If it was me and I had a receipt I'd report them to Fair Trading.
Cowboys like that don't deserve to be in business.
As a person involved in the customer service industry I often wonder at the poor service that so many retailers give in today's market. I remember the days when a customer was always right. It seams like in today's market we are not right, just an annoyance.
I wont mention names but i remember a recent event where a retailer sold something to me only to realise they could get more from another person so even though I had already paid for the item they refused to supply it and gave it to another person.
The sad thing was they said it was my fault as I was a cheap Bas^ard for not paying more................nice.
Whats your worst customer service experience? PS lets not name and shame.....they know who they are.
If it was me and I had a receipt I'd report them to Fair Trading.
Cowboys like that don't deserve to be in business.
These days the only advantages of bricks-and-mortar over on-line are 1. instant availability, and 2. service.
Without both the shop will soon be out of business. I don't worry about poor service, I just shop elsewhere.
Geez, where do i start... Whilst i do believe there has been a decline in service levels, i also don't believe in 'the customer is always right' theory. If the customer is behaving badly or rudely, they don't deserve good service
A couple of examples of bad service;
I restore vintage lever machines, which sometimes means sending parts away to be re-chromed. A recent parcel of irreplaceable chromed parts were sent back to me incorrectly addressed to an address that didn't even exist. Rather than return to sender, or call the sender, the courier just decided to deliver it to the nearest address he could find.I had to go door to door knocking down the whole street trying to find them
I recently needed a small part for a Pavoni lever machine.I usually order overseas, but decided to give the locals another try after several past attempts went bad.I called 3 places here in NZ.1 did not even return my calls, even though i left messages , the 2nd took 3 days to even get me a price, the 3rd took 8 days to get me a price (this from a place that specializes in coffee equipment) By this time i had given up, ordered and received the goods from overseas cheaper. I had also been into the 3rd place once to ask for a groupseal for a Brasilia Portafino, they looked at me blankly, took my number and said they'd call me and never did
"Service, Is there such a thing in retail anymore"
There certainly is, you find it in smaller communities where traders and their customers live and socialize together.
In cities the world over the customer has become anonymous, it's a sign of our times.
I am constantly amazed at how many waiting staff it takes to handle small crowds in cafes, restaurants and pubs. I sit and watch as staff walk past work because they seem only capable of doing one thing at a time - then they have to retrace their steps to come do the thing they could have done on their way back to the counter.
Or I see customers getting upset when the guy who just walked in gets served ahead of them because the bar staff didn't take note of people coming to the bar.
Tills are another bugbear - half the time it takes longer for the poor service person to ring up the meals/drinks than it does to make them. The old ka-ching tills were MUCH faster... but of course with them you had to add things up in your head - a vanishing skill these days. If you really want to mess with the head of a young service person, when the bill is (say) $16.55, give them $20 and $1.55 in change and watch them try to work out the change... :I had a laugh:
I would vote for naming the retailers in this thread - it might help others to avoid the bad ones. Maybe as a balance we could also name places of excellent service. Doing it that way might actually help us get better service eventually.
Then you get people who complain when they have to approach staff for assistance and people who complain that staff are always pestering them when they just want to browse.
Personally, I'm happy if staff are approachable, knowledgeable and willing to help (goes for retail more than hospitality, I suppose).
As far as your situation goes, from memory, once they've taken money from you they've made a binding contract to provide the goods/services you paid for. Might be worth taking further as Thundergod suggested, if you're so inclined.
I believe this topic is way bigger than the simple responses that it is likely get in a forum like this.
The post immediately above this went some way to indicate that you cant please all the people all of the time, and in many ways forums like these actually cause customer service problems these days that didnt exist before because they "edcucate" people that cant handle (understand / interpret) the information they receive, then they go and ingratiate themselves (not) with shop "assistants" who are trying to help them, by behaving as if they know more than the "assistant"....sometimes the shop "assistant" helping them is someone like me who has only lived and breathed this stuff all their life, only to be treated as if we dont know scheit and everything we say is wrong....because they read all about it on the web OR, they have a mate that advised them something that we are contradicting....
Over the years, I've had some doosies.
That said, professional people will try and let it go like water off a ducks back and forge ahead.
I'm actually handling a particularly tricky situation at the moment where we have had to refuse to deal with a particular "client" by any means except in writing.
The market is more aggressive and insulting now than it has ever been before. Dont get me wrong....the greatest majority of experiences are well and truly positive, but when you get a problematic one these days, its worse than we've ever seen before. The sense of entitlement that some people have these days, and their sense that only "me me me me me" is important, is unbelievable.
