Not Restoring Confidence In The Sale

, , , , , | Right | May 29, 2017

(I own a custom photo lab/frame shop/studio and do lots of restoration work on photos, something we’re very well known for. A first time client comes in with an old print that has quite a bit of damage and will take a good amount of work to restore. After looking at it I tell him what we can do and the cost.)

Me: “This is going to take a while to repair; there’s lots of damage. We’re going to have to rebuild part of the face on two people and fix the discoloration in several places. The cost for the Photoshop work will be [total].”

Client: “That’s a lot of money; I don’t know if it’s worth it.”

Me: “Well, it’s a lot of work. Only you can decide if getting the image restored is worth it. The memories that go with it are the reason most people want them restored.”

Client: “Tell you what we can do. You restore it and I’ll take a look to see if I’m willing to pay for it and how much.”

Me: “No. If you want it restored you’ll need to pay in advance now.”

Client: “I’m not paying until I see it and then I’ll decide what I’ll pay.”

Me: “Doesn’t work that way. You have no idea the amount of time I will spend and the skill needed to make it look right. This is the price; it’s your choice to pay it or not. But the work only gets done once you pay it.”

Client: “I know it’s all a computer doing it for you. All you do is click the fix button and it’s done in five seconds.”

(This is a bad thing to say to someone like me. My wife will tell you how I yell at TV shows that make it seem that all you have to do is click and the computer not only enhances an image but does all kinds of impossible things automatically.)

Me: “Sorry, that’s not how it works. All the artwork to restore is done by hand; there are no secret plug-ins that do it automatically. If you don’t want to pay the price, then we’re done talking.”

(He ranted a bit more trying to convince me that he understood my job far better than I do since he saw it on a TV show, and they just clicked a button and it was instantly done. I held my ground on the price and not doing the work unless he paid in advance. I knew if I had done the work he would have pulled the “The work is done, so you might as well get what I offer for it than nothing” stunt. It’s good owning the place. I can tell people to take a hike when needed.)

Just Make That Your Uniform Response

| Sheffield, England, UK | Right | May 28, 2017

(I work part-time at a very large British supermarket chain and all employees have to wear a reasonably brightly coloured uniform that has the name of the supermarket written on it four times, and a name badge, also with the supermarket’s name as well as our own.)

Customer: “Do you work here?”

Me: *dies a little inside and puts on big fake smile* “…yes.”

Paying For Your Laziness

, | Ireland | Right | May 28, 2017

(I work at a four-storey mall on the third floor. An elderly woman walks up to me, asking to double-check the price of the dress she is holding, which is on sale. I go to the cash register to check it.)

Me: “It costs [amount].”

Customer: “I don’t know if I have enough money on my credit card, but I want this dress.”

Me: “We have ATMs on the first floor; you can check your balance there. Meanwhile I can hold onto this dress so when you get back, it’ll still be here.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to go to the first floor. It’s so far away.”

Me: “Ma’am, the escalators are right around this corner. There are also elevators located there—” *I point to them* “—if you find that more convenient.”

Customer: “Can’t you check my credit card balance here?”

Me: “No, I can’t.”

Customer: “Isn’t there really any way?”

Me: “Well, if you try paying by card and don’t have enough funds, the transaction will be declined, but that’s not exactly checking the balance.”

Customer: “Let’s do that, then!”

(I see what kind of customer this is, so I try to avoid misunderstanding as much as possible.)

Me: “So you’ll try paying for the item?”

Customer: “Yes!”

(I take her to the cash register and scan the dress.)

Me: “It’ll be [amount]. Are you sure you’re going to pay now? You still have time to go to the first floor.”

Customer: “No, it’s fine. Let’s do this.”

(So she put in the card, inserts the PIN code, and presses the accept button. The transition goes well, I put her dress in a plastic bag, hand her the receipt, and thank her for the purchase. She just stands there with a blank stare.)

Me: “Umm, I’m sorry, ma’am. Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Did I… Did I just pay?”

Me: “Yes, you did.”

Customer: “But… I didn’t want to pay for it! I wanted to exchange my recently purchased dress for this one!”

(Our store doesn’t offer refunds. We only offer to change the items for something else of the same value, or to make a gift card for our store in the value of the item purchased.)

Me: “Sorry, but I warned you.” *I explained her our policy*

Customer: “So I won’t get my money back?”

Me: “No. No, you won’t.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you warn me I’m going to pay for the dress for real?!”

That’s Not The Signature Response

| MO, USA | Right | May 27, 2017

(I work as a cashier at a local retail store. While not often, every now and again the cash registers prompt employees to compare the signatures on credit cards to the customer’s driver’s license. An old lady in her 70s or 80s has finished her check out.)

Me: “All right, your total comes to [amount].”

(The customer proceeds to swipe her card. The cash register then prompts me to compare her signature.)

Me: “Oh, I’m going to have to check your driver’s licence to compare it to the signature on your credit card.”

Lady: *suddenly becoming very annoyed and suspicious* “What?!”

(I am stunned at her sudden change in behavior, having been extremely sweet during the beginning of the transaction, I politely inform her again.)

Me:  “The register is asking me to validate your card’s signature, to make sure it’s yours.”

Lady: *starts fuming and in an utterly irritated and offended tone says* “Young lady, I have used this card for over eight years and not ONCE has it ever asked me for my signature! You can keep these d*** things!”

(She stormed out of there, leaving her cart right at the register, leaving me completely baffled.)

Parenting Is A Vicious Merry-Go-Round

| MI, USA | Right | May 27, 2017

(My local museum has a refurbished antique carousel patrons can ride on, which is manned by volunteers. Before admitting any riders, the volunteer has a small speech they have to give — a short summary of the carousel’s history, followed by a warning that, because it’s an antique, there are several horses that no longer “jump,” and then moving on to the rules and whatnot. My friends and I are there and decide to take a ride, so we go to the carousel pavilion. The volunteer begins to speak, and it is obvious she is on the verge of losing her voice. My friends, and several other museum patrons, are trying to listen to her talking about the history of the carousel when a four-to-five-year-old boy runs over, grabs at the rope divider, and begins shaking it while loudly jabbering about the horse he is going to ride. I get his attention, put my finger to my lips, and point to the volunteer, who has started to explain the safety procedures as loud as she can, which, again, isn’t very loud at all. All of a sudden I feel a hand grab my arm. I turn and there is an irate woman glaring daggers at me.)

Mother: “Did you just tell my son to shut up? How dare you try to parent my child!”

Me: “I’m sorry; I just figured that letting this poor girl tell us the carousel rules, so that we can ride the carousel, was really important, and I didn’t want her to have to strain her voice doing it.”

(The operator thanked me afterwards; I gave her a couple of throat lozenges and told her to hang in there.)

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