Truly Terrible Service… Going Above and Beyond, how MommaBean got offered a special American price by the Japanese?!

So for years I had so much fodder for complaint that really only the most egregious of cases made it to my Jordan customer service snafu posts.  In the UAE, however, service tends to be much better.  There are notable glaring exceptions (sadly the phone company performs like government-granted monopolies the world over) but on the whole, service is rather better here than in Jordan.  The other day, though I got worse service than nearly any I experienced in Jordan.  And trust me, gents and gals, that’s saying something!

I was on the hunt for some luxuriously soft blankets that I had bought for my kids in a home store in a nearby town.  The store has an outlet here in our location, so I thought I’d drop in and grab a couple more of the crazy-soft blankets for when El 3atal blasts me out of the room with the AC.  In the process of finding the store, I found myself in another store attached to it.  They had a couple of small items I had been generally looking towards purchasing.  Although I was unsuccessful in my blanket hunt, I decided to pick up the other items (four sets of invitations and a lunch box).

Signs all over the store proudly proclaimed that all items are directly imported from Japan.  Having never heard of this Japanese retail giant (Daiso anyone? my first experience NOT inspiring), I noted the import status with something less than interest.  Shoot, here nearly everything is imported.  I picked up the items and went to check out as my last stop before leaving the store(s) to pick up the Beans at school.  When I reached the register, the uninterested Japanese gal took my items and began to run them.  Please don’t imagine that I’m talking a fancy computer-controlled register.  Think US department stores in the 1980s.  Dumb cash registers and nothing more was all they have.  The gal looks at the invitations and informs me that the price, marked directly on the front of all 4 packs of invitations is wrong.  The items are actually more expensive.

I am surprised (and frankly feeling a bit taken advantage of) and state that be that as it may, they need to honor the price that is clearly marked on the item.  She ignores my suggestion and begins to question another employee as to whose section has not had the price update applied.  A bit annoyed, I again state that whose section is impacted is irrelevant.  As a matter of decent customer service, they need to honor the price.  She again ignores my statement and says, “So, you’re not going to take them, then.”  I agree that I have no interest in the item, during which time she is again discussing their mispricing with another employee.

At this point, I’ve gotten truly and thoroughly annoyed.  Not only is she providing bad service by attempting to bait-and-switch me with the price, she’s so busy telling every colleague in the store about it that she can’t be bothered to actually address me as a customer.  I became so disgusted I informed her that I didn’t feel any need to purchase anything from them.  It seems that while she had no time to talk to me, she had rung up the small lunchbox.  When I told her that, thanks but I wouldn’t care to give them any of my hard-earned money, she began to splutter about how she was sorry but she had already rung it and now I need to wait for them to void it and…

I was honestly gobsmacked.  I asked her if she truly thought that it was my issue that she needed to void the item.  She again apologized but said that I had to… at this point I simply walked out of the store with a vow to never return.  I could hear her cries of distress about her incomplete void all the way out the door.  So, here’s what gets me… after being told that the service she was offering was substandard and being offered several chances to make it right in any way, are there really companies out there that think customers will respond positively by having your internal procedure issues made into their problems?  As for me, I truly have no interest in your internal procedures.  If you can’t be bothered to treat me properly as a customer, I certainly can’t be bothered to stand about while you deal with internal processing.  I mean, really?

The only thing in the transaction that you’re sorry about is that you have to void it.  Maybe you should worry more about the lost sales and potential customer who will never return than you do about whether the customer stood about waiting for you to void out the only item of their lot that you didn’t try to raise the price on.  But that’s just my idea of how to run a successful business, and I’m not a retailing giant.  I’ll leave it to them to handle their customers, just know… I won’t be one of them…

Happy Special American Price!

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