Refunder Blunder, Part 46

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

Our store has instituted a policy that all supervisors are required to either call for assistance or help the guests themselves if a “line” of two or more people starts to form anywhere in the store. While it is a great idea, this can lead to some interesting interactions.

I see a line forming in one of my areas, so I jump onto the register next to the associate and offer to help the next person in line. I have seen this particular guest in the store many times and know my associates dread her coming in but I have never actually dealt with her directly.

Me: “I can help you right here, ma’am.”

Dreaded Customer: “I want to get a price adjustment. These baby clothes are on a much better sale now than when I bought them.”

This is totally allowed by our policy, but it has to be within ten days of the original purchase for it to work. If it’s within ten days, we only need the receipt. I explain that and ask her if she has her receipt. She pulls out a stack of them from her purse, shuffles through, and hands me one, leaving the rest to the side. I check the date and see no notations about any items being returned or exchanged written on it.

Me: “Thank you, I’ll get started on that for you.”

As I start the process, the register kicks back an error message saying all the items on the original purchase have been returned. All associates are supposed to circle and date on the receipt if something like that happens and staple the old receipt to the new one. Since I find no evidence of that, I am understandably confused.

Me: “I do apologize, ma’am, but it appears all the items on this receipt have been returned so I’m not able to do an adjustment for you.”

Dreaded Customer: “I know.”

She is dripping with attitude; she might as well have said, “Obviously,” with a valley girl lilt. I try to save the situation.

Me: “Well, let’s take a look and see if it’s on another receipt.”

With no help from her, I find another receipt for the same items from the same day, just timed later. I start the adjustment process with no problem.

Me: “There we go; just needed the right one!”

Dreaded Customer: “You know, I don’t like your attitude. You should have known it was the wrong receipt right away. I’m going to tell everyone I know about you and your poor customer service. I work for the school district so I have a lot of influence. Where is your manager? I want to speak to them about you!”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but there was no way for me to know that this receipt wouldn’t take.”

I show her that there are no pen marks or notes on the receipt she gave me.

Me: “I actually am the manager for this department and my supervisor is the store manager, [Boss]. I’d be happy to call her over for you if you don’t mind waiting.”

Dreaded Customer: “Oh, I know her; we go way back. I don’t have time today, but I will call her about your rudeness.”

I apologize and finish out her transaction, doing my best to make her happy, but to no end. She grabs all of her receipts and saunters off. By this time, we have no one in line and I turn to the sales associate on the register next to me who was there for this whole thing.

Me: “Did she seriously just blame me because she gave me the wrong receipt?”

Associate: “Don’t worry; she’s always been like that. And don’t worry; she doesn’t work in the district offices. She’s a crossing guard. Next time, I’ll take care of her or call someone else over so she doesn’t bother you.”

We shake our heads and continue about our day. A week later, she is back in the same area with the same sales associate and a line. It’s a very busy day, so with no one else available, I offer my services, using my best over-the-top customer service voice.

Me: “I can help you over here, miss.”

She speaks with her nose in the air, making a point not to make eye contact with me.

Dreaded Customer: “No, thank you, ma’am. I’ll wait for her to help me.”

She indicates my associate, who is in the middle of placing an order for someone.

Me: “If you’re sure. She is placing an order and may take a while. We don’t want you to have to wait.”

Dreaded Customer: “I don’t mind waiting. I’d prefer if she helps me. You can take whoever is next.”

The customer behind her is confused but puts her things on the counter and I help her, continuing to be perfectly pleasant and professional. My customer has a large purchase, so we are still going through her items when the associate finishes the order, helps the dreaded customer, and moves onto the next. My customer watches to make sure she is gone and whispers to me:

Nice Customer: “Can I ask what that was about?”

Me: “Oh, it’s nothing. She blames me because she gave me the wrong receipt one time.”

The nice customer is obviously confused, so the associate and I explain what happened.

Nice Customer: “I can’t believe this! Is there someone I can talk to? Because you both have been absolutely wonderful. This is my first time shopping here and I don’t want you to get in trouble over something so silly.”

I happened to have a company tablet and I pulled up the customer review page for her. She typed up a note about the experience she had and made sure to include our names. Since then, she has been a loyal customer and is nice to all the associates. Thankfully, I no longer work there, but I still smile about how ridiculous the whole thing was.

Related:
Refunder Blunder, Part 45
Refunder Blunder, Part 44
Refunder Blunder, Part 43
Refunder Blunder, Part 42
Refunder Blunder, Part 41

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