A Common Light-Bulb Moment

, | Right | October 15, 2016

(The phone rings. When I answer, I recognize a lady I’d helped the day before.)

Customer: “When I bought my light yesterday, the lady didn’t sell me any bulbs to go with it.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. You didn’t want them because you said you already had some at home.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t. I don’t know why you’d have that impression. Anyway, I’m in another lighting store now, and they say they don’t have that bulb.”

Me: “Really? That’s just a bulb with a candelabra base. It’s extremely common and dozens of different bulbs would fit. I’m surprised that any lighting store wouldn’t have it! Perhaps if you phrase it differently they might recognize it. Some people describe it as a ‘small base’ or an ‘E12′ base.”

Customer: “Look, they DON’T HAVE IT.”

Me: “Okay, that’s no problem. We carry them all the time. I’m looking at some right now if you’d like to come back in.”

Customer: “I’m in [Town 20 minutes away]. I’m NOT coming all the way back.”

Me: “Well, like I said, it’s a very common bulb. You should be able to find them at dollar stores, grocery stores, hardware stores… anywhere that sells bulbs, really.”

Customer: “I’m not driving all over town just because your employees didn’t give me any bulbs!”

Me: “All right, ma’am, what would you like me to do for you?”

Customer: “I want you to mail them to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t do that. Among other reasons, the postage would cost far more than the bulbs themselves.”

Customer: “Well, then, somebody needs to deliver them to my house.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t spare any employees for that.”

Customer: “This is horrible customer service! I’m never shopping there again!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am. Did you have any other questions?”

Customer: “No!” *hangs up*

(Twenty minutes later, she showed up at our store, but not to buy the bulbs. She returned the fixture.)

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