In the examples of bad customer service department, Staples takes the cake.
I can't even tell you how much bad customer service just slays me. The difference between just bad and "unfortunate?" Examples of bad customer service: Bad is when the employees flat out don't care. And in the days of Tweeting, Facebooking, checking in and Instagramming, all which ginormous corporations like Staples are massively getting on the bandwagon with including every "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" promotion one can think of, I don't get the just complete and total disregard for the customer. People, at least PRETEND to try. PRETEND to look up a ski in some foreign land, but don't be so blatantly obvious that you couldn't care less.
I mean really.
Does someone think that we're still in the horse and buggy stage and that a wacka-doodle like me isn't going to one day just get fed up and out them? Since I'm (fairly) non-violent, this blog has become my outlet. Today's experience was just too unbelievable not to share.
Maybe we can all learn something from someone ELSE's examples of bad customer service
Fingers crossed. I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone bananas publicly about a company. I run a few myself and know how hard it is to do everything AND train employees. Granted, the two instances that I can think of over the many years of my life were Twitter-epic, this one has really gotten under my skin.
Examples of Bad Customer Service, Part 1:
I am obsessed with Ebates, totally obsessed. (If you click on the link, bee tee dubs, it's my affiliate link. Disclaimer.) If you're going to shop anyway, why not just shop where you're going to get cash back? Beats me. Ebates has done an INSANE job of getting me to shop this year. They are peppering my email with specials, promotions, doubling down, backing up; I can barely give them my credit card fast enough. Why? Because they are making it EASY for me to freaking do so.
Last night I second guessed yesterday's decision to purchase a regular sewing machine. After a little research, I decided a heavy duty model would be better because we're doing insane stuff at The Party Goddess! worldwide headquarters that requires a little extra "juice". (Note green high pile astroturf sofa created by aforementioned team featured in this link.) So I got on Google, blew through some reviews of sewing machines, comparisons, the whole nine and decided I would best be served by this magic little Singer 4423 Model. Did it cost a million dollars? No, but here's the deal. Exactly EVERY time I go into a store (unfortunately), I buy way more than I should because I HATE to go into stores for errands. Yesterday I went into Target because my daughter had a ripped pair of tights, and, you guessed it, $850+ later, she had new tights and I had a new sewing machine, drill, moth balls, gum and 4,000 other items. Why? Because they made it EASY. Tons of friendly people working who kept the lines down.
After id'ing the sewing machine model, I compared the different sites on Ebates, found it at Staples, tried to figure out if I could take advantage of the "pick it up today" gig they've got going, but got too tired and bailed.
So far so good.
Got up early, did a bunch of errands and decided to just call Staples to see if they had it in stock or if I had to go online and order it with the "pick it up today" plan. (They say the items will be delivered in an hour. To be fair, they said that certain restrictions apply, THUS why I wanted to actually CALL THE STORE.) I make my first call at 9:05am to find out they are closed. No problem. (Don't worry, you'll have photo evidence of all of this.) No problem. I figure I'll do my other shopping and call back and wait until they open. (Since I've already been on Ebates and Staples.com multiple times, I'm kind of invested at this point especially knowing that come Monday, I'm going to get swallowed back up into the vortex of TPG worldwide and won't have time to do any of this.
Examples of Bad Customer Service - The First (Real) Call:
At 10:42 I call my local store on Arroyo Parkway and a rather sleepy gentleman answers. I ask if they carry sewing machines in that store or do I have to order one online? He tells me to wait a minute. He comes back a minute or two later to ask what kind of cash register I wanted.
Me: "Cash register?"
Him: "Yes, ma'am, didn't you say you wanted to know if we carry machines? What kinds of machines were you looking for? Cash register type machines?"
Me: "No sir, I'm looking for sewing machines."
Him: "OK, lemme check."
More hold music. I have the conversation with my 7 and 9 year old again about why they must attend college. Either that or everyone should stop listening to loud music. (Feel free to go off on my in the comments that you don't have to go to college to be smart, I can take the heat, I know that you don't have to go, but it does help.)
Him: "I'm sorry, I don't think we carry that."
Me: "You don't think you carry them or you don't carry them."
Him: "Those kinds of machines. I don't think we carry them."
Me: "Sir, could you perhaps put me on the phone with someone who might have an idea what you do carry? Maybe a manager?" (I'm not entirely confident he has grasped the concept yet of what I'm seeking.)
Him: "OK, yeah."
Me: And he never returns again.
I stay on hold for 14 minutes total. My kids keep toggling between the following two questions: "Mom, WHAT is that music doing?" and "Did that man really not go to college?"
