A new customer-rage study shows fewer American consumers than ever are satisfied with the products and services we buy.

The national phone survey of 1,000 households gives an in-depth look at our dissatisfaction, the bad customer service received when we complain, and the web's new role in venting our anger.

Based on the results, the researchers believe more than 50 million Americans had a problem with a product or service bought within the past year, and more than $58 billion in transactions may be at risk for the businesses that sold them.

In the independent study, completed in September, researchers Marc Grainer and Scott Broetzmann of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC) worked with the Center for Services Leadership.

They found the problem of bad customer service keeps growing. The 2011 survey is based on one originally conducted by the White House in 1976, and this is now the fifth wave of the study, providing an easy comparison of how American customers are being treated.

The study results were discussed in Phoenix at the annual Compete through Service Symposium hosted by the Center for Services Leadership. The center was formed in 1985 as a response to the unique challenges that companies face in the services arena. More information about the center's work, big-name member firms and the symposium can be found at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/csl.

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