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Getting Owned By The Rent-To-Own

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(I work at a rent-to-own store where customers can rent furniture, electronics, and appliances for a weekly rate, eventually owning them. A large part of our job is chasing down people who haven’t paid the rent on their merchandise. One customer, in particular, a woman in her mid-20s, is a huge problem, going weeks without paying, not answering her phone, and not working with us at all. Then, she will come in and pay a portion of what she owes and vanish again for a few weeks. This cycle goes on for about three months and we’re fed up, calling all her contacts and visiting her house every evening. One day, an older couple comes in and the man speaks to my manager.)

Man: “Why are you guys harassing my daughter so much?”

Manager: “Who’s your daughter, sir?”

Man: “[Trouble Customer].”

Manager: “Oh. Well, sir, we’re simply trying to get her to pay her rental bill.”

Man: “She signed your papers, didn’t she?”

Manager: “Yes, she did sign the rental agreement.”

Man: “Well, then, she’s going to pay you. You can just leave her alone.”

Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. She signed the agreement that she was going to pay the amount due, in full, by Saturday of each week. She’s never once paid on time and she’s currently two weeks behind.”

Man: “But she’s given you money, so what’s the problem?”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I’m not completely sure where the disconnect is here. She has an agreement with us that says she will pay every Saturday…”

Man: “She agreed that she’ll pay you, and she will. There’s no problem, so leave her alone.”

(This went on for twenty minutes, getting nowhere. The concept of “must pay by an agreed-upon time an agreed-upon amount” was lost on this guy, and apparently, his daughter. They all figured that they could just get around to paying when they felt like it and that was their prerogative. The story with this customer continued for another few months, with her eventually getting behind by nearly six weeks in payments. We couldn’t do a legal replevin, however, unless she threatened to deface or destroy the goods. So, we made up a story to the cops about her threatening to smash her stuff if we didn’t leave her alone and we were able to get into her house and take it back. She wasn’t happy and cried a lot, but that’s the game you play with a rent-to-own store.)

You Broke Your Bed, Now You Gotta Sleep In It

, , , | Right | March 28, 2019

(The customer I am with assumes everything I am doing is wrong, thinks I am stupid, and flat-out insults me to my face. I am just getting one of their last items, a simple hide-a-bed, which is a decently bulky item that we keep on the floor for convenience.)

Me: “Since you’re getting furniture, anyway, would you like me to bring this into the warehouse so they can load it with the rest of your purchase?”

Customer: “Sure. Whatever. Just hurry up already.”

Me: “All right, just let me finish filling out this ticket, then, and I’ll get that all set up for you.” *hands the customer the ticket* “So, once you pay for this at the till, you just need to drive around to the back and ring the buzzer, and the boys’ll load it up for you.”

Customer: “Fine.”

(I bring the hide-a-bed back and let the warehouse crew know about the purchase, so they can prepare it. It had been a busy day so they need to finish a couple of other orders first. During this time the customer has paid for their purchase and is waiting at the front door. Around twenty minutes later…)

Customer: *walking up to till* “Where’s my stuff? I’ve been waiting for about twenty minutes.”

Coworker #1: “I’m sorry? Let me check.” *walks up to me* “Yes, this customer is waiting for their stuff. Did you say you’d bring it out here?”

Me: “No, I informed them all of their furniture is in the back; they’ve just got to drive around.”

Customer: “What about my hide-a-bed?”

Me: “I brought it to the back like you wanted.”

Customer: *storming out, muttering various insults and cursing under their breath*

(The customer proceeds to drive around to our warehouse where our warehouse crew is still busy dealing with a couple of large orders that happened just before my customer. Warehouse crew has to check receipts on all orders, and the warehouse is exclusively employees only. This customer storms into the warehouse, grabs the hide-a-bed, and literally THROWS it into their vehicle.)

Coworker #2: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing?”

Customer: “Well, this is mine! I’m taking it with the rest of my furniture because that idiot employee out there wasn’t listening.”

Coworker #2: “You can’t just walk in here; this is employees only. Let me see your receipt.” *the customer reluctantly hands over the receipt* “All right, yeah, this is the hide-a-bed I was told about. All due respect, though, because of you trespassing and not showing me the receipt before taking this, you are liable for any damages that may happen to that hide-a-bed.”

Customer: “Yeah, whatever.”

Coworker #2: “I’ll get the rest of your order. But for the record, I was on the other side of that door when he sold you the hide-a-bed and he did exactly what you asked. I don’t think he’s the idiot.”

