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Took A While To Address That Issue

, , , , , | Right | May 10, 2019

I was only around for about half of this occurrence, but I later learned the full story from my manager. My manager received a call from a customer asking if we had a certain item. We did, so the customer requested that the manager ship it to her, which is a service we offer. Now here’s where things get tricky: the customer had a loyalty account with us, so we had her address in our system, but she wanted this item sent to a different address. We are located in Washington state; the address she wanted it shipped to was in California.

Normally, this would be no problem, but when the manager tried to enter the California address, she got an error message saying the address was wrong. She double- and triple-checked her spelling against the note she took when she was on the phone with the customer, but she was still not able to put the address through.

She switched registers, as we’d been having trouble with them on and off for the past week or so and usually any problems could be solved by starting over at a different register. No such luck this time.

She called the customer back, confirmed the address, and tried again. Three times. She spelled out every word in the address, enunciating as clearly as she possibly could, to make sure she’d written it all down correctly. The customer confirmed that it was correct. The register still didn’t take it, saying that it was incorrect. It had now been a good half-hour since my manager had taken the first call.

This is about where I come in, because she asks me for help. She has me watch her while she tries, yet again, to order the item and ship it to this person. She does everything exactly correctly; I have no idea what’s wrong. We try spelling out, “North,” instead of just typing, “N,” and we try spelling out, “Drive,” instead of abbreviating it. Nothing works.

I have to step away for a minute to help another customer, and by the time I’m done, my manager has just gotten off the phone with the customer yet again. In desperation, the customer has given my manager her daughter’s address and asked us to ship it there, instead. It still doesn’t work.

Finally, even though technically we’re not allowed to have our phones out on the sales floor with us, my manager goes and gets her phone and types the address into Google Maps, just to see what happens. That’s when we find the problem. She had written the city down as “Los Alpos,” when it is, in fact, “Los Altos.”

At this point, it has been at least 45 minutes of repeatedly calling the customer back, trying to figure out what was wrong with the address. Not once has the customer corrected the spelling of the city name.

When she finally finishes the transaction, my manager jokes, “That was my last transaction of the day. I’m not doing any more. I refuse.”

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