Waiting For The Mic-Drop Moment That Never Comes

, , | Right | August 28, 2020

It is about an hour or two before our store is set to close. A customer walks up to me with a microphone that is in a box that he wants to buy. It is important to note that the packaging looks brand new and appears to be unopened.

Customer: “Hey, is it okay if I open this up and take a look at it? I just want to make sure that everything’s in there.”

Me: “Umm… okay. Sure.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

The customer opens the box and pulls out the plastic packaging that the microphone comes in. At this point, he can see that the plastic has been previously opened, so you can slide the microphone right out.

Customer: “Uh-oh. This has been opened before. I hope the microphone’s okay.”

Me: “It should be. What probably happened was someone just opened it up to see what it looked like, decided they didn’t want it, and then put it back in the packaging and back on the shelf.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

Me: “Yeah, the microphone itself should be perfectly fine.”

The customer pulls the microphone out of the packaging and begins inspecting it for defects.

Customer: “Hey, this has scratches on it.”

Me: “Really? Where?”

Customer: “Right here.”

The customer shows me some very small, almost microscopic scratches that appear on the left and right side of the microphone in one spot. They are virtually unnoticeable, and the only way that you can see them is if you hold the microphone extremely close to your face and actually LOOK for them. Even then, they’re pretty hard to see.

Me: “Oh, yeah, I see them. But those shouldn’t affect the function of the microphone. I think it’ll work just fine like it normally would.”

Customer: “You think so?”

Me: “Yeah, I mean, they’re just on the surface of the handle, not where you would talk, and they’re so small you can barely see them. I don’t see why the microphone would function any differently for you.”

Customer: “So, you think it’ll be all right?”

Me: “Yeah, I think it should be just fine.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “Would you like me to ring you up for that?”

Customer: “Yeah, how much is it?”

Me: “It’s $60.00.”

Customer: “I want 50% off! I don’t want to pay $60.00 for a product that’s damaged!”

Me: “Sir, the product isn’t damaged; it’s only got those microscopic scratches on it that you showed me. You can barely see them, and that could have happened in manufacturing or shipping. It won’t affect the function of the microphone in any way.”

Customer: “Well, I still don’t want to pay $60.00 for a product that’s damaged!”

Me: “The product isn’t damaged, sir.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! It’s scratched, and I don’t want to pay $60.00 for it!”

Me: “Okay, well, I can’t just give you 50% off, especially when it’s for something as small as this.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay $60.00 for it if it’s damaged!”

Me: “Sir, we do price match, so if you can find it somewhere online for the price that you would like to pay, I would be more than happy to change the price if it’s a price match.”

Customer: “Okay.”

The customer steps off to the side and begins searching the Internet on his phone for the microphone. In the meantime, I am helping other customers who have come through my line. Finally, when I am finished with all the other customers, the customer with the microphone comes back up to my register.

Customer: “Well, I can’t find it anywhere on the Internet.”

Me: “Okay. Did you want me to ring it up for you at full price, then?”

Customer: “No! I don’t want to pay $60.00 for a damaged product!”

Me: “Sir, the product isn’t damaged. I promise you, it will work just fine. We do have a thirty-day return policy, so if you want, you can take it home, try it out, and see if you like it. If you don’t like it or if you experience any problems with it, you can bring it right back to us within thirty days and we’ll give you a full refund.”

Customer: “But I’m still paying $60.00 for a damaged product! I want 50% off!” 

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t just give you 50% off. The item has a very minor blemish on it. It’s nothing major and nothing that would affect its performance. I can’t give you 50% off.”

Customer: “Can I talk to a manager, please?”

Me: “Of course!”

I call a manager up and explain the situation to him. The customer repeats the same thing to the manager that he’s been telling me all night and shows him the scratches.

Customer: “I don’t want to pay $60.00 for a damaged product!”

Manager: “Okay, well, we can give you the open-item discount, since I can see that it’s been open before.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Manager: “The open-item discount is 10% off.”

Customer: “So, I’d still be paying like $50.00 or $60.00 for it! I don’t want to pay that much for a damaged product!”

Manager: “I mean, it’s not really damaged. It’s not going to affect the function of the microphone in any way.”

Customer: “I want a discount!”

Manager: “Okay, I can give you the 10%-off open-item discount.”

The customer says nothing, so I start talking again.

Me: “Would you like me to ring that up for you with the 10% discount?”

Customer: “No! I don’t want to pay $50.00 or $60.00 for a damaged product! I want if for $30!”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that, sir.”

Customer: “I don’t want it, then!”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. I’m sorry about that.”

Customer: “Yeah, I’ll just go somewhere else and buy it.”

Manager & Me: “Okay!”

The customer left and never returned.

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