A Moment Spent With A Customer Service Rep

THIS IS A PHOTO OF 'RUDENESS' DEFINED. Now that you know what rudeness looks like, you can be aware of when customer service reps are rude to you.
THIS IS A PHOTO OF 'RUDENESS' DEFINED. Now that you know what rudeness looks like, you can be aware of when customer service reps are rude to you.

EXAMPLES OF RUDE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS

CUSTOMER ON LEFT. CUSTOMER SERVICE REP ON RIGHT. SEE WHICH ONE OF THE TWO IS MORE AGITATED.
CUSTOMER ON LEFT. CUSTOMER SERVICE REP ON RIGHT. SEE WHICH ONE OF THE TWO IS MORE AGITATED.
(SOME) CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS CAN DRIVE YOU TO MADNESS BY THEIR INEPT TECHNIQUES OF MAKING YOU, THE CUSTOMER, HAPPY.
(SOME) CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS CAN DRIVE YOU TO MADNESS BY THEIR INEPT TECHNIQUES OF MAKING YOU, THE CUSTOMER, HAPPY.
DO NOT BE LIKE THIS MAN, ANGRY, UPSET AND UNFOCUSED. BE COOL. PATIENT. AND ENDURING WHEN DEALING WITH A CUSTOMER SERVICE REP.
DO NOT BE LIKE THIS MAN, ANGRY, UPSET AND UNFOCUSED. BE COOL. PATIENT. AND ENDURING WHEN DEALING WITH A CUSTOMER SERVICE REP.
SEE THE FRUSTRATION ON THE CUSTOMER'S FACE (TO THE LEFT)? AND THE LOOK OF GLAZED-OVER CONFUSION ON THE CUSTOMER REP'S FACE?
SEE THE FRUSTRATION ON THE CUSTOMER'S FACE (TO THE LEFT)? AND THE LOOK OF GLAZED-OVER CONFUSION ON THE CUSTOMER REP'S FACE?
YESSIREE! CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH AN ATTITUDE. THIS IS (SOMETIMES) THE NORM OF TODAY'S BUSINESS WORLD.
YESSIREE! CUSTOMER SERVICE WITH AN ATTITUDE. THIS IS (SOMETIMES) THE NORM OF TODAY'S BUSINESS WORLD.
SEE HOW RUDE, INSENSITIVE THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (ON THE PHONE) IS TOWARD CUSTOMERS? WHY DO BUSINESSES TOLERATE SUCH DEMEANING ACTIONS?
SEE HOW RUDE, INSENSITIVE THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (ON THE PHONE) IS TOWARD CUSTOMERS? WHY DO BUSINESSES TOLERATE SUCH DEMEANING ACTIONS?

All I wanted to do

was return a pair of shoes. That's all. Taa, daah! In. Out. Over. Through. Now gone to see about the rest of my day. Or at least that's what I thought going in. But what an eye-opening lesson in social skills, or lack thereof, when I tried, in vain, to return a common pair of shoes to a certain department store one pretty day and met with so much confusion. Frustration. Depression. That I wished that I had just went barefoot.

Special Notice: you might be thinking at this point, that this piece is about Walmart, TARGET, Kmart, or some other mega-department store. And you would be wrong. This is about how difficult it is, (for me), to return a simple item that poses no threat to living things. National security. Or life itself as we know it. That's it. Just a sample incident that happened one day. One miserable day. That I tried to deal with a so-called, friendly, customer service rep.

The incident unfolded something like this. And I am presenting this personal frustration event in the order in which it happened.

A. I awoke on the day I had planned to return a pair of common, everyday shoes I had bought a few days ago at a leading department store.

B. I showered. Shaved. Dressed in common-but-clean clothing.

C. Ate breakfast consisting of two Pop Tart wannabe's, the generic brand I also bought at another leading department store in a nearby state. I also drank two cups of Folger's coffee. Black.

D. Drove to this leading department store who claims to have friendly, courteous, customer service reps on-duty to help with any and all customer complaints, comments, and returns.

E. Got out of my car--carrying my pair of common, everyday shoes to meet with, who I had prayed, would be an easy-going, understanding, friendly and courteous customer service rep. I whistled "Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald," by Gordon Lightfood as I walked toward the store. Thinking back, this song I whistled might have been a tip-off to what lay in store for me when I met the customer service rep.

. . .and with that, here we go

ME: (smiling) hello

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (confused) Uh, hello. May I help you?

ME: Yes. Thank you. I would love to return this pair of shoes.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (still confused, but checking her fingernails) Okay. But why?

ME: Well, ha, ha, they do not fit me well.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Are you sure?

ME: (stunned) Wy' yes, I am sure. They hurt my feet.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (looking at a guy passing by) Sir, are you sure?

ME: Of course I am sure. May I just have my refund or maybe exchange these for a pair of shoes that do fit?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sir, uh, well, I'm not sure that I can do that. Would you like to buy an Interstate battery, they are on sale, today only, for just $44.00?

