Entitled To Moan, Not A Loan

, , , , , | Right | July 31, 2019

(I work at a cell phone kiosk in a local mall. Cell phones are just starting to be something the public is educated about, and are still “hot,” “new” things that are seen as status symbols. This story concerns a customer who is a semi-regular, and usually buys a lot of products at once, though he is also a belligerent blowhard who believes he is entitled to special treatment because he always spends a lot of money.)

Customer: “This stupid phone keeps overheating. I can’t even hold it in my hand for two minutes because the d*** thing gets too hot!”

Me: “Wow. That sounds like a pretty serious problem. Let me see about getting it serviced.”

(After some checking, it turns out he’s had this phone for almost two years and did not opt for any extended warranties.)

Me: “Sorry, sir. I’d love to help you get this repaired, but it turns out this phone is out of warranty. I can still send it in, but it won’t be a free repair.”

Customer: “Naw, naw, naw. Don’t start talking to me like that. Do you know how much money I’ve spent on your products? I own five phones, three pagers—“ *starts to list the components he’s bought for each*

Me: “Sir, I understand you’re a good customer, but warranties are warranties. I can’t make an exception. It’s not even within my power to do so.”

(I should not have said this.)

Customer: “Then get your manager on the phone.”

Me: “He’ll tell you the same thing I’m telling you.”

Customer: “We’ll see about that. Get [Boss] on the phone right now!”

(As I said, he’s a regular customer and big spender; he knows my manager’s name.)

Me: “Okay.”

(I dial our manager, who speaks with the customer for a short bit and decides that a guy who spends that kind of money is too valuable to lose, and offers to foot him the repair costs. This is fine with me, because now I know that I won’t get in trouble for processing a warranty repair for an out-of-warranty product. I fill out all the paperwork and set him up with a “loaner” phone that he can use in lieu of the one we’re sending in for repair. The VERY NEXT DAY, who should show up?)

Customer: “This f****** loaner phone is a cheap piece of s***!”

(The customer hands me the loaner I gave him, one that many customers before him have used, and it looks like it’s been thrown ten feet into a solid brick wall. The screen is cracked in half, and the casing is cracked in numerous places and partially coming off, so that the battery won’t even fit back on.)

Me: “Wow, what happened?”

Customer: “Well, the dang phone is so slippery that I was just talkin’ on it and it slipped right out of my hand! You guys didn’t give me a case with it or a clip or anything, and it’s as slippery as soap!”

(Again, this is the same phone I’ve given many customers before him; not to mention, how would a clip have helped in this case? It didn’t fall off his belt.)

Me: “Okay, well, this is pretty severe physical damage. As it’s our property, I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay for this phone to be replaced. We don’t have that many loaners.”

Customer: “Naw, naw, don’t start that again. I mean, the phone is slippery, and you didn’t give me a case. It could’ve happened to anybody!”

Me: “Yes, and anybody would have had to pay the cost of replacement. It’s part of the loaner agreement you signed.”

Customer: “Get your boss on the phone!”

(This customer has gotten to the point where he feels like all he has to do is demand to speak to my boss and he’ll get whatever he wants. I call the boss. Again. This time, I inform my boss of what’s going on, and he asks to speak to the customer. I’m able to hear him word for word; he’s that loud.)

Boss: “Are you serious?! We made a deal for you that we wouldn’t make for anyone else, and we’re taking a serious hit for it, and now you destroy one of our phones and act like it’s our fault? There is no way you’re not paying to replace that loaner, and if you refuse, you will be sued! You’re lucky I don’t rescind the offer to pay your out-of-warranty fees!

(Eventually, the guy agreed to pay, and later, he did come and collect the repaired phone, but we never saw him again. The boss didn’t mind at that point; if we’d kept his business he would have ended up costing us more than he was spending. The boss later saw the totaled loaner and said there was no way that happened just by being dropped. God knows what he did to demolish it like that.)

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