Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Standing, watching, waiting

The number one thing that any customer can do to make your Service Desk experience better is to a) actually have your receipt when returning an item and b) do not stand in line for 20 minutes and, upon actually reaching the counter, then starting digging in your purse or wallet and say "Now where did I put my receipt."

Sundays are hell on wheels at any Wal-Mart, more so for the ones like mine that refuse to hire cashiers or that can't get enough help. So for six of the eight hours I worked Sunday I ran the Service Desk by myself. That was a real peach, I tell. Real big peach.

Anyway. About 5 p.m. and the second rush is starting as the wave of recreational shoppers hits and the family shoppers start to leave. There's about four or five people in line, but I'm moving along at a good clip and no one's upset yet.

I've got a big return - a pile of clothes - and it takes me a little time because the woman has three receipts and it just takes time to hunt ten things down on three receipts - especially when there's no barcodes because the price tags have all been yanked off! The girl behind her just has a coffee pot so I know I can make up time there. It's just scan receipt, scan item, cash or credit, staple, sign and go.

But no. Coffee Pot rolls up to the counter and plunks the Mr. Coffee down. "This don't work." OK. I'm like "Do you have a receipt?"

She does, and then she opens an enormous purse and starts digging around in what could easily pass for the black hole of Calcutta. Seriously, you could put smuggle one of Madonna's African orphans right off the continent in this thing.

I give Coffee Pot one of those looks and I'm thinking "You saw me ask that woman for her receipts. You saw that she had them in her hand. Did you think that you were such a special and unique flower that I wouldn't ask you for yours? You stood in line for 20 minutes? DID IT NEVER CROSS YOUR MIND TO DIG AROUND FOR YOUR RECEIPT?

Five minutes later, the counter is covered with a cell phone, keys, a granola bar, an umbrella, assorted papers, bills, change, receipts from Publix, Walgreens, JC Penney, Target, CVS and Dillards and the usual purse detritus. Then she opens up the pocketbook and keeps going.

I was about to ask her to scoot down and wait when she whoops out "Ha. I found it." Praise be. Glory to God. I ought to take a twenty percent off as "wait fee." That would teach them.


Anonymous said...

That's why there should be a straight up restocking fee, ten percent gets folk to thinkin'.

Hey, retail shouldn't be a free ride.


Rob the Webkahunah said...

Where I work, we have a "discretionary restocking fee" of up to 15 percent, depending on how much grief the customer gives us. Primarily, we use it to make sure our customers aren't taking advantage of our liberal return policy.

Ah, the simple joy of working for a small, family owned, non-retail buisiness :)

Oh, my goodness... I just realized! We're the anti-wal-mart! Surely that's mentioned in Revalations somewhere...

Anonymous said...

The Wendy's near my work has taken to posting a sign that reminds customers to please have their money out and ready to pay when they get up to the front of the line. You'd think that would be obvious as well, but I guess not.

Maybe you need a sign, too.

Anonymous said...

I love reading about all the returns. Perhaps, I just think it's funny when people return things. You should read this blog from a girl that returns everything from clothes to used candles:


Sometimes she rants about poor customer service. It's super funny!

BitterEmployee said...

I hate it too!

But, what is the funniest is where someone is standing in line sighing because "we're taking so long" and then when they get up to the counter, THAT'S when they start looking for their receipt. Couldn't you have done that instead of pissing and moaning in line?

We even have a sign that says, "Please have your receipt ready." Do people read it? Of course not.

Anonymous said...

I have taken to getting really frustrated when people pull that crap. I do what we call linerushing at Sam's club; we scan their membership card then scan the stuff in their basket so all they have to give the cashier is their membership card and payment.

people will hear me ask for other peoples cards but not have their's waiting so depending on what else I've had to put up with I will look down the line and say anyone who wants to be prescanned have your cards ready - if they don't I walk on by and they can put up with the longer time at the register.

grundes said...

This can't be resolved because of the anti-trust laws.

Library Rat said...

You should be allowed to charge for "sass". Not Wal-Mart, but you personally. I wouldn't mind seeing that go into effect for all retail workers, having been there, and having a wife who's been there more than me.

yellowdog granny said...

haven't a clue comes to mind...there should be a law against stupid...'sorry lady, but we're going to have to arrest you...you're just too damn stupid..'
works for me

Beth (now a stay-at-home mom!) said...

You know, it's been awhile since I've worked face-to-face customer service, but the same idiots that you deal with call customer service lines, too. To this end, my "favorites" are the ones who complain about how long the wait time is. For the first 5 minutes of a call. That could've been completely resolved in 3 (such as "So, anyway, what's my balance?").

It never occurs to them that perhaps part of the reason they were waiting so long for help is that EVERYONE is bitching about how long the wait time is. As if the phone jockeys could do anything about it, and as if they weren't already more than fully aware of the situation.

Also, people who call in to pay their bill--express that the sole reason they're calling is to pay with their credit card over the phone--and then have to, say, go out to the car to get their credit card. Really, people? Really REALLY?