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What Is Most Offensive Thing A Customer Has Said?

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arganmor View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 31 2012 at 7:15pm

I'll start. 

I work for a well-known online shoe company.  A woman with a thick accent, which sounded French to me, with a New York mailing address called up and ordered one pair of shoes.  She asked tons of questions and I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with her doing research about the shoes she was interested in and I explained things several times.

She wasn't very nice or polite and was very demanding.  She asked my name which I gave her.  She placed the order but changed her mind like 5 times before finally deciding.  The entire order was something like $35.  She didn't qualify for free shipping but she started screaming into the phone.  I called a supervisor who said suggest she buy something small to get the free shipping which we give for $50. 

I told the woman and she started screaming again that the economy was really bad and she couldn't really afford the shoes.  She finally settled on a $15 item and she qualified for free ground shipping.  I told her this and she demanded Next Day Air which would have cost almost as much as the shoes.  I told her that the free shipping was UPS Ground.  She started demanding to speak to a supervisor.

I told my supervisor who said, just explain nicely what the free shipping offer is but offer to upgrade her shipping for a discounted amount which was very nice.

The woman kept yelling at me about the shipping and finally said "the only reason you work there is because you're a high school dropout and are a drug addict." 

By this time I was so worn down and shocked that I just hung up on the woman.  That is totally against company policy but I am in graduate school working on my MBA and have never taken drugs, even prescription drugs.  I know you're not supposed to take it personally but I just snapped at that point.

She called right back and asked to speak to me.  I didn't want to take her call but at that point my supervisor was standing at my station.  The woman started by calling me a F***ing W***e and that I deserved to get fired.

My supervisor took the phone and tried to talk to the woman who said she was so badly mistreated that she deserved to have the shoes for free.  I thought my supervisor was going to cave in but she didn't.  She held her ground and the woman on the phone said "well you people are all F***ed up and I am cancelling my order and slammed down the phone.

Why are people so mean?  Was this just a ploy to get free shoes?  I am currently looking for a new job because even though no one has been as bad as this New York woman, many are pretty rude and unkind. 

Is it just me or does it happen to others?

If you have stories please share because if nothing else I will feel better that I am not all alone in this retail phone hell.

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lion099 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lion099 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2012 at 8:56pm
Sorry to hear about this experience.  I worked in retail for years and sadly I became used to rude, inconsiderate, unkind, mean customer behavior.  While I am sure I could think of lots of stories about specific incidents, lets just say that people no long have manners or follow The Golden Rules of do unto others and you would have them do to you.

Thanks for the topic.  I hope others share and it helps you feel like you're not all alone in the world of mean people.
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Karen Shelton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karen Shelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2012 at 10:05am
Yes...manners and courtesy are hard to find sometimes.

Of course at HairBoutique.com we have an online store which we've had for 15 years.  Some of the things people say on the phone and via email still shocks me because they are so incredibly mean spirited, unkind, vulgar or just downright rude. 

After 15 years, I have learned to let it roll off my back as have all of the people at HB who handle customer calls or correspondence.  I don't believe anyone ever gets upset anymore.  They are used to how mean people can be.  Even Celebrity Chef Paula Dean expressed shock at how mean people were to her when she came out about having diabetes. 

Written Up At Kroger For Talking Back To A Customer

I will tell you that I got written up at Kroger when I was just 18 years old and working at a store in St. Louis, Missouri (Kroger eventually pulled out of St. Louis but long after I stopped working there.)

The checkers did not have to wear hair nets, but we did have to wear our hair braided or in a ponytail or pinned up.  Basically we had to make sure our hair would not make contact with the food, which was mostly wrapped or in bags. 

Just to avoid having your hair drag near the customer it had to be neatly styled and contained.

My hair was long even back then when I was in college (this was my college part time job) although not as long as now.  It was below my shoulders and I wore it in a very neat three strand braid which was either hanging down my back or wrapped into a bun. 

One day a woman and her husband came into my check stand and she started complaining from the very first minute.  She told me the bread was too expensive and the eggs did not seem fresh.  She complained about the milk not being cold enough and the meat didn't look red enough.  On and on about everything.  I politely said I'm so sorry or shook my head, but continued to do my job.

Finally she said to me "and you are ugly and have ugly blonde hair and if I had a scissors I would cut off your disgusting braid which is touching my food."

Well of course my braid was nowhere near her food by miles.  But she was so mean that when she started attacking me and my hair I could feel myself getting really angry.  When she said if she had a scissors she could chop it off, I finally lost it.

I yelled at her, it must be total hell to be you.

That's all I said, but when I said that, she flipped out and started screaming for the manager. 

