Monday, January 25, 2010

The other side of the counter

If you have:

a. been indoctrinated with the "customer is always right" trope; but
b. have never worked a service or retail job

then you may be under the delusion that all humans are reasonable, intelligent animals. Working in one of the aforementioned jobs (or owning your own company) will quickly disabuse one of any misunderstanding.

Consider this story of a customer looking for a book-related object, this story of a high maintenance lawyer, this story of a fellow serially mistaken for an employee, or this story of a dude trying to find a video about snakes on a plane.

Having/reading experiences like those reminds one to appreciate informed, low-maintenance customers.

I have many tales like those. Here is one that occurred in the Richardson WalMart @ Midpark (ie "Worst Walmart in the World") before it was put out of its suffering.

I am standing in the Customer Service line, as I need to make an exchange. I have apparently bought a previously-returned item and parts were missing from the package. The lady in front of me in line has two young boys with aggressively and recently buzzed hair. I'm guessing a #2 cut. I cannot see what she is returning, as the package is blocked by her body.

Lady: I need to return this. {holds up a package of hair clippers}
CSR: What is the reason for the return?
Lady: It doesn't work.
CSR: {pieces of buzzed hair are obviously, blatantly, unmistakeably stuck on the kids' shoulders and ears}
CSR: These clippers don't work?
Lady: It doesn't work! It doesn't work! I want my money back! {the kids are mortified}
ok, ok, I'll....
: I want my money back! Give me my money back! It doesn't work! {continues shrieking}

Something's defective, lady. I think it's your sense of honor. I think it's your ability to be a positive role model for your sons.

1 comment:

  1. The first thing I learned from a seasoned customer support rep at what used to be IBM Global Network (now AT&T Global Network) when I started there in 1997 was this: "The customer is always wrong, until you prove otherwise. If they knew what they were doing they wouldn't be calling us."

    Words to live by my man...