Is German customer service really that bad? (My experiences including a horrifying story involving Clever Fit München Mitte)


Germany has always had a bad rep when it comes to customer service. In fact, many people refer to their lack of customer service as a service desert.”

When I first moved to Germany, I really braced myself for this, and was surprised that it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I mean it’s not even in the same ballpark as the sort of service I’m used to in North America, but in the end, transactions tend to end with a “thank you, bye” and no limbs were lost.

That was during my first year in Germany, when I lived in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg. Sure customer service might not always include a friendly smile or a “have a great day!”, but in the end, I still liked Germany and wrote off the experience as just a difference in culture.

It wasn’t until I moved to Bavaria when that all changed.

Suddenly, bad customer service didn’t just mean no service, but horrible to the point where people have been aggressive, insulting and out-right abusive. Of course, it’s not like all service I’ve received in Bavaria have been horrifying, but I’ve definitely felt it enough to never want to live there again.

In North America, there’s the saying, “the customer is always right” and if you worked in retail or hospitality (which I did throughout high school and uni), you would know that managers tend to drill that into your head, even if you don’t always believe it. In Germany however, it seems like they’ll do everything possible to prove that the customer is always wrong.

Here are four go the worst customer service experiences I’ve ever received (ironically enough all except one happened in Munich), ending with a recent highly unpleasant encounter with CleverFit Munich. Just how bad is German customer service?

Read on…

The one time I was at Forever 21


The first bad experience happened when I was at Forever 21 in Munich. The jacket I was planning on buying rung up as being more expensive than on the price tag, so when the cashier told me the price, I pointed out that on the price tag it gave a cheaper price. Now back home, if something like that happened, they would just honour whichever price was lower.

Well that certainly didn’t happen. Instead, the cashier got so angry and defensive, and kept shouting at me, “the price on the screen is what you have to pay. That label is wrong then. If you don’t want to pay this price than don’t buy it and leave”

Like, WOAH, CHILL OUT. I wasn’t even arguing that she needed to sell it to me at the lower price (which by the way, was only a few euros less and seemed so insignificant), but just merely pointing out that it was a different price than on the tag.

The insulting H&M employee


This one actually happened to my boyfriend when we went to H&M since he just wanted to get a cheap pair of jeans for bumming around in. He didn’t know his size at H&M so he took 5 pairs of jeans in different fits to try them on. He ended up only liking one of them so he returned the rest to the changing room guy, only to have the guy say to him (in a super loud voice), “yea, try on all those jeans and then only buy the cheapest one.”

How is an employee at a store even allowed to say things like that to a customer?! My boyfriend was too shocked to say anything back to him and when he told me later what happened, I demanded we tell someone at the store, only to have this other employee laugh and say “oh don’t worry, he always says silly things like that.”

Really? If I was a store manager and an employee was saying things like that to customers, I’d certainly be worried. We ended up getting a written apology after posting this on their Facebook page, but the fact that someone can say that and not get fired on the spot is pretty frightening.

I’m not sure what this guy was trying to achieve anyway. If he wants to bully others, he could at least do it properly, since bullying entails you to make fun of someone you think is lesser than you in some way. In this case, he tried to mock my boyfriend for being poor, but he’s the 30-something literally folding clothes at a H&M while my boyfriend works as a consultant for one of the biggest IT companies in the world. Who’s the one making minimum wage?

The grinch at the German consulate in Toronto


This one actually happened to me in Canada but at the German consulate in Toronto. I had just came back from Germany and had to hand in a form for them to send back to Germany. When my appointment time came and a lady directed me to a counter, I was served by one of the rudest ladies I’ve ever met (if you meet a middle aged lady with long black hair and a sour face there, RUN!)

First of all, while I was explaining what I needed to do with the form, she interrupts me and says “you know what most people have to book an appointment to see me.” I replied with, “yes, I did book an appointment. That’s why they’ve let me in and directed me to your counter.” She goes, “But you didn’t book an appointment with me specifically did you? You do know that I’m a really busy and important person?! You should be happy that I’m even taking the time to help you.”

