The Mother Of All Bad Customers, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(My mum and I are heading out of a large shopping centre when we walk past a small store that specialises in vacuum and steam cleaners. Something in the display window appears to catch her eye and she excitedly scuttles in. I trudge in after her, slightly confused, as my mum isn’t usually an impulse buyer and as far as I’d known she had no plans of purchasing any sort of vacuum or mop. She quickly catches the attention of the only employee working the shop floor: a young, eager fellow who seems to be in his twenties:)

Mum: “Excuse me. I’m interested in this vacuum here; how does it work?”

Employee: “Ah, this is a great choice and you would save a lot with the sale we have on today. This is an all-in-one cleaner; it has a vacuum function and it can also steam clean…”

(He goes into a short spiel about the product’s specifications.)

Mum: “How wonderful! Could you show me how it works?”

(The employee then takes the display product, plugs it in, and starts steam cleaning the floor in front of her. My mum asks a lot of questions, and the employee dutifully shows her how to use all the toggles and explains everything to her in detail.)

Mum: *eagerly* “That’s amazing. Yes, I’m very interested in purchasing it. Could you please show me how to assemble a new one?”

Employee: *after a slight hesitation* “Ah… Of course, ma’am. One moment.”

(He grabs a box off the shelf, opens it, takes out all the pieces, and shows her how everything is put together. It’s clear he is expecting to make a big sale, and from the way he is using his best salesperson tactics, he probably also earns a commission.)

Mum: “Ah, I see, I see. Thank you so much!”

Employee: “No problem, ma’am.” *takes everything apart and packs it back into the box* “Shall I go ring it up?”

(My mum, who up until this point has been nothing short of enthusiastic, suddenly seems no longer interested in making a purchase.)

Mum: *waving her hand dismissively* “Oh… Oh, no, that’s fine. Maybe tomorrow.”

(I am almost as surprised by this sudden change in demeanor as the poor employee is; he cannot hide his shock.)

Employee: “But… ma’am, today is the last day of the sale.” *points to the sale sign which proves his word* “If you come back tomorrow, it’ll go back up to [amount]!” 

Mum: *smiling politely, but already heading out the door* “Oh, that’s fine. Some other time maybe.”

(I know that if my mum wants something, she can NEVER resist a sale, so I am utterly confused myself. I shoot the employee an apologetic smile and follow my mum out of the shop. We continue our way out of the shopping centre.)

Me: “What the h*** was that all about? Weren’t you interested in that vacuum cleaner? If you come back some other time, the price will go up, like that guy said. Why didn’t you buy it?”

Mum: *smirking* “Oh, I already have one.”

Me: “What?”

Mum: “That vacuum cleaner!” *practically giggling* “I just got one as a gift yesterday from a friend, but I didn’t know how to use it. I didn’t want to have to look at the instructions. Now I know!” *giggles some more* 

Me: *shocked* “But… he opened a new box for you and everything!”

Mum: “I know! I got a free demonstration!” *laughing her head off*

Me: *speechless*

(I always felt bad for that employee, who wasted at least twenty minutes of his time on my mum on the expectation that he was going to make a big sale. My mum never did see anything wrong with getting the poor man’s hopes up.)

The Mother Of All Bad Customers

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The Great Coupon Hunt

, , , | Working | September 27, 2019

Me: “Hi, do you have International Reply Coupons in stock?”

Employee: “We sell IRCs, but this branch has no stock.”

Me: “Can you help me check which branches have stock?”

Employee: “No, I can’t check. Try a different branch.”

(I tried calling customer service to ask. The guy basically told me that IRCs are sold at every branch, but whether or not they have stock depends on the branch, and there’s no way to tell whether the branch has stock besides manually visiting it or calling that specific branch. There are 55 branches. One branch down, 54 to go. Thanks ever so much for the help.)

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I Sense Some Trouble Cold Brewing

, , , , , | Working | September 25, 2019

(I’m shopping at a superstore in the clearance section and find a cold brew coffee maker. I pick it up thinking it would be an awesome gift for my husband and see the price is listed as $89.99. I think this must be a fancy electronic version at that price and look it up on my phone. It’s literally just a plastic pitcher with a metal filter and is listed for $10 on the store’s website. I’m sure this must just be a mistyped decimal point so I go find a nearby associate.)

Me: “I found this pitcher in clearance and I think it was mispriced.” *shows her the website price and the item* “What should I do?”

Associate: “Yeah, that’s weird. If you go up front and ask for a manager they should be able to look it up in the system and fix it.”

(I go up to a register and ask the cashier to call a manager. He’s very friendly and we chat a bit while we wait until the manager comes up.)

Manager: “What’s the issue?”

Cashier: “She found this item in clearance and we think it was mispriced.”

Me: “Yeah, on your website it says it’s $10.” *shows my phone to the manager*

Manager: *looks at my phone for a while and then hands it back* “Well, sometimes items on the website are a different price and that one is talking about free shipping after you spend $35, as well.”

Me: “I’m not concerned about the shipping cost; it’s the big price difference. I would get if it was a few dollars different, but a $79 price gap is big. Can you look it up in your system to see if the item was mislabeled in the store?”

Manager: “It is the price it is in the store; you can order it online if you want.”

Me: “You won’t match your own price or look it up?”

Manager: “It is the price it is in the store.”

Me: “Fine, I guess I’ll not buy it, then, and get it somewhere else. I feel bad if someone wastes their money spending $89 on a $10 item, though.”

(The manager walked off and the cashier and I had a laugh about how ridiculous that was. I got a nice cold brew pitcher from another store for the correct price later.)