Me: "You guys, I'm very annoyed, and he might have gone to college, I was just trying to make a point that he's not particularly 'swift' shall we say." The kids tell me to just hang up and call again. At first I balk, then I give in.
Examples of Bad Customer Service - The SECOND Call:
And NOWWWWWW, I'm fired up. I call again at 10:56. This call lasts for 7 minutes and I can't even get a human being on the phone and I tell the kids like something out of an abusive mother horror movie on Lifetime: "Kids, GET in the car, we're going over there." I hang up after the 7 minutes.
Kids: "We're going where? To the place?"
Me: "Yes. Just get in the car."
Kids: "You're going to find the man who didn't go to college?"
Me: "Not necessarily. I'm trying to just find the sewing machine. Just get in the car."
Examples of Bad Customer Service - The THIRD Call:
Please note: I did NOT count the call this morning when they were closed. #NiceOfMe #TryingToBeFair. I call again at 11:04am and never reach a live person.
(Please see screen shot.)
In fact, by now, I have parked the car in the Staples parking lot. I am expecting to see the place jam packed and having a fire sale, to be honest with you. I am TRYING to figure out why they can't answer the phone. Forget about why they don't even know what they carry, but why they can't even pick up and do the "Please hold ma'am, assistance is just a moment away and I'll be right with you" or WHATEVER. Anything. Isn't it freaking one of the biggest shopping weekends of the damn year? Nottttt at Staples my friends.
Kids: "Oh this is going to be good. Are we going to see the man who didn't go to college?"
Me: By this point, I'm ready to just turn into the WikiLeaks/investigative reporter of small business because I am so enraged. The phone is still ringing off the hook, intermittently with a recording coming on telling me they are sorry for the delay, but no one actually ever answers. Meantime, phone KEEEPPPPPSS ringing and I have it on speaker phone as we walk into the store. I CAN HEAR MY OWN PHONE CALL RINGING THROUGHOUT STAPLES. RINGING on my phone and RINGING in the store. Do you copy that??? For a second I thought maybe their phones were out.
Examples of Bad Customer Service - The Approach:
And the store is empty. I could only find one customer who was checking out. Couldn't even find another non-employed body in the place. (I'm sure there were some, had to be.) To say that I needed some kind of anti-seizure medication at this point is a gross understatement. I approach the "Copy Center" and ask the girl, phone still ringing, mine, theirs, everyone's, if they have someone to answer the phones.
Her: "Oh yes, but evidently they are with other customers." Where? I'd love to know, but somewhere. (This did not explain exactly why she was neither with a customer nor answering the phone, but I'll leave that alone.)
All of a sudden, a flurry of smirkly clad wonders stream out of the back (office? Copy Center? There was a window so they clearly saw my orange sweater and broomstick flying towards them). I asked if they knew the phone was ringing? Oh yes, but it hadn't been answered because the employees were all helping other customers.
Examples of Bad Customer Service - Robert:
Literally, literally I was seeing stars. I wanted an Epi-pen just to put myself out of my misery. Suddenly, I wanted to be allergic to bees and have just gotten stung and not have an Epi-Pen. Smiling Robert approaches. I ask him WHAT other customers might be being serviced? He smirked. So then I asked if he carried sewing machines in this store.
Him: "Sewing machines? No."
Me: "OK, well, can I order it only and do the 'pick it up today' gig and have it here in an hour?"
Robert: "No, it doesn't work like that. It's not like there is some way to just order it and have it here in an hour."
Me: I started to ask how the process worked and then just gave up. I thanked sweet baby Jesus for the fact that the inability to purchase a heavy duty sewing machine at a moment's notice truly was a first world problem and that I should just thank my lucky stars that Robert had the pleasure of working for Staples and I had other options.
And the other scurriers? They just chuckled along and headed for the registers, glad that Robert was charged with dealing with the unmedicated wackadoodle on aisle three.
Oh, and by then I had hung up.
What Are Your Examples of Bad Customer Service?
Puhleeeezzzeeeee share in the comments below. Anything to make myself feel better since I will now never be able to set foot into Staples again. #Don'tCare #TotallyWorthIt #MyChildrenAreNowTerrifiedOfNOTGoingToCollege. #I'mGoingToBuyMeSomeLouboutinsNowThankYouVeryMuch
Oh, and just because they didn't even make an ATTEMPT to place the order for the magic machine, source it at another store, etc, I promptly Tweeted to my 24,600ish followers, Facebooked my however many thousands of friends and posted on Yelp. And NOW, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going into the witness protection program.
And how was YOUR Sunday? #Snap