At that point, if I had something sharp it would’ve been aimed toward her face, but unfortunately she had my passport hostage and I wanted it back without something on it that would ban me from Europe. There was definitely no option to choose who you wanted to book an appointment with – only an option to choose a time slot. It’s not my fault some lady directed me to her counter, and believe me, I’d be happy to PAY money so that I could see anyone but her.

CleverFit, the gym that threatened to sue after I wrote a review of their bad service (the irony!)


This last one involving Cleverfit (a gym located on Marstrasse in Munich) is a long one but the one that has infuriated me beyond belief. This is also one of the main reasons I decided to make this post on bad German customer service to publicize all these bad experiences, with the hopes that in the future, things will change and companies will stop treating their customers like dirt.

I apologize that it’s so long, but hear me out!

The Short:

– I was told by a Clever Fit rep that I could pause my membership, and those paused months would then be added to the end of my contract. If I cancelled my membership due to moving away, I would be refunded for these months.
– I followed those instructions, but never received my refund after I cancelled my membership
– After contacting them, they stated that it was my problem, and not their policy even though it was their rep to told me this (How could I even make up such an elaborate system that they told me?!). No apology at all, just out right accused me of lying.
– I wrote a review of this bad service (the worst customer service I’ve ever received) on Google.
– I got a threatening email from them saying that they’ll sue if I dared to write more bad reviews of them

The Long:

It all started when I accepted my internship offer to work in the Netherlands for six months. One of the things I had to take care of was my gym membership. Originally I had planned to just cancel it, but after talking to a CleverFit rep over the phone (which my boyfriend (a native German speaker) did for me since my German isn’t the best), they said that I could pause my membership during those months.

I thought that was perfect, since I might be moving back to Munich after my internship (my future plans were up in the air), and as a student, saving the 40 euros to open a new membership when I got back would be cost-effective.

A few months into my internship, I checked my German bank account and was surprised to see that I was still charged monthly for my gym membership after the paused date. Thinking it must’ve just been a mistake on their part, my boyfriend called the Clever Fit rep (who even went to double check with their manager) and was told that in this case, they still charging me monthly during my paused period, but once I cancel my contract, the paused months that I didn’t use the gym would be refunded to me.

At that point, which was about three months into my internship, my future plans have changed and I knew I wasn’t going to move back to Munich afterwards so I thought I’d cancel my membership then and that way I would get the money for the paused months back as well.

So we mailed in my cancelation letter. Time passed and I checked my bank and didn’t receive any reimbursements from Clever Fit. So my boyfriend called them a few times and explained the entire situation, and different reps weren’t sure what to do in my case and we were told to send an email specifically to the Clever Fit Munich (Marsstrasse) that I was a member of.

Also to explain, up until now, whenever we contacted Clever Fit, it would be to the main hotline, since that’s where they took care of cancellations. E.g. you can’t send a letter to your local Clever fit if you want to cancel your membership but the the central office.

So my boyfriend helped me to write an email to that specific Clever Fit explaining my situation. I wasn’t sure what sort of response I was expecting since German customer service isn’t known to be friendly as in North America, but I certainly wasn’t expecting their response, which basically stated that this was my problem and they can’t help me.

For starters, it was definitely their Clever Fit rep who told me that I would be refunded for those paused months in my membership, or else I would’ve initially just cancelled my membership.

For them to assure me this and then to refuse any refund is so rude. Back home, if a company’s rep was misinformed about company policy, the company would usually make a one time exception to honour what their rep had told the customer, and for next time, know to inform their reps better.

This definitely wasn’t the case with Clever Fit.

