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The Customer Has Too Much Data

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I have a coworker who is neurodivergent. He essentially takes most spoken phrases literally and has difficulty understanding some societal nuances. Funnily enough, he talks at length about his love for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and how he relates to the character Data.

Customer: “I need to return this iPhone.”

Coworker: “What is the reason for the return?”

Customer: “It broke.”

The customer presents a phone with a cracked screen. The receipt puts it outside our return window.

Coworker: “Did you purchase a warranty with us or Apple?”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! It shouldn’t break so easily! I need this refunded!”

Coworker: “I’m afraid that if you’ve not purchased a warranty, there is nothing we can do.”

Customer: “Look! The customer is always right! I need—”

Coworker: “That’s not true.”

Customer: “What?”

Coworker: “You’re not right in this instance. And you’re a customer. Therefore, the customer cannot always be right.”

The customer is dumbfounded for a moment, as calling out the obviousness of the biggest fallacy in retail isn’t expected in our field.

Customer: “No… I mean, you have to do as I say! I need you to—”

Coworker: “That’s not true. I am here to service our customers within the store policies. Outside store policies, there is nothing I can do.”

Customer: “Then I need to speak to a manager!”

A manager is called, and the return is denied. As the customer storms out, she passes my coworker.

Customer: “And you! You… it’s like talking to a robot!”

Coworker: *Beaming* “Thank you!”

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