Trying To Posit How Deposits Work

, , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(A customer calls to accept her quote, and pay the scheduling deposit.)

Customer: “Okay, so, I am going to pay $300 deposit today, and pay the rest when the guys get here. I need you here September 8.” *in three days*

Me: “I’m sorry, that won’t work. We are currently booking the end of October, and we require a 50% non-refundable deposit, up to $2,500, now, in order to hold your place in the schedule. Your entire job will cost about $14,000, so that means we need the $2,500 now.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay that much now, and I can’t wait until the end of October. I will pay $500 now, so you can hold my spot, and I’ll let you come September 15. Then I will call around and see if I can get someone out here sooner than that; if I can, I’ll get the money refunded back to pay them instead of you.”

Me: “Well, you are welcome to call around if you like, but I will need the $2,500 now if you would like your spot at the end of October held, and as it says in your contract, that amount is non-refundable.”

Customer: “Well, that policy is illegal. You can’t keep my deposit if I can find someone else to do it first! You probably lose a lot of money that way!”

Me: “We do lose some jobs because people need us to come sooner than we are able; that is why all deposits are non-refundable. If we lose another job because the end of October is booked with your job, and then you cancel, we can use your deposit to make payroll, keep our employees so we are able to do the rest of the jobs we have scheduled, and cover overhead even though we have nothing booked and have lost other potential jobs for it. We usually book out two to eight weeks in advance, at all times of the year, so I don’t think we are losing a lot of custom over this. It’s also not illegal, and clearly laid out in your contract.”

Customer: “Fine, I will just pay on credit card today; at least that way I can cancel the charge if I find someone else who can do it sooner.”

Me: “And you’ve just said the magic words! Now we require payment by certified cheque or bank draft for the whole amount before we will put you in the schedule. Whenever you drop that off at the office, I can book you in at that time. For every day you wait, our lead time gets two to three days longer until after Christmas, when our lead times start to drop. I will send you an email confirming the new terms of your contract.”

Customer: “You can’t do that; it’s illegal to charge for goods before the customer gets them. You can’t do this. Deposits are always refundable; it’s the law! You aren’t allowed to do this!”

Me: “You should go explain those laws to [Coffee Shop] and to every hotel, ever, ma’am. You have a nice day now.”

Skimming Over The Facts

, , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(Hurricane Irma hit our area on Sunday night, knocking out power to most of the state. On Thursday, I venture out to a [Coffee Shop] to see if maybe I can get a cold drink and sit in the air conditioning for a while. They are open, but there is a sign on all three doors, at eye level, that says “LIMITED MENU AVAILABLE. We have no dairy products at this time but can use coconut milk, soy milk, and almond milk.” As I’m sitting near the counter, this happens:)

Customer #1: *walking back from the condiment bar* “Excuse me, could I get milk in this?”

Employee: “Would you like coconut, soy, or almond milk?”

Customer #1: “Skim milk.”

Employee: “I’m sorry; we don’t have any dairy right now.”

Customer #1: “Okay, I’ll have cream, instead.”

Employee: “Ma’am, that’s made with milk.”

Customer #1: “You should tell people before they order! This is so stupid!” *takes drink and leaves*

Me: *to employee* “How many times has that happened today?”

Employee: “Too many.”

(Not even 15 minutes later…)

Customer #2: “I want a [size] latte.”

Manager: “Do you want that made with soy, coconut, or almond milk?”

Customer #2: “What?”

Manager: “Soy, coconut, or almond milk?”

Customer #2: “None of those. Just regular milk.”

Manager: “I’m really sorry, but we don’t have any regular milk in the store. We can make a latte with another type—”

Customer #2: “It’s only 1:00. How can you be out of milk?”

Manager: “Ma’am, we had no power for three days. Everything had to be thrown out.”

Customer #2: “Why didn’t you just order more?”

Manager: “We had no power. Where would we have kept it?”

Customer #2: “Fine! I’ll go to the one on [Street]!”

Me: “Do they not understand how milk works, that it needs to be in a fridge?”

Manager: “I’m not sure anymore. Want to know something funny? The [Street] location is closed because it doesn’t have power. I think we’re the only [Store] open around here.”

It’s Too Early In The Morning For This

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(I work for a large energy firm servicing department. Everyone gets this type of call several times a day.)

