Sep 22, 2008

Uhhh, no, that silver color isn't silver...

Okay, I'm a very reasonable and forgiving customer. I can overlook customer service issues to a point and I can forgive honest mistakes. But, I take exception when someone treats me like I'm just plain stupid.

I walked into Toys R Us today (I'm mad so I'm naming names) to purchase a Rip Stik for my DS's birthday. I was delighted to see in yesterday's paper that they were on sale. The normal price is $99 and they were on sale for $59. GREAT! So, I hauled myself over to Toys R Us to pick one up. Ther were two prices - $79.99 and $99. The sign below them said that the Blue, Red and Silver ones that were $99 were on sale for $59. So, I grabbed a silver one and took it to the "check the price here" scanner to make sure I got the $99 one. It came up at $99 so I hauled it to the front.

The store rang it up and it came up at $99. I said, "These are on sale" and she said, "When I hit 'total', the sale price will come up." So, she hit total and the total price was $108. I said, "The sale price DIDN'T come up" and she just looked confused. So, of course, we did the whole "PRICE CHECK AT CHECKSTAND ONE!" routine. Here's the exchange I had with the next person:

STORE: "Are these on sale?" (Why are you asking ME?)
ME: "Yes, the $99 ones are $59. It was in yesterday's paper."
STORE: "Let me check." (she proceeds to radio someone in the back of the store)
STORE: "Oh, it's the blue, red and silver ones only."
ME: "Yes, I know - this is silver and it's one of the $99 ones."
STORE: "Uh, well, it's not one of the ones on sale."
ME: "Well, it's the $99 one and it's silver and you're telling me it's on sale if it's silver and $99"
STORE: "Let me check if there are any of the sale ones." (she calls to the back again)
STORE: "We only have blue left."
ME: "and this silver one"
STORE: "That's not silver" (It was THIS one - all silver)
ME: "What color is that?"
STORE: "I'm telling you that's not the one on sale"
ME: "But it's SILVER and it's $99."
STORE: "We have blue left."
ME: "Well, forget it then. If it's important to you to convince me that silver isn't silver and $99 isn't $99, then never mind. I don't want blue - there are three blue ones in our cul-de-sac. I want silver - like this one. Your ad is very misleading and because of that, I would expect you to sell me this one - which is silver and $99 - the two qualifications on your ad. But since you refuse to, I'm out of here."
STORE: "Sorry - okay."

I shook my head all the way to the car.

There's a great lesson in here. First, put yourself in your customer's shoes. Are they being reasonable? How in the world would I know that the silver $99 Rip Stik I picked up was NOT the silver $99 Rip Stik on sale? Seriously! Would you have the same response to this situation as a customer? Second, can you afford to lose a sale - especially a pretty sizable one - just to make your point? And finally, can you afford the bad feelings that would come because of this conversation. As I left the store, I was mumbling under my breath that this type of thing is exactly WHY I don't shop at Toys R Us unless absolutely forced to. I never get good service there.

Like I said, I'm a very reasonable customer with money in my pocket. I would think they would have wanted my $79 today. But, alas, I was apparently color blind. Somehow I couldn't see that silver wasn't really silver at all and they set out to make sure I knew that. How could I have been so completely stupid and blind? It's amazing I can string a sentence together, isn't it?

Thanks Toys R Us. Christmas is coming and I'll be doing my shopping elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Kim--good posting.

I can TOTALLY relate to this scenario! It's so frustrating that these underpaid and not so bright cashiers cannot make a minor empowered decision or comprehend ANY common sense!!!

Sad that employees and companies chose to lose a SALE, instead of offering half way decent service to make money.

It reminds me of a "COUPON Nazi cashier" at Target once, who decided to ARGUE about accepting a .50 DOWNEY coupon. She insisted that the one I selected was not "pictured" on the actual coupon...even though the coupon stated 'ANY SIZE, ANY TYPE' (coupons will usually feature a picture of 1-2 different products, NOT EVERY SINGLE size & scent!)

I called over a (rude) MOD...who then argued too, but eventually scanned the coupon (as the REGISTER accepted it)...then told me "We'll, accept this coupon this time only..." WTH?????

Kim said...

And that's why I don't shop much at Target anymore. They did the same thing to me when I tried to exchange their store brand kids jeans without a receipt. "We'll do it JUST ONCE for you!" So nice to threaten your customers. As if they have a big "naughty" list somewhere and will remember that they said, "JUST ONCE" if I try to do it again.

Taking common sense power away from the low-level employees is what has caused the death of customer service in many businesses.

Small independent businesses can make a huge impact just by being customer oriented. Customers will notice that you don't treat them like criminals or ignore them when they come in your store.

Musicmom-Amy said...

I told this story to Rob and he was SO confused. He kept asking "so did they ever tell her what color it was?" Ha!