In fact, they didn’t even say a simple apology or write something in the lines of “we’re sorry that our employee was misinformed”. Instead they actually ACCUSED me of lying, stating that I made up this “story” and that I should be happy that they even cancelled my membership in the first place (which is something that is required by German law that contracts can be cancelled when you move to another city or country….but they made it seem like they were doing me a huge favour by cancelling my membership)

They even went on to attack me, stating that if I wasn’t home, I would still have to pay rent or that I would still pay my monthly cell phone bill if I didn’t use my phone. This was in reference to the fact that I mentioned that it was unfair to not reimburse me for those paused months since I wasn’t using their gym.

Well of course in those above incidences I would have to pay for services I didn’t use. There’s lots of times where I’m travelling and not at home or using my cell phone and I’ve never complained and always paid my bills on time.

However in this specific case, the difference was the fact that their rep told me I could pause my membership and would not be paying extra for those unused months, and then them denying that this happened. Had my phone company promise that they wouldn’t charge me for a certain period and then go ahead and charged me, I would be equally angry as in this situation.

Because a Clever Fit rep told me the wrong info, I lost over 100 euros. In the end, if they had just apologised for their mistake, I would have just accepted this loss. However, to go and accuse me of lying was just incredible.

How can a company treat their customers this way? It’s just wrong on so many levels.

With this being the worst customer service I’ve ever received in my life, I decided to write a review of this Clever Fit on Google (which I even specifically directly to the Clever Fit on Marstrasse since I’ve been to other Clever Fits and had good experiences so I didn’t want to criticise the other ones).

Yes the review wasn’t very nice considering how on top of refusing to refund me, rather than a simple apology, had the nerve to accuse me of lying. However, the review was still very honest and only specifically talked about this experience.

I also even contacted a lawyer to see what my options were since I felt so violated at that point, who even told me that in this situation I legally should be entitled to a refund, especially since my boyfriend can testify in court what the CleverFit rep told him over the phone.

After posting my Clever Fit review, I got an extremely rude, threatening email back stating that they’ll sue if I wrote any more bad reviews about them on the Internet.

SERIOUSLY?! This is the 21st century and the last time I checked, Germany is a country with free speech. If I had a horrible experience with a company, I have the right to write an honest review about it to inform others. There are so many other gyms in Munich and I’m sure none of them go and attack their customers if the customer writes them a review that displeases them.

Especially considering how I wasn’t given what was promised and then being falsely accused, as a consumer, at the very least, writing a bad review of my service is an absolute right.

I noticed on google too, that whenever someone wrote a bad review of their company (usually regarding customer service), rather than apologizing or promising that they’ll improve their service, they also bashed other reviewers and accused them of some wrongdoing.

I’m not sure how they even have customers because that is definitely NOT how you should treat your customers, let alone humans in general. There are so many ways they could’ve handled this situation professionally.

Sorry for the rant but this made me so angry. No company should have the right to mistreat and especially not threaten their customers. If they think they can threaten my freedoms and then attempt to hide this act, they have never been more wrong in their life. This is the age of social media, and I really, really, really hope that karma will come back and bite them.

**recent update: I noticed that there’s all of a sudden a few new reviews popping up on Clever Fit München Mitte’s google page, all giving the gym 5 stars and specifically mentioning how great the customer service is. So they think they can sue people for writing a bad review but it’s perfectly legal to write fake reviews on their page? What a joke of a gym.


Anyway, and there’s my rant. In the end, I hope they know they didn’t “gain” the 100 euros they’ve “stolen” from me, but actually lost a lot more than that, especially since my boyfriend and other friends are all cancelling their memberships with them. If you guys are considering a gym in Munich, I would steer far away from them as possible.

So this leads me back to the overall topic of this post, which is why German customer service is so bad?

In North America, because there’s so much competition between companies, providing amazing customer service has become a great strategy in gaining customer loyalty and great for word of mouth advertising when you tell your friends and family of the awesome customer service you’ve experienced. There are definitely companies where the service I’ve received have always been so constantly amazing that I’ll always continue to shop and support them (NIKE is a good one, or Alex Optical, a small friendly family owned glasses shop in my hometown).