ME: What? Battery? No, ma'am, just want a refund or some more shoes?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (holding shoes up in air) well, sir, these shoes look good to me and wait a minute, looks like they have been worn by someone!

ME: Ma'am, please listen. I wore the shoes part of one day until they began to hurt my feet.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: so you're the one! Now that's different. If you had loaned these shoes to a friend, maybe a minister or someone in a certain job, I couldn't help you, but I think we can help make you a satisfied customer. Now would you kindly step back from the counter at least three feet, please?

ME: (slightly agitated) why? What's wrong with how I am standing now--upright, like a normal person?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (giggles) store policy. Homeland Security, you know.

ME: No, I do not know. How can how close I stand to the counter be considered a matter of national security?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (eyes fixed on a woman with a new wardrobe walking by) uh, well, say, did I say national security? I'm so sorry. I meant, store security.

ME: okay. How close I stand to your counter conflict with store policy ma'am?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: (sharp toned) Sir, I cannot help you if you use 'that' tone of voice. Just be calm or I will be forced to call store security.

ME: I am not angry. Or upset. Just confused. Oh, (laughing) does Barney Fife work here?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Okay, sir. That will be enough. Now just answer these three simple questions for me so we can expedite your request for a refund or exchange. Okie Dokie?

ME: Yeah, okie something or other. What are the questions?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sir, now, the first question: What is your name?

ME: Kenneth Avery.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: How do "I" know that you are Kenneth Avery? Do you have proof on your person that tells me you are whom you say you are, maybe a birth certificate?

ME: Birth certificate? Ma'am, please humor me. How many citizens carry around their birth certificates?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Don't take that tone with me, sir. Just doing my job.

ME: How about my driver's license?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Driver's license? What about it?

ME: (patience worn out) My driver's license tells you whom I am. Want to see them?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Hold it! You cannot make sudden movements in this department, sir, or else, I will call the store security team!

ME: What? You have to be joking. You will call the store security on me for getting my drivers license for you to see?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: No, sir. I have to summon the store manager and one assistant manager to witness you showing me your drivers license as to prove that you are not someone else trying to get a free refund. Now just be calm. We will get you on your way soon.

ME: Soon? How much longer will I be here? There are people already lining up behind me.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sir, I'm doing best. Now please let me call the store manager and the assistant manager--and this shouldn't be longer than a five minutes. (SHE NOW GETS ON THE PHONE AT THE SERVICE DESK) "Uh, yes, this is Judy at customer service, who is this? Okay. Oopsie. Okay. Now. Who is this? Jack? Good. How are ya', Jack? Oh, I need the store manager and assistant manager at the customer service desk to witness a customer showing me his driver's license. (SHE TURNS HER BACK TO ME SO I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR HER) Yeah, one of those. (giggle). Okay, Jack. Thanks and I'll see you at the party in the Subway parking lot tonight at 10. Byeeeee."

ME: So, will I get a refund or another pair of shoes?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Oh, I am soreeee, the store manager and his assistant are out to lunch and will be back in 43 minutes, my friend, Jack said. You can sit down over there on those comfortable, plastic seats if you wish. Sorry for the inconvenience.

ME: Okay. Fine. But may I ask you something?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sure. We are always interested in what our customers say.

ME: Ma'am, it's only 10:15 A.M., how can the store manager and his assistant be at lunch?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: our store manager, Geff, and his right-hand man, Toddie, they are very smart. They work late some nights. They take lunch and breaks at unusual times, but they both do a swell job. So if you will just be so kind as to sit down and relax, I'm sure they will be here in a jiffy.

ME: Yes, I will sit down. And they should be here in approximately 36 minutes. Thank you.

. . .36 minutes drag by like a snail going across a highway

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sir. Oh, sir! Here is our store manager, Geff. And is assistant, Toddie (Todd glares at Judy) I mean, Todd. Now may we three see your driver's license?

ME: You bet. Am I ever glad to see you guys. Here. This is me.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP. (talking to Geff Stanley, store manager) What's wrong? You looked worried. Todd, sir, what's wrong with Mr. Stanley?

ME: Yeah, what's the problem? Those are my current drivers license. Just renewed them a month ago.

GEFF: Sir, are you trying to be cute? We are a big business operation. We have to be strict about our policies. Right, Todd?

TODD: Yes, sir. Strict. No one stricter than us.

GEFF: This doesn't look like you. In 'this' picture, you look like you are about to sneeze.

ME: Oh that. I 'was' about to sneeze. I just remembered that. What an awful time to need a sneeze--when your photo is being snapped for your drivers license.

GEFF TAKES TODD AND JUDY TO THE SIDE AWAY FROM ME AND THE REST OF THE CUSTOMERS AND START TALKING IN A MUMBLED TONE.

THEN AFTER 15 MORE MINUTES, THEY RETURN TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK.

