Customer Disservice

I learned three very important things to remember when you work in retail.  Better yet, these can be applied in your everyday experiences.  You may sense a bit of a "tone" as you read this.  Well, there is one.  Let me explain.

So last week for my anniversary gift, I got a sewing machine.  I was SO excited.  I ended skipping class that Tuesday and went to my mom's to practice stitches {because that's the kind of stuff we do}.  When I left, I packed up my stuff and headed home.  The sewing machine came back out on Saturday when I started fixing up the curtains we have in the bedroom.  They're floor length and I hate it.  They came from Michael's parents before we were married.  Now the dogs get in them and they get all hairy and dusty.  I decided I was going to trim and hem them.  I get my bobbin filled, drop it in, thread it, and I'm good to go.  I get about 1/4" into the stitch and it jams.  This proceeded for about an hour before I gave up. 

Sunday I decided to give it another whirl after I had time to cool and not want to throw my new machine out the window.  I try to raise the bobbin thread {if you know anything about sewing machines you know this is a pretty simple task} and nothing.  Needle raises, but no thread coming up.  I try again.  And again.  And again.  Finally I pack it up to take to my mom.  I've only had it a week.

Mom looks at it yesterday and decides it's better off to take it back.  It's still in the refund period and to her point, if I'm having problems now, I will probably have problems later.  Michael found the receipt and this morning I pack it all up in its box with all the attachments and what-not.  I take it into Brandsmart and they issue me a "credit" slip.  I can take the slip and use it toward another or something else in the store or I can take it to the cashier and they can give me a refund.  My first thought as I'm walking away was, What if the machine is not the same price?  Will I have to pay the difference?  Most places will honor your purchase price if you bought something on sale and exchanged it after the sale period.  I have a feeling Brandsmart does not follow that.

I make my way through the maze of shelves and find the sewing machines.  I find the one I want on display and look under it.  Nothing.  I look on top.  Nothing.  There are a few stacks behind me.  No dice.  I'm not finding this machine anywhere.  I notice the sale sign attached to a box and think I'm totally in luck.  Nope, someone put it on another box.  I find an employee and ask if she can check if there's any in stock.  She lazily follows me, pokes around everywhere I just looked, and then finally checks the computer.  She's mumbling something, but it's really difficult to understand what she's saying.  I finally make out something about only having the display.  She says I could get one of the other ones.  I don't want a different one.  I want that one.  She saunters off, checks out the computer again, and comes back and states that one of the other stores has one, but I would have to pay to have it shipped.  Ummm....excuse me?  Why is it my fault that you have an item on display but none to sell?  I finally tell her don't worry about, I'll look somewhere else.  In my nicest voice {between clenched teeth} I thank her for her "hard" work.

As I'm standing there deciding what I'm going to do, I notice that there are several machines on display that are no where to be found.  Need less to say, I will be sending an email to their store about that.  I begrudgingly take my "credit" slip up to the counter for my refund.  I waited about 3 minutes, which was about 2.5 minutes too long considered there were two employees yammering on about their drama.  A girl finally walks to the counter.  Two to three business days for my refund to be processed.  Oh awesome.  The icing to my cake.

So, after all of that, I was venting {much like I'm doing now} to my friend Vicki and I realize three things. 

1. Open your mouth when you speak.  There is nothing more aggravating then mumblers.  To quote Mother Gothel in Tangled: Rapunzel, please, stop with the mumbling. You know how I feel about the mumbling. Blah blah blah blah blah, it's very annoying!  Seriously, it really is.  I can't understand you so now I have to say, "Excuse me?" and we have to go through this all over again.  Make it easier on yourself.

2. Annunciate.  To announce.  This ties in with mumbling.  See above.

3. Walk like you have purpose in the world.  I get it, you hate your job and you'd rather be somewhere else.  But when you have that uniform on, you are representing the company that signs your paycheck.  Act like you give a damn.  Walk briskly and stand up straight.  Lackadaisical and hunched walking does not give you respect.  In fact, I will look down on you.

Take that as you will.  My rant is over.


  1. It's sad, isn't it, that this sort of "service" is so common these days? My husband and I have this conversation all the time. His opinion is that he never expects better, so doesn't find himself as easily annoyed as I. But I've spent my lifetime working in some form or another of customer service, and I *know* it's possible to treat customers well, even when you're personally having a bad day. Not only that, but I still believe it's their job, and it's what I'm paying for. I won't lower my expectations, but it does sadden me that I'm so often disappointed.

    1. My problem is that people go get these jobs knowing that they're going to interacting with customers as part of their jobs. We tip waiters/waitresses depending how will they do their job. I think we should be ale to do the same for some retail positions. I'm totally with you.

  2. How interesting. There are no Brandsmarts where I live in upstate NY. I went to their website. I tried clicking on the "about us" page. It wouldn't let me read anything without entering my zip code. I wasn't about to do that. True, I could have put a fake one in there (maybe my old one when I lived in another state) but why should I do that just to read about a company? How annoying can you get? Guess where I won't be shopping if I run across one of their stores in my travels. Sometimes bad customer service is a reflection of bad management. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. I guess you really get what you pay for. I mean, this place has pretty cheap stuff, but I guess that means you get crappy service. Several years ago I was looking for a washer and dryer. The space in my apartment was this tiny little closet. I measured out the space and NO front loaders would fit. This one gentleman there actually ARGUED with me that "front loaders were made to fit apartments." I really wanted to say, Okay, I'll buy and when it doesn't fit YOU get to load it all back up. I just walked away instead.


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