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The Gift Card That Keeps On Giving… You Regrets

, , , , , , | Working | September 25, 2019

(I try to order a gift card from [Terrible Phone Company]’s website. After hitting “Submit” on the order, the website hangs. Logging out of my account and then back in shows the card still in my cart, with no confirmation that the order has gone through, and I receive no email stating that it has gone through, but the rewards points I was using to purchase the card are deducted from my balance. After three days with no confirmation that the order has been received, I use [Terrible Phone Company]’s online chat to ask what is going on with the order. Just for reference, this is the second time I’ve had this exact issue with this company, and I have previously had issues with this same company randomly not sending e-bills to an email address I have been using with them for years.)

Me: “Can you just confirm that you are going to redeem [points] for a [Place] gift card?”

Automated Chat system: “Typically it takes two to three weeks for delivery of the partner gift card. The eGift cards will be sent to you via email within 48 hours.”

Me: “Okay, but can you confirm that the order was placed?”

Automated Chat system: “Ordered [expensive Internet package] recently and want to check the status?”

Me: “That is not what I want. I would like to talk to a human now.”

(Eventually, a — presumably — human agent gets on the chat. After several minutes of the representative confirming my account details and identity, we finally get around to checking the order. It takes several minutes for the chat rep to actually look up the order info.)

Chat Rep: “Upon checking your account details for the recent redemption of [card I ordered]…”

(Radio silence.)

Me: “So… is that a yes? My gift card is on its way? Because I’ve received zero confirmation and your website still shows me as having it in my cart and every time I hit submit it just sits there and hangs.”

Chat Rep: “Yes, you will received [sic] also an email confirmation regarding the status of your gift card.”

Me: “When will I receive that email confirmation?”

Chat Rep: “Anytime. Please check your email every day.”

Me: “I do. That’s the issue. That’s why I’m chatting with you. Because it’s been, let’s see, three days, and I’ve received bupkis.”

Chat Rep: “You’re welcome! I’m glad to assist!”

Me: “That was not a thank-you. Supervisor, now, please. Please escalate this. I have found a bug in your program. I need to report it.”

Chat Rep: “Even if I will connect you to my supervisor, it will be the same. We do have the same access on your account.”

Me: “So… I can’t report a bug? Your website will not give me the info I need and won’t send me an email confirmation. I would think you’d want to know that. ‘You’ in this case meaning [Terrible Phone Company], not [Chat Rep]. Escalate. ESCALATE. YOUR WEBSITE IS BROKEN.”

Chat Rep: “Sure thing! Please allow me a few minutes.”

(The chat rep then sends me to his supervisor.)

Chat Rep Supervisor: “I understand that you want to know when you will receive your [Place] gift card, is that right?”

Me: “Just for a summary: your portal for redeeming [Terrible Phone Company] rewards through your website is not working. I tried to redeem rewards but received zero confirmation from the website that the order had been completed, and the item never left my cart. And I received zero emails about the order. So I had no way of knowing if the order went through at all. So, yes, I wanted to know if the order was placed and when I will get my gift card, but I’d like something in writing to that effect, and [Chat Rep]’s assurances that I will get an email ‘anytime’ are less than assuring, because it’s been three days and your website is still borked.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “I got you! I actually checked your account and I see the transaction for a [Place] gift card.”

Me: “Terrific. So… when will I get an email to that effect?”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “What I will do is to check my resources on how we can make sure you will get this gift card.”

Me: “That’s not what I asked for. How about this? Instead, pass along a bug report? I’m using [Browser] on [Cell Phone Brand] and also on [Laptop Brand]. Browser is 100% up-to-date on both.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “Please allow me a few minutes.”

Me: “Just tell your techies there’s a bug.”

Chat Rep Supervisor: “Please allow me a few minutes.”

(I waited. Time marched inexorably on. After several more minutes, I gave up and told the chat rep supervisor I was signing off. Five minutes later, I received an email that my gift card was on its way.)

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Can’t Help Those Who Won’t Help Themselves

, , , , , | Right | September 24, 2019

(It’s only been about two weeks since I’ve been hired as a cashier when the following ensues.)

Customer: *comes up to my register and sets a surge protector on the counter*

Me: “Hi. How are you today?”

Customer: “I’m good. How are you?”

Me: “Good!”

(I scan in the customer’s item.)

Customer: *looking at the screen*Excuse me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “That is not the correct price for that item!”

Me: “Oh, okay! If you’d like, I can go back and check for you. Sometimes the prices don’t change over in the computer when something goes on sale.”

Customer: “No, that’s not the price I saw it for.”

Me: “Well, if you want I can run back and check. What price did you see it for?”

Customer: “That’s not the price I saw.”

Me: “What price did you see it for? I might be able to change it in the computer for you.”

Customer: *still refusing to tell me the correct price* “No, it’s just… That’s not the price I saw it for.”

(By now, there’s a line forming behind my customer and she has been arguing with me for a good three minutes.)

Me: “What price did you see it for? I might be able to change it.”

Customer: “You know what? Your competitor across the street sells it, too, and I know I could get a cheaper price over there.”

Me: “Well, we also price-match, so I could look up their price right here on my computer and just give it to you for their price.”

Customer: “No, that’s okay. I think I’ll just go across the street and buy it. I know I could get it cheaper there.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can look up our competitor’s price right now and give you their price.”

Customer: “No, that’s okay. I’ll just go over there.” *leaves without the item*

(Later on, after the store closes, I walk back to restock the item that the customer decided not to buy from us. Sure enough, the price listed on the tag is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than the price it rang up for at the register.)

Me: *to myself* “You know, if she wanted me to change the price that badly, why did she sit there and complain, only to refuse to tell me the price of the item?”

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