This is something that happened to me quite a while back. At the time I worked for a large electronics retailer.
It was just an ordinary day, things were going pretty smooth. I was typically assigned to the mobile phones department (actually as a term of my employment that was the only area where I was supposed to be, but that’s a story for another time).
Anyways, so I’m pretty familiar with everything cell phone related in the store, but on this day the computer department was pretty busy, and a manager was calling for some help over the radio. Me, being the stand up guy that I am, went over to help. This was my first mistake.
So I get over there and meet up with the manager. She tells me that a couple needs help over by printers. I instantly regret coming on over to offer a hand, because as anyone who has worked in one of these stores knows, people coming in to buy printers are some of the worst people in retail, and on top of that, I really don’t know much about printers in the first place. I decide to wing it.
I walk over to the printer section. It’s along one of the store’s walls, but it’s pretty cramped, because there is a mini wall that divides it out from the rest of the store and the section itself was really only an aisle big anyways, on top of that, in the middle of this small area there is a metal stair/ladder that we use to actually grab the printers that are in stock.
By this time I start greeting the customers. They are nice enough, it’s a thin elderly man and his overweight wife, and they have a german shepherd service dog with them. The conversation starts out normal enough, basically just trying to figure out what they need, so this is how it goes down. I will be ME, the Old Man will be OM, and the Old Lady will be OL.
ME : Hey guys! What can I help you with?
OM : (Already looking a bit irritated) We’ve been waiting for more than 20 minutes…
ME : *Thinks in head about how they could have only been waiting here for maybe 10* Oh, well I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m here now, what can I do for you?
OL : *Angrily Shouts* Well! Obviously we need a printer!
ME : Hey, okay, I can help you out with that. What kind of printer are we looking for, what do we need it to do?
OM : Hmmhp.. It just needs to be able to print… that’s all
ME : *Wondering why they didn’t just pick one out then* Oh perfect, well that makes it pretty straight-forward. All of the printers here will do all of the main tasks, they can scan, print, copy, all of it. So all we have to do is decide which one we want, do you have a brand preference?
OM : No.. we just want a printer.
OL : *Walks up to one of the printers* What about this one
ME : Yeah, I can grab that one for you..
OL : No, tell me about it.
ME : Umm.. well, there isn’t really much of a difference between this one and the others, when they are at about this price range they tend to be pretty similar across the different brands.
OL : Print on it
ME : Im sorry?
OL : I want to see this one print.
Now a lot of people probably already know this, but almost all store displays in many locations aren’t actual, working models. Many items that are on display are plastic makeup of what the model actually looks like. Now this doesn’t necessarily apply to all printers, but even the actual models that we have on display are not powered, filled with ink, connected to the a source to print from, or filled with paper, so printing something on one of these things isn’t going to happen.
ME : *Looks at printer, just making sure that there wasn’t a way to print on it* Hmm, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to print with any of these, what is kind of nice though is that we do have a 14 day return policy, and if for whatever reason you don’t like it you can just bring it back and exchange for a different printer.
OM : *Getting a stern look on his face, starts shaking a little* This is RIDICULOUS! I guess we’ll just go to Office Max! Honey! We’re going to Office Max, it’s right down the street. *looks at me again* we’re going to office max!
ME : *Customer service smiling* Oh, well I’m sorry to hear that guys, I hope they’re able to help you out.
OM : *Gets quiet for a moment* I’m going to speak to one of your managers.
ME : Yeah, I can get one for you, just give me one moment.
So I walk away a bit and track down the supervisor that is in charge of the television department (The only one that was free). I fill him in a little bit on the situation, and he follows me over to the printers, He will be S (for supervisor).
ME : *Walks back over to them* Alright, I went and grabbed *Sup Name* for you guys.
S : Hi there, so what’s going on, what can I help with?
OM : Your employee here *points at me* is refusing to sell us a printer.
S : Sounds like there may be some confusion *kind of cocks his head at me*, what did he say?
OM : *Lying through his teeth* He was showing us the printers, and when we asked to see one of the printers print, he laughed at us and said “If we printed off something every time a customer wanted to look at a printer, then we would go out of business!”.
This totally catches me off guard. I am immediately stunned at how this guy just lied right to my supervisors face, and when he said it I made a bit of a confused face.
