The Meter Is Running Out Of Patience

, , , | Right | April 11, 2019

(A customer comes in and begins talking to one of my less experienced colleagues about a pair of shoes she bought. Knowing I’m the one who would have to do any potential refund or exchange, I go over to find out what’s wrong and help.)

Me: “Hi there. What’s the problem?”

Customer: “I was in last night and bought these shoes, but I need the half size up.”

(The customer doesn’t have her receipt, but looking at the shoes I can see they haven’t been worn, and I know from colleagues that a shoe of that style and size was sold the previous night so I offer to exchange them as a goodwill gesture.)

Me: *after checking the stockroom* “I’m afraid I don’t have a pair in the size you’re after, but I can order them in and return this pair to cover the cost.”

Customer: “Okay, but hurry up; I have a taxi waiting outside and the meter’s running.”

(I think, “Why would you come in a taxi when things like this can take a while, especially if you have no receipt?”)

Me: “No problem. Let me take some details at the till and I’ll get this sorted as fast as I can.”

(I try to take the details I need such as name, a contact number to let her know when they’re in, and a postcode so we have her on the system if she ever wants to order to home in the future.)

Me: “Okay, I’ve got your name. Can I have a contact number, please?”

Customer: “I can’t remember it.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just use the shop’s number, but you’ll have to wait until Thursday to be sure they’re here before coming as it can take two to four working days and there’s a bank holiday this Monday. Can I have a postcode, please, for our system?”

Customer: “I don’t have one. I’ll come in on Wednesday and they’d better be here.”

(I am starting to get irritated as I am going as fast as I can with her giving me nothing, even using my own postcode in lieu of hers to speed things up. All the while, she continues to tell me to hurry because the taxi’s waiting.)

Customer: “Can I order the whole size up, too, in case the half size doesn’t fit?”

Me: “Of course, but since the exchange will only cover the price of the first pair, you will have to pay the extra for the second.”

Customer: “That’s a disgrace! I shouldn’t have to pay more! I’ll just get the first ones and change them if they don’t fit.”

Me: *through gritted teeth, as I’m really starting to lose patience as she’s making this take ten times longer and she’s still complaining about my speed and the waiting taxi* “Okay, those have been ordered, and I’ve returned these to cover the cost, so you just need to pick them up.”

Customer: “Do I have to pay extra when they get here?!”

Me: “No, as I explained, the cost has been covered by the returned pair.”

Customer: “Good. It takes ages for me to walk here.” *leaves*

(By this point my colleague and her customer have come over to the till and have been watching for the past few minutes.)

Colleague: “You okay? I’m amazed you didn’t snap. Didn’t she say she had gotten a taxi here? Why is she complaining about walking?”

Me: *shrugs while taking deep breaths to calm down*

Customer #2: “You did very well. I would have screamed at her.”

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