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Not Exactly Quick As Lightning

, | Marysville, OH, USA | Technology

(I work customer service at a large retail store that specializes in electronics. While it is mainly the job of myself and others in my position to ring customers out, if a specialized sales associate makes a sale they will often come to the front and ring the customer out themselves. On this day, my coworker, a specialist in our computing department, has ‘sold’ a customer on a router/modem combo. It should also be noted that we are required to offer what is basically an insurance plan on items that qualify.)

Coworker: *ringing up the items* “Just so you know, these both qualify for our two-year insurance plan for [price]. So if something should happen to them, like power surge damage from a lightning strike, we can replace them for you at no extra cost rather than you having to purchase a whole new set.”

Customer: *visibly alarmed* “They can get struck by LIGHTNING?! I don’t want them if they can get struck by LIGHTNING!”

Coworker: “Anything you have plugged into an outlet is susceptible to lightning strikes. What I’m saying is that if that were to happen, this insurance would allow us to replace them for you at no additional charge.”

Customer: “I don’t want them if they can get struck by lightning. I didn’t know that could happen. I don’t want them right now. I’ll have to think it over. I don’t want them if they can be struck by lightning! Put them back!”

(My poor coworker tried once more to explain that any kind of electronic plugged into that sort of power source — be it a TV, router, modem, or even a cell phone — can suffer damage from lightning strikes. The customer still refused to complete the purchase and my coworker lost out on a good bit of revenue from that sale. We got a good laugh out of it, though!)

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They’re Insecure With Security

| London, England, UK | Bad Behavior

(I’ve just been hired on the Loss Prevention/Security team at an electronics store I regularly frequent. My manager is taking me through my first day’s training. It should be noted that LP has a different staff id badge design to the rest of the employees.)

Manager: “Now the one thing you need to remember, customers tend to behave differently around security personnel.”

Me: “As in they’re more polite? Less demanding?”

Manager: “Not exactly.”

(We’re later walking along an aisle when a customer comes up to us.)

Customer #1: “Excuse me, do you know where…” *she breaks off upon noticing our badges* “Oh, you’re security? Never mind, you can’t help me.”

(A while later my manager is explaining the in-store phone system when another customer approaches us.)

Customer #2: “Hey, can you call someone to tell me where the aisle for [Product #1] is?”

Me: “Sure, it’s just four aisles down that way and to the left.”

Customer #2: “Can you still call someone to show me? An actual store employee I mean? Not you rental security guys?”

(I look bewildered as my manager sighs and summons an employee. Another hour or so later, after I walked around the store a few times, I get stopped again by a couple.)

Customer #3: “Excuse me, we’re looking for [Product #2].”

Customer #4: “Honey, that’s a security guard. He doesn’t know the layout of this place.”

Me: “Uh… yes, I do. [Product #2] is at the end of aisle ten, just over—”

Customer #4: *ignoring me* “Come on, let’s find someone who actually works here proper.”

(They leave. From behind me, my manager stifles a giggle.)

Manager: “That’s what I was referring to about us getting a different treatment.”

(True to form, the entire time I worked there as LP customers would stop me, then walk off when they saw I wasn’t a regular store employee, adamant that apparently the folk whose entire job is to walk the store and know where everything is meant to be couldn’t possibly help them out.)

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You’re Speaking To Miss. Ogyny

, | Dallas, TX, USA | Bigotry

(I worked as a supervisor in the repair department of a large electronics retail store. I was also the only girl in my department. A customer called in one day…)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to speak to a supervisor.”

Me: “I’m the supervisor on duty right now. How can I help you?”

Customer: “A supervisor is supposed to be a man…”

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Beware The Cable Guy

| USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work at a well-known electronics retailer, and have just finished my shift with another coworker. I clock out as two men come in to the store. One is an elderly man looking to get a TV antenna so he can drop his cable provider, and the other is the man’s middle-aged neighbor. The neighbor has no concept of an “inside voice,” and this whole exchange is done in an aggressive, vaguely Australian shout. Taken aback by the intensity of the neighbor’s voice, I wind up staying past my shift.)

Neighbor: “We’re looking for TV antennas. Do you have those here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. What kind were you looking for—”

Neighbor: “Good, good! We want one of those boxes you put on the TV. See, my neighbor here just got a $190 bill from his provider and he wants to drop them.”

Coworker: “Well, we do have indoor antennas, but they may not work well depending on your location. This area is bad for FM TV reception because of the landscape—”

Neighbor: “Yeah, his cable provider charged him $190 and he wants to drop them, but he only watches a few channels.”

(He proceeds to rattle off several cable-only channels.)

Coworker: “Well, those channels are only through cable, so he will not receive those through an antenna.”

Neighbor: “What channels will he get? See, he only watches [repeats list of cable-only channels].”

Coworker: “How many channels he gets really depends on his location, what kind of antenna he has, and where he—”

Neighbor: “Do you have any of the big outdoor antennas?”

Coworker: “Not in-store, but I can check online.”

(At this point I have drawn the old man aside and made him aware of streaming media devices and companies that stream shows over the internet for a small fee. He seems content with that solution, but the neighbor is not.)

Neighbor: “Now wait a minute. How many channels will he get?”

Coworker: “Like I said before, it depends on where you are. These large antennas can pull stations from forty miles away and—”

Neighbor: “What about those things you use to rotate them? And do you have someone to install it?”

Coworker: “We do sell the rotating mounts separately, but we do not have our own installers. You will have to—”

Neighbor: “Why don’t you have your own installers? Will he be able to watch his shows from [Cable TV Network]?”

(This went on for twenty minutes, with the neighbor repeatedly asking how many channels his elderly friend would get, interrupting and misunderstanding our explanations, more comments about the cable bill, giving us unprofitable business advice, and making off-color jokes about a recently deceased comedian that were in very poor taste. They ultimately left without buying anything, leaving us bobbing awkwardly in the eddies left by the man’s strange intensity.)

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Not In Your Nature

| Norway | Religion, Technology

(I work the cash register at a popular electronics store, and sometimes our customers just pick things up from the display that they want to buy. It’s not uncommon. One day an elderly lady approached the counter with a radio in its original packaging.)

Me: “Hi there!”

Customer: “Hello. Can you check to see if everything is in the box?”

Me: “Oh, of course! Did you pick it up from the display?”

(I start checking in the box.)

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Did you pick the radio up from the display? Is that why you wanted me to check?”

Customer: “What’s that supposed to mean?! I can’t control everything; I’m just an old lady! The display… How am I supposed to know that?”

Me: “I guess you didn’t. Well everything is in order here! That’ll be [price].”

Customer: “What batteries does it use?”

Me: “Well, let’s check!”

(I search the box for hints on batteries, but find nothing, and come to the understanding that it doesn’t use batteries, only electricity.)

Me: “I’m sorry, it only uses electricity, not batteries.”

Customer: “But what if I want to listen to it outside? There’s no electricity in God’s free nature!”

Me: “As long as you have a plug nearby or a long enough cord, you’ll be fine.”

Customer: “But there are NO PLUGS IN GOD’S FREE NATURE!”

Me: “That’s why you’ll need the cord. It’ll be just fine.”

Customer: “So I can listen to it outside? Batteries?’

Me: “No batteries, only electricity.”

Customer: “But I’ll be out in GOD’S FREE NATURE!”

Me: “…and that’s gonna work just fine as long as you plug it in.”

Customer: “It’ll work? In God’s nature?”

Me: “It’ll work.”

(The customer came back the next week to return the radio, but she was a lot calmer, and was overjoyed when she got her money back.)

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