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Rant: Poor Customer Service

in Consumer Advocacy, Family, Service Fees

In the early days I assumed folks loved to read about rants and being boorish. This one is a classic example of some fairly cranky prose. I leave this as an example to myself about how not to write.

My daughter received a very generous gift from her uncle for her 16th birthday and decided she’d use it to buy herself an IPOD (and join the millions of other forced Itunes users). She researched the product on line, and I was proud that she had done some homework about what she wanted (always important when you are making any kind of big purchase to research what you are buying).

The New York Times Store

We decided to go to {Store Name Deleted for Fear of Law Suits } to make the purchase, and I had noted on their site that MP3 players were discounted by 10% on line, so I told my daughter to ask for that, just in case the IPOD fits in that category (which it should). We get to the store found the section where the IPODs lived, and then waited 8 minutes (I timed it) for any kind of customer service PERSON to help us out, and this is with me making eye contact with WHATEVER people I could see (which I’m sure creeped out a few of the non-customer service folks in the store, but that is their problem). Eight minutes, to get service? No wonder I like to shop on line! That is RIDICULOUS! How do these folks know I don’t want to buy a Big Screen Plasma screen? Do they have “deadbeat radar”? If so, it wasn’t working right!

Microsoft Canada

OK, Skippy the sales droid (not his real name, nor his real job title) appears and asks in a condescending tone, “What would you like to look at?”, to which I responded, “We’d like to BUY an IPOD.”, which caused Skippy to wake up, since he saw a possible sale going to his name. I think it would be darn simple to be a SUPER sales person at this store, since all you’d have to do is talk to your customer in a friendly fashion and away you go!

We finally purchased the IPOD for my daughter, but let me tell you I was sorely tempted to LEAVE the store after my daughter was told that an IPOD does not count as an MP3 player. I did a double take and said, “What are you telling me?”. Skippy realized (or guessed, who knows) that I was annoyed and said, “Well Apple does not let us discount the IPOD, because they want to keep tight control of the price of IPODs”. Skippy was very lucky, because that answer appeased me, but I almost left at that point.

Moral of this rant, don’t stand for being treated like cattle, or worse still vermin, when you are going to drop a couple of hundred dollars on any item. You are spending your hard earned money, make the sales people treat you well, to earn their commission (or whatever sales pay they receive).


  • Business Tax Guru November 22, 2009, 10:46 PM

    I’ve been interested in taxes for longer then I care to acknowledge, both on the individualized side (all my working life story!!) and from a legal point of view since satisfying the bar and following tax law. I’ve offered a lot of advice and corrected a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve put up makes complete sense. Please uphold the good work – the more people know the better they’ll be equipped to deal with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.

  • Anonymous October 10, 2006, 10:05 PM

    This is just the beginning of the worst to come. I live in BC, used to live on the east coast. It’s bad in both places. I think I know the company you refer to in your post and yes they are ‘sales drones’. They have a look on their face like they don’t really even know that they’re awake for the day yet. OH lord help us.

    Almost on a daily basis I experience bad customer service, which includes items priced wrong, so they ring in higher than marked on the shelf (this happened tonight), clerks knowing NOTHING about the products that the company sells, and just punching in ANYTHING on the register just so they can complete the transaction. They are terrified to serve the public.

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