Never Too Early To Shout At The Staff

, , , | Right | December 15, 2018

(I work for a well-known retailer, delivering groceries to customers at home. Customers book a one-hour slot during which the delivery can take place. Often, if a driver is having a good day, they may be running early, so we may attempt to deliver early. This is my exchange with a customer when I am four minutes early.)

Customer: “Look! It may only be five or ten minutes early, but this is outrageous! I book a delivery slot between eleven and twelve! That does not mean turn up at ten-to. It means turn up at eleven!

Me: “Well–”

Customer:No! I will be complaining to customer services about this. It’s harassment and unfair. I’ve had you b*****ds arrive over an hour early. It’s not fair!

Me: “If–”

Customer: “You can bet that I will be reporting you, too! You have no idea how rude and inconsiderate it is!”

Me: “Let me just speak for a second!” *the customer pauses* “Firstly, I understand an early delivery can be annoying and inconvenient. However, I spoke to your husband on the phone about fifteen minutes ago, since I realised I would be about ten minutes early, and he said it would be acceptable for me to deliver early. Now, I understand that you have, in the past, had deliveries take place over an hour before you expected them to; I can tell that’s quite upsetting and has caused you obvious distress. Rest assured that I will notify my manager as soon as I return that you are unhappy with this happening. I would also like to remind you that you are within your rights to refuse to take the shopping outside of the delivery window. Finally, I again apologise that my early arrival has caused you distress.”

(The customer was so taken aback by my calm and reasonable tone in dealing with them that they lost the will to be aggressive and visibly deflated. The rest of the transaction proceeded smoothly. The time stamp on the customer’s signature, after all that, was 11:03.)

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