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In One Ear(phone) And Out The Other

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2022

I was recently shopping at one of the big box office supply store branches in town. One of the items I was looking for was a small headset with a microphone for use with my tablet or phone for calls, etc.

I found a suitable one on sale for $30, so I took it to the checkout with my other purchase.

Cashier: “Hi, how are you today? Find everything you need?”

Me: “Yes, fine, thank you.”

Cashier: *Picking up the headphones* “I have to inform you that these headphones are non-returnable once the package is open.”

Me: “Ooookay… I guess that makes sense if people have already worn them and decide to return them. But they are returnable if they are defective, correct?”

Cashier: “No, unless you purchase a protection plan for $7.95.”

Me: “What?”

Cashier: “They are non-returnable — period — unless you purchase the plan. Then you can return them for exchange or refund if there is a problem.”

Me: “So, if I open the box and they are defective, the store won’t do anything unless I buy the plan which is almost a third of the cost of the item to begin with?”

Cashier: “Correct. It’s policy, and we’ve been instructed to clearly inform every purchaser to avoid confusion.”

Me: “Look, I understand having a policy that bars people from returning used headphones simply because they change their minds, but a defective product is returnable, and the only way to tell is to open the box!”

Cashier: “No, sorry.”

I slid the headphones back to the cashier.

Me: “Then I’m not purchasing these here. If you are collecting feedback, then please inform management that this retailer needs to change policy.”

I paid for and took my other purchase. The receipt clearly stated, “Any opened headphones, earphones, and earbuds cannot be returned at any time.” I understand the rationale of the policy, but unless you have an exception for defective merchandise, forget it.

The kicker to the story? My other purchase was a new budget-priced unlocked phone to replace my wife’s seven-year-old one. It had a return policy of thirty days unopened or fourteen days open box as long as all original contents are in the box. The sales guy assured me we could set the phone up completely and try it out, and if my wife didn’t like it, we could return it for a full refund within the fourteen-day window. And the phone cost six times the price of the headset I wanted.

Two Can Play The Time Wasting Game

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2022

I leased a new car from a dealership. When closing the deal, the salesman told me that I had three free months of a radio subscription service. I never activated the subscription or listened to the service. I am one of those (according to friends and family, odd) people who like to drive in silence.

Three months after leasing the car, I began receiving calls on my business phone from a number I did not recognize two or three times a day. No messages were left. The area code was unusual, so I Googled the number. I learned that the number was from [Company], which “encouraged” people to subscribe to [Radio Service]. Adding insult to injury, the number was not toll-free; if I called the number to ask why I was receiving these calls, I would pay a fee.

So, without my consent, [Dealership] sold my information to [Radio Service], who then, also without my consent, sold it to [Company]. And [Company] was calling me multiple times a day.

I gave myself a Friday afternoon off. I first called the salesman at [Dealership] and blasted him for not telling me that my information had been sold to [Radio Service].

I then called [Radio Service]. When the receptionist answered, I gave her my name and phone number, and I told her that every time I received a call from [Company], I would randomly call someone listed in the [Radio Service] company directory and waste as much of their time as possible before stating the real reason for my call: to cost them time and money.

I then called [Company] and got an automated receptionist. I listened to the directory and chose a name at random. When he picked up, I told him what I told the receptionist at [Radio Service]: I would randomly waste the time of [Company] employees every time I got a call from [Company].

Come Monday, the calls had stopped. I was never called again.

The Customer Is Not Always Right, Or Patient

, , , , , | Right | November 16, 2022

I’m cooking on the supper rush, the board is packed, the orders keep coming in, and the parking lot can’t fit even one more car. My coworker calls out order number eighty-four. They pick up their food.

A man comes to the window and talks to my coworker.

Customer: “I don’t want to wait. You just called out order eighty-four, and mine is eighty-nine. I want my money back.”

I come to the window and my coworker takes over the fryers.

Me: “What’s the problem, sir?”

Customer: “You’re on number eighty-four, and mine was eighty-nine. I don’t want to wait; I want my money back.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that, sir, but at any restaurant you go to, you’ll have to wait for food.”

Customer: “Well, I’m leaving. I want my money back.”

Me: “Okay, sir, I’ll give you a refund.”

I start punching in the refund.

Customer: “Just give me twenty-one dollars.”

Me: “I have to find your bill and process the refund properly or the cash will not balance tonight, and I could lose my job.”

Customer: “No, you won’t. There will be more money in it.”

I am finishing up punching in the refund.

Customer: “Oh, my God, just give me twenty, then!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir, I understand that the customer is always right, but you’ve decided you no longer wish to be my customer, so now, I’m right. And I will do this my way.”

I hand him his cash.

Me: “Have a nice day, sir, and please, next time, take your business elsewhere.”

This Customer Is Providing Experience

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2022

I work for a theatre company that produces several shows over our season. It’s not uncommon for people to call in to exchange their tickets for a different date, different show, or different location.

Me: “Good afternoon! This is [My Name] at [Company]; how can I assist you?”

Customer: “I’d like to exchange my tickets, please.”

Me: “Can I have the order number, please?”

The customer gives me the order number and I see it was for a performance the previous weekend.

Me: “I’m showing [Show #1] for last Sunday. Did you mean to give the number for [Show #2] in four weeks?”

Customer: “No. That’s the right one. I hated the show and want to exchange it for something else.”

Me: “I’m sorry the show wasn’t to your taste, but I can’t exchange your ticket after you’ve used it.”

Customer: “Yes, you can. If I don’t like a sweater, I exchange it. This is no different.”

Me: “This is very different. You purchased a ticket to an experience; you had that experience. I can’t exchange your tickets. I can ask for a manager to review and be in contact with you.”

The customer hung up. My manager did the review, and it turns out that this person has a history of this type of behaviour. He’d created a new profile on our system so the history wasn’t available to me. He did not get his exchange.

An Excess Of Humidifier Humility

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2022

I went into a local small town branch of a nationally owned chain, looking for a white noise machine. I had a previous humidifier that I used for this purpose (to create noise, not to humidify). I wanted to find the same thing but couldn’t remember the brand.

A salesperson approached.

Employee: “Can I help you find anything?”

Me: “I am looking for a very loud, very cheap humidifier that doesn’t necessarily need to work.” 

Employee: *Without missing a beat* “You’ve come to the right place.”