January 13, 2009

Customer Service

Abe and I went the nearby Big Box home improvement store for some stuff. Abe found some light bulbs that were on sale, but the price rang up a dollar higher than the display had read. He pointed it out.

The cashier sighed and pressed the button which made the number sign overhead flash. Eventually, the customer service manager, who apparently had just graduated from high school, came over to “help.” The cashier explained the difficulty and Abe, who’d picked up the bulbs, told her about the display. The CSM used her walkietalkie to call someone on the floor to check the display. We waited. She called again. We waited some more. She explained that no one was available to check and stood there looking at us. (I was thinking, “And you can’t move?”)

So Abe, being genial and helpful, volunteered that he might be incorrect; so he’ll go check the display again. A couple of minutes or so later, he returned to report that, yes, the sign says it’s a dollar less.

The CSM stood there and stared at us. We stared back. She said stiffly, “What do we do now?”

Abe started to smile, but I was done.

“Since you’re asking, and not moving, here’s how I see it: The customer is the only one who has tried to solve the problem. I suggest that it’s worth one dollar of corporate goodwill to give us the price break so that we can be on our way. And then you can investigate the problem at your leisure.”

She told the cashier to give us the lower price. Two customers nearby were grinning as we left. Do you think she learned anything? I’m not sure.

10 comments:

the hobbit said...

What a terrible, thankless job that people fall into just because it presents itself.

And then we all have to suffer because they can't get it together.

No one wins.

Monica said...

LOL -- yea go Abe! I'm afraid I wouldn't have had his tact...

David said...

I don't think she learned anything other than she hates her job even more now.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

My "years of retail experience" husband has a saying that goes something like this. "The customer may not always be right, but the customer always wins."

Good for you/Abe for standing up for what is the right thing to do.

tornwordo said...

They only hire talent, smirk. I like it up here. There is a law that if the item rings up differently than the display, the store has to GIVE you the product up to $10, or reduce the price by that amount for items over $10.

Patricia said...

Oh, I love your response!!

Roxrocks said...

I'd have left the bulbs there and went to a little mom and pop place and paid five dollars more. Stick it to the man! I'm sick and tired and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

Um, yeah, you guys did the right thing! Way to keep your cool.

bigislandjeepguy said...

love it.

let me say, coming from a situation where i live on a relatively small island in the middle of the pacific and my bf WORKS for a big box retail store, he, as a manager, does NOT put up with that stuff from his employees. and also let me say, the stories he constantly tells me of people who get fired with plenty of warning and good reason who then SUE big box store and WIN.

when we first met, we clashed on the "your big box store puts those smaller stores out of business", big time. but let me say, that man works his ass off. he is the most hands-on manager i have ever met, and you can tell that his employees R-E-S-P-E-C-T him.

and no, in answer to your question, i doubt she learned anything. she probably said to the worker afterward, "can you believe them?" because people like that are clueless. always.

evilganome said...

I pretty much doubt she learned anything.

Patrick said...

You're my hero. And at the very least I bet she's learned that she'd better come up with a way of dealing with this sort of thing than what she did. Avoiding future embarrassment can be a powerful motivation.