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Why We Should Run Surveys On Customers, Not Staff

, , , , | Right | April 26, 2020

I work at a large electronics retailer for about a month during the holidays. A customer, a fast-talking, angry man talking on his Bluetooth headset and dressed in a suit and a tie approaches my cash register. I start to ring up his items.

Customer: “Would you hurry?”

It is literally forty-five seconds after he first stood in line and fifteen seconds since he came to my register.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to scan these items and it takes a minute. I’ll make it quick.”

The customer continues talking to whoever is on his headset.

Customer: “Yeah, this idiot at [Store] is taking forever to let me pay for my items.”

Me: “Sir, your total is [total].”

The customer shoves a card at me.

Customer: “Put it on this card!”

I run the card and it starts to print the receipt, along with a customer survey, and we are REQUIRED to inform the customer of it. It only prints out on maybe one of five receipts. We can tell when it was going to print because it will pause for a brief moment halfway through and then continue.

The general manager of the store is about fifteen or twenty feet away arranging some items on a display rack, so I know I HAVE to say it, or I’ll get written up.

Me: “Here is your receipt, sir, and I’m required to infor—”

Customer: “I don’t give a f***! I just want my receipt so I can get out of here!”

Me: “Sir, I need to tell you ab—”

My manager hears the commotion and comes over.

Manager: “Sir, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: *Rolling eyes* “I am in a huge hurry and this employee of yours is taking forever!”

The grand total of time the customer has been standing at my cash register is maybe three minutes.

Manager: “Sir, he is doing his job just like he has been instructed. It may take some time to g—”


Manager: “Sir, I am going to have to ask you to remain civil or I will have you removed from the store.”

The customer flies into a rage and goes on a tirade about how we’re the worst store ever, etc. The manager responds in a tone way too cheerful for the situation.

Manager: “You know what, sir? I’m going to have to ask you to leave immediately and you are not welcome back in this store.”

The customer grabs his receipt violently out of my manager’s hands, nearly tearing it in half, and storms off, nearly plowing down another customer on the way in. 

Me: “Wow. What a jerk.”

Manager: “Go take a break and get a drink.”

Fortunately, I do not work retail now, nor am I even in a position where I have to detail with customers, so I will never encounter this again. I think it should be a rule that if a customer is being abusive to employees, a videotape of their abusive behavior should be shown to them so they can see what a terrible person they are.

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What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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