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Primobabe's avatar

Have you had an experience when you, the customer, came last?

Asked by Primobabe (1652points) May 25th, 2010

In North American culture, it’s understood that the customer comes first, and that customer satisfaction is the #1 priority for succeeding in business. If a someone’s treated shabbily or otherwise has a bad experience, that person will never return. That customer will also spread the (bad) word among friends, family, and co-workers and damage the business’s reputation.

Last weekend, I was spending quite a bit of money at a beauty salon. It wasn’t a very warm day, but the air conditioning was blasting inside the salon. I was so cold that I was shivering. I asked—politely but firmly—to have the a/c turned down. A number of the salon’s workers, including its owner, refused and said that they get hot when they move around and use hair dryers. In other words, they told me that their comfort was much more important than the comfort of a paying customer! One employee even draped a towel around my shoulders, rather than adjust the a/c, so that I wouldn’t be so cold!

A few minutes later, the owner thought it over and did adjust the a/c. But, the experience left me annoyed. The response should have been, “Sorry about that. We’ll take care of it right away.”

Does anyone else have a similar story to tell?

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9 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

Years ago I needed a new winter jacket. I found one 40% off at a store that I had patronized in the past. I was looking at other clothes when my husband rang the purchase through. I walked over and took a look at the total on the receipt and they had charged me full price for the coat. I told them the the price tag clearly showed the item was 40% off. The store clerk refused to honour the price. She called her manager and she also refused to honour the price. The manager actually reached over and ripped off the price tag as I held the coat.

Thinking I could get a more favourable outcome by calling their head office, I took the coat home and did just that. What I found out was that this corporation gave absolutely zero power to their employees to fix problems. I got as high as the VP of Merchandising and she agreed with me but told me she couldn’t authorize the $60.00 refund.

I took the coat back a few days later to return it and was completely dismayed to see that the coat now was the discounted price. I had a few choice words with the manager, went home and e-mailed every woman I know and told them what had happened. I haven’t shopped there since.

Primobabe's avatar

Many years ago—I was much younger and easier to bully—I bought a new stereo receiver. When I got home and tried to connect and use the receiver, it didn’t work. I don’t mean that it worked badly; I mean that I plugged it into an electrical outlet, and that the receiver wouldn’t even turn on or off.

I returned the receiver to the store—in it’s original packaging, and with my receipt—to exchange it for another one. The salesman refused to give me a new item. Instead, he told me that he’d fix my receiver. He put it face down on a hard surface, took off the back, and started to do something with a screwdriver. While this was going on, he literally bounced the receiver around on its front knobs and switches, damaging it further. I told him to stop what he was doing and give me a replacement. He refused, said that he was a former police officer and could do whatever he wanted, and that if I didn’t shut up he’d keep my broken receiver and stiff me for its purchase price. I’d never felt so powerless in my entire life. I took my useless item and left.

The next day, I returned again. Another salesman was on duty, and I didn’t mention my experience with Mr. Former Cop. I simply explained that the receiver was defective. This new salesman apologized for the bad merchandise and immediately replaced it with one in perfect working condition.

But, yeesh! What a memory…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Without going into detail ,it happened today at the County Clerk’s office.She now knows what I think of her and I imagine she won’t be getting me anything for my birthday ;( lol

Primobabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Ooh, TripleLu, we want the details. That’s the fun part!!!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Primobabe -She wasn’t a very nice lady! and is not in love with me.At all! LOL!

ucme's avatar

Well if, & I must stress IF, I ever required the services of a prostitute i’d most certainly come last. Only polite etiquette surely.

YARNLADY's avatar

At my doctor’s office. I had to sit in the waiting room way past the appointment time, then in the exam room with no clothes, freezing cold for another 20 minutes or more. I hated it. Now, I have Kaiser, and there is a lot less waiting.

Jack79's avatar

The weirdest thing happened to me when I lived in Poland and went to a McDonald’s for the first time (first time in that place anyway). I walk in and there’s only one guy ordering in front of me, so I politely stand like 1m back or something, waiting for them to finish (I think it may have actually been a lady, doesn’t matter). As they’re waiting for their meal to arrive, and I’m obviously expecting the cashier to perhaps ask me what I’d want in the meantime, some guy just comes from my right (where the restaurant was) and just orders something in Polish, gets it and goes away.

I don’t mind, and I’m trying to catch the cashier’s eye, who keeps ignoring me, until more people start coming from the right (there was also a different entrance from there, so new customers just formed a line from that direction), and everyone’s cutting in, to the point where I go closer (the previous customer already served by now) and try to order. The cashier gets really mad and tells me I have to go to the back of the queue, except that the queue is me, right in front of her, just one person, and everyone else has formed a different “queue” parallel to the bar trying to cut into where the queue should be. Logically speaking they should be facing her, like I was doing, and I’d come in from the main entrance anyway. And I was parallel to the other two queues. But no, she keeps serving them, even though she must have seen I was there first when the place was empty, and refuses to have anything to do with me. At this point I try to talk to her, but obviously she speaks no English, and gets mad at me.

To this day I have no idea what she was thinking or if I had done anything wrong (I’ve been to that place several times since and people generally form the queue the normal way, ie come in through the main entrance and face the cashier like every McDonald’s everywhere in the world). She didn’t even know I was a foreigner until later. Maybe it’s my hair.

Val123's avatar

Ish! I remember once a guy at Hardees placed his order. The gal behind him was standing rather further away from him than you would expect someone to, but whatever. I was behind her. Well the guy in front got his stuff and left, and the lady just stood there and stood there. Didn’t make any move to move up to the counter. It was very, very odd because she wasn’t looking at the menu or anything. She was just standing there. Finally the cashier asks me what I would like, and I started to move up. The lady gave me a really dirty look and said, “I was here first!!” and stepped up to place her order. Very weird. It’s like….she set up a situation so she could get mad at someone. Her body language was totally saying the opposite of what her intentions were.

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