That's What They Call Customer Service?


PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A Nestle customer service representative told a woman she would "slice her throat" and "watch the blood drain from you" after she called with questions about the company's bottled water, the rattled customer claims in court.
     Shimrit Ellis sued Pamela Vaughan, Nestle USA and Answernet Inc., et al., in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
     Ellis claims she bought Nestle's Pure Life Water on Aug. 5, 2012, then called the company's customer service department to ask about health concerns related to fluoride.
     "Shortly thereafter, plaintiff, Shimrit Ellis, started to receive very graphic and violent death threats by phone from an unknown female," the complaint states.
     "By way of example, inter alia, some of the treats [sic] that were made to plaintiff by phone were:
     "a. 'I'm going to slice your throat.';
     "b. 'I finally found where you live and watched you go to work. You're going to die.';
     "c. 'People are going to watch the blood drain from you when I stab you with a knife'. (Also described the knife with which she was going to use to kill plaintiff). These were among many vivid and horrible threats to plaintiff." (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Ellis claims she received such calls at least three times a week for nearly a month, when she finally reported them to the Philadelphia Police Department.
     At that point, the complaint states, "Plaintiff's phone records were subpoenaed by the police and the calls were traced to Nestle Tollhouse Call Center, which revealed they were being made by a female employee, later identified as Pamela Vaughan, to whom plaintiff lodged the original complaint about the ingredient/additive, fluoride, being in the bottled water."
     The full list of defendants includes Answernet-Philadelphia, S&D Marketing Inc., S&D Marketing, Nestle USA Inc., Nestle USA-Beverage Division Inc., Nestle Tollhouse Call Center and Nestle Waters North America Inc.
     Ellis seeks more than $50,000 for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     She is represented by Warren Siegel of Bernhardt, Rothermel and Siegel.
     None of the parties in the lawsuit responded to requests for comment.