The Final One Word On The Matter

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Right | July 5, 2016

(My boss is wonderful. As a result of far too many stories like the ones on this site, he directs his staff to use one word responses when a customer gets unreasonable, and to hit the ‘panic’ button — a monitor that pipes the conversation through to him. Conversations like this still happen, but at least it’s all handled.)

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I had to wait in line for 15 minutes! Why couldn’t you serve me earlier?”

Me: *hit the button* “Sorry, sir. There were other people in front of you. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Give me a [Product], and I want a 20% discount!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, I can’t do that, and there is no reason to; this is normal business. Waiting in line is an everyday matter.”

Customer: “Yes, you can. Give it to me or I’ll have your job!”

Me: *going into DefCon mode* “Can’t.”

(This is where my boss’s one-word strategy works so well. Irate customers can easily ignore a sentence, but it’s hard to mis-hear a single word.)

Customer: “Can’t? Of course you can! What do you mean, can’t?”

Me: “Can’t.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Orders.”

Customer: “Whose orders?”

Me: “Boss.”

Customer: “Well, get me your boss then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My boss comes out.)

Customer: “This employee was being extremely rude to me! I demand my purchase for free, or at least with a big discount!”

Boss: “No.”

Customer: “No? What do you mean, no? She was being rude!”

Boss: “Not rude.” *okay, sometimes you have to use two words*

Customer: “Yes, she was!”

Boss: *points to monitor* “Monitor.”

Customer: “What?”

Boss: “Heard you.”

Customer: “So?”

Boss: “Not rude. No discount.”

Customer: “The customer is always right! Why not?”

(Once we get to this point, my boss has a standard spiel.)

Boss: “Five good reasons.”

Customer: “Huh?”

Boss: “Five good reasons why you’re not getting a discount.”

Customer: “What? What are they?”

Boss: “One: I don’t have to. Two: I don’t want to. Three: There’s no reason I should. Four: You can’t make me. Five: I’m not going to.”

Customer: “I’m never coming here again!”

Boss: “You should have said that before. If you’d have said that if I gave you a discount, you would promise to never come back, I might have given it to you.”

(The customer left. Case closed.)

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Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 15

| WY, USA | Right | July 4, 2016

(I’m a manager at a large wireless cell phone provider. One of my employees is at the door.)

Employee: “Welcome to [Store]. How I can help you?”

Guest: “Yes, do you guys have a phone book?”

Employee: “No, but I can look up a number for you as long as it is not listed in the white pages.”

Guest: “I need the number for [Local Pizza Place].”

Employee: *pulls out his smart phone and searches number* “The number is [number]. Would you like me to write that down for you?”

Guest: “No, I’ll just save it in my phone.” *pulls out her smart phone and enters the number* “Thank you so much! Do you just have all those numbers saved in your phone?”

Employee: “Uh… no, I looked it up on Google.”

Guest: “You mean to tell me I could have looked it up on my phone? I drove all the way to the mall for no reason?” *starts yelling* “WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL ME I COULD USE MY PHONE LIKE THAT?!”

Employee: “I’m sorry, miss. I can show you how…”

Guest: “Oh, never mind! I have to get home to order pizza for delivery!” *storms out of store*

Me: “Well, that was interesting.”

Employee: “Good thing we keep all those numbers saved in our phones!”

They Grow Up So Fast(Paced)

| CA, USA | Working | July 4, 2016

(The phone rings.)

Manager: “I’m gonna see how fast I can get through this call.” *answers phone* “[StoreNameAndLocation]thisis[Manager]howcanIhelpyou?”

(Brief pause.)

Manager: “Wecloseatseventonight.”

(Brief pause.)

Manager: “Yes, we DO have an adult section.”

Refunder Blunder, Part 23

| London, England, UK | Right | July 3, 2016

(I am the manager in this situation.)

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

Customer: “Hi, I left an item here by mistake after paying for it.”

Manager: “Oh, that’s very easy to do when you’re busy; don’t worry! We hold onto lost & found items for about a week. What was the item?”

Customer: “It’s this.” *shows me a product she’s picked up from a shelf – shaving gel worth £3* “I called up the next day to tell you I’d left it.”

Manager: “That’s strange, none of my team told me to expect you… Who did you speak to? And can you tell me which day you called? That’ll help me find it.”

Customer: “I called at the start of May.”

(It is now mid-August.)

Manager: “You left something here in early May and are just coming to get it now?”

Customer: “Yes. Do you have it?”

Manager: “I’m very sorry, but we cannot hold onto lost items for three months. If you have your receipt, I will give you a refund for the item.”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a receipt. You really don’t have it?”

Manager: “No. I’m afraid that without your receipt to prove purchase, there is nothing more I can do.”

(I couldn’t believe that anyone would wait THREE MONTHS to come back to the store, particularly when the item was only worth £3!)


Don’t Be So Glum

| Columbus, OH, USA | Working | July 2, 2016

(I’m looking for some cleaner that works well on soap scum, and when I ask an employee for help, this happens.)

Me: “Hey, do you have any cleaner for soap scum?”

Employee: “Soap cleaner?”

Me: “No, soap scum cleaner.”

Employee: “Soap gum cleaner?”

Me: “Soap SCUM cleaner!”

Employee: “Got it, soap glum cleaner. I’ll go ask.”

(Then he wandered off, not to be seen again. I did manage to find the cleaner, though!)

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