We understand that poor customer service can be the result of different factors; maybe there’s a staff shortage (too many people called in sick that fateful day), the store representative might be having an off day, or perhaps it might be ourselves having a tough day and that vibe is being reflected back onto us. Like we said, there are many variables. With that being said, there are some stores that have bad customer service no matter the day or the situation. Here’s a list of retailers known for having the worst customer service:

Forever 21

Let’s face it, Forever 21 is the ultimate place to shop for clothes on a budget; their various styles are wonderfully accommodating and their price points are always on point. The retailer’s great demise can largely be contributed to their massive square footage and not being able to find a sales representative to help search the piles of clothes for the right size. Honestly, it can sometimes feel like a search and rescue mission in the store especially during the weekend when there’s a 1000-1 ratio of customers to employees.

Shoppers Drug Mart’s new Beauty Boutique

Shoppers Drug Mart recently added a lovely new Beauty Boutique section to select stores; this new expansion comes with designer cosmetic and skincare brands like Chanel, Estee Lauder and a plethora of others. If you’ve ever stepped foot into the entrance of the new Beauty Boutique then you would have likely experienced what an antelope feels like when it’s being screened by a team of lions. It’s just not fun. You simply cannot browse an aisle without being hounded with a, “can I help you with anything?” Honestly, you can only say “no, thank you” politely so many times before you get fed up and just leave. Sometimes being over-serviced is just as poor an experience as lack of service.


First, let’s set one thing straight. It’s not the floor’s sales representative that we have a qualm with; they’re great at what they do and quite frankly, it’s admirable how they can stay so composed as customers are rifling in and out of drawers and blatantly causing a huge mess. It’s when we come bearing a return at the sales counter that we experience something comparable to an FBI interrogation. Not only do we need to provide a legal piece of ID, we’re also plagued with 21 questions. We get that Sephora has one of the best return policies of any major retailer, but it’s experiences like these that beg the question: Is it really worth it?

Do you agree with our choices? Share the retailer you think has the worst customer service with us below.

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  • Shelley N

    I disagree with your assessment of shoppers. Asking if they can help you is good customer service not bad especially when you are dealing with products that people need more assistance picking out -the right face cream etc. They ask if they can help but I have not found them to be a nuisance once you say no. They are so helpful when you need something and want the help plus they will throw in bonus products especially if you ask. Although the staff at Sport Chek are helpful, when they have a big sale on shoes they never have enough staff assigned to shoes to handle the customers so the wait is long. Walmart’s customer service is nonexistent.

  • Madeline H

    Suprised Zara isn’t on here. I’ve shopped there so many times, including picking up online orders, and the lines are always long (even when there’s been 2 people ahead of me and three cashiers, I’ve waited 20mins), the sales reps hide and pretend theyre busy (There’s so many associates in there and they all seem to be busy with their folding- when they see me coming, they ditch the clothes and walk away), and they’re not willing to help (I went to pick up an online order, finally found an associate in the back corner, then they said that I have to go to the cashier to pick up my order- which is wrong because 1. The email I got said I can ask associates 2. The first time I picked something up I waited 20mins in a short line just to have the cashier tell me I can ask an associate. When I told them this, they rolled their eyes, then went and got my order- meaning they know how to do it, meaning they know they can do it, meaning they would rather I wait in the 15 people long line then spend 2 mins getting my stuff.)

    Zara is actually the worst place to shop in terms of customer service, everyone is stuck up and rude, as if the price and look of the clothes warrants their attitudes. Terrible experience every time I step into a store, I end up buying online, shipping to store, then returning items with the prepaid label.

  • Zabin Dee

    I agree 100% with Madeline H. The Zara company (owned by Inditex) has gotten ‘too big for it’s britches’. On a number of occasions, I have waited in the line to pay for my purchase for so long that I have ended up ditching my ‘would be’ purchases and leaving the store. That is money lost to the company in sales. I have also experienced having one cashier behind the checkout and a number of associates on the sales floor not seeming very busy. When I ask if they are able to help check out customers, they tell me that they are not trained to do so. If you ask me, that is a poor strategy for the Zara company. If they know (as they are well aware based on a conversation I had with their customer service representative at their Canadian head office) that they have these issues at the checkout counter, they need to ensure that staff are cross trained and that they have enough staff on shift to provide good quality and prompt customer service. I have spoken to several store managers and someone at the head office as mentioned earlier but it does not seem to make any difference. I guess that they have so many millions (perhaps billions) of customers to care about the opinion of one customer. I have worked in retail and the golden rule is if a customer wants to make a purchase, you drop everything and help them to complete the sale.

  • gBelle

    Poor attitude and bad customer service is why I hardly shop at Zara. Bought a dress on my lunch, go back to the office only to notice it had a rip in it. Call the store right away to inform them and ask them to put another one on hold so I could come in the next day to exchange it. Went in the next day only to have the manager interrogate me and pretty much tell me that people buy, wear and rip the clothing and try to return it! I was not trying to get money back, I was trying to exchange the dress for one without a hole in it. An email to head office got no response.

    Some Nine West stores. The customer service is horrible which is evident from postings on their Facebook page.

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