Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

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Talk Too Mulch

| MI, USA | Home Improvement

(It’s just a few days before Memorial weekend and the store has lots of sales going on; mulch being on of the hot items this year. Both my coworkers and I are getting fed up with people asking what color the “natural” mulch is.)

Customer: “What color is your natural mulch?”

Coworker: *totally deadpan* “It’s purple.”

Customer: *sounding excited* “Oh really?”

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The Sedan Plan

| Tallahassee, FL, USA | Home Improvement, Popular, Transportation

(My mom and I are at the hardware store, waiting to get a plywood sheet cut. There is a lady with her six-year-old grandson getting help before us.)

Customer: “I need two ten-foot-long two-by-six boards, and one sixteen-foot-long two-by-six. And I need help loading them.”

Employee: “No problem, ma’am.” *to us* “I’ll be back, but it will take me a little while to load these.”

Mom: “Oh, we don’t mind waiting. Don’t worry about it.”

(He leads the lady and her grandson to the front of the store and we stand around chatting for a few minutes. The employee then comes back, pushing the cart with the boards loaded.)

Employee: “I’ll be able to help you sooner than I thought. She was trying to fit these in her sedan.”

Me: “What?”

Employee: “She said she was going to hang them out of her window. When I told her I couldn’t help her and that she needed to find another way to transport them, she said she was going to [Other Major Home Improvement Store] and get them to help her.”

Mom: “Why? Do they have a psychologist there?”

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Flood Of Lies

| UK | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

(I am working on a specific out-of-hours phone line for house maintenance and repairs on Christmas Eve. It is about four pm and one of the last calls of the day. I have already let the customer know that calls are recorded.)

Customer: “There’s a pipe under my sink and if I touch the bolt it is going to leak.”

Me: “I’m afraid we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours, sir.”

Customer: “But it’s going to leak if I touch it!”

Me: “Sir, if it is not already leaking I cannot send an engineer out to you. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Erm, okay, then, it’s leaking now.”

Me: *following my script* “Okay, and is the leak currently containable?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I do apologise, sir, we only deal with uncontainable leaks during out of hours.”

Customer: “Then it IS uncontainable. My kitchen is flooding!”

Me: “Okay, I can get an engineer out to you but I would like to remind you that calls are recorded so you may be charged if this is not the case.”

(The caller hung up straight away.)

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Urgently Needs To Learn The Definition Of ‘Urgent’

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Home Improvement

(We receive a work order that reads “URGENT: fixture burning.” I call to see if anyone is home but nobody answers. We’re in the area for another call so we decide to stop by. We knock, and the homeowner answers.)

Coworker: “Hi, we’re with [Company]. You said you were having an emergency with one of your lights burning?”

Homeowner: “Yeah, the bulb keeps burning out and it gets really hot. We’ve changed the bulb at least four times. I’m really worried because the baby sleeps in that room.”

Coworker: “Okay, we can get that looked at right now for you, if you like.”

Homeowner: “Well, now isn’t really a good time. The baby is taking a nap so I don’t want any work done. But you can come see what I mean if you want.”

(We go inside to see what’s going on. The baby isn’t actually asleep, but jumping up and down in his crib. We look everything over.)

Coworker: *after checking it out, the wiring is all okay* “We can change out the fixture. It would only take about ten minutes.”

Homeowner: “Well, I’d rather have it done another time. I hope that’s okay.”

Coworker: “No problem, we can schedule something for a different day.”

(We end up setting an appointment for the following week. So much for being “urgent.”)

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Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 6

| CA, USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I’m the ‘new guy’ on my shift. I’ve spent about 45-50 minutes sorting out a long, complicated lighting setup for a customer, retrofitting his house to use ‘can’ lights with LED inserts. The total is going to be pretty high, admittedly, well over two grand. Through the entire transaction he’s been polite, and we’ve been trading jokes. At the end when I ask if there is anything else I can do, while standing next to the mountain of merchandise, he turns to me and this occurs.)

Customer: “So! I get a discount on this. Make it happen.”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “You need to give me a discount on this. I’m buying a lot. I get a discount.”

(Some items ARE discounted by quantity but not a lot of the stuff he is getting.)

Me: “I’m actually not authorized to give anyone-”

Customer: *suddenly getting irate* “Dammit, this is a LOT of merchandise! I need a discount! My electrician gets a discount when he comes here all the time, so I’m getting one, too! Give me my discount!”

(Flustered, I tell them I’ll talk to my department head as I’m pretty sure I have NO authorization to issue discounts. He’s up on a ladder and looks down at the gentlemen in front of their mountain of merchandise.)

Department Head: “Oh, YOU!”

Customer: *bolts like frightened bunny rabbits, tipping over two carts full of merchandise and scattering it everywhere*

Me: “What the h*** was that?”

Department Head: “Oh, he tries that on all the new guys. We won’t sell to him because he’s a scammer. You just had your baptism.”

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 5
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 4
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability ToDiscount, Part 3

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