For Once, the Customer's Wrong --CagleJanuary 2009
WELCOME TO 2009! I hope your year has gotten off to a tremendous start. Time to shake off the 2008 blues and get going on a positive note.
But first, a negative note from the twisted vault that is my life’s experiences. I offer, for your consideration, the latest, greatest injustice on a customer service level.
Periodically, I’ve shared some stories that have ranged from the zany to infuriating. Until this most recent one, none threatened to land yours truly in the pokey. First, a little background.
Time: Around 3:30 Sunday afternoon, late November. Place: Big box retail store (just for fun, we’ll call it Target). Setting: A crowded photo department. Objective: Secure holiday photos to insert into greeting cards of same nature.
My wife had slated an appointment at the aforementioned time. Not surprisingly, the photo department had booked as many people as possible into their schedule. In fact, the customers were shoe-horned into time slots at a rate of every 10 minutes, which puts an unrealistic burden on the photographer.
Near our scheduled time, we learn that the 3 p.m. appointment is still waiting to be photographed. That means the 3:10 p.m. and 3:20 p.m. are also on deck in front of us.
A woman in her late 40s, escorted by a toddler, makes trouble at the front desk, demanding to have her grandson photographed. She did not have an appointment when she initially visited the photo studio an hour earlier, but had been told by a CSR to try back in about 45 minutes, when they might have an opening. Naturally, the woman regarded this suggestion as a guarantee of a vacancy upon her return.
The CSR holds firm. “I’m sorry, but we’re booked with appointments, and we’re behind schedule as it is. I just can’t fit you in,” she relays, as sweetly as possible.
The customer is furious, repeating how if she had known a vacant time slot wouldn’t be available after waiting 45 minutes, she would have gone to another place that had a 4:30 p.m. opening. The woman concludes her rant by demanding that the CSR contact her manager, who’s at home.
Around this time, my wife had informed me that our own toddler was suffering from a runny nose, and his face was turning red as a result. I needed to find some tissues, so off I proceed to the travel-size sundries aisle. While I’m gone, the manager tells her CSR to allow the woman to cut in line and go next.