Whether you call it Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day, today is going to be a long day for those who work in retail. The customer might always be right in the store, but here on LJ let's hear some stories about times when the customer was wrongedy wrong wrong.
Oh, the stories I could tell... I work at Staples, as the Copy & Print Center Expert, and as a rule, the majority of angry customers in the Copy Center deal with me. So, here's just a small sampling.
Last year on Black Friday (or, Red Friday, as we like to call it at our store), a woman (the second customer in line at 4:30am) screamed at me for cutting in line while I waited for my manger to open the door so I could come in to work. We also had someone come in at 6:45, when lines at all 5 registers were still 100 people deep, and demand immediate service to ship his UPS packages, so they could get out right away. There are several things wrong with this:
- UPS does NOT make pickups on the day after Thanksgiving. His 15 packages wouldn't have gone out until the following Monday, no matter when I helped him.
- We have a posted calendar, and another sign that says this.
- The UPS computer is also a register, so there were 100 people there that he just cut in front of, and couldn't understand when we tried to explain the line to him.
I have also had one customer come in on three separate occasions, wanting me to copy something (the same thing every time) that is under copyright law. I explain the copyright policy (Staples must have written copyright permission from the owner of the copyright, which we will do our best to help you acquire), he curses at me and leaves. Well, not always at me. The first time, he just cursed and left. The second, he stormed away, but bought something at the register, and told the cashier that I was a bitch. The third, he called me a fucker, to my face.
But, my ultimate tale of horrible customer comes from a woman we will call Adidas Lady (because she always wears the same ugly Adidas shirt, every time we see her.) Now, granted, Adidas Lady would normally be considered a pretty decent customer. She spends a lot of money in our store, and on a lot of different things. But, it is how she does it that makes it terrible.
This woman has complained to our corporate offices (and this is not an exxageration) 12 times in the past 3 years. We have come to the conclusion that she does it just to get her way, and corporate has stopped taking her complaints seriously. So, here's a rundown of the ones that I know about/was involved in.
- Adidas Lady comes in at 7:01am. Wants to get something laminated. We open at 7 am. Laminator was just turned on, and is not warmed up. We tell her it will take a few minutes to warm up, and proceed with the rest of the opening duties while waiting. She throws a fit that we are not ready to help customers right away, and not giving her our full attention. Storms out. Corporate complaint comes later that day. Now, because of her, our managers have to turn on all the copy center equipment when they come in, an hour before we open.
- A.L. (shortened for efficiency) comes in at 7:15am. Wants to buy a chair. Office supply/furniture associate is also the manager, and is receiving the truck. she is helped by an electronics associate. AL wants the chair assembled. Right away. When informed that it will take 24 hours, as per our policy, says to electronics associate, "Can't you do it now?" He repeats the policy. She replies "That's stupid. You're stupid! Get me a manager." Manager/office supply associate comes over and repeats the policy again. She storms out. Corporate complaint that electronics associate was "rude and slow" comes the next day.
- AL comes at 7:01am (sensing a theme here?) to get something bound in the copy center. I say, sure, I can have that ready for you by noon. She replies, "Can't you do this now?" I reply that we operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, and I have several other things that I am working on. She is upset because she was here "first" and can't seem to grasp the concept of things left from the previous day. Corporatee complaint that we need more machines (which won't help, if still only one person there knows how to operate them) comes later that day.
- AL comes to use the self-service copiers. Ignores the 9 signs on the color copier that say "COLOR COPIES ONLY" and makes her black and white copies there. Starts yelling when her card is charged the color price. I offer to refund the copies, but tell her that if she takes them, she has to pay for them. She refuses, Corporate complaint comes the next day, saying that the machines are not clearly differentiated, and we need to tell customers that that one charges more.
Those are all the specific complaints that I can remember, and the others are more of the same. She was even told by our District Manager at one point that if she was so unhappy with our service, she should not shop at our store (which, is, of course, customer service code for, "Don't come back, bitch!") and she still comes in. She regularly wants copies made right away, frequently tells us not to lose her orginals or break her things. Which, we have never EVER done. She has never once been nice to me, never smiled, and is in fact, verbally abusive on a pretty regular basis.
But, don't get me wrong, these are just the worst cases. This year's Black Friday went pretty well, and I have far more good customers than bad.