I Got Another Old Yeller

, , | Right | October 20, 2018

(I am a customer service rep for a company that sells hair products. We only allow salons and one large chain beauty store to sell our products; however, we have lots of trouble with people online or off-price department stores selling our products. This call is from a customer who purchased shampoo from a store that wasn’t authorized, which just means that the manufacturer can’t guarantee the quality of the product because we don’t know anything about who is selling it or how they handle it.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: *already annoyed* “I bought this shampoo from [Unauthorized Store] and this is the second time the pump isn’t working! I spend lots of money for this product and I don’t understand why this keeps happening!”

Me: “I apologize for your frustration, ma’am, but it is likely that the product is being damaged in some way during shipping. [Store] is not authorized to sell our products, and due to that we can’t always guarantee that they handle the product due to manufacturer standards, however—”

Customer: *now irate* “Well, how do they get it if they aren’t authorized? I’ve been shopping there for years and I’ve never had a problem, and even the store manager told me they have too many issues with your product…”

(She goes on like this for a while as I’m trying to answer her questions. I explain that they get our product through third-party sellers and we can’t really control who gets it even though we do try. All I’m trying to do is offer to replace her pump for her, but every time I say something to answer a question, she interrupts me. This goes on for a few minutes, until finally:)

Customer: “Let me ask you a question.”

Me: “Of course.”

Customer: “Is this company family owned? What’s the owner’s name?”

Me: “We are family owned, and his name is [First Name].”

Customer: “Well, does he have a last name or is he like Cher?”

Me: *still trying to remain polite* “It’s [Last Name].”

Customer: “Are you related to the owner?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I am not related to the owner.”

(At this point I start to offer her a pump to end this call, but she interrupts me again.)

Customer: “Well, I don’t know how you got this job because you are completely incompetent and you know nothing. How could they hire you if you aren’t related to the owner or someone higher up?!”

(She goes on like this, and I honestly tune her out and just let her get it out of her system. Finally, I can break in.)

Me: “Ma’am, would you like me to replace that pump for you? I have plenty of spares here in the office and I can mail one out to you today.”

Customer: *sarcastically* “Thank you so much. You’re the best!

(I got all her information, not without more attitude, and ended the call. In all my three years working in customer service, I have never been spoken to in such a way as with this woman. I even found out later that she yelled at our receptionist about the fact that she couldn’t figure out how to get to customer service through our phone system, and proceeded to yell at her, too!)

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