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Jeff Bezos called Amazon customer service in the middle of a meeting and it was 'uncomfortable'

Jeff Bezos called Amazon customer service in the middle of a meeting and it was 'uncomfortable'

He did it to prove a point about customer service.

There's nothing like checking in on your own business to make sure things are running smoothly.

One time, Jeff Bezos called up his founded company Amazon back in its earlier days.

On the Lex Fridman Podcast, the former Amazon CEO shared a story about the time he rang up Amazon customer service to prove a point.

During a weekly business review, Bezos noticed that the data and customer feedback didn't match up.

'I have a saying which is: when the data and the anecdotes disagree, the anecdotes are usually right,' the 60-year-old said.

He explained that if customers are complaining but the metrics don't show a problem, it's a matter of data measurement.


'It's usually not that the data is being miscollected, it's usually that you're not measuring the right thing,' he explained.

In this case, metrics showed customers were waiting less than 60 seconds to reach customer service, but many were complaining about long wait times.

So Bezos went straight up to the head of customer service and said: 'Let's call.'

The billionaire went on: 'I picked up the phone and I dialled the 1800 number and called customer service.

'And we just waited in silence,' Bezos chuckled.

When Lex asked what the wait time actually was, Bezos said it turned out to be 'way longer' than expected. 'More than 10 minutes I think.'

However, according to Bezos, the call 'dramatically made the point that something was wrong with the data collection.'

David Ryder/Stringer / Getty
David Ryder/Stringer / Getty

He called this an example of 'truth-telling.'

Despite being 'uncomfortable', this is the best way to get people to listen to you and buy into what you're saying. A powerful tool in business.

The YouTube comments have been loving the Bezos approach.

'Imagine sitting in the boardroom waiting in silence for 10min for customer service to pick up after you just told Jeff the data shows it is only 60 seconds and everything is fine lol,' the first comment read.

A second user pointed out the difference between Amazon's customer service back then to now, writing: 'Kind of ironic that, these days, they make it very difficult to interact with a real person.'

A third replied: 'Amazon’s service has gone WAYYYYYYY down since Bezos stepped aside. I used to buy nearly 95% from Amazon and that has gone down to probably less than 50%. They are not who they used to be.'

Another user joked: 'Imagine working in the call centre and Jeff rings you himself hahaha'.

Featured Image Credit: David Ryder/Stringer / Getty