Attending To Her Misdeeds

, , , , | Friendly | August 4, 2017

(I am filling my car up at a local petrol station. This station is completely self service, and uses the card payments only. I see another car pull up. It’s quite an expensive make and model. A woman gets out and stares at the machine for the entire time I fill up. She then turns and walks over to me.)

Woman: “Are you the attendant?”

Me: “No, just a customer.”

Woman: “Fill my car. I also need it washed and valeted.”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “EXCUSE ME!?”

Me: “I said no. I don’t work here.”

Woman: “I don’t care. There is always an attendant present, and since you’re present, then it is your duty to fulfil that responsibility.”

Me: “The answer is still no.”

(She pouts at and turns for a moment. When she turns back she has readjusted her top to show considerably more cleavage.)

Woman: “Won’t you reconsider? I’ll let you play with these.”

Me: “Not even if I was straight.”

(I took my receipt and got in my car. I heard her scream homophobic slurs before stomping back to the machine. I drove away and saw her start kicking the entire pump. I went back a week later, and it was out of order, with the card reader and display heavily vandalised.)

You Can’t Put Music In A Box

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2017

(We have a customer call from out of state wanting to order a guitar for his nephew.)

Caller: “I’m looking at your listing online for this guitar. I really like it and would like to buy it and have it shipped to my nephew in a different state. Is that okay?”

Me: “That’s no problem. We’d be happy to help you with that.”

Caller: “First I want to see pictures of the actual guitar, though.”

Me: “All the pictures you see on our website are pictures of this guitar.”

Caller: “No. I know the pictures are of that model, but I want to see pictures of the actual guitar.”

Me: “We take all the pictures on our website ourselves. These are not stock photos. They are pictures of the guitar hanging on the wall in our store right now.”

Caller: “Oh, okay… Wait. The guitar is hanging on the wall right now?”

Me: “Yes. All of our guitars hang on wall displays so they can be viewed by customers.”

Caller: “So this isn’t a brand new guitar like the website says?”

Me: “No, sir, it is brand new. We just received it from the manufacturer this year. It has not had an owner yet, and is definitely still brand new.”

Caller: “But it’s hanging on the wall! You took it out of the box!”

Me: “Sir, all guitar stores hang their guitars on the wall. Aside from a few child sized guitars and ukuleles we carry, our guitars do not come in boxes. They only arrive in shipping boxes, which we discard after opening. Many of them come with cases, but not boxes.”

Caller: “But you took the guitar out of the box! Now it’s not new! I demand a discount for the unboxed guitar.”

Me: “I think there has been some confusion. Guitars aren’t like blenders or microwaves. They don’t come with boxes. We don’t have floor models with extra boxed inventory in the back. Guitars are an entirely different product that has to be played, seen, heard, and held to help customers make a decision about whether or not to purchase it.”

Caller: “You took it out of the box, so it is not new. I will not pay new pricing for a guitar that has been played by other people.”

Me: “Sir, I am very sorry, but I do not know what else to tell you. I can sell you this guitar, but I cannot discount it, because it is new. Our dealer agreement with the manufacturing company says that we cannot discount this item for at least two years or we could lose our dealer license.”

Caller: “I don’t care. You will give me a discount.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot. You can either buy this guitar full priced, plus pay for shipping for us to send it to your nephew, or you can try contacting the manufacturer. I have to warn you, though; this particular guitar is extremely popular, so it is currently back-ordered, and you could have to wait up to seven months to finally get it. But they will make you pay the exact same price we will.”

Caller: “Well, I’m sure they’d send me a real new guitar in it’s box.”

Me: “It will be sent to you in a shipping box.”

Caller: “What about its box?”

Me: “Again, sir, guitars do not come in boxes like appliances do.”

Caller: “Well, we’ll see about that. You just lost yourself a sale.” *click*

(Later that day we got another call.)

Caller #2: “Hi, my uncle called earlier today about a guitar for my birthday.”

Me: “Yes, he spoke to me. How can I help you?”

Caller #2: “Well, I just wanted to know why the guitar doesn’t come in a box.”