S : Well I’m sorry to hear that, let’s see if I can get something printed for you. *Looks at printer and realized it’s not plugged in, and doesn’t have any of the supplies needed to run it.* Actually folks it doesn’t look like this printer is hooked up to anything, I can’t print anything from it either.
OM : *Looking extremely irritated* This is RIDICULOUS. We’re just going to go to OFFICE MAX! I’m calling corporate! *looks at my supervisor* What’s the number for corporate!
S : I don’t have the number off the top of my head, but I can track it down for you.
OM : NEVER MIND. Who’s YOUR boss!?
S : Oh, my boss is *Store Managers Name*
OM : And he works for corporate?
S : No, he works right in this store, he’s here today, do you want to talk to him?
OM : *Angrily Nods yes*
S : Alright, let me get him for you.
So me and the supervisor go and get the manager and fill him in. After this the manager went in alone and talked to them alone. He’s a pretty smooth talker, and he was able to somehow get them to just purchase a printer without a demo, but they still weren’t happy about it, and definitely let us know that they would be going to Office Max from here on out (as if we care).
Afterwards I was called into the manager's office for a bit of a sit down. He asked me what happened and I told him exactly what I’ve told you here. Then the supervisor was called, and he backed me up, saying that the customers immediately had a bone to pick.
I haven’t seen those customers since. Honestly I hope they really have cut their ties with that business, and went on to Office Max in order to torment some poor souls there. It’s people like that that make retail hell, but at the same time, at the end of the day it’s just another story to tell.
So first off let me just say that I work for a large electronic store/retailer. Now this retailer had a bit of a rough patch not too long ago, and in response to this they implemented a price matching policy in order to get customers to spend their money there instead of taking it elsewhere. That's where this all begins.
This price matching policy is simple. If you see a price out there that one of our big competitors has that is lower than ours, then we will match it, but in order to match the item, an employee has to be able to pull it up on their own phone (just for verification purposes, and to show managers for the override).
Alright so this is what happened...
Ill be "me" and the customer will be "guy"
So if all starts out and I'm zoned in my area. Suddenly I see someone walk up. Its a middle aged man, slightly overweight and he has that look to his face that just says that he never really likes to smile.
Me: hey there, anything I can help you out with?
Guy: grumbles yeah, I'm looking for a couple of things.
Me : yeah absolutely, what kind of things were we looking for?
Guy: looks at me like I'm stupid Well! ..... I guess I'm going to need something for my business...
Me : oh alright, what exactly are we looking for? ( I mean like, come on man.. Give me a little bit of context)
Guy: well it needs to be able to do color and black and white! (He wasn't shouting, but he was definitely getting louder)
Me : ohhhhh, so You're looking for a printer?
Guy : Cleary irritated yes.. That's what I said..
So whatever, I walk him over to the printers, and I'll spare you the sales pitch. Finally after about 30 to 45 minutes talking to this guy and him jumping between 2 printers, he decides on a printer that was about 65 dollars. We have a seat, I start to ring him out, and suddenly this interaction happens..
Guy : oh yeah.. I found this printer for 25 dollars at $COMPETITOR$.
(This is seeming a little weird to me, because that is REALLY low for a printer price)
Me : well alright, let me just look it up pulls out phone.
So I start trying to find it,and for the life of me I cannot find any trace of this printer anywhere with ANY of our competitors.
Me: I'm not really seeing it anywhere, did you have it on your phone? Maybe I could have a look just to help me find it?
Guy : no I didn't find it on my phone, I saw it in their store!
Me : Ohhh alright, well I'm sorry man but unless I can verify it on my phone then there's not really anything I can do..
Guy : call them
Me : what's that? ( I didn't really catch what he said)
Guy : CALL THEM... They will tell you the price.
Now let me get something straight. I make barely above minimum wage and I was about 7 hours into a 9 hour shift, and also.. Rules are rules, and my rules say nothing about calling another store being a valid way to price match..
Me : yeahh... Unfortunately I'm not going to do that... Unless I can verify it all on my screen then there is nothing I can do...
This then goes on back and forth for a but until he finally just leaves... Without buying the printer.
No worries, a little bit later I was over it and had almost forgot. Then about an hour later I see a familiar face come in. The same guy from before walks up to me...
Guy : are you the guy I was working with before!? he's clearly mad
Me : yes I am, what's up?
