I have a complaint and it involves Christmas shopping.
At the moment, I'm working on a seasonal basis at a very well-known electronics store in Canada. I'm using this time to gain a professional reference in Canada and earn a little extra on the side. While I'm doing this, I'm also creating a portfolio and networking, as well.
But back the original point -- what's annoying.
Customers are freakin' annoying. Stupid, too. Here are some of the gems I've endured so far:
1. "You said everything is 50% off!" - No, the sales insert clearly states that select items are 50% off. Learn to read.
2. "If this is the last item, can I get a discount?" - This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If an item is in such demand that it's virtually sold out (and supply is low), why would I offer it at a discount? If anything, I'd jack up the price.
3. "Do you know where such-and-such item is?" - This might normally be a sane question. However, I've come across this inquiry when the customer is standing right in front of the requested item!
4. "Why do I have to show you photo ID?" - Because it's company policy, you idiot. More importantly, this is done for your protection since we need to match the name on the credit/debit card to the name on your driver's license.
Most people actually appreciate this small security check, but there are those who simply will not comply. They'll state something like, "My bank doesn't require me to show ID!"
Okay, maybe your bank doesn't (although I find that difficult to believe...), but we aren't your bank. We're a business that's designed to sell you stuff you supposedly want. If you don't want to show your ID, that's fine. However, we won't complete the sale.
5. "Will this work with [insert software]?" - This sounds unbelievable, but I had a customer call me a few days ago who insisted that if she used Outlook Express, Thunderbird or webmail, her friends who use Outlook wouldn't be able to receive her e-mails.
I tried explaining to her that the program the receiver had doesn't matter. She either didn't care or simply refused to listen. She kept on asking, "Can my friends get my mail if I don't have Outlook?"
I finally relented and told her she'd have to contact our software department. I work in the computer/printer/scanner section.
6. "Can you exchange this software or give me a refund?" - I've been on the customer side of this one before, so I know how frustrating it can be sometimes. However, nearly all electronics stores have their return/exchange policy printed on the back of your receipt and sometimes even on the wall of the store (in huge lettering, I might add).
It's extremely common for stores to disallow returns on opened software. It's too easy to copy the programs nowadays and then attempt to return it for a full refund. While we can exchange the item, it's normally for the exact same piece of software. This generally assumes something was defective with the original copy.
Going back to the lady in complaint #5 who kept badgering me about Outlook, she claimed she bought the "Home and Student" version of MS Office. That includes Word, Excel, Power Point and OneNotes. Outlook is not part of the package.
She wanted to return or exchange her already opened and activated copy for a different version of MS Office which included Outlook. If this woman had actually looked at the back of the software where it explains the contents, she would have known what it did and didn't include.
7. "So how many gigapixels is this?" - I was asked this question out of the blue one time. It took me a moment to process what this person was trying to say. I then asked, "Are you looking for a computer or a digital camera?"
She responded, "I'd like a laptop with a digital camera built in. It needs to have gigapixel capabilities."
I then politely explained that hard drives are measured in gigabytes, processors in gigahertz and digital camera image size in megapixels. She then asked, "What's the difference between the 'mega' and 'giga' part?"
I said, "A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes."
She nodded and then responded, "So a camera that could do gigapixel quality images would be better than one that did megapixels, right?"
I was about to explain that the overall quality of a photo is based on the image sensor, shutter speed, f-stop, ISO, and eliminating the use of digital zoom, but then I thought better of it. This person obviously wanted a camera (built into a laptop, I might add) that could take images far beyond what hand held digital cameras were capable of doing.
I eventually turfed this woman onto someone else.
8. "Is the price?" - If the price tag says an item is such-and-such amount, then yes, that's the price. If the price is labeled incorrectly (such as a recent sale and the tag hasn't been replaced), then you can get it for the sale price. However, if there's no sale or all tags have been properly inserted, then the price is whatever you see written.
9. "The customer is always right" - No, they're not. If customers were always right, then no retail store would still be in business. Customers want everything at rock bottom prices (or even free) and demand that their every need is catered to, as if they're at some sort of resort in Maui.
I do believe in assisting the customer as much as possible, but just as the store isn't always right, neither is the customer. Each situation needs to be assessed and dealt with on an individual basis.
10. "You said you had this in stock!" - No, we didn't. Our company flyer may have said that, but it's not pointing to one store in particular. While this store may not have it, another one might. The product could have also sold out. You're not our only customer and therefore, not everything is made for you.