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Customer Cursing: Which Types of Businesses Trigger the Most Frustration? New Marchex Call Analytics Data Shows Satellite TV and Housing Contractors Rank at the Top

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 18, 2013-- If you work at a veterinary clinic or a flower shop, chances are you won’t get cussed out by customers over the phone. But conversations often turn a blue streak when people call up satellite TV providers and housing contractors, according to new data released today by Marchex Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX), a mobile advertising technology company.

The study examined rates of cursing across 20 service-related industries, such as hotels and auto dealers, which rely on consumer phone calls for sales.

MarchexCall Analytics technology assessed data from more than 1.2 million consumer calls placed to U.S. businesses over a nearly two-year period from March 2012 to November 2013 to determine which industries generated the highest and lowest rates of customer cursing. The Marchex Institute, the research and insights team at Marchex, aggregated the data across a range of common curse words and found:

  • Satellite TV providers received the most cursing – 1 out of every 82 calls resulted in customers swearing.
  • Veterinary clinics received the least amount of cursing over the phone – 1 out of every 2,634 calls.
  • 64% of the conversations that included a curse word were from men; 36% from women.

The study follows up on a widely-recognized Institute analysis released in May, which ranked the Top 5 and Bottom 5 states where consumers were most likely or least likely to curse when talking to businesses. Marchex is planning to release an annual follow-up study in May 2014.

Marchex analyzes rates of cursing across industries to understand how companies can improve customer service and performance.

“Consumers expect great service and easy-to-understand pricing from national and local businesses, and they aren’t afraid to voice their displeasure when they don’t receive it,” said John Busby, Senior Vice President of the Marchex Institute. He added that the study also found that a fair amount of cursing occurs while consumers are on hold.

“This should be a clear signal to businesses that long hold times leave a negative – and lasting – impression,” Busby said.

Here is the full list of cursing rates across the 20 industries. The numbers denote how often cursing occurs when customers are on the line with a business. (Ranked from Worst to Best).

1. Satellite TV providers         1 in every 82


2. Housing contractors         90
3. Cable providers         123
4. Auto Repair         144
5. Tow Truck         159
6. Locksmith         192
7. Storage         214
8. Pest Control         215
9. Heating & Cooling         215
10. House Cleaning         218
11. Lawn Care         271
12. Carpet Cleaning         275
13. Plumbing         334
14. Home Buying         411
15. Auto Dealers         870
16. Flowers        


17. Property Management         1,390
18. Hotels         1,486
19. Senior Living         1,742
20. Veterinary clinics         2,634

Read more about the study on our blog here.

About Marchex

Marchex is a mobile advertising technology company. The company provides a suite of products and services for businesses that depend on consumer phone calls to drive sales. Marchex’s mobile advertising platform delivers new customer phone calls to businesses, while its technology analyzes the data in these calls to help maximize ad campaign results. Marchex disrupts traditional advertising models by giving businesses full transparency into their ad campaign performance and charging them based on new customer acquisition.

Please visit, or @marchex on Twitter (, where Marchex discloses material information from time to time about the company, its financial information, and its business.

Source: Marchex Inc.

Marchex Corporate Communications
Sonia Krishnan, 206-331-3434
Email: skrishnan(at)