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The Exagerated Complaint



I work in retail. I love retail. One of the things that makes it fun is the challenges that happen during the course of any given day. Of course, being in retail one has to deal with a "customer is always right" attitude and you must work in a beaurocracy. These are my thoughts and what really goes through my mind in a given situation.

What really happened...
I had a customer complaint that I had to look into yesterday. Apparently we had a customer come in and look about the store and she was throroughly unimpressed. The body of her message said that the shelves in the store were always empty and that we didn't have enough of a selection anymore. Of course I called the customer and spoke with her about her concerns. It turns out that she was upset because we were out of some things that she was looking for. I let her know how our replenishment system worked, how we stocked our shelves, and how we decided what we carry. I told her I was sorry that we didn't have what she was looking for. I asked her if she'd spoken to anyone in the store to find what she wanted. She said she did not talk to anyone and I encouraged her to speak to an associate in the future because many times we have alternatives and on occasion the actual product she wanted. I also told her that we would be overjoyed to go to the back and get it for her. I thanked her for bringing this to our attention and she was pleased.

What I wanted to do....
After looking around the store I would quickly discern that there was indeed product on 9/10 of the shelves. In fact, of the 750000+ items we carried, only 1400 items are likely to be out of stock at any given time. After making this discovery, I would call the customer and the conversation would go something like this.

"Hello Ms. Customer. This is Randy from BoxStore. I hear you had a bit of a problem in our store the other day. Would you care to explain?" says I.

To which she would reply "Yes, whenever I go into your store the shelves are empty and I can't find what I want. Your were out of my shampoo."

"Well," says I "you'll be happy to know that we have over 748600 different items in multiple quantities and there must be hundreds of different shampoos to choose from on our shelves right now, so your complaint of empty shelves and not broad enough of a selection has been taken care of. Hope this cleared things up for you. Good day."

At which point I would hang up and sigh as another stupid complaint is taken care of.

The moral of this story is that if you're going to complain, do so realistically. It helps no one to overexagerate.

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Great point! I should share some of our stories sometime. I was thinking of calling the post WHEN CUSTOMERS GO BAD. lol. We have had some pretty unbelievable stories over the years. We are very fortunate that these are few and far between but I thought people might find it interesting to hear some behind the scenes stories. I have come to really feel bad for these people.

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