Someone above mentioned that the group should name and shame, and that would be balanced by those that are named positively.
I couldnt DISAgree more. Naming and shaming is a cowardly act that usually only elicits one side of a story and is vindictive and designed to elicit maximum hurt. Trial by media if you like, where only one side of the story has been published.
I wouldnt like to see this go there.
I think good service is alive and well, and it is balanced by having both good and bad suppliers, as well as by having good and bad clients.
So really, all this topic can do is have a toing and froing effect of individuals giving their examples of the good and the bad, and not really achieving anything much.
Service providers, like their clients, are human, we all do the best we can in the circumstances, and there is always the Department of Fair Trading to arbitrate when necessary. Sometimes we give them the number of FT.
For the rest of it and as has already been said above, when you dont feel as though you werent given good service, you usually go elsewhere....problem solved one way or another.
PS yabba.....going only on the face value of your post, I also believe you should have gone to Fair Trading.
As far as going to fair trading I'm not going to bother. I don't want to fight over something that I can and would rather get elsewhere.
I have vented, had therapy and I am ready to move on...
I also have worked all my life where service was a crucial component. The saying the customer is always right isn't literal but how (IMO) to best manage problem clients - No that's wrong, how to treat all clients. If someone has a bug up their *&^% then they have. Clients want to be right, they want to vent. So my attitude is I'd rather they vent rant and rave to me than go on a forum like I did.
How does that saying go. A happy customer tells 5 people, an unhappy one tells 20. Clearly customers are wrong at times, just don't tell them unless you have to or in my case refund my money without even discussing it with me, just an email to say he wanted more money and someone else was willing to pay it.
I also agree that good service exists, CS sponsors are generally a good example. As you said the bad customers have got really bad. Likewise when you stumble across a bad retailer they are bad. Luckily they are still the exception not the rule.
Name and shame isn't always bad for the retailer - I'm a member on Whirlpool and often someone complains about a vendor/provider and others promptly post to correct the info, give an explanation or provide a positive side to balance things. Many vendors now have accounts on Whirlpool because they use it to improve relations with the clients.
I usually go check on Whirlpool before purchasing from a particular vendor to see how they treat their clients and how they deal with issues or problems. And I have posted about vendors who gave me a good service even if the OP had a poor time of it.
A lot of the poor service I have seen isn't actually the fault of the person giving it - many can be directly pointed straight at the lack of training. I sometimes use the opportunity to give them some advice about better ways to do things - poor buggers have enough hassle with customers without me adding to things by getting upset with them.
I will also send back meals with an explanation - politely. I've had restaurant owners approach me to thank me for pointing something out rather than the 'leave saying nothing and never come back' attitude most people have. How can s/he improve his service if nobody ever tells them what they thought was lacking?
As examples we have 2 local Thai places - in one we had a meal and it was lacking in Thai flavours - food was nice enough but the red curry had no zing and the pad thai was almost a sweet and sour without much sour. I mentioned it as we paid the bill and got an effusive response - she went and got the chef and he promised that all I had to do was ask for real Thai next time and he would be overjoyed to cook it for me - we live in a country town and the normal (to me) Thai flavours were too much for local palates.
The other place, we asked for a Tom Kar Gai (coconut milk chicken soup) without galangal. We got a hostile lecture about how it had to be in the soup and we politely requested it not to be. We got a liquid that had no flavour at all - they'd not only left out the galangal but all the other flavourings as well.
Guess which Thai place we have never been back to...?
Yes- a tricky one for sure....
I received a call this week from a person looking for a low end machine. It really didn't suit his requirements and over the next half-hour I explained the differences between classes and the caller went off to do a little more homework. All good...
The next day, I received a call from the guy. He wanted to visit to check out a machine but I was unable to stay any later and informed the caller that I was on my way to the car- heading off to another appointment.
I suggested some alternative times and asked him to send an email so that I could send him a meeting invite- no waiting, directions to the front door etc. All good....
The response: "I don't know why I am emailing you when we spoke on the phone- so don't worry, I'll be buying in the class you have recommended- from another business...
Takes all sorts I guess . I hope the other business appreciated the time I saved them!
In a particular Victorian country town very popular with tourists, such as me, the shopkeepers, people who rely on us for a living, give the palpable impression they hate the very sight of you in their shop.
No friendly geeeting, no smile, and the most minimal communication.
More widespread are staff in post offices. Again, unfriendly, with a superior attitude. And minimalist communication.