Me: “Good morning, you’re through to [Company] and [Department]. How can I help?”

Customer: “My fireplace isn’t working.”

(I go over security details and they pass, and we proceed to pull up a calendar for repair appointment.)

Me: “Okay, sir, the earliest available appointment is two days from now between 12:00 and 6:00 pm.”

Customer: “Have you got anything sooner?”

Me: “No, sir, two days is the earliest appointment, 12:00 until 6:00 pm.”

Customer: “Okay, I guess I’ll take the morning, then.”

Me: “Sir, the next appointment is two days from now in the afternoon, or three days from now in the morning. If you prefer a morning, you will have to wait until the third day or I will book you in for the afternoon.”

Customer: “Well, that isn’t very good. Why can’t I get an appointment in the morning for two days time?”

Me: “Because we work on a live system with limited staffing for repairs. If we have a high volume of breakdowns in your area, it is mainly first-come, first-serve.”

Customer: “I pay £35 a month for this agreement. Can’t you cancel someone else’s appointment?”

Me: “In the interest of equality, we do not cancel appointments to book in other customers; that is company policy.”

Customer: “I don’t care; I want an appointment in the morning.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, that is not a possibility, and due to it being a live system, if I do not book you an appointment now it may be gone soon.”

Customer: “Fine! Don’t know why I pay for this service.”

Me: “Because if you didn’t, it could be anything up to $400 or more for each repair and a wait of up to a week or more, sir.”

(We resolve the call and they hang up.)

Coworker: “So, no mornings, then?”

Me: “Don’t get me started!”

Bird Of (Written) Passage

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(I work at a large department store for a summer job. One day I’m in the pet section when a elderly man in a scooter comes up to me.)

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help you?”

(The man holds up a bag of birdseed and makes some strange sounds that sound distressed.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t understand. Are you asking me about the bag?”

(The man makes a few more sounds I can’t understand and hands me the bag.)

Me: “Is there something wrong with the bag?”

(More noises from the man. I look over the bag and find nothing wrong with it.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I don’t understand what you want from me.”

(The man takes out a pad of paper and starts writing. He holds out the pad and it reads, “birdseed.”)

Me: *now a little distressed* “Yes, this is birdseed, but I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”

(The man continues to make noises and write things down on his note pad. I’m still very lost about what he wants from me. Several scribbled notes later, I decide that he’s asking me where the birdseed is so I take him to the pet food aisle and point to the bird seed.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for, sir?”

(The man doesn’t even look at the shelf and only keeps writing in his note pad. It goes back and forth like this for a while, and it’s starting to get to the end of my shift.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir. I’m sorry, but my shift is over. I can direct you to another employee if you like.”

(The man just made a happy sound, took the bag of birdseed he’d handed to me, and left. Throughout our hour-long exchange I learned he was 63 years old, had three kids and two were married. I never found out what he was asking me about the birdseed.)

Spare A Nickel Of Charity?

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(Our chain has implemented a “roundup” feature; customers are asked if they want to round their total up to the nearest dollar, with the extra cents being donated to a children’s charity. The outcome means that it is impossible for the donation to ever be more than 99 cents.)

Customer: “What’s this prompt asking me?”

Me: “It’s asking if you want to round the total of your purchase up to the next dollar, and donate the extra to charity.”

(The customer hits yes before proceeding with her question.)

Customer: “Oh, now I remember. I think I donated two or three dollars with it the last time I was here. How much is it this time?”

Me: “Less than a dollar, ma’am.”

(The transaction proceeds normally, until we finally reach the end.)

Me: “All right, your total is $28.00.”

Customer: “It’s how much? Oh, no. That can’t be right!”

(She begins rummaging around in her wallet, still thinking aloud.)

Customer: “I’m sure I added everything up correctly, but I didn’t bring enough for that with me… Wait, I know! It was that donation! How much did you say it was?”

Me: “Less than a dollar?”

Customer: “Well, take it off. I’m sorry; I didn’t realize it was going to be so much.”

(I go ahead and cancel it, displaying her new total without the rounding.)

Me: “All right, your total is… $27.95, ma’am.”

(The customer promptly pulled out $28 in cash, and I handed her the nickel in change.)

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