A Bad Spell Of Upsell

, , , , , | Working | February 19, 2020

(I work for a store that demands we try to upsell, like asking about pillowcases if the customer has bought pillows. I have been asked by a customer for silver spray paint.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t carry spray paint.”

Customer: “Can you get it in for me?”

Me: “No, it’s not legal for us to sell it; we don’t have a license.”

Customer: “All I want is silver spray paint. You have paints; you have to have it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but perhaps you can try [Hardware Store]. All we have is this silver paint in our non-toxic kid’s range. Would you be able to use this, instead?” *picks up a bottle off the shelf we are standing next to*

(A few days later, our area manager comes into the store and calls me to the office.)

Manager: “I’ve been sent to give you a written warning because you have a customer complaint.”

Me: “What for?”

Manager: “A customer complained that you tried making her buy non-toxic silver paint when she wanted silver spray paint. And she didn’t appreciate that you tried making her feel guilty for not caring about the environment.”

Me: “What? She was demanding spray paint; all I did was show her that we only had the silver in the non-toxic kid’s range and asked if she might be able to use it, instead.”

Manager: “Well, make sure you don’t do this again.” *pulls out warning pad*

Me: “I’m not going to accept a written warning.” 

(She looks at me and realises I am serious and am about to walk out.)

Manager: “Uh, how about I skip the written warning and just class this as a verbal warning?”

(I am not impressed with a verbal warning.)

Me: “So, if a customer asks for a product that we don’t have, but we have one that they might be able to use, what are we supposed to do?”

Manager: “Just don’t make the offer.”

(For the record, customers complain all the time if we don’t offer them a substitute and I spent the rest of my employment wondering when I was going to get written up for not offering substitutes. I quit a couple of months later.)

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