Customer: *continues to fume while my coworkers finish the order*

(After they load up their vehicle they speed off. Around twenty minutes later, we see this vehicle return and most of our staff let out a collective groan.)

Customer: “This g**d*** hide-a-bed you sold me is broken. I demand a replacement.”

(As it turns out, the customer throwing the hide-a-bed broke the slats.)

Coworker #2: “It wasn’t damaged when I inspected it, and as I told you, because of you mishandling it, we are not liable for the damage.”

(The customer completely lost it, making up various curse words until our manager came in to resolve the situation, and when the coworker explained it, our manager restated what the coworker had said, pointing out the distinct “Employees Only” sign and the fact that the customer didn’t follow store policies. After all this was done, my manager, who had been keeping an eye on the situation, came up to us and congratulated me for handling the situation properly. Then she got grumpy with [Coworker #2], but admitted that she herself would have done the same thing.)

A Whole Tray Of Complaint

, , , , , | Right | March 13, 2019

(I work as a sales associate at a store that sells a lot of home furnishings, as well as furniture. I work with smaller items like vases and dinnerware. I’m currently working with kitchen products. A customer approaches the counter.)

Me: “Hi there. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’ve got a complaint.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry to hear that, but how may I be of assistance in handling this complaint?”

Customer: *takes out an ice cube tray* “I have a complaint about this product.”

Me: “Okay. What is wrong with the ice cube tray?”

Customer: “I’ve been using it for about a year and a half and it’s taken on an odd smell.”

Me: *warily picks up the tray and sniffs it to discover that it’s the smell of frozen food bags and general “freezer” smell* “I think this is what it’s supposed to smell like. That’s what mine smells like.”

Customer: “Well, then, something is very wrong with you because it shouldn’t smell like that.”

Me: “I… Would you like to buy a new one?”

Customer: “I’d like to return this one.”

Me: “Well, you just said that you have been using it for over a year, and it smells normal to me. Maybe if you clean it and then clean out your freezer, you can continue using it.”

Customer: “No. I want a refund because it doesn’t smell right.”

Me: “Our policy is ninety days in unused and unwashed condition, with receipt, for a full cash refund, and not only have you used it and washed it, but it’s also been over a year since you bought it.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to your manager.”

Me: “About an ice cube tray that smells normal? I’ll get her, but I generally wouldn’t bring back items that cost $10 after a year of use.”

(The customer was so grumpy she had me pull my manager, who reluctantly gave her store credit for the product so that she could keep good faith with the customer.)

A Flärdfull Of Fyrkantig

, , | Right | February 25, 2019

(I work as a stocker in the self-serve warehouse for a Scandinavian furniture company. As the description implies, people pick the items themselves and we can help if asked nicely. Other than that, we replenish the stock.)

Customer: “Hi. I’m looking for [wardrobe], and I can’t find it at the location mentioned.”

Me: “Sure. Let’s look in the computer for the location and stock details.”

(I start looking and seeing that while we have a lot in stock, it seems to be out of reach of customers. This is something that happens when a product sells more than predicted.)

Me: “Oh, no. It seems that the product is out of stock at the moment, but we should be getting some more overnight.”

(She’s a bit upset, but she seems to leave to find another product. After a while she comes back.)

Customer: “I found some, but it’s a bit heavy. Can you help load it on the cart for me?”

Me: “Sure, let’s have a look.”

(She leads me to an aisle and points towards the top shelf, well out of reach for any human being without a reach truck.)

Customer: “There it is. Can you get it down?”

Me: “Not without a reach truck, and we can’t get it on the floor unless all customers leave, due to safety reasons.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough. It’s clearly there. Climb up and go fetch it for me.”

Me: *staring, knowing that the flat-pack weighs at least 30kg* “That’s not going to happen.”

(Eventually, my manager came round and told her the same. The only option for her was to stay until closing so we could cordon off the self-serve area and get it down by reach truck. She did.)

That Tabled That Discussion, Part 4

, , | Right | January 22, 2019

(A customer is considering purchasing a dining table. The table she chooses is an 84-inch single-plank — meaning the table-top is in one piece, which has been explained to the customer — that we have in the stockroom in a box. She wants to know delivery options.)

Coworker: “Well, the store itself can’t deliver the table, but we do have a third-party service that will do it. The most economical option might just be to rent a truck for twenty bucks.”

Customer: “Is it a big box?”

Coworker: “Well, it’s a seven-foot table…”

Related:
That Tabled That Discussion, Part 3
That Tabled That Discussion, Part 2
That Tabled That Discussion