Me: “As I explained to your uncle, guitars do not come in boxes the way other products do. When we receive them, they come in a shipping box. If they have a case then they usually come inside the case inside the box.”

Caller #2: “So can we get a discount because you guys decided to take the guitar out of its box and put it on the wall?”

Me: “Not unless the guitar were dropped several times and the quality damaged.”

Caller #2: “Oh…”

Me: “I’m sorry. I know you are interested in this guitar, but because it is new and from a manufacturer that we deal for, we cannot discount this guitar AT ALL for two years unless it is accidentally damaged, is bought and returned, or if there is a manufacturer defect. None of which apply to this particular guitar.”

Caller #2: “Okay. Thanks anyway.”

(The original caller ended up attempting to purchase the guitar the next day through our website; however our online monitoring system ended up flagging the order for suspicious activity. Apparently this man had upset enough people to be put on a watch list for expensive transactions, as he often found a way to either have them unfairly discounted or would demand a refund for a faulty product that he would refuse to return. The second caller’s mother bought the guitar for her son for his birthday, but not before telling us how sorry she was for her brother’s behavior.)

Enslaved To Customer Service (Singular)

, , | Right | June 30, 2017

(I work two different jobs: a full time job at an engineering firm and a part time retail job. When I went part time at the retail job to start my other full time job, a lot of regulars missed me, which was fine, but some of the crazy ones were upset that I wasn’t there to wait on them all the time. This leads to the following situation while working my retail job evening shift, when I see a slightly crazy, needy, regular approach.)

Me: “Hi, what brings you in today?”

Crazy Lady: “There you are! I have been coming in every day so you can help me! I need your schedule so I know when you work!” *blinks her eyes angrily at me*

Me: *internally cringing* “Oh, I am sorry for the inconvenience; my schedule varies every week and so I can’t give you that information accurately, but all my coworkers in this department are very good and are happy to help you when I am not here.”

Crazy Lady: *blinks rapidly and scrunches her mouth up* “That will not do! I want YOU to help ME! YOU need to be here regular full time like you used to! NO ONE helps me like YOU can! Why aren’t you here more?!”

Me: *still very polite* “I started a different job elsewhere.”

Crazy Lady: *gasps* “Where?”

Me: *not wanting to give her details* “A distant firm.”

Crazy Lady: “Tell me the name of your other job!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I try not to discuss my other work while I am on the clock here. Can I help you with your project today?”

Crazy Lady: *suddenly smiles creepily* “No, honey, that’s okay; it’s all going to be okay.”

(She leaves and I think no more of it. I go into my full time engineering job a few days later, and half-way through the day, lo and behold, Crazy Lady comes in! I am shocked, and Crazy Lady ignores me. My front desk coworker asks her what she needs and Crazy Lady says she wants to see the boss. His office is right there and he hears this so he invites her to come in and chat before I can say anything or warn anyone. Pretty soon we hear literal SCREAMING coming from that office. My boss opens the door and is telling the lady to please leave.)

Crazy Lady: *screaming* “This is illegal! This is terrible customer service! I will report you to the state!” *turns and glares at me, then stomps out*

Me: “What on earth?!”

Boss: “So, that lady was demanding that I fire you or let you only work part time here so you can wait on her at your other job all the time!”

Me: *mouth open in shock* “What? How did she find out where I worked?!”

Boss: “Apparently she told your retail boss that she was a family friend and had something for you, so he told her you worked here.”

Coworker: “Sweetie, I think you need to quit that retail job. Do you deal with those customers all the time?”

Me: “The answer is ‘yes’ to the crazy customers, and ‘yes’ I think I need to quit that job!”

(Seriously, what kind of person thinks they can practically ENSLAVE someone to wait on them all the time?)

IOU Nothing

, , , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(A woman has entered our shop, which has a very generous returns policy. This is the second time she has visited with the same story, and the second time this conversation has played out.)

Customer: “I came in just before Christmas to swap [Cosmetic] for another one more suitable, and the lady behind the counter said she ‘shouldn’t do this’ but gave me an IOU since you were out of the one I needed. Then my wallet was stolen with the IOU in it. I came in last week and you wouldn’t help me. But I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I’m very sorry your wallet was stolen. Can you describe the person who served you?”