In hospitalists...receptionists and nurses treat you like a trespasser on their workspace. Some receptionists, on the phone, totally ignore your presence as you wait for the call to conclude.
@robusto - It's even worse than you might know. Those country towns put their prices way up when the tourists come and unlike in the past, most will also charge locals the higher prices. Once if you were a local they'd have the normal prices for you and higher ones for the tourists, now they rip everyone off - maybe that's why they seem so sour - nasty dispositions involved in charging a huge mark up just because you are on holiday?
Receptionists on clearly personal calls who ignore you are the worst - makes me want to find HR and report them for failing to do their job. How hard is it to break into the "yeah, and then she went to buy some school clothes..." level of conversation to say, "Hang on Shazza, I need to do some work, you know, that stuff they pay me for."
Bendigo tends to be a friendly place - it's part of the reason we moved here. Too big for the 'you-aren't-local-for-25-years' attitude and small enough to still have the community feel to it. With the exception of a very few, the services are delivered with a smile and a chat.
The time you do spend with people and the experience you share I'm sure is appreciated by many, especially here at CS. I've spoken to you in the past and intend to buy from you in the future when finances allow for the machine we'd really like to have.
I have just come back from Hawaii and this topic seems to be the perfect place to off load my thoughts of customer service from retail and a little of the hospitality industry over there. I know both the USA and Australia run in different ways with employees rights entitlements but in the restaurants it's expected to tip over in the USA. Having been to the USA on many occasions I have never had a problem paying for what I ate also giving a tip. Every time I have eaten somewhere in the USA I have been given a service which far exceeds any restaurant I have eaten at here in Australia. I feel this is a game thing to say as not everyone will agree.
As for customer service I was in need of a GPS so of all places I went to Walmart. Not expecting much as from what I hear of Walmart over here From people i was concerned. To put a long story short I have a GPS and a person who i will keep in contact with as a mate. The Customer service I received from the guy there also far exceeded any experience I have had somewhere here at say Kmart. To add to this, he doesn't get tips for what service he gives just a wage unlike the waiters I experienced. I don't like to say that kind of service isn't possible here in Australia but I feel we have along way to come before we get there that level of customer serivce.
Also not to say that there are places in Australia who I'm sure offer great customer service, like any sponsor I have had dealings with on here.
My experience only but in hospitality industry its hard to compare the US with Australia in terms of level of service. They work for tips and very often "over service" the client and give service where it wasnt warranted or needed or the client didnt want it.... If your stay over there is long enough you can easily tire of it especially as it directly affects the hip pocket nerve to a significant extent over time, when you are continually forking out for service you didnt want, need or ask for, or some shop assistant is in your face when you want to be left alone.
That said they are in general very welcoming and friendly towards Australian visitors to their country.....which also means the level of service we as visitors experience over there may not be representative.....
In Oz people dont work for tips...different culture, and I think therefore unfair to make the comparison. That's not an excuse for poor service when it happens, and Australians could do well to learn something from their American cousins from time to time.
I happily tip for good service here in Australia. And when I got extremely poor service in the US (they need a fence around Utah to keep them from getting out) I made sure I put the money for the lousy meal on the bill and waited till the waitress looked over and put down second crack for the tip. Then I got up and walked out and went back to Colorado to spend my money on people who like people.
Some of the best service I've had comes from people who don't expect tips and some of the worst has been from establishments demanding of tips and charging exorbitant prices for their product. Personally I think it obscene for a restaurant to not pay a decent wage to their staff, particularly when they charge premium prices to their customers.
I worked in hospitality, mainly bars and restaurants, for a decade and spent 24 years in Desktop Support - I'm well aware of how lousy the client can be, but there are two sides to this story and it's not all just shitty customers.
I wonder if it's a sign of what seems to be slipping manners and similar in polite society. I'd not consider myself that old (early 30's) but I'm constantly shocked and amazed at how people treat each other. People of all ages demanding things of the people serving them, no response to the "how are you" question, no pleases or thank-you's.
I also know that I'm guilty of being a bit of a shocker of a customer (reading Attilio's post above certainly reminds me of when I first looking to upgrade my coffee machine - his patience and explanations - time - was great though and I know a little more for it) on occasion, I try to make sure I treat the person with respect. I'd say that I know my onions though in areas where I have a greater than the usual level of understanding - and for example having a CSR upsell with outright lies things like monster cables - is pretty hard to take.
