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    High Five Low Point

    | MD, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Math & Science, Money

    (A customer has come in to pick up some parts they ordered. They provided part numbers and quantities. He is looking through the items. The manufacturer sells some of their small parts in package quantities only, and we always let customers know when they have to buy a whole package.)

    Customer: “These five are individually packaged?”

    Me: “Yes. You ordered five.”

    Customer: “No. It’s supposed to be a pack of five.”

    Me: “So you needed twenty-five?”

    Customer: “I only need one, but they’re supposed to be $2 for a pack of five.”

    Me: “Well, since we can buy them individually, we sell them individually. They’re $2 each.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want five. I only need one. I only want to buy one if they’re individually packaged.”

    Me: “That’s fine.”

    (I take the others back and finish up the transaction. The customer intently looks over the receipt after I give it to him.)

    Customer: *in a mildly upset voice* “You charged me shipping and handling.”

    Me: “Yes. You ordered things we don’t keep in stock and we were charged to have them shipped in for you.”

    Customer: “Look, I don’t want to be that a**-hole customer and stand here and argue like a jack-a**. I just want to have a conversation.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (I wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “I just want to have a conversation.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (Again, I wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “Instead of getting all upset.”

    Me: “Ok.”

    (I still wait for him to keep talking.)

    Customer: “You charged me shipping and handling for something I didn’t even want. The one part was supposed to be $2 for a whole pack.”

    Me: “Well, you called me with the part numbers you wanted. Right?”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    Me: “And you also told me the amount of each you wanted. Right?”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    Me: “The pricing and availability on what you wanted was looked up before they were ordered. You were told the pricing, on each, and package quantities. I told you what the prices would be plus tax and shipping. We don’t know the exact shipping amount until the items arrive. I gave you the option of paying more for shipping to get them here faster, which you declined, because you said you weren’t in a hurry.”

    Customer: “I wasn’t told there would be shipping. The guy I talked to didn’t say anything about it. Nobody said anything about additional shipping and handling.”

    Me: “You talked to me. When I gave you the prices I told you they would be plus tax AND shipping. You told me to go ahead with the order using the slower, cheaper, shipping option. I was also able to combine your order with an order of parts we normally stock, so you were only charged for part of the total shipping.”

    Customer: “Uh, oh, well… um. Thanks for having a conversation with me.”

    (The customer takes a couple of steps away, then suddenly switches to a perturbed huff.)

    Customer: “I’m going to keep the extra shipping charges in mind the next time I need to find someplace to order parts.”

    Me: “You do that, and I’ll be keeping in mind your reluctance to pay for what you ordered and the shipping you approved.”