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (JUDY) I'm so sorry, sir. Mr. Stanley says that we will need just 'one more' piece of evidence that you are you. And Mr. Langston, Todd, over there, agrees with that decision, so we will need just one more piece of proof that you are Kenneth Avery and you will be on your way.

ME: Okay. Fine. What 'other' piece of evidence will you need, and I must confess, I do not have my birth certificate, high school diploma, how about my Social Security Card, Judy"

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (JUDY) (alarmed), Sir, you are not allowed to call store employees by their first names. I must ask for an apology.

GEFF: Judy's right, sir.

TODD: Sir, Mr. Stanley and Judy are both right.

ME: Okay. I am very sorry. Forgive. Now tell me...will my Social Security Card do?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: No, sir. That is considered a sensitive personal document too personal for us to see. Oh, you can call a friend and let us talk to him or her and they can verify that your name 'is' Kenneth Avery. How 'bout that, sir?

ME: Great! Now, may I use 'this' phone? Thanks, uh, I don't know your last name, ma'am, customer service rep. (I AM PHONING MY FRIEND, WAYNE, WHO JUST HAPPENS TO WORK AT 'THIS' STORE WHO IS GIVING ME GRIEF ABOUT MY SHOES.) Hello, Wayne. Great. I'm fine. Say, would you tell this customer service rep, don't know her last name and am now allowed to call her by her first name, who I am? I am now handing the phone to the customer service rep. Thanks, Wayne. I owe ya' one!

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Uh, who is this? Oh yeah, Wayne. Wayne??? The one who works here? Wow, what a small store! Can you tell me who just talked to you? Oh, a Kenneth Avery, yes, that's who he claims to be. Can you tell me what he looks like? Yes, little or no hair, overweight, nervous, sweating profusely about the head and neck, well, Wayne, thanks a lot, bud. Oh, are you gonna make the big bash in the Subway parking lot tonight? (giggles) you dirty boy! Byeeeee.

ME: Now, may get a refund or another pair of shoes?

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP: Sure, sir. But Mr. Stanley needs to say something to you first.

ME: Fine. My day is already shot. What are a few more minutes?

GEFF: Sir, I am going to need a black and white photo of your mother when she was a young woman, also a picture, don't care if it's in color or not, of your first pet, and for you to take these easy-to-do forms in that private room to your right, and fill them out, bring them back to this customer service rep, sorry, Judy, who then will call Todd and I back to this department so we can take your photos of your mom and first pet--and these 12 forms that you have filled out and look it all over and then give you our decision. Okay, sir?

ME: (speechless) . . . . . . . . . . .(this is the sound of me not talking)

I had to call my buddy, Wayne, one more time that dark day when I tried to return a pair of common, everyday shoes to this big department store, for him to put up my bail for being arrested for walking in this store's parking lot BARE FOOT.

And I didn't get any more details of the big bash in the Subway parking lot scheduled for later that same night.






CAUTION:

if you have purchased

an item or items from any

nationally-known department

store, and found that you

were not satisfied with the

product, BE CAREFUL as

you 'try' to return your item

because today, the so-called

'friendly' customer service rep

will (sometimes) make you wish

that you had not gotten out

of bed.

More by this Author


Comments 22 comments

sheepstress profile image

sheepstress 5 years ago from Salem, NY

This is the first of your Hub's I've read, it made a cold, dreary day in the office much more entertaining.

Thanks Kenneth!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Wow! Thanks a MILLION, sheepstress! That Makes MY DAY and it is also cold and dreary here in Hamilton, Alabama. And I sincerely thank you for reading this hub. YOU are GENUINE friend as well as a super-hub writer! Highest regards, KENNETH


sheepstress profile image

sheepstress 5 years ago from Salem, NY

You are so very welcome!!! Stay warm!


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

I love to end my day by reading one of your Hubs, cause I always enjoy them so. You have got to be the wittiest guy in Hubland. I just love you to pieces!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

I hope all is well with you my friend.

I agree with Mary. Reading your hubs is a great way to end the day.

You outdid yourself on this one. On the funny scale (10 being the funniest,) I give you a 20.

Voted up up and away!

Take Care and have a good evening. :-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

8:53 p.m./cst/11-16-2011

Dear sheepstress . . .again, "thank you, so much," for the comments. And I will stay as warm as my black coffee that is always near to me and my PC cubbyhole away from everyone. LOL. YOU stay warm. And write anytime.

KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Mary . . .I am HUMBLED by your remark. I really am. And I know for a fact that there are many men and women, including YOU, sheepstress, Sueswan, who are comic geniuses compared to me. I just wrote this from a personal nightmare I had one time. But Mary, I DO appreciate you thinking of me that highly. Just tell God, He gets the credit when you talk with Him tonight. Id much rather give Him the credit than I. Sincerely, and the feeling is mututal, KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, DEAR Sueswan!

What can I say? YOU have OUTDID yourself on the SWEET comments. A 20? WOW! That is making my skin tingle with excitement. NO ONE has EVER said such sweet things to me about my hubs. That DOES make me feel much better. And tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. I am