Rich Customers Are The Hardest To Please

Rich Customers Are The Hardest To Please

According to new data from business software manufacturer Zendesk, high-income households are the most likely to be permanently soured after a bad customer experience — with 79 per cent blacklisting offending vendors for at least two years. Women, Gen X shoppers and B2B clients also refuse to accept shoddy service lying down, with many turning to social media to vent their grievances.

David Burrows /

This factoid and others like it can be found in the below infographic, which is based on a field survey conducted by Dimension Research on behalf of Zendesk. The survey involved “more than 1,000” US consumers who were asked about their recent experiences with the customer service of a mid-sized company either as a consumer (B2C) or in a business context (B2B).

We’re eternally skeptical when it comes to these kinds of commissioned reports (the absence of the ever-complaining Gen Y is particularly eyebrow-raising), but it remains an interesting read nonetheless.

Here’s the infographic: (Click to expand or right-click to save.)

Have you ever worked in retail, hospitality or some other form of customer service? Which ‘class’ of customer did you find the most difficult to please? Let us know in the comments section below.


  • Can’t keep everyone happy… I don’t find “class” as big a factor as personality. Some customers may have bad experiences, but they let you try and fix it. Other customers don’t want help, just someone to complain to even if it wasn’t your fault. Although, fair enough if it’s just lazy/untrained staff. There’s not that many “professionals” in retail these days.

  • I used to work as a night auditor at a 5-star hotel and the richer guests tended to be the rudest. I vividly recall one bloke who reduced a co-worker to tears over not having the right chalk for the billiard room. He continued to berate her over her sobbing. He was also wearing a cravat.

  • Have you ever been annoyed by an advice column [finance, goods, whatever] that uses the line “Do Your Research”? Especially when they fail to specify WHAT to look for, or WHERE to look for it?

    Well, thanks to social media etc. we now have a plethora of ways people can warn others of a bad experience. What is needed next: A web site that counts the good vs bad articles, to give an independent “general” rating for financial advisors / real estate agents / plumbers / etc.

    [Hmm. May be an opportunity for a business, there.]

  • Medicine: cashed up bogans who think that they “deserve” a free full body MRI for a headcold.
    Class: they have none, particularly as they verbally abuse nursing staff who prioritize a 70yo whos had a fall and a fractured neck of femur “cos I rocked up earlier”

  • I work at a fruit and veg place that’s quite upmarket, alot of rich people (most of which happen to be Poms) come in. I find most of them tend to be very rude and have this whole “I’m better than you” attitude. Some of them are very picky and will spit the dummy over anything. I’ve had people buy fruit and veg, leave it in a hot car for hours on end, making it go bad, and then come back the next day and yell at me for selling a “shit product”. I’ve also had people come in and complain that 1 peach in a tray of 36 was bad (they were actually at the end of the season at the time) and then they proceeded to basically say I’m shit at my job. Fruit and vegetables aren’t plastic.
    I understand you have to provide customer service, but there’s a big difference between that and wiping someone’s bum for them.

    • You are a strong person. Hopefully your store gives you authority to fix the issue. The worst thing is when we are expected to help the customer, but can’t do anything to help them without putting our job on the line.

  • Cant say that I am rich or wealthy but i do avoid businesses that i have had bad experiences with. There are plenty of places I have put on my “Black list” never to return, if they cant do a good job they dont deserve my hard earned $$$$

  • After working in a supermarket in one of Sydneys richest areas, i can confirm this.
    I never did anything wrong and I was promoted a couple of times (so i obviously was doing things right), but richer people were always the rudest and the biggest pains in my ass. Always complaining, making demands, being condescending and just generally being difficult and rude.
    That said, the majority of customers were nice enough, but the number of rude people definitely stand out as the most memorable.

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