The Back Room Is Also Back In Time

, , , , | | Right | May 17, 2018

(I work in antique shop. A customer approaches and gestures to an Art Deco lamp.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but does this come in any other color?”

Me: “Do you mean when it was originally manufactured?”

Customer: “I mean in stock.”

Me: “That’s a rare manufacturer; it’s actually the first I’ve ever seen one.”

Customer: “So, you don’t have one in blue?”

Me: “Would you like me to research if it was ever created in blue?”

Customer: “No, I want you to go in the back and get me a blue lamp!”

Me: “Sir… that lamp was made almost a hundred years ago, and the manufacturer has been out of business since World War Two. These are antiques.”

Customer: “So what? I don’t get customer service?”

Me: “Not the way you seem to think, no.”

This Yard Sale Is The Pits

, , , , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(We’re having a yard sale. The family dog has decided she wants to help, so we have her out with us sitting proudly on the lawn, waiting for people to pet her as they come to our house. Her friendliness has been drawing people in. Halfway through the day, a man comes up to us with nothing in his hands to buy.)

Man: “So, how much for the pitbull?”

Me: *thinking he means one of the dog figures we have sitting out* “Which one?”

Man: “That one right there.” *points at my dog* “How much do you want for her?”

Me: “Uh, she’s a family pet. She’s not for sale.”

Man: “Then why do you have her outside at a yard sale?”

Me: “My five-year-old daughter is outside at a yard sale, too, but she’s not for sale, either!”

(I had another family later tell me they’d love to have her and ask if she was for sale. Do people regularly sell their dogs at yard sales or something?)


They’re Not On The Same Page

, , , , | Right | May 14, 2018

(We’re a toy store with a sizable book section. A customer comes in with one of our bags and a book to return with her receipt. I take the receipt and the book and start doing her return when she picks up another bag from a competing book store.)

Customer: “So, I bought this from [Competing Book Store] and I don’t have a receipt, but it’s so far away… Can I return this here?”

Me: “Um… No, ma’am, I’m sorry. We don’t even sell this book.”

Customer: “Oh, well. Worth a try!”

(I finished her return and she went off with her things. I’m baffled she actually thought it would work.)

Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 11

, , , , | Right | May 14, 2018

(I am a female in my late twenties, and the store manager of a popular home goods store. In my time as a young manager, I have noticed that most of my difficult customers have been elderly ladies. There is a minimally-damaged shelving unit by our checkout that we use for displays, and it has been there so long it’s just a store fixture by now. One of my associates comes to the back to tell me she needs help with a regular customer who wants the shelf at a deeply discounted price.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Well, this shelf is badly damaged, but I think I can fix it. How much would you sell it for?”

Me: “We have these units new in boxes in the back; I can ring you up for one of those. We use this shelf for displays, since the unit has a small knick out of the shelf. Would you like me to get a new one?”

Customer: “No, they’re too expensive, but I can repair this one. How much?”

Me: “Well, if you insist, I can give you 10% off, but I really prefer to keep it as a display.”

Customer: “Only 10%? That top shelf would need to be replaced. Do you know what that would cost? To get a piece of wood and cut it to size, sand it, paint it, and fit it with new brackets? It would cost more than the whole unit.”

Me: “Oh, the only damage is this sliver of wood that was chipped off. It could be fixed by gluing a small piece of wood to it and a furniture pen to match the paint. Or it could be sanded down and painted.”

Customer: *gets very condescending* “Oh, no, honey. You don’t know about furniture. That shelf needs to be replaced.”

(I point out that the shelving unit is currently holding items, and I even shake it.)

Me: “It’s structurally sound. The damage is cosmetic. In any case, I’m not interested in selling this one, as we have about five new ones in the back, and this one is used for displays. Can I get you a new one? I’ll even give you 10% off.”

Customer: “No, I wanted this one only if you could discount it to what it’s worth, but it would cost too much to repair.”

Me: “So, you really think it would cost more than the regular purchase price of $99 to repair this two-inch sliver of missing wood?”

Customer: “Are you really the manager?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “That’s too bad. You really don’t know what you’re talking about. Maybe you need more training, honey.”

Me: “Wow.”

(I went to the stock room to breathe. My associate came back to tell me the rude lady left but had kept insisting the shelf was beyond repair and complaining about me. We went out to the shelving unit to make sure we weren’t missing any unseen damage and started laughing as we found an old sale tag on it for 50% off that we would have had to honor.)

Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 10
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 9
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 8

A Very Personal Emergency

, , , | Right | May 13, 2018

(I work in a tiny, independent, local charity shop in a small market town. Nearly all our customers live in the town and are regulars. Our manager also lives locally and has small children. On this day, she is at a school event for the afternoon and has left us volunteers in charge.)

Customer: “Who is your manager?”

Me: “[Manager].”

Customer: “I want to speak to her.”

Me: “I’m sorry; she’s not in this afternoon. She’ll be here tomorrow. Can I help with anything?”

Customer: “No, I want to speak to a manager.”

Me: “Okay, I can take your number and she can ring you, or you can pop in any day later this week.”

Customer: “I want to speak to her now. Where is she?”

Me: “Er, she’s not here. All I can do is get her to call you, but it won’t be today.”

Customer: “Well, give me her phone number.”

Me: “I can give you the shop number, but she’s not here to answer it today. I’d be the one answering it.”

Customer: “Give me her number. She’s got a phone, hasn’t she?”

Me: “I can’t do that. I can only give out the shop number.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Why not?”

Me: *pause* “Because it’s her personal number for personal calls; anything shop-related comes through the shop. I can give you the shop number, or get her to call you tomorrow.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I want to speak to her now. You ring her! Ring her and tell her I want to speak to her!”

Me: “Sorry, I can’t. She’s not available this afternoon.”

Customer: *shouting* “WHAT IF THERE’S AN EMERGENCY?”

Me: “Um. Is this an emergency?”


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