End of the day I try and do my research, will look for a place that represents value for money relative to product, support, etc. I expect to be treated in a fair and honest way, and once a deal is made, stick to it. Yabba - if that was me I'd be beyond peeved.
I have spend a over a full year there a few to,es in my twenties and as you say you get tired from the in your face service however I must say I would much prefer that than sitting at a table waiting and wondering if I am going to get served at all. With the current dollar how it is going over to America for a holiday eating out knowing you are still paying less for a meal including tipping and good service I find it hard not to compare a little. Like I said don't get me wrong in many other Way we are lucky here in australia that we are paid a full wage. I feel as much as the service may feel in your face, I personally much prefer to receive consistently good service.
I do however respect what you have said Attilio.
The Ultimate in bad service for me came from some new car salesmen. We went out one Saturday on a mission to buy a new car at a good price. As most people do, the plan was to visit a few dealerships and buy from the one that gave a good price as well as the appearance of good service. One well known dealer we visited took the bad service award. There were a few people about so I waited patiently at the counter. After 15-20 mins I was getting a bit peeved, especially when I spotted 3 salesmen standing around having a chat. I looked straight at them for 5 minutes trying to get their attention. They as well as the sales manager had spotted me standing there, all to no avail. Finally I walked out and halfway back to the car one of the 3 chatting salesmen came after me and yelled "can I help you?" With great pleasure I replied "Too late! We're buying a new car today but after seeing how you treat potential customers, it won't be from you!" I could only imagine how they treated their customers in the service centre after seeing how they operated in the new vehicle area. I've never been back there and have warned others of how they treat people as well. As it turned out the local dealer was the last stop late in the day. As soon as we walked into the showroom we were politely greeted, treated with respect as we discussed our needs and after stating that we'd had a long day and just wanted a good deal, offered the best of the day. No BS, no disrespect, just good old fashioned service. Within 10 mins they had our business and we're now on the 2nd vehicle from this dealership. There's a reason some businesses thrive while others struggle. The customer's not always right but he's always the one with the cash in his pocket.
Something to keep in mind when dealing with wait staff in the US is that while the Federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr there is an exception for tipped staff. Under Federal law employers only have to pay tipped staff the so called 'cash pay' of $2.13/hr. Legally the employer is required to make up the difference between those two figures if tips don't. Unfortunately the reality is that regardless of whether their tips make up the difference all too often the only paycheck a waitress/waiter ever sees from their employer is for the $2.13/hr.
Those two wages can vary state to state as many states have their own minimum wage laws. Where state minimum wages laws differ from the federal laws the higher of the two are the ones in place.
Given all that it should come as no surprise then if some staff 'over serve' as their ability to put food on the table that night literally depends on doing whatever it takes to make their customers happy.
Java "Who says slavery is dead?" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
My wife is from the US; before she met up with me she thought Socialism was the evil in the world and that Australia and other countries were on the outskirts of hell when it came to living standards etc. Then she discovered the benefits of not having to ask an insurance company whether or not you are allowed to get treatment for illness or injury, and other benefits like a minimum wage that, while not ever going to let one live high on the hog, at least allows one to live. She went from full-time penury to part-time living wage.
She thinks differently about Australia vs US now.
She also might have a skewed view of service - I tend not to go to places where I don't get good service, plus I tend to talk to the staff. As I have told the missus, having done that type of work I know how mind-dullingly boring it can be to have 200 people all say the same thing or people who have a word-for-word conversation every day with you, so I go out of my way to say something funny or interesting or otherwise break through the shell that can grow from too much repetition.
It seems to work; I rarely see poor service to me and the missus has gotten used to that level of attention as well.
Except for Utah. Did I mention it needs a fence around it?
I guess I always expect to find people in Retail/Hospitality who have naturally good interpersonal skills and like people and that kind of work.
I have done it myself and enjoyed the variety of people and the challenge of establishing rapport.
Nowdays Retail/Hosp. is a bit of a starting point for a lot of people (partic. young folks) who just want a job and who often have no natural attributes to suit the industry.
Worse still, a lot of businesses don't seem to coach/train staff in how to be good service people. People don't always know and if you have been brought up with a sense of entitlement and no 'manners' then work in the Service Industry is going to be a big ask.
As an older customer I acknowledge that I am fairly demanding, having experienced most of the traps and pitfalls. I am usually well researched and expect salespeople to know something about their specialty - unreasonable, I know.
Just when I think service is dead I encounter someone who knocks my socks off with their talent. Sometimes they are an older person and sometimes young. I always look for a way to let the organisation know about them.