I was thinking about holding off with this story but having told several people about it they have suggested that I write another note. It seems that people enjoyed my last little rant.... and so for all of you.... enjoy!
A middle aged woman stormed into my shop yesterday afternoon with all guns a blaz'n. Now before I get into this story I would just like to say that if you have any kind of problem with a retailer or anyone for that matter, you are more likely to get the result you are seeking if you are NICE rather than agressive. Don't raise your voice and dont insult the other person.
Anyhow, I digress. This woman slammed a dvd onto my counter and said "I am absolutely fed up, this is not acceptable!". In a calm and concerning manner I asked what the problem was. She proceeded to tell me that several days ago she brought back a dvd she had rented (she was in fact the first person to rent it) complaining that it wasn't working. According to her our staff looked at the disc, told her it was covered in grease and fingermarks and they cleaned it, extended the rental time and gave it back to her. So now she brings it into me claiming that it's still not working and wants to know what the hell I am going to do about it. So I examine the disc and it was once again COVERED in really thick and greasy finger marks. "Ah" I said. "There's your problem. There are finger marks on it again and that is why it wont work. DVDs need to be handled a certain way otherwise you are going to get various playback issues with it".
I didnt think she could possibly get any angrier than she already was, but I was wrong. She exploded like a volcano. "First your staff on the weekend tell me that its finger marks and now you're telling me the same bloody thing. That is a load of bullshit and you know it. What kind of response is that? It wont work on 5 seperate players and 2 laptops". I was somewhat stunned. I couldnt believe that anyone could be so stupid (you'd think I would have learned by now). I responded with "well as I said with a disc this dirty, it's not likely to work on any player". She called me a liar and an imbicile and screamed at me "go on, put it in your dvd player and see what happens then moron". And so i gave the disc a clean in front of her and put it in our player. Surprise surprise, it was working perfectly.
And now the story gets even better. She refused to look at the tv screen. By this stage there was a line of customers building up behind her and they were all smirking at her behavior. I looked at her and said "i've given the disc a good clean and it appears to be working fine". She STILL insisted that the disc doesn't work and that we are just trying to rip the customer off. "but the disc IS working" I said. "There, on the screen, there's nothing wrong with it". Her voice got higher and her behavior more childish. Upon reflection this is when I should have told her I will not be spoken to like this and unless she can speak to me calmly there's nothing I can do. Anyhow, I didnt say that unfortunately and the charade went in circles.
At one point the woman told me that her husband knows all about "technology" and he said that there is something wrong with the dvd. My response was "well then surely he looked at the disc and saw the state it was in". She came back at me with "My husband knows more about technology than any of you idiots". Hmm, yeah. 10 years running a video store and I know NOTHING about dvds.... and who's the idiot??
She then went on to rave about our response to her problem. "what the hell kind of response is it to clean a dvd when i've come in complaining that it doesnt work?" she ranted. I said "its a standard response maam. If there's a playback issue the first thing to do is check the playing surface of the disc. If its a simple case of finger marks then its an easy solution. Clean the disc and problem is solved". She says "but they already cleaned the bloody disc and it still didnt work" to which i once again replied "yes and you have brought it back to me absolutely smothered in fingermarks once again". She wanted to know why we just didnt give her a replacement and I explained that the first time they probably didnt because it was a simple case of FINGERMARKS and secondly, on a busy weekend they may not have had any extra copies available. "anyway, as you can see I have cleaned the disc in front of you and it's working perfectly on the tv up there".
She still refused to look at the tv at which point several of the customers lined up started snickering and giggling. Onto her next rave... "do you know how far I have to drive to rent a bloody dvd?" she asked. "we have to travel a long way and this is a bloody disgrace and is unacceptable". I looked up her address and discovered that she lives only 2 minutes away. At this point I guess she was so fired up that she was pulling out whatever arsonal she had left. Now my next mode of response was probably not the most helpful in retrospect but I was pretty much over it and couldnt think of any other way to handle the situation. I said to her "if you only just lowered your voice at me instead of shouting and spoke to me nicely then i would be more inclined to help you out but unfortunately I cannot do anything more for you. I'm sorry but the disc is fine, you just need to handle them more carefully in the future. Once again, very sorry. Have a nice night".
I turned away from her to serve the next customer and she left the store shouting "hope you have a shit night" to which all remaining customers in the store burst out laughing. One woman asked me why I put up with it for as long as I did and another guy said i should have slapped her in the face. At least getting their feedback reenforced that she was indeed a stupid bloody moron!
So there you have it. Another day in the office. Anyone who works in retail will probably relate to some aspect of that story and those who work in the video rental industry will know EXACTLY what its like. We do get narky customers on a weekly basis but they're usually easily reasoned with and the matter can be resolved in a calm and friendly fashion. It's just my luck that two of the narkiest and most agressive onces have struck within a few days of each other... Unlike the guy last week, I have not banned this woman. I figure that she will cool off in time and will return as though nothing happened. The incident is noted for future reference but for the time being, its business as ususal.
I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine. These things tend to come in 3's and there many be another note to complete the trilogy soon (hopefully not).