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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    307

    * Difficult Customers (Non-Webhosting)

    I don't know if some of you know this, but I work part-time at a local home improvement store. It gets me in front of people after communicating through ticket systems all day, and I love doing tangible things, which the entire "knowledge worker" industry just doesn't fulfill for me. Oh - and when you're constantly doing some project around the house like I do, the employee discount doesn't hurt either!

    The other thing it does is give me perspective. It's interesting to see the parallels and differences in the types of customers you get at a web host... and a home improvement store.

    For example: One of my coworkers told me about a grumpy old man that came in over noon today. It seems he had purchased the wrong door the night before. (There's hardly a standard door size, so people usually walk-in knowing the exact dimensions of the door they want... but I digress.) Hardly the most unusual exchange today. We of course exchanged the door no-questions-asked. She scanned the codes, and his receipt, and there was a $3.19 difference. But he refused to pay it! Said he was never coming here again - which I've heard many, many times - sometimes more than once from the same person (Go figure.) She had no clue what to do, and grabbed a manager since we can't override prices anyway. (I am definitely not a manager; I have my own business to worry about! I just like shredding cardboard sometimes.)

    Obviously, we didn't let him walk out with a more-expensive door... we're just not set up to "negotiate" prices. What about hammers? One's $7.99 and a nicer one is $10.99. If somebody buys a cheap one and decides they want the other one later, we don't just "trade" and call it good!

    Was that unreasonable? Remember; this isn't a service, it's a tangible item.
    Adam
    GetWebSpace.com
    Personal Life Timed Out Due To Inactivity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Worcester, MA
    Posts
    1
    Great response to a lame email.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    California, USA, Earth
    Posts
    1,049
    SoftwareReview just sent out a WHT newsletter on this. Was he the "grumpy old man"? lol wow
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,599
    Abit strange he refused to pay the few bucks...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    307
    Quote Originally Posted by pphillips View Post
    SoftwareReview just sent out a WHT newsletter on this. Was he the "grumpy old man"?
    Who? I swear I have never seen him in my life.

    Seriously though I did intend this to be more playful than not. But, re-reading my post, an interesting discussion probably could be had... "Customer is always right" vs. "Preventing abuse of policies." Obviously his anecdote is not in either of the extremes. Perhaps that is what he intended to spark.
    Adam
    GetWebSpace.com
    Personal Life Timed Out Due To Inactivity

  6. #6
    So did he get the door without paying the extra 3.19? lol...
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    8,944
    It all depends on the pricing. If he paid $400 for the original door (the wrong one) and wanted to exchange it for a $403 door, I think I would just "comp" the difference. Depends, though, obviously!

    -mike
    Mike G. - Limestone Networks - Account Specialist
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    search.php?do=getnew
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    1,238
    That customer was way off the mark - you can't trade in a cheaper item for a more expensive one! That's ridiculous.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The PitLane
    Posts
    2,874
    That chap just proves my 'believe',

    'Business would be so much simpler without customers'

    I think I would have given him his money back, and started 'afresh'.
    That keeps any 'negotiations' out of it.

    ps. when did the 'Infractions' become displayed ?
    Last edited by Brian-de-vie; 10-14-2009 at 09:50 AM.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    8,944
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-de-vie View Post
    ps. when did the 'Infractions' become displayed ?
    I think that your recent infractions are displayed to you on the forum post top-bar, but your infractions are not displayed to other users. ...As far as I know!

    -mike
    Mike G. - Limestone Networks - Account Specialist
    Cloud - Dedicated - Colocation - Premium Network - Passionate Support
    DDoS Protection Available - Reseller Program @LimestoneInc - 877.586.0555

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    103

    Talking

    Brian-de-vie,

    Your move sounds like the best ie give him his money back, but gone are the old days when the employee can do much to smooth things out.

    I think I would love short my register for a customer who has spent over one thousand dollers. Too many business these days don't care about customer service do to the volume being made by human traffic and that can for a customer be very frustrating. You score high on this one cause you would be kept within store policy and most likely helping the customer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The PitLane
    Posts
    2,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    I think that your recent infractions are displayed to you on the forum post top-bar, but your infractions are not displayed to other users. ...As far as I know!

    -mike
    Correct Mike, but I opened up a seperate thread so EVERYBODY
    now knows I've been a 'Naughty Boy'.
    But I can't complain, as my 'mother' use to say:
    He's not a mesiah, just a '[very]naughty boy'
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