Guy slams $COMPETITOR$ receipt down into the counter there.. SEE! THEY DID HAVE IT!
Me : Ohhh, well that's good to hear, I'm glad you got it for the price you were looking for, but you do understand why I couldn't match that for you right? I mean put yourself in my shoes, I had no way of knowing.
Guy : looks at me with cold eyes, then just tarts walking towards the door
Me : have a nice day!
TL:DR : grumpy guy comes in for a printer, and wants to price match something I couldn't verify, then comes in later to prove it.
So I work for a large electronics retailer. Within this store I specialize in selling cell Phones and their service.
So anyways, I am working my usual shift, and then this elderly couple (maybe like 60 s or early 70 s, but definitely looking good and sound of mind for their age) comes in looking,for a phone. After talking to,them,for a while and helping them out. They decide to purchase a 100 dollar cellphone. While buying this cell phone I offer them some extended insurance on the device, but we had a laugh and they declined because it was about the same price as the cellphone itself when you factor in the processing fee for,the insurance. I help them ring it out and make sure its activated, then they go on there way.
Fast forward over 1 month later. I'm working and an elderly couple approaches me, I notice that they look kind of familiar. So I start talking to then and suddenly I start to remember who they are a bit.
This is how the conversation went, I'll be Me, and the old woman will be OW with her husband being OM.
OW: so listen young man, we got this phone not too long ago and look at this! pulls phone out of bag and shows me how it has a crack across the screen and how it doesn't turn on
Me: Ohhh, well I'm sorry to hear that, what happened?
OW: well I was using it, not three feet up from my soft, carpeted floor when it fell. When I picked it up it had this big crack on it, and now it won't turn on.
Me: Yeah I see that... That kind of sucks..
OW : well we were wondering if there was something you could do or if there is some kind of warranty on it or something.
Me : um, yeah, I can check on that for you.. Follow me and have a seat.
I proceed to lead them to our registers so that I can pull up the information, knowing full well that this won't probably be good news.
So we have a seat. I begin by looking at the receipt just to see if there was extended insurance on the phone (I didn't think there was, as I had worked with them,before, but hey.. I've been wrong before as well). So I pull up the receipt and no... They don't have extended insurance. I then look at the purchase date, because sometimes if it's within the 14 days managers will,actually make an exception and allow them to choose a different phone.... Nope. They purchased it over a month ago... I turn back towards them and this is what happens...
Me: yeah... Unfortunately guys it doesn't look like there's anything that I can really do. You don't have any insurance on it and it's past the return policy..
Ow:stares at me blankly Return policy?
Ow : well,what is the return policy!?
Me : with our cell phones it is 14 days. shows her where it clearly says it on receipt
Om : Well this is a racket! Why weren't we offered the extended insurance!
Me : actually guys its looking like it was offered, but usually with these types of phones the insurance costs as much as the phones once a claim is made... (Knowing full well they denied insurance, but whatever, maybe they forgot)
Ow : this is ridiculous, why even buy the phone if it's just going to break!? Won't $phonemanufacturer$ cover it with their warranty!?
Me : unfortunately not in this situation, they only cover manufacturing defects, not accidental damage.
This back and forth goes on for a while with me trying to appease them,and them fuming about how there's nothing that can be done. This whole time that this is happening, the husband just keeps making these stupid faces like he just can't understand and is just pissed. Meanwhile I'm getting a bit irritated with how they're treating me... And then this happens..
Ow: I just can't believe this, now this is the business to be in, you're basically just taking our money.
Om: yeah.. I guess it just isnt how it used to be where companies stood by their product..(he says in the most condescending way possible)
Me: inwardly snapping Welllll.. Actually they do, if the mistake was their fault they would fix it for you, but you are the ones that broke it...
There's an awkward moment of silence where they just look at me, and the husband kind of like, does an angry twitch for a split second,
Ow: well... Thanks for your help... We'll be in contact with the manufacturer before we buy any new phones..
Me : alright guys, I hope it works out for you.
And then they just left... Just like that. I was almost expecting a manager to be called on me for that one, but you know what, I think its justified. If you bought a car, didn't have insurance on it then slammed into a building a month later would you expect the car manufacturer to cover all of the damages? No.
Tl:Dr : old couples buys cheap phone without insurance, breaks phone, then gets upset when there is nothing we can do.