Thinking Outside The Box, Part 7

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2020

I have owned a small shop that sells local items for over twenty years. It is located near a large university and is surrounded by expensive neighborhoods, so we have three general groups of customers: college students, wealthy locals, and tourists. Over the years, I have grown weary of bad customers, and our policy now is to dish out whatever we are served. This goes over well with the college students, who are some of our best customers. The others, though?

Customer: “Can you open this box so I can inspect what’s inside? I’m buying it for my daughter’s dorm room.”

Me: “Absolutely!”

I open the box and let her inspect everything inside. She hands the box back to me and says she’s going to look around and then buy the item after. I go back to serving other customers.

Customer: “I tried looking for another one of those, but I can’t find any. Do you have any more?”

Me: “Unfortunately, the local seller that made that recently died, so this is literally the last one we have. Did you need more than one? Maybe I can find someone who could produce something similar.”

Customer: “No, I just didn’t want to get the one that was already open.”

I look back at the box, which I just opened for this same customer just a few minutes ago. It has been taped shut, and the tape has not been disturbed.

Me: “What?”

Customer: “That one’s tainted! I wanted a fresh one!”

Me: “Ma’am, you are the only one that has handled that item since we received it.”

Customer: “Well, it’s tainted! You shouldn’t sell opened items!”

Me: “It’s not a perishable item. It’s not a hygiene issue. The product was in perfect shape and you were satisfied with it.”

Customer: “That’s not the point!”

Me: “Yes, it is. I’ve had enough of this. Get out.”

And with a huff, she did leave. That last product, opened box and all, sold by the end of the week.

Related:
Thinking Outside The Box, Part 6
Thinking Outside The Box, Part 5
Thinking Outside The Box, Part 4
Thinking Outside The Box, Part 3
Thinking Outside The Box, Part 2

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