There are things customer service representatives will never tell you. That’s where former employees come in.
Former and current workers revealed some of the biggest secrets of their industries on a recent Reddit thread that has, over the last four days, garnered nearly 25,000 comments. When it comes to making customers happy, some industries — cable TV, internet service providers or health insurers, anyone? — can never seem to catch a break. (Spirit Airlines recently promised it won’t be the least popular airline in America, at least among those who use it.)
But the participants in the Reddit thread dig a lot deeper than that. With some minor edits for style and clarity, here are the top five scariest industry secrets from that viral thread:
Don’t get ice in your drink on an airplane
From a flight attendant here: “Don’t get ice in your drink, don’t drink coffee, tea, or hot water on the plane and don’t touch anything in the lavatory with your bare skin. The ice is put in a tray with a scoop and the trays don’t get cleaned very often. Every surface on the plane is touched by hundreds of people daily and not often disinfected. We don’t have the opportunity to wash our hands at all during the beverage service.” Standards for disinfecting planes vary according to time and class.
“Between ice scoops, I’ll probably touch a seat, a Coke can, my tablet to charge someone for a drink, their credit card, a tray table and the car,” the flight attendant writes. “So basically my hand snatches up all those lovely germs and then goes back into the ice drawer to pick the scoop back up and do it all again.” Several studies have confirmed bacteria in water served on airplanes. (Airlines For America, an industry trade group, was not immediately available for comment.)
Never click the “unsubscribe” link on emails
“When you click ‘unsubscribe’ in an email they will unsubscribe you from that list, but they will add you to another because the Can-Spam Act of 2003 says you have to remove someone from your mailing list if they request it and that you have to have an unsubscribe link in your marketing emails,” one poster wrote. Marketers must honor that request within 10 days.) “But it doesn’t say you can’t immediately subscribe them to another mailing list.”
But for unscrupulous scammers, this also acts as a confirmation that this email address is active and there’s a human being at the other end. In marketing terms, that email is now more valuable and could, in fact, be added to another list. “It’s usually an indicator to increase the level of things that they’re actually sending to you,” Marc Maiffret, a Phoenix-based former hacker and digital security expert, told NBC Chicago. Experts recommend marking such emails as spam instead.
Hotel comforters don’t always get changed
“I worked in a hotel and, while we did wash the sheets and pillowcases between guests, the comforters and blankets were a different story,” one former hotel worker wrote. “They were washed just twice per year — once in the spring and once in the fall.” Another former hotel employee agreed. “We were all discouraged from changing the top comforter unless it was visibly soiled as we only had a handful of spares and they were in very poor condition.”
‘While we did wash the sheets and pillowcases between guests, the comforters and blankets were a different story. They were washed twice per year: once in the spring and once in the fall.’