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Pittsburgh (West Virginia) Tops the List of Worst Cities For Customer Service in the US

Pittsburgh has been revealed as the city with the most customer service complaints, followed by Baltimore and Atlanta. West Virginia is the worst state for customer service, while North Dakota is the best.

Poor Customer Service Result in Dissatisfied Consumers

Pittsburgh is the worst city in the US for customer service, new research has revealed. The research, carried out by telecommunications provider, looked at a combination of Google Trends and FCC complaints to identify which US cities have the most unhappy consumers.

The top 10 worst cities in the US for customer service were revealed as:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA                             6. Orlando, FL
  2. Baltimore, MD                             7. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Atlanta, GA                                 8. Jacksonville, FL
  4. Richmond, VA                             9. Miami, FL
  5. Sacramento, CA                             10. Tampa, FL

Pittsburgh came in 1st position after claiming the highest overall complaints score, followed closely by Baltimore and Atlanta. Looking at the top 10, there was a trend towards eastern cities and high customer complaints, with Florida cities Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa all appearing in the top 10 worst cities.

The research also sought to identify both the best and worst states for customer service. It found West Virginia was the worst state, coming in with the highest complaints rate, followed by Maryland and Florida. Looking at the best states for customer service, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah came out top, scoring 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.

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The study also looked at the psychological reasons behind complaints, asking whether high complaint rates can translate directly to bad customer service or if there may be other reasons consumers choose to make a complaint. It found that while many complaints are made to receive validation of genuine bad experiences, they can also be a way to assert high standards.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Brian Wind explained:

“From a psychological perspective, complaining provides some relief from stress and can be a way to get reassurance and sympathy from others to validate the experiences they have.

“On the other hand, some people might be chronic complainers out of habit. People with high self-confidence have been linked to a greater incidence of complaining because they think that if they complain and speak up, they’re more likely to get what they want. Complaining may also be a way to show that they have high standards so that other people won’t try to short-change them.”

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Jason O’Brien, COO of said of the findings:

“Complaints are never good for a business, especially in the modern digital age where a bad review on social media can be damaging to a brand. With this research, we set out to discover which areas of the US have the ‘worst’ customer service by identifying complaints hotspots. We discovered strong trends towards cities in the east, with Pittsburgh coming in as the worst city for customer service and 8 cities in the top 10 being located towards the east coast.

“People complain for a multitude of reasons, not limited to bad service but also to position themselves in a higher position of power or guarantee high standards. Whatever the reasons behind complaints, businesses need to know not only how to avoid them, but how to deal with them when they do occur. With this in mind, we’ve put together a blog detailing our full research along with infographics and expert advice on how to deal with customer service complaints.”


Data was collected from FCC complaints over the last year, which were calculated in relation to the location’s population to create an overall complaint rate. This was combined with data from Google on which locations showed the most interest in searches for complaints numbers.

Google search trends from April 2020-April 2021 were analyzed for the term ‘complaints number’.

Complaints figures for each location were taken from the FCC

Population data was taken from World Population Review

Full methodology can be found on the blog


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