While responding to review flags I continue to see questions that can only be answered by contacting customer service, and that's exactly how the comments on the question begin, "what did the CS rep tell you"?

Is there a need for the canned close response "this question is off topic as it's a customer service question for the company mentioned."

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I ask here because we have a limited number of close reasons we can edit, and I'd like to add this one. In the Mod-only group, I was advised to ask here first. If there's no consensus here, I'll stick with my cut/paste version of that response.

The top 3, we are able to edit, and I'd like to request this reason as a 4th fixed option.

1 Answer 1


I would rather not see this added as a quick close reason.

One of the items that is explicitly on-topic on this site is "Consumer issues or consumer protections." It is true that sometimes when a question of this type gets asked, the first course of action should be to contact the customer service department. However, we all know that this doesn't always lead to a good conclusion. We don't want to discourage consumer-related questions. We don't want to give the impression that any situation that could possibly be handled by a company's customer service department is always off-topic here.

Let's present a hypothetical situation: OP just got his phone bill, and there is a charge he does not recognize on it. He runs to his computer and fires off a question to Money.SE: "What do I do about this bogus charge on my phone bill?" A helpful Money.SE user leaves a comment: "Have you called the phone company and asked what they have to say about this particular charge?"

Let's say OP replies: "No, why would I do that?" We close the question as "Too broad" or "Unclear what you are asking."

Let's say OP doesn't reply at all: We could close the question in the same way.

Instead, if OP replies: "Yes. They told me that I signed up for the optional protection plan on my phones, but I did not. They refuse to remove the charge." This is a question we could answer.

As an aside, in my opinion, we close enough questions on this site as it is. We don't need to make it easier or quicker to do so, especially for questions like this that are really on-topic.

  • +1 fair enough, I appreciate the thoughtful answer you composed. And I agree, we a often too quick to close. Aug 21, 2015 at 19:10

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