Little Piece, Big Problem

, , | Right | June 7, 2017

(A customer approaches the counter with a sewing machine in an open box.)

Customer: “There’s a problem with this machine. I want to claim it under warranty.”

Me: “Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Well, there was a little piece inside the machine that was stopping it from working, so I opened it up and moved some of the parts inside the machine to get the piece out. I put it back together but it still doesn’t work.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but by opening the panel and removing some of the parts you’ve automatically voided your warranty. I can get the repairman to look at it, but you’ll have to pay for it. And from what you’ve told me I think there’s a good chance he won’t be able to fix it.”

Customer: “But I had to get the little piece out! I need to claim it under warranty!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you can’t claim this machine under warranty now.”

Customer: “No! Let me speak to your manager!”

(My manager told her exactly the same thing, and the fight kept going in circles. After a lot of resistance from the customer my manager agreed to give her a new machine and see what she could do with the broken one.)

Manager: “Okay, put the machine on the counter and I’ll give you a new one.”

(The customer pulls out a MASSIVE bag of machine parts. She’s evidently taken the entire thing to bits.)

Manager: “You gave me the impression you’d only moved a few pieces and then put them back. I can’t accept this.”

Customer: “You said you’d give me an exchange!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but a machine in this condition is completely worthless. I can’t exchange it for a new one.”

Customer: “But I had to move all of this to get the little piece! The machine didn’t work. What was I supposed to do?!”

Manager: “When you have that kind of problem you’re supposed to bring it to us right away and claim it under warranty instead of trying to repair it yourself. This situation is the exact reason why machines that have been tampered with are not under warranty.”

(Eventually she got the customer to leave. Apparently the customer came back three days in a row, each time fighting with my manager and other employees about the same thing. In the end my manager reluctantly gave her a new one just to shut her up. She still had the nerve to put in a complaint about the “awful” service she received.)

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