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No Price Is Good Enough For Dealing With You

, , , , | Right | December 4, 2019

(I work on a sales desk for a large construction stockholder; we stock basically everything you would find on a construction site from screws to forklifts, as well as some more unique items. As a lot of our work deals in bulk, we are able to give discounts for bulk purchases or customers who buy from us regularly. However, this leads to customers trying to haggle the price of everything. One day, I answer the phone to the worst customer I’ve yet dealt with.)

Me: “Good morning. [Company], this is [My Name]; how can I help?”

Customer: “Yeah, you can start by giving me some good prices.” *quickly lists five items, barely stopping between words* “So, what deal do I get with that?”

Me: “Okay, I can get you some prices. I just need to bring up your account; who am I speaking to?”

Customer: “God, talk about making this hard work! This is [Customer]. I don’t have an account with you. Is it that hard to give me a price that you need to stall?”

Me: *ignoring the rudeness* “No, I just need a company to attach the quote to, but no worries. I can put the quote on a blank account for the time being.”

(I start to go through the list, repeating back the item, the quantity, and the price.)

Customer: *interrupts* “It’s like talking to a f****** parrot! Just give me the prices!”

Me: “We repeat back the information so there is no confusion and nothing is missed. So, your last two items will be [price #1] and [price #2].”

Customer: “With my company discount? It’s [Company].”

Me: “Sorry, I thought you said you didn’t have an account with us.”

(I bring up the account; they have bought from us twice since we moved to an electronic system… nearly ten years ago.)

Me: “Right. Looking at your account, that is the best price I can do for those items.”

Customer: “That’s much too high! I will only pay [lower price], and I will not pay delivery!”

Me: “Those are the best prices I can do; however, as you are not far away, you don’t actually pay for delivery anyway.”

Customer: “Well, [Competitor] is cheaper than you, but I won’t use them because they charge for delivery.”

Me: *fed up of his rudeness but being polite* “Those are the best prices I can do. Perhaps you would like me to email you the quote and you can take some time to consider the options?”

Customer: “Well, [Competitor] is cheaper, but they don’t have any stock and no one else has, either.”

Me: “These are the best prices I can do. It seems you have a choice between waiting for stock or paying slightly more.” *literally pennies per item difference*

Customer: “Well, I will think about it.” *muttering as he hangs up* “Price gouging b****.”

(He came back to order his parts two weeks later. Most of the items he wanted had been sold out or back-ordered for months. Based on the sounds he made after I told him the happy news, he had either suffered a sudden onset case of Tourette’s syndrome or sat on a large cactus. I’m hoping for the cactus.)

This story is part of our Hagglers roundup.

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