Have No Stomach For Your Complaint

| Right | October 31, 2015

(I work for a large health food company; however our store happens to be very small.)

Me: “Hello, what can I help you find today? ”

Customer: “I am looking for 100mg pantothenic acid.”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t stock that here, but we do a 500mg if you’re interested?”

Customer: *suddenly angry* “No! That upsets my stomach. Every other branch of this company I have ever been in stocks the 100mg. YOU should, too. The other one hurts my stomach and I have to cut it into quarters just to take it.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Would you like me to look it up on our system to find out if we can order it in?”

(At this point we go over to the till and I search for her item. No results come up, meaning it is not a product that any of our stores stock. It doesn’t show up as a deleted line either, meaning in all likelihood we have never stocked it.)

Me: “Oh, sorry but I’m afraid that isn’t an item the company stocks after all.”

Customer: *irrationally angry* “I know I have bought it at your other store before! YOU need to phone your head office and YOU need to get them to stock this item HERE.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I have no say in what head office decides to stock. I can offer you a freepost feedback card if you’d like to suggest it to them?”

Customer: “No! I don’t have time for that! I have things to do! YOU should do it! I don’t understand why whenever I come in here you don’t have the product I want!”

Me: “Well, without you sending a feedback card it is very unlikely head office will ever know about this. They listen to the opinions of their customers, not their shop assistants, on matters like this.”

Customer: “Well, YOU should stock it; I’ve bought it here before! And why is everything in this shop so expensive?!”

(At this point my supervisor came over to help and as I went to serve another customer I overhear the end of their conversation. My colleague explains repeatedly that we don’t stock the product and that our prices are higher as the company spends a lot to train us to be knowledgeable on our products. She also points out that the product is water soluble, meaning any excess is excreted out in the urine so it shouldn’t be causing the customer any pain. Eventually she leaves.)

Me: “How did it go?”

Supervisor: “Kill me now.”

(It turned out, after speaking to our manager, that she came in every few months to have an argument about our company and our pantothenic acid, claiming to not have time for a feedback card despite spending around half an hour of her time berating us for something beyond our control.)

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