There is the old and well-known adage “The customer is always right.”
Not only is it stupid, it’s just flat-out wrong. Having spent many years in retail, I can attest to this with many stunning examples of human stupidity.
Regardless of how right or wrong a customer is, what matters is how the employee handles a situation. An employee should always remain calm and try to make the situation as painless for all involved.
Many where I have been at a place of business and things have gone awry, the employee has done a splendiferous job in trying to make sure that I am still satisfied with my experience. I’m often apologizing for any inconvenience I have provided the employee with because I know I can be a pain in the ass, but I hate to bequeath that upon the outside world (Nope, I reserve that shit for friends and family!). I also know how large a pain in the ass customer snafus can be, and again, I hate to unload that on other people who are just trying to get through the damn day in a soul-sucking position that nobody really wants. Nine times out of ten, I walk out still satisfied overall, and prepared to tell everyone I know about how awesomely this group or company handled a mishap.
I should really write to the companies themselves and cite how awesome their employees are, because that shit deserves internal recognition, too. I don’t do this as often as I have good experiences with a company’s employees. I hope the few times I have, the employee has gotten some kind of reward, like a raise or staff award, or at least a damn high-five. Perhaps I will try to send more glowing reviews to companies about their employees. It may even send some more good karma my way, which I sure could use.
The unfortunate flip side to this is bad customer service. When someone/something is so outrageous when you just want to smash someone’s head into a wall/table/computer desk.
In the past 24 hours, I’ve had an unfortunate bout with the latter.
I recently purchased myself a new iPod touch. I was thrilled to be able to do this on my own (one of the perks of being employed, y’know?). I opted for a 4th generation because really all the 5th bragged about was a larger screen and slightly better camera. I was delighted to have a camera at all, so I didn’t really want to spend more money on something that wasn’t that much better than what I was planning on getting.
It was yesterday that shit started to go rogue.
I picked up a free app from a company that I’m not going to name because, quite frankly, I’m not finished tearing them a new one yet. All I will say is that it is a London-based company. I was having trouble getting the app to work properly. Nothing I did resulted in successful use of the app. I read through their help logs on the app. I tried everything that was suggested. I opted to email support.
The response was short, and I should have known right away that this was not going to end well (more for them then me, but I’ll get to that later.) The “help” person (let’s call him Bob, shall we?) proceeded to give suggestions that were already on the app itself while gently insulting me. Bob also said that the app works better on an iPhone than it does on the iPod. In my response, I told Bob that I had already tried that, called him out for his insult, and pointed out that maybe if the app is faulty on the iPod that perhaps they shouldn’t offer it until it isn’t anymore.
This is where shit got real.
He proceeded to insult me further, telling me that I have a “small brain” and would know what I was doing if I was intelligent. Tried to rub their download numbers in my face. He also insulted the number of people who have contacted them and been annoyed that the app doesn’t work properly on their iPods, saying that they have “small brains” as well. He also said that I must be stupid and poor, because I clearly can’t buy an iPhone instead.
In my response to Bob, I asked him to forgive me for not being to afford an iPhone because I have student loans I have to pay off on my own, so I guess that does make me poor and stupid. I also chose not to stoop to his level by insulting him back (something I could have done with ease in a plethora of ways and languages). I did choose to inform him that his way handling this does not reflect very well on him or his company.
Unfortunately for him, I’m not done yet.
While I didn’t choose to inform him of it, I am taking further steps to make sure that Bob gets his superior ass handed to him.
It’s not hard to be nice to someone who is clearly asking your help or trying to inform you of a problem. What really matters is how you handle the situation. Turning a negative situation into a positive situation will result in satisfaction and Handling a situation poorly just pisses off everyone involved, and only succeeds in making you look like an asshole.
You want to play “Fuck Me, Fuck You”? We can, but I don’t recommend it. It won’t end well for you. That I can promise.
(Apologies for the rant-y post after not posting in a while. Next one will be light-hearted. Promise.)