Horrible customer service seems so dangerous for a company, especially nowadays with the ease of online shopping. I know when I receive horrible service at one shop, it’s blacklisted for me and I’ll never go there again.

Have you guys ever received bad customer service in Germany? (Especially if you’re German, I’d love to hear your comments on this one!)

If so, how do you guys react in these situations? Do you walk away and be the better person? Or do you demand to speak to a supervisor so you can hopefully get some sort of justice? Do you ever let it go and continue shopping/using their services, or do you vow to never step foot in there again?



  1. August 26, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    Yikes!! I’ve definitely had to get used to a new standard of customer ‘service’ (if you can even call it service) here in the Caribbean. People aren’t very rude here, but they do not like to work so you get a lot of “come back tomorrow”, “our system isn’t working right now so we can’t do anything”, “the manager isn’t here and I can’t do that”, and “I’m not sure… *looks away and ignores you*”. It’s been three years and it still tests my patience daily!

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:14 pm

      Wow I can definitely see how that can be annoying, especially if you took time to go there specifically! On the other hand, I would much prefer that instead of all the rudeness in Bavaria 🙁

  2. August 27, 2015 / 5:47 am

    Yes, we’ve had several TERRIBLE experiences involving Vodafone, T-Mobile, and getting our car fixed, all here in Bavaria. I can’t even talk about the details, it all makes me so mad. “it seems like they’ll do everything possible to prove that the customer is always wrong.” Right?!?!?! Ugh. Anyway, aside from those few experiences, we LOVE living in Germany 🙂

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:15 pm

      Awww yea it’s like me! 🙁 Just thinking about these experiences makes me so mad, even now….which was why this post was so hard to write! That’s good that you’re able to put aside these negative experiences though and still love Germany 🙂

  3. August 27, 2015 / 8:17 am

    OMG!!!! These are horrifying! I’m speechless! I’ve been used to bad customer service here in the Middle East but mainly it’s because of laziness and not rudeness. Did you reply back to that gym with their email threat? I hope you get to sort it out soon (read: reimbursed).

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:19 pm

      Awww yea I would much prefer that form of “bad” customer service any day! 🙁 No i never emailed back…every time I email them, they respond like 5 year old kids….accusing me of things, using horrible words etc. It’s pointless at this point unless I want to hire a lawyer. I think posting my experience with them online is better though so I can warn others of this gym!

  4. August 27, 2015 / 1:04 pm

    Sounds bad! I hope what you mentioned were just the minority :-S

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:21 pm

      Unfortunately in Bavaria, I’ve had tons of experiences almost like these on a regular basis (although not as extreme). Not saying all Bavarians are bad either since I do have some Bavarian friends and I’ve met some very nice ones. Luckily in the rest of Germany it’s not as bad.

      • September 5, 2015 / 5:56 am

        I have plan to visit German someday. Hope the experience will not be too unhappy!

        • Michelle
          September 10, 2015 / 5:17 pm

          I’m sure it’ll be fine 🙂 These are some bad experiences I’ve had after living here for over 2 years so it’s not too bad!

  5. August 27, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    Whoa! I can’t believe the nerve CleverFit has to treat their customers like that! Is it perhaps just cultural thing? Maybe Germans are just not used to the level of customer service the way we do here in Canada, so they’re unabashed by things like this? Also, the one in the German Consulate in Toronto is outrageous! But then again some consulate workers are just rude in general… I’ve had my fair share of them too! Ugh.

