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  1. #21
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Wow.

    I just skimmed this thread. I'm fairly consider myself somewhat cheap or broke, but a $15 book? Seriously?

    I believe everyone should understand you can't return books in general. What is it? Some kind of lending library? No, it's a bookstore.

    If I bought a book by mistake, I think I would just be like, "Oh, my bad, let me buy this other one."

    I'm not sure what I'd do in your situation. I'd probably explain that if we let people return books, we'd turn into a library instead of a bookstore, and we'd all loose our jobs and starve to death in the gutter begging for alms. Since this lady was so open in sharing her problems with me, I share with her my problems too. "Oh, I so sorry, but if I did that, the manager would get out the whip, and last time I went against the rules, I lost a lot of blood." Oh, mercy lady, I believe for $15, you would condemn me to a horrible end. You take money from the mouths of my children and my pet cat, and the children of everyone who works here! The children, dear woman! Can you please, for peat sake, donate another $15 for the cause of our survival?

  2. #22

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    I don't like the idea of dealing with her in any way different than you'd deal with another customer. The rules are there for a reason and it only encourages pushy people if you capitulate. I also think it's bad that your manager won't back you up. Detach, keep calm and follow a hard line.

  3. #23
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    1. The no refund policy is an issue with the company heads. None of your responsibility.
    2. The lady is difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    What would you do in this situation?
    I will not give $1.5 out of my own pocket. I will do an exchange if the company allows. If not, I will ignore her.

    Can I just say "I'm sorry, ma'am. We have a no return policy and simply can't do it. Bye."?
    Yes. It is a fact. And company policy is not within your boundaries to change although you can let boss know.

  4. #24
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but didn't your store give her the wrong book? Regardless of whether it's useable (does she know it's the same thing?) and regardless of her attitude, she requested the latest book, which means the 2011 one if it was available at the time of purchase. She got the 2009 due to a store error. In these circumstances, asking for a return seems pretty legit.
    Having said that, it really sucks to deal with difficult customers.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    The main reason why I needed help on this issue was exactly because I didn't know if she had a good reason to try to return the book or not. I didn't know what happened when she purchased the book. She said she was given wrong information and was told that the book she purchased was the latest book (which I am quite sure did not happen -- if she had said that my colleague would have given her the newer book). To me, it seemed like it was partly the customer's fault for not knowing what to get (and after realizing the mistake, trying to put the blame entirely on the store) and partly my colleague's fault for not making sure.
    You're not involved with the situation because you weren't serving her. What she tells you isn't going to bring out the facts. She should tell your college.

    ...those who feel the need to threaten and yell at salespeople are probably the least rational of them all.
    Agreed

    Sometimes people fuss not because they want results, but just because they feel wronged and want to be heard.
    Agreed

  6. #26
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Beyond upholding the business policy, I tell you that I personally feel an obligation to break the kicking and screaming mentality. This has occured because all her life other people have caved to get her out of their hair. It's bullshit and consumers need to be accountable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    screw her...can't stand pushy hostile customers...they just think they can bark at people to get their way. i always relish the opportunity to show em that shit does not work for me....not just customers...anyone really. i can be sweet as can be and bend over backwards to help people when they go about it in a pleasant way...everyone else should be retrained!
    I totally agree with you both! I don't always agree with the "The customer is always right" mentality. Someone posted here a long time ago about how it should be compulsory for everyone to experience working a frontline service job -- then people would understand what it's like to have someone yell at you so they won't do it to other people in the future. I think that's a great idea. (I also remember hearing about a group of stupid teenage kids who went into a fast food place in the middle of the night, ordered a large coke, splashed it on the person behind the counter and ran away laughing -- I was extremely upset by this and really think they should have gotten arrested. That will teach them a lesson that such behaviors are not tolerated.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    I like Huxley's technique. The only thing I would change is if she asked to speak to the manager, to say that you spoke to the manager on her behalf and were advised that you could not make the exchange. And to continued rants, I'd say I hear your frustration but I'm afraid it's not negotiable. That you hope her son does well, and the 2011 is still available at the store if she'd like to purchase it.

    Don't call her back.

    Also I find tone of voice really matters. You'd want to maintain calm, cool, and pleasant in your voice.
    Will do. Thanks! Sometimes it's hard, though. I need to learn to be more detached from my job.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  7. #27
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciski View Post
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but didn't your store give her the wrong book? Regardless of whether it's useable (does she know it's the same thing?) and regardless of her attitude, she requested the latest book, which means the 2011 one if it was available at the time of purchase. She got the 2009 due to a store error. In these circumstances, asking for a return seems pretty legit.
    Having said that, it really sucks to deal with difficult customers.
    sciski, the thing is I don't know what happened. The customer says one thing, my colleague says another, so I'm not sure if we gave her the 'wrong' book or not. (According to my colleague, the customer didn't specifically ask for the latest book. In fact, she didn't know which book she should have gotten until her son's teacher told her about a week after the purchase)

    We haven't heard from her since, so we'll see... >_<
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  8. #28
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    That's a tough situation. I tend to err on the side of 'we made the error, let's make it up to you', because if she's telling the truth, then your store is effectively saying that either i) she's a liar, or ii) customers can lump it if they get given the wrong item. I would be very annoyed if I ordered a red dress from a store, and they gave me blue then refused an exchange or refund.

    I get that your colleague is claiming something different, and don't understand why you've been put in the middle, as opposed to your colleague or your manager (even if she is your mum ).

    I guess it depends on whether your store cares for the bad publicity she is sure to be spreading about your store, and whether that ultimately is a good thing, as you can make the assumption that the friends she influences are similar to her and may prove as difficult.

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