfinished. Turns out, he’s been cited by the state for not having a contractor’s license before.

2 hours ago

Matt Gephardt, journalists, looks as paper with a woman...

Matt Gephardt and Cimaron Neugebauer

Get Gephardt: Ticketmaster seizes back purchased seats

Imagine buying tickets to a show, then having the seller refuse to give them to you. That’s what happened to a Utah woman, when she got a refund she didn’t ask for.

1 day ago

Pig-butchering is a devastating combination of romance and crypto scams, and it’s taking Utahns f...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Unmasking the fast-moving pig-butchering scam hitting Utah

Pig-butchering is a devastating combination of romance and crypto scams, and it’s taking Utahns for all their worth.

6 days ago

Utah's lemom law...

Matt Gephardt

Utah’s lemon law: Why the rules could leave you in a financial squeeze

Golf carts, side-by-sides and other recreational vehicles can cost well over $10,000. But if you end up with a lemon, Utah’s law may leave you with a sour taste in your mouth.

7 days ago

Hacker behind a keyboard. (FILE)...

Matt Gephardt

Using AI to tackle your debt

We've seen the power of artificial intelligence used to help navigate all sorts of complex problems: Medicine, education, customer service among many others. Well, it doesn’t get much more complex than Americans grappling with debt.

9 days ago

FILE - A line of unsold 2018 Cooper Clubmen sit in a long row at a Mini dealership, March 30, 2018,...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

More people are leasing new cars but does it make sense for you?

Sticker shock is nearly universal for anyone looking for a new car and that has many drivers considering leasing their next car. But is it the right option for you?

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

As companies abandon phones, customers are being mis-connected