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:23 pm

      Yea Germans def don’t have the level of service we have! Although some instances like the Clever Fit one is extreme. How do they expect to keep their customers if they treat them like this? When I lived in Germany, I just ended up ordering everything online 🙂

      • Yannick
        September 2, 2015 / 10:09 pm

        I am german and recently worked in a customer service related job. I am quite surprised, because I had the experience that my co-workers and people in-general (except older ones) really like to help people who speak english (assuming you spoke english while being in Germany). One time my co-worker came up to me, just to tell me how happy and proud she was, that she was able to help a guy in english. I can understand that getting bad customer service is annoying and there is certainly no excuse for the clever fit behaviour, though since you worked in customer service as well, realize that on the other side, you get a lot of entitled customers or people who just don’t read (brining back things they broke and demanding refund is a classic for example). I can imagine, that the H&M guy got rude cause you are supposed to only take 3 pieces into the changing room (not really sure about the exact number but usually its 3). Of course, he should not be a dick about it, but things like this happen thousand times a day and being germans, we are kind of known to be more direct (meaning, that people won’t as easily suck up their frustration with a big smile and instead just tell you).
        There is also a thread on reddit (r/germany) where people are writing some comments about your experiences. I am very curious about what you think of those comments, especially those two:

        “Some wise unknown man or woman ones said:
        Should you find yourself the victim of other peoples bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember this, things could be much worse. You could be one of them!
        and i am going to use it for this article. Why excactly is nowadys even a blog of some random teenager relevant to put on reddit? A Teenager who feels really threatend by H&M employees pointing out their behaviour and also instantly belittles people and brags with the success of her boyfriend? I dont get it.”

        “but the fact that someone can say that and not get fired on the spot is pretty frightening.
        People not getting fired on the spot because of the demand of one custoumer over a joke gone wrong is a very good thing.
        In this case, he tried to mock my boyfriend for being poor, but he’s the 30-something literally folding clothes at a H&M while my boyfriend works as a consultant for one of the biggest IT companies in the world. Who’s the one making minimum wage?
        Certainly not the H&M employee, because he gets paid according to the Einzelhandelstarifvertrag Bayern which, depending on how much work experience he has (she says he’s 30-something, so he should be in the highest tier already) should be a good 65% higher than minimum wage.”

        • Michelle
          September 3, 2015 / 10:22 pm

          Hey Yannick, that sounds like a great job you had to be in such a positive environment 🙂 I actually tried to speak as much German as I could when I was at stores, asking for help with things etc (seemed more polite than forcing English on everyone). When I lived in Mannheim I actually encountered quite a few friendly customer service people – at the bank, post office etc. Especially since they took the time to listen to what I had to say in German (since it’s not the best) and actually replied in German too! (I know a lot of expats complained that whenever they spoke German, often times Germans would just reply back in English).

          There’s no doubt that I encountered some “frustrating” customers (to put it politely!). There’s times where I’ve had customers scream at me for something that had nothing to do with me and I had to just stand there, apologize and tell them I’ll fix it for them ASAP. We were always told that no matter how much you hate a customer, you can vent about them in the staff room after the customer leaves. I’ve even known people who got fired for not smiling enough or not giving customers enough compliments as they walk into the store! So from this perspective, that’s mostly why I’m so shocked that employees in Germany can get away with saying something insulting to a customer.

          Thanks for letting me know about the thread! I’ll take a look although I’m not a fan of my article showing up there haha. People on there can be so quick to jump into conclusions or go out of their way to for some reason prove that the author is wrong (like in the comments you posted). Anyway in response to those comments, I definitely wasn’t trying to “belittle” him – I only mentioned my boyfriend’s job to state the point that you shouldn’t judge others by their appearance. The H&M guy accused him of being poor (maybe because he thought my bf was still a student) and in reality that wasn’t the case. Although can you imagine if some guy was actually poor and the h&m guy accused him of such a thing? It really isn’t a laughing matter.

          He definitely wasn’t making a joke either. You usually know when someone is joking (from their tone of voice, a smile afterwards etc). Maybe he was having a bad day, but the H&M guy made his rude comment loudly enough so that everyone nearby (and it was busy that day) all turned and stared at my boyfriend. He’s kinda shy so that was a really embarrassing situation for him and he was really red and shaken by it afterwards.

