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It's A Service Industry, Dammit, And I'm The Customer

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Bloviating Zeppelin: It's A Service Industry, Dammit, And I'm The Customer

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It's A Service Industry, Dammit, And I'm The Customer

This is absolutely unacceptable, and I would have been one of the persons leading the riot, even despite the fact that there were federal regulations in play. You simply don't treat customers like this; hell you don't treat any people like this:
25 August 2006
By Vanessa Allen

POLICE boarded a jumbo jet yesterday amid fears furious passengers would riot after being stuck in their seats for seven hours.

The 352 travellers were kept cooped inside Virgin Atlantic Flight 63 on the ground after a technical problem.

Take-off was finally aborted as the Boeing 747 taxied up the runway with a car driving alongside frantically signalling that the jet had an over-inflated tyre.

Passenger Philip Robinson said: "You could feel the plane going bump, bump. God knows what could have happened if it had tried to take off.
But that wasn't enough. There was more to the story:
Businessman Mr Robinson, 53, of Maidenhead, Berks, said: "It was appalling. No one apologised or knew what was happening.

"Because of security we couldn't take drinks on board and were only given two glasses of water. No one even had any food."
Something like that is simply unforgiveable. Because of issues involving my elderly father, I am much more sensitive to the needs of older persons these days. No food? Two glasses of water in SEVEN HOURS?
Absolutely unforgiveable.
I am much less tolerant of poor customer service these days and I will walk out of an establishment with no explanation or loudly voice my opinion as a result.
I recently visited a Target store and had an employee tell me in a perky little voice: "No, sorry, we don't take Visa anymore!"
"You must be kidding me, I just stopped here last week and you took Visa? When did this change?"
"Oh last week, you must have just missed it!"
In the meantime I watched other customers at adjacent checkout stands process their purchases with plastic, including Visa. I left everything stacked on the belt and went to the admin office. Enroute I heard the clerk say: "Geez, I was just kidding! Lighten up!"
I found the Manager and loudly proclaimed what her idiot checker had said. "Lighten the fuck up," I yelled, "is what she says to me after refusing to process the means for a purchase in your store. Now, can you tell what part of that scenario makes any sense to you, as Manager of this store? We have a symbiotic relationship here and it's very simple. You're the store and you have items I wish to purchase. She's the clerk and processes the transaction. You are to provide goods and services to me. If you can't do it, I'll find another store to conduct my business. Her job, as clerk, is to process the situation as efficiently as possible.
"I'm not here to chat, make small talk, waste time or, for Christ's sake, get lied to. Here's what you can expect: a letter to the (city I was in) Better Business Bureau with a cc to your regional manager and a cc to the Target CEO and a copy to your parent company." This equally stupid Manager began to make excuses for her clerk. I turned and left.
I sent all those letters. I received a letter back from the local BBB, and, one month later, from Target management indicating that clerk had been fired. I also received a Gift Certificate for $100.
Did I feel guilty or "bad." Quite the opposite. I was pleased someone had some spine.


Blogger bigwhitehat said...

My wife continuously breaks it off with Wal-Mart. Then after a while they're together again.

Fri Aug 25, 02:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I remember way back when, going new TV buying with my mother... we had done the research and knew the three brands and models we were looking for... got to a relatively nice store, told the salesman what we wanted, went to the section... and he started to really deride the one we were looking at and playing up a *much more expensive* model from a maker we didn't want. He went on as we looked at the set we were going to buy... I mostly tuned out the high pressure bozo... and my mother looked at me... I shrugged... the bozo then looked at me and then said:

"You know which one is the right one to buy, don't you?" with strong hints that I should go for the extra feature festooned garbage.

My reply was simple and with the famous 'Dumb Look': "The customer is always right."

We went to the floor manager and bought the set from *him*.

If I do have to actually *look* at something before I buy it, then I will buy it from those that stock it... but for most things those days are past. With Wal*Mart, Target and a number of other stores within a 10 minute drive, there are options here. And I will pay just a bit more for kind and courteous service. It is *worth it*.

A final memory, back when AmEx *was* AmEx... a friend and his wife had reserved a suite at a hotel, I believe in Atlanta, a Hilton if memory serves, and was in line for an *hour* because some foreign poo-bah was coming in and access was blocked. When he finally got to the registry desk he found out that their 'suite' was two rooms on different floors. He asked them to recall his file... then asked what he had asked for... and what his card he reserved it under was...

Much hemming and hawing... but the desk clerk just would not let up, that 'this was all they had'. He needed a suite for various reasons of equipment. The desk manager came in and would not change it either... he asked for the phone and called up AmEx and explained the situation... as he was talking the desk manager got a phone call and started gesticulating... the nice lady at AmEx said: "We have a suite at a much better place and are sending a limo for you. Your room and ride are on us."

He put down the phone and waited... the manager hung up and was all apologetic and he could find *all sorts* of good things for them... they waited... the manager was anxious... the limo pulled up and two nice men in suits got out and informed them that their ride was here... one man took their bags and packed the limo... as they walked off they looked back and the other had taken out his razorblade... and was removing the American Express Accepted Here sticker on the door.

That AmEx is, most likely, a thing of the past, but even its modern incarnation knows that: membership has its rewards. And I do not mind the small membership price every year... good memories of a friend helped by them.

Sat Aug 26, 12:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BWH: Funny thing is, I'll shop another Target in another town and I don't have the most remote problem. That was the SECOND time I'd had an idiot clerk at that particular Tarr-jay.

AJ: You hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head. I am always and have always been of the opinion that people will PAY for actual SERVICE though the items may be a tad more expensive. That AmEx tale, by the way, was wonderful!

Now if only someone could combine the service of a Nordstrom with more competitively-priced merchandise. The right combination has not been "hit" but I believe it's out there to be found by someone with the right store at the right time.

And employees that aren't 19, pierced, tattooed, spiked hair brainless gum-chewers.


Sat Aug 26, 04:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger KC said...

OUCH! Glad you were never my but you are so right, customer service is not what it is supposed to be anymore...I recently was in wally world, they had a clerk working the ladies section. biatch could not speak a lick of english! boy was I pissed off! But they are now all catering to the hispanics in my area, from cctv to signs, to clerks! Im sick of it!

Wed Aug 30, 03:05:00 PM PDT  

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