Thursday, September 11, 2008

please read the fine print

Take 2!

I had this all written up and previewed it and went back to spell check and it erased! So now I will attempt to recreate my brilliance, unlikely as that sounds.

I work in the customer service industry.It pays the bills. I am fortunate (?) enough to have a job answering phones at a small catalog company who's target audience is board, rich women. There are alot of things about these women I might find admirable, unfortunately alot of them have what I call the "I'm Entitled" syndrome. I am not sure how one gets this illness but it seems to run rampant in a good number of our customers.

Here at ******** (name withheld so i don't loose job) we have an amazing returns policy. It basically stated that if you are unsatisfied in anyway with the product you ordered, no matter when, you can exchange it for new one, or return it for a full refund. This leads some people to "renting" our stuff. Buy a new dress for your trip, wear the hell out of it and then return it when you get home for your money back. This bothers me but what bothers me more are the people who buy something and then call to have the shipping refunded. I am sorry but I don't like to refund shipping. Shipping is a service. If we ship something to you and it arrives in one piece in good time whether or not you like it now that you have, you should pay for that. That is how I see it. Now if we made some sort of mistake, I will negotiate but other than that, pay for it. Life is not about wheedling freebies out of people who work for a living!

We are also kind enough to provide a return label will all orders. This label is amazing. You put it on the package, take the package to the post office and drop it in the mail slot. It is ensured, guaranteed and track-able. When we get the package we deduct a small fee of $6.95 from your refund. Its that easy. The instructions I just outlined are that simple and are printed clearly on the paper work. I am now going to give you an example of one of our customers:

me: thank you for calling ********, how can i help you?

cust: i would like to know why i didn't get all my money back on my refund.

me: did you use our return label.

cust: yes

me: there is a small charge for the label ma'am.

cust: *silence* where does it say that?

me: do you still have your receipt of the order?

cust: yes, i do. i am looking at it right now and don't see that anywhere on here.

me: please look on the right hand side above where the items purchased are listed... do you see the instructions for using the label?

cust: OH! yes i see it NOW. well, who is going to read that. not anyone i know. you should send out a letter along with this to inform us about the fee.

At this point I decided that I couldn't argue with that kind of logic. I mean really. wow

There is also the habit customers have of bullying agents into honoring sale prices after the sale has ended. I had a woman call and say she bought a very expensive coat ($750). She had waited a long time to purchase it waiting for it to go on sale but finally got impatient and then bought it. A month later it went on sale for $200 less. Being me, I apologized that that happened but refused to give in. She went on to lament that if she had known, she would've waited because she really couldn't afford it but bought it any way. She went on like this for a couple of minutes and I finally broke down and offered to refund her the difference as a one time courtesy. I thought I was magnanimous and doing a good deed. Well after she hung up, I got into the order to take care of the notes and such and discovered that she has been pulling this for the last 6 months on the same coat. She had been refunded several times by other agents and at this point had only paid $150 for the coat. I felt burned and really pissed off. This is the "Entitlement..." I mentioned. Its wrong wrong WRONG!!!

So, in experiencing all of these things, I have had to reevaluate my position in the customer service venue. We are all a part of this whether we are buyers or sellers. We need to remember that for services rendered there is a cost. For services offered there is an expectation. We are human beings on both sides of the coin and shouldn't take advantage of each other. I have had to check myself while waiting in line at wal-mart or the grocery store from becoming impatient with a checker who is obviously doing her best. It isn't her fault her manager isn't paying attention and hasn't got more checkers to help. Ya, know?

I don't mean to sound preachy. Really.


The Nisbets said...

I love you and admire how you can do that job. Really....yikes. Sometime I want to call you and just tell you that you are the best phone lady there and that I would like to get a huge raise!

Tess said...

OMG. I just read this. Why didn't you read the comments on this customer BEFORE you refunded anything?