          Some clothing stores do have limits on how much clothes you can take in but it’s usually like 6. And when my bf was returning the other jeans, he folded/attached them to their original hangers in a tidy way to hand back so he wasn’t even throwing a pile of jeans at the guy (which would’ve made me want to snap as well)

          I never demanded that he should be fired either, just pointing out that back home, that probably would’ve happened. We only told another employee because we felt like my bf was owed an apology, and since the other employee didn’t care, we wrote a message on H&M’s fb page since companies usually respond quickly. They replied and said that they had a talk with the employee and he apologized for his actions, which I thought H&M handled well and I wasn’t expecting anymore than that.

          Also to be fair, this wasn’t really a case of “bad German customer service” but “bad service in Germany” since that H&M employee was Spanish and spoke German with a heavy accent/grammar mistakes, suggesting that he probably only recently moved there. I’m assuming (like many other Spaniards going to Germany b/c of the poor Spanish economy at the moment) the H&M job was one of the few he could find and that’s why he’s frustrated having to work at such a busy store and having all the other employees be much younger than you can take a toll on your outlook in life…but it’s still unnecessary to make such rude comments. He could’ve at the very least kept it to himself by saying it in Spanish or muttered it softly.

          Anyway, it’s just unfortunate since all these bad experiences happened to me right before I left Germany for the Netherlands, so I can’t help thinking a bit negatively on my experiences in Bavaria. Overall though, I do like Germany! I had an amazing year in Mannheim, still have tons of German friends (my bf is also German), and Germany is a beautiful country with lots of nice nature, castles and good beer! 🙂

  6. April
    August 28, 2015 / 7:11 am

    The best argument is a “Lifetime Warranty.” Don’t even bother bringing in something that breaks with a lifetime warranty. The answer will always be, “well, its life time is up.”

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:26 pm

      Oh how snarky! When it comes to anything expensive (electronics etc), I only buy from American companies. They have the best policies and actually stick to their word!

  7. Julian Reineke
    August 28, 2015 / 10:36 am

    Hi Michelle,
    last year my mom visited my brother in southern Germany. At that time she couldn’t walk properly because she had several surgery at her legs and ankles. Because of that I mailed her luggage with HERMES so she wouldn’t have to carry it on the train. HERMES was the partner of the Deutsche Bahn, and they were linked on their website. On the internet it said, that my moms luggage would arrive at my brothers on the evening of the day she arrives their. The luggage was picked up at my moms 2 days in advance. So when my mom was at my brothers and the luggage didn’t arrive she called me and asked me if I double checked the arrival date in the E-Mail I got from Hermes. I checked everything and told her, that it was correct. The luggage also contained some of my moms medicine she needed to take on a daily basis. She only had a little left in her “carry on”. So my brother then called the hotline and was connected to a very rude lady, who after she told him, that if the luggage didn’t arrive today it’ll certainly arrive on another day, dropped the phone on him. My brother called the hotline again and demanded to talk to a supervisor. This man was very apologetic and was very sorry for the treatment they received. By that time a family friend doctor wrote my mom a new prescription for her medication (which cost a lot of money). So the supervisor then found out where the luggage was right at that moment and told my brother that if they needed it right away they would need to pick it up. He also said, that if they would pick it up themselves, we would get the money for the service back, an extra 150 Euros for the new medication and gas and a bouqet of flowers for my mom. My mom was going on a trip to mallorca on the next day, so they decided to accept the offer. So you see, its an every day struggle we are all in 😉

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Wow that must’ve been a scary experience at the time and very frustrating! I like how they went from handing it very badly to being apologetic and trying to fix it in the best of their abilities…that redeems a company for me in my eyes. 🙂 Do you think you’ll use Hermes in the future?