Customer: *perfectly describes a distinctive staff member*

Me: “That sounds like [Coworker]. She left the company over a month before Christmas. And she would have been perfectly qualified to issue you a credit note — no ‘I shouldn’t do this’ needed.”

Customer: “I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I don’t have any return, credit note, or ‘IOU’ to put into the system. It’s like having no cash.”

Customer: *getting angry* “I’m upset that you won’t give me my [Product]!”

Me: “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I have no credit note as evidence and the staff member you describe wasn’t here at the time you specified. And none of my staff would do an ‘under-the-table’ IOU. I’m always right here if they need help to process a return.”

Customer: “It’s not fair that I don’t get anything! No refund! No [Product]!”

Me: “I don’t have anything to use as tender.”

(I call the manager over, who listens to the story again. It goes around in circles so many times we give in.)

Manager: “I will give you a free [Product] this once. But it’s important that you understand that without any credit note, receipt, or evidence I can’t help you in future; it’s as if I went to another shop and said, ‘My $100 cash has been stolen! Can I have $100 of free stock?’ I’m sorry that your wallet was lost, but unfortunately I can’t give things away for free.”

Customer: “Hmff! Thank you.”

(I can imagine this lady might have gone on to trade all her invisible lost loyalty cards in for free juices and coffees. The customer is not always bright…)

A Write Up To Bring You Down

, , , , , , | Working | June 29, 2017

(The bakery department in my store closed earlier than usual today. Since I work in the next department over, a customer asks if I know of anyone who can answer a question for her. I know very well that I don’t know the first thing about that department, so I tell her to wait by bakery as I get on the phone and call for the manager.)

Manager: “Well, have you tried helping the customer? How about trying that?”

Me: “Well, I’d be glad to, but the issue is I don’t know anything about bakery, so I’d rather ask for someone who knows the area first.”

(The manager hangs up, so I realize that I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and hope I can produce the answer somehow.)

Me: “All right, looks like I’m the one helping you today! I just ask that you bear with me, because I don’t really know this department very well, but I’ll certainly do my best! How can I help you?”

Customer: “This cake on display here, without a price tag, how much is it?”

(Sure enough, I haven’t the foggiest clue. However, after a moment of thinking, I head into the back room and start flipping through all the books stored back there. Finally, after a fairly large amount of time for so simple a question, I find the order guide and then the page with the picture of the exact cake the customer wants. I walk back out and tell the customer the price. The customer walks away thanking me for my help. The following day, the manager calls me over.)

Manager: “I’m writing you up for yesterday.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Manager: “I shouldn’t have had to tell you to help that customer.”

Me: “Okay, hold on. I had no problem attempting to help that customer, or any customer; I just figured it would be wiser to ask someone who knows the area to help the customer. What I was trying to avoid was me either being completely unable to help her or taking a much longer time to answer her question that it should take, which is what happened. Either one risks leaving an odd impression of our customer service on the customer, so to me, it was just better to try and direct her to someone more knowledgeable. Once I knew that no such person was available, I had no issue trying to help her. I thought quickly and ended up finding the answer she needed, so overall, I think I handled that situation as best as possible without any prior training in that area.”

Manager: “But I shouldn’t have had to tell you to help the customer!”

Me: “If you want me to always first try to help the customer before asking for assistance, that’s fine. However, this is a training issue, not a disciplinary issue. Four write ups in this store and you’re terminated. Do you really think that the act of being uncertain in an area I’ve never worked or trained for is so terrible that it should go on a list of reasons I should be fired?”

Manager: “It doesn’t matter. I’m tired of my side of the store getting the lowest customer service scores, so I’m not playing around anymore! If anyone’s customer service is not TOP notch, you get a write up! That’s it!”

Me: “And I don’t hold that viewpoint against you. What I’m saying is that there’s a difference between being incompetent and not having the training. If the employee never had the opportunity to first gain the knowledge, how can you then punish them for not having it?”

Manager: “Look, if you want to challenge this, take it up with the store manager.”

(I did just that. The store manager said that while I didn’t actually do anything wrong, the write up would still stay on my record.)

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