At one point in my career, I was on a corporate customer service desk. I acted on behalf of the VP of customer service ( a position I would later hold). If you, as a customer, had a problem significant enough to end up on my line, there was no one else to give it to. Employees would also throw things up the ladder when they felt they could not handle the problem. The first thing to know when dealing with a frustrated person (customer or employee) that they are not directing their emotions at you. The next thing to do is listen - accurately and respond with empathy. To be sure you understood; paraphrase what you heard them say and repeat it back to them for confirmation. Once you reach an understanding, ask them what they think the company should do? If it is reasonable, make it happen. If not, negotiate but keep in mind, for every problem that goes unsolved, a customer will tell many people. I used to tell my customer contact people, "there is no rule, policy or procedure that takes the place of good common sense. Do what's right for the customer and the company and we'll sort the details out later". One other thing, some people cannot be satisfied......I've fired a few customers over the years too......the amazing thing to me was when I did, they knew they had pushed too hard and expected that someone would draw the line.