      • Julian Reineke
        September 10, 2015 / 7:24 pm

        Normally I’ll just go with the cheapest offer. I’ll never send luggage with them though^^

  8. August 28, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    That is really horrible! Sorry to hear that. One of my best friends lives in Berlin and she told me Germans are very direct and sometimes rude. Well, like everyone else I guess. Hope you had a better experience in Amsterdam. How do you do?

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:35 pm

      I’ve actually always had pretty pleasant customer service in Berlin! I’ve been there a bunch of times too. And yes, it’s WAY better in the Netherlands. Everyone was SOO friendly when I first moved here, I felt suspicious haha. What a great country! 😀

  9. Rudi
    August 28, 2015 / 9:53 pm

    I lived in Munich for a 15 years – and yes you are right – it’s a less friendly approach to customer service in Germany in general, but that’s almost more a cultural thing then bad intent. For a German the North American overwhelming friendliness feels as awkward and false and needs some getting used to, although it’s meant well in most cases. In any case I think the bad examples you had described could happen in any other country. I live now in the NL for 8 months and had some trouble with Vodafone already (although that seems to be problem in all of Europe 🙂

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      It must be quite a change moving from Munich to the Netherlands! 😀 That was me a few months ago, and I almost had a heart attack because everyone was so friendly here! haha. Phone companies are the worst. It’s universal 🙂 In Canada, I spent a summer working for a phone company that rhymes with Hell….and I’ll just say that description is very fitting 😉

  10. August 31, 2015 / 12:44 am

    Wow… some of these stories are heavy :/ It’s always difficult to see where the line is exactly between cultural differences and just plain rudeness. I’ve had some bad experiences with customer service in Europe in general, but I always wondered if perhaps it was just my interpretation of the service, rather than outright rudeness. I hope your experiences get better!!

    • Michelle
      August 31, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      Yes that’s true. My experience above are definitely more in the rudeness of the individuals I dealt with and definitely not a reflection of Germans as a whole. On the other hand, ever since moving to the Netherlands, I’ve been getting amazing customer service wherever I go!!

  11. November 16, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Wow! Talk about bad experiences there in Germany, but I have to say, especially with regards to administrators at the offices (Behörden), it is typical and expected that a person receives bad service because they are always disgruntled and greedy. Although admittedly, in the 16+ years in Germany (mainly in Thuringia but also for a couple years in Bavaria), service has gotten better over time, especially in areas where there is a high concentration of foreigners, plus the further north you go the friendlier they are. Bavaria, like with its religion, education, politics and their worshipping of Edmund Stoiber seems to always be the outlyer and standout. I just wished you guys had a class-action lawsuit against Cleverfit. With evidence like that, they could really get hammered. In either case, really nice article and I can relate to that. 🙂

  12. Josep
    March 13, 2018 / 6:11 am
    Never been to Germany before, but I think the “lack” of customer service is a cultural thing. I see no reason for establishments and their employees to bend over for the customer and pamper him/her with smiles/greetings, chitchat, and “Have a nice day”. There are customers who act like spoiled, entitled brats and whine when they don’t get their way. This is one reason Walmart failed in Germany, last time I checked.
    It irks me to be interrupted by employees when I’m doing my shopping (if I really needed help, well, I could just step up and ask). All I want is for employees to do their jobs right. And given that, as I said, this is a cultural thing, I, as an American, am counting down the days until I’m able to travel abroad and move to a country with more honest, straightforward people who don’t sugar-coat things.
    To make a long story short, sometimes you just gotta grow a thick skin and man up.
    My two cents worth.

  13. Will
    October 30, 2021 / 3:07 pm

    Had a similar experience in Berlin, with a rude hostel employee. After I found his name from another employee to leave a bad review, he came to find me and became aggressive, things escalated and I ended up kicked out in the middle of the night. Ruined my experience in this country.

    I am curious what the German attitude is that results in this behavior, it feels like defensiveness mixed with arrogance or xenophobia.

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