The customer is always right
– more about this phrase in The Phrase Finder, whoever nutcase practice this
It must have been phrased by a company who wants to get customers’ approval just from agreeing with everything the customers want/say. How illogical. What if the customer is abusing his or her rights? Rude, bad people get more than polite, good people? THAT’S NOT fair!
The other day, a lady in red – she was in her 60’s I think – really regal and soft spoken but so damn insistent – came to my counter as I was serving another guy.
I gestured my hand into a Stop sign like in Arnold Swazz’s movie, I told her nicely with a smile, “Please wait for awhile.”
After I had handed the shirt the guy wanted to try, I turned to her.
She said, “I bought 2 shirts the other day.. where is the pregnant girl?”
“The pregnant girl? She’s not here today. She’s at shop.”
“Oh. I want to exchange the shirts I bought,” she grabbed her plastic bag tighter and walked over to the shirt tables.
I followed her and asked, “Which shirt do you want to exchange?” thinking she must have bought the normal priced shirts with promotion since the table displays those shirts.
She took out the shirts by the collar. “I bought 3 shirts recently but the pregnant girl gave 2 sizes wrong. I wanted size 16 but she gave me 16 1/2.”
Oh, no. They were sales items. I had no idea what she meant by recently either because I searched daily sales for such items in the previous 6 days and couldn’t find such sales memo.
Sales had already finished the day before she came. If only she had come earlier.
- Sales items cannot be exchanged or refunded in my co
- Sales time is over – pricing would be different during non-sales time
- We don’t have any sales items to exchange for her
I asked her, “Do you have the receipt?”
“Let me check with the pregnant girl.”
I called back shop for BlackHairedGal. “Did you have a customer who bought 3 white shirts – sales items – recently?”
“Who? Don’t have lar. I only had 1 customer buying white shirts.”
“She said you handled her.”
“Let me talk to her,” the lady pestered in the background.
“Why don’t I pass you to her then you’d know?” I asked BlackHairedGal.
“No! I DON’T WANT ARH!” BlackHairedGal shouted. “I remember already! Fun cheong customer! She came with her husband and daughter. The husband wanted size 16 but she and the daughter took 16 1/2. I asked them if that were the sizes they wanted. They said yes. Aiya, they were all luin shui.”
“Let me talk to her,” the lady repeated.
“It’s better for you two to talk to each other since she said you handled her,” I told BlackHairedGal.
After more ding dong, she finally relented, “Aiya, pass me to her lar.”
The lady asked her, “Do you remember me? I bought shirts from you the other day.”
Obviously she had different meaning for “the other day” than us.
“I asked if you were pregnant, remember?”
I almost rolled my eyes. :) Of course BlackHairedGal was pregnant. She has a HUGE bump on her stomach. She’s always patting her stomach. Sometimes she scratches her stomach, “She’s kicking me ah.”
They talked more.
Then the phone was passed back to me. I confirmed what happened with her again. I told her that the customer didn’t have any proof of purchase. No memo from my company although that was expected because the cashier @ department store takes our memo then pass the department store’s receipt to the customer. Then we take back our own memo. But she didn’t even bring the receipt!
I apologized to her, “I’m sorry but I can’t exchange for you.”
“You don’t understand. My husband cannot wear this shirt. It’s too big.”
I nodded, “Yes, I understand your concern that the size isn’t correct. However, without the receipt, I can’t exchange the shirts for you. Besides, the sales time is over. The last day sale was yesterday. If you had come earlier, I could’ve done something,” I gestured my fingers, “for you.. Also, we don’t have any white shirts already. All sold out.”
She didn’t believe me. She looked at the shirts at the table. Yes, there are white shirts but those are under normal price. Not sales items. All white shirts under 50% had been sold out except 1 piece and that was in 16 1/2 size too.
She pointed to the cartons, “You don’t have any more 16 shirts meh?”
“Really. No more white and black shirts.”
“Other colours also never mind.”
I remembered we had lots of blue shirts but without checking the inventory since I had done transfer out for those shirts, I told her, “Other colours also don’t have already.”
The husband SHOULD’VE TRIED THE SHIRTS 1ST BEFORE BUYING. For goodness sakes, those shirts are at 50% off! Not normal price items.
BlackHairedGal also didn’t inform them that #1 sales items couldn’t be exchanged or refunded when generating memo for them. She should’ve done that. And also #2 ask the husband if he wanted to make sure the size is ok for #1.
If my customers didn’t try the shirts, I always reprint another memo with a note of duration for exchange – just in case the sizes weren’t ok.
“I want to speak with your headquarter.”
“Sure. I’ll give you the phone number.” I took our company’s card from cupboard and passed a piece of card to her.
She asked my name. I gave my initial to her.
“It stands for?” She asked pointedly, angry that I didn’t give in to her demands.
I spelled and pronounced my name for her.
“Can I have your name too so that I can feedback to the management?”
“Mrs. Teh. T. E. H.”
“Mrs Teh. T. E. H.”
I bet she would contact our HQ and complain about my “rude” behaviour. Haha. I was not afraid. I bet our HQ would side with the customer as well, as with most of our experiences when customers damaged the clothes and blamed it on us. Our HQ’s marketing and customer service dept do not have the gut to tell customers that they are wrong or they couldn’t get what they wanted.
They should get training at my previous company.
I wrote the important info into another piece of company card – just in case a complaint would be made and others have reference.
Top 5 reasons why “The Customer Is Always Right” is wrong
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