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The Fifth Entitlement

, , , | Right | July 21, 2020

I work at a popular phone service store selling the phones and doing tech when needed. We’re a smaller store, so we’re not generally busy, but today, we are. There are only two of us helping out two customers each, bouncing between a sale and a tech problem. All of the customers understand that we are doing our best. Then, a fifth guy comes in, waiting patiently for a few minutes. Eventually, though, his face fills with rage.

Customer: “Can you serve me?! I just need to pay a bill!”

I smiled sheepishly at the person to whom I was selling a phone. He got the idea that it was better to just give this guy what he wanted. I rang out the bill pay and chatted with the guy and then he left.

The next day, my manager sent me a review the guy gave ripping us apart because he couldn’t wait his turn like an adult. Bad surveys mean we lose money out of our paycheck.

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When The Smush Is Too Much

, , , , , , | Right | July 21, 2020

This one is kind of on me a little bit. I work at a popular phone retailer selling the phones and doing tech. A mother and her four-year-old son come into the store, and the mother is considering switching to our network. The son is a terror. He spits on the floor and starts licking the counters. The mom doesn’t do anything about this except impotently telling him to stop. However, she agrees to switch once her husband comes home from work. 

That evening, they show up, but their kid is with them. Fair enough; they can’t just leave him. He’s no better behaved than the previous time. He’s licking things, twisting the door push bar to create that wonderful screeching metal noise, and running around the store. His parents tell him if he behaves, he’ll get a cookie when they get home. So, naturally, they get him one in the middle of all of this. As he’s eating it, a chunk breaks off.

Customer: “Oh, you’re going to have to clean that up! We do not do that!”

The kid grins and smashes the cookie into the floor.

Customer: “You’re going to have to clean that up!”

I am thinking that she’s serious but I’m still half-joking.

Me: “I have a broom in the back I could get him.”

The husband ends up cleaning up the bigger pieces, leaving a ton of tiny pieces for me to clean up. The parents temporarily take the cookie and put him in the corner, but they give it back. I’m keeping my cool. I get it; he’s four and this has to be boring. He goes back to his parents and starts licking a display case.

Me: “All right, we’re transferring over your data. It shouldn’t take terribly long.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you! It’s cool that you can do that!”

The kid then starts picking his nose. The mother tries to stop him, but he doesn’t care. I inwardly grimace but don’t do say anything, trying not to think about the fact that I’m the one who has to clean up anything he does just like I did that afternoon. Finally, the kid picks his nose and wipes it on the display case that he’s been licking. I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!”

Again, it was all on me to clean up anything he did. I apologized to his parents for the little outburst, cleaned up the kid’s mess for the third time that day, and finished everything up. The three of us left on friendly terms.

The next day, I got the survey they left. They gave me a horrible one because I was rude to their kid, who licked display cases, spit on the floor, wiped his snot on a display case, squeaked the door push bar, and smashed a cookie on the ground. And all I said was, “Are you kidding me?” Oy.

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We Know Some Talkative People That Could Do That

, , , | Right | June 29, 2020

Me: “We are going to need to change your plan if you do an upgrade. Do you know about how much data you use on your phone per month?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Not that much. I mean, I had the unlimited plan, before, and I never came close to using all of that up.”

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Sometimes They Just Phone It In

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2020

My husband and I wanted to switch wireless providers. We have already talked with an agent online, had a quote and package all set up, and reserved the phones we wanted for our upgrades. We arrive ten minutes ahead of our appointment, so we browse the store. When our appointment time comes, we approach the only available representative.

Me: “Hello. We have an appointment to set up a new phone plan.”

The representative glances at us but says nothing. My husband and I look at each other.

Husband: “Do we talk to you or is there a specific person?”

Representative: “No.”

Husband: “Uhh, no, we don’t talk to you or no, there’s no specific person?”

Representative: “Try the kiosk in the mall.”

Me: “No, we have an appointment here.”

I show him the confirmation email.

Me: “See?”

Representative: “Sometimes the online system doesn’t work right. You don’t have an appointment but I can squeeze you in now.”

Husband: *To me* “That seems odd.”

Representative: *Sighs* “Look, man, I’m just going by the computer. What are you trying to do, upgrade?”

Who calls customers “man”?

Me: “We want to open an account and upgrade our phones. We’re currently with [Other Provider]. We have a—”

Representative: “Okay. I need you to fill out this information. Is your husband in charge?”

Husband: “The account will be in my name, yes.” 

Me: “We have a quote from [Employee] on your website. It’s $30 a line per month.”

Representative: “I don’t think we can do that.”

Me: “I have screenshots of our conversation.”

Representative: *Shrugs* “Sometimes the robots are wrong.”

