US Consumers Appear to Be Angrier Than Ever

National survey finds dissatisfaction (and retaliation) on the rise
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2023 3:01 PM CDT
US Consumers Appear to Be Angrier Than Ever
   (Getty / Tero Vesalainen)

If you've found yourself angry at a company or a customer service rep for one reason or another recently, a new national survey suggests you are very much not alone. In fact, the number of people reporting a problem with a product or service is at all-time highs in the National Customer Rage Survey, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some of the key stats:

  • 74% of Americans say they had some kind of problem with a company in the past year, up from 66% in 2020, 56% in 2017, and 32% in 1976.
  • 43% raised their voice to a company rep in the past year, up from 35% the last time the question was asked in 2017.

  • 17% say they have acted "uncivilly" toward a company not because of service or a product but because of a perceived difference in beliefs or values (think mask mandates). However, the Hill notes that this question is tricky, because people disagree on what "uncivilly" means. About half of respondents said yelling and "social media assassination" is justified, while others see behavior like that as uncivil.
  • 9% admit to seeking "revenge" for poor service in the form of a public attack on social media or through "badgering, belittling, or threatening an employee," per the Hill. That's up from 3% in 2020.
  • “I don’t want to sound too ‘Pollyanna,’ but it’s kind of horrifying,” says Scott M. Broetzmann of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, which conducts the survey with Arizona State University.
  • The results are in sync with other surveys of late, notes the Journal, though the reasons are complex. More companies, for example, are channeling complaints through artificial-intelligence bots, and that might be end up causing more aggravation at this point.
(More consumers stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.