The manager came over and the customer told him what I said.  He took me to one side and was very nice to me although I thought he was going to be mad.  He wasn't mad but he told me he knew that the woman was horrible, rude and always complaining about everything. 

He told me she was one of the store's worst customers, but she came to the store every few days so she was a regular customer. He told me I had to apologize for being rude back to her or he would have to write me up (disciplinary note put into your work file).

In 4 years of working for Kroger I was never written up for anything.  I was always on time, I never so much as stole a piece of gum and was polite, courteous, a hard worker and a fast checker.  I was one of their best part time college checkers and was always getting called in first to pick up shifts for people who called in sick. 

I knew I was not going to get fired.  So I told the manager to write me up because I was not going to apologize to the customer for threatening to chop off my braid.  Chop off my hair?  Really?  I don't think so.  That was crossing a big line with me.  My hair was sacred, even back then.

The manager went ahead and wrote me up,  He also sent me home early, which was fine because I was tired of dealing with crazy people at that point.  Trust me, you see lots of crazy people in the check out lanes at a Kroger.

Although I was written up, it didn't impact my schedule, my hours or even my relationship with the manager.  I think secretly he understood that threatening to chop off my hair had been just too much for me.  I just got sent home 1 hour early from a 6 hour shift. 

Luckily after that when the woman, who continued to shop in the store, would check out, she would steer clear of my check out lane.  I would hear her bitching, whining and complaining to the other checkers about the eggs, milk, bread, cookie selection etc etc.  None of them ever said anything to her like I did, but she never threatened to chop their hair off either.  :-)

I will never forget that lady's face.  She had very cold mean eyes and deep frown lines.  Obviously it was hell being her....or even worse.... married to her. 

Thanks for the topic. 


Edited by Karen Shelton - April 02 2012 at 10:12am
That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger or drives you totally insane. :-)
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Ericachristina View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ericachristina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2012 at 1:44pm

Reading these stories about the poor behaviour of some human beings is sad but not very surprising. There are all kinds of people in this world and some people like to take their anger and frustration and direct it at people who have nothing to do with the root cause of their issues.

 

In my line of work (Therapy) I work with people who have all types of mental illness so I have to be thick skinned and make it by business to understand the root cause of their behaviour.

 

Customer service in any field can be very stressful because you have to take the good customers along with the bad. Some people simply do not understand and know how to behave acceptably and accordingly in social situations and they often dont hold the right person accountable for their bread not being fresh as a result people who dont deserve it are verbally pummelled.

 

I think people should generally respect everyone, because without the servers, check out people, gas attendants, sanitation workers ect our society wouldnt functions as comfortably as it does today; every job no matter how menial or small it may look matters and functions to make the overall business run smoothly.

 

So Im sorry to hear about all the bad experiences of the service industry but Im also happy and thankful that there are people out there who are thick skinned enough to handle the pressures of those types of work.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevieb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2012 at 12:31pm
Wow.........sorry for your experience. I guess the worse that ever happen to me was with another co worker. She played me for a friend but later stabbed me in the back. I'm sorry to say I cried like a baby. I also quit the job. Live and learn. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote daffodil1003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 5:06pm
Oh Stevieb that is horrible.  I would have cried just like you did and I would also have quit.  Yes...live and learn...but it still hurts.  You poor baby.  So sorry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sussex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2012 at 9:47pm
yes. basically we had to make sure our hair would not make contact with the food, which was mostly wrapped or in bags.
___________



Edited by Karen Shelton - May 23 2012 at 10:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AutumnLocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 02 2012 at 8:32am
I worked in a big box store for just over a year.  I worked in customer service which made me a target for bad behavior from customers.
This was an outdoor sporting type store so the day before hunting season opened was a HUGE day for us.  Some woman who stank of cigarette smoke came barging into the store and stomed up to my station.  She demanded to exchange some ammo that she said her husband had purchased two weeks prior.  I told her that the store and company policy was that no ammo of any kind was returnable.  She immediately started to get angry with me.  She demanded that I exchange the ammo or give her money back.  She was yelling about the wrong ammo being in the wrong box and that it was our fault that her husband had bought the wrong ammo.  We should have checked to make sure! I was doing my best to keep my cool.  Thankfully the store manager was standing right behind me and stepped up at that point to tell the woman that there was no way that we were going to take back the box of ammo.  She got even angrier and started to curse.  The manager told her to just leave the store and take her ammo with her!  I was very happy that the store manager was there to back me up.
I think some people have a mind set that if a person works in a "service industry" then we should indeed "service" them.  I happen to be a college graduate with an associates in business administration.  So, no I am not a stupid red neck chick!!  Just thinking about this little incident makes my blood boil!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fetamy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2012 at 3:04am
I am working a sales person. In two years experience I no specially worse thing happened.
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