Husband: “It’s also on the sign in the window.”

Representative: *Glances at the sign* “Okay, we’ll try it.”

He collects our basic info. We are silent for a moment while he clicks around. 

Representative: “All right, so, I don’t know who you talked to, but we can’t do $30 a month.”

Me: “Why?”

Representative: “So, see, it’s like this. If you’re upgrading and your phone is, say, $500. You’re trading in a phone that is $100. That’s $400 per phone, spaced out over the contract, so you’re paying more than $30.”

Husband: “That’s not right.”

Representative: “Yeah, it’s called leasing so you don’t have to pay everything up front.”

Me: “Maybe I wasn’t clear. We’re buying the phones outright.”

Representative: “Right, so you buy it today with your activation and then you make little payments every month.”

Me: “Why? We’re not leasing the phones. We want to pay for them in full.”

Representative: *Speaking slowly* “Okay, listen to what I’m saying. You can’t—”

Husband: *Puts his hand up* “No. Get your boss.”

The representative throws his pen down on the desk and walks into the back room. My husband and I stand there for a few minutes before someone else approaches us. Her nametag has the word “MANAGER” on it, so we assume the first representative went to get her.

Manager: “Hi, I’m [Manager]. Are you being helped?”

Me: “We’re actually waiting to speak with a manager. [Representative] was here but he left a few minutes ago when we said we wanted his boss.”

Manager: “Oh, I’m the manager on duty. [Representative] actually went to lunch. How can I help?”

We are quite upset to learn that the first representative just left like that. We tell the manager what happened and she listens, her face getting more serious as we go on. 

Manager: “I am very sorry about that. I will have a word with [Representative]. In the meantime, please let me try to make this right for you. I can certainly set up an account using the quote you brought with you. I encourage you to fill out the customer satisfaction survey offered at the bottom of your receipt.”

The manager set us up without a single issue. A week later, my husband and I were walking around the mall and saw the first representative working at a kiosk for another cell phone provider. He glared at us as we walked by.

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Fees For Days… 720 Of Them!

, , , , , | Working | June 11, 2020

My phone has suddenly lost its speaker function, so I am looking to buy a cheap phone as soon as possible. 

Employee #1: “We don’t do contracts anymore; you just buy a phone at retail price and we bill for service.”

Me: “Okay, what’s the cheapest non-smartphone you have?”

Employee #1: “We have this one for $99 and this for $199.”

Me: “What’s the difference?”

Employee #1: “Uh…”

Employee #2: “This one—” *pointing to the $199 phone* “—is heavier.”

Me: “And…?”

Employee #1: “It’s heavier duty.”

Me: “Okay… I’ll take the $99 phone.”

Employee #1: “Do you want to pay today, or use a twenty-four-month installmant plan?”

Me: “What’s the difference going to be?”

Employee #1: “If we break it up over twenty-four months, you are protected in case the phone you get is a lemon, because you haven’t paid for it all yet!”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Employee #2: “Yeah, if you pay for the phone in full before you leave the store, it voids the two-week return policy.”

Employee #1: “So, if the phone is a lemon, you’re stuck!”

Me: “Wait, so you’re telling me that if you sell me a broken phone, if I pay for it all at once you won’t let me return it?”

Employee #1: “No, because that voids the return policy.”

Me: “So, you can only return defective items if you haven’t paid for it yet?”

Employee #2: “That’s right, so you should take the twenty-four-month plan.”

Me: “Okay… Well, do you charge interest or anything extra?”

Employee #2: “Nope, just break it up into payments.”

I think paying it off slowly might be convenient.

Me: “Okay, let’s do it.”

Employee #1: “Great, I’ll ring you up. So, with the Store Fee, that will be $129 plus tax.”

Me: “What ‘Store Fee’?”

Employee #1: “It’s $30 to purchase a phone in the store.”

Employee #2: “It’s because you are eligible to buy a new phone. You only have the $30 fee. If you weren’t eligible to buy a new phone we’d have to double the cost of your service fees!”

Me: “What? So there’s no contract, but I’m somehow ‘eligible’ to buy a phone at full retail price, as opposed to somehow… not being allowed to buy a phone? And for the privilege of buying a phone in your store, there’s a fee?”

Employee #1: “It’s only $30.”

Employee #2: “It seems like a lot because you’re buying a cheaper phone.”

Me: “Say I got my phone fixed or bought it somewhere else. Is there an activation fee to get it on my service plan?”

Employee #1: “Um…”

Employee #2: “No…”

Me: “All right, then.”

I left and found the $199 phone online for $79. And, much to my surprise, they were telling the truth; there was no activation fee. And I wasn’t charged $30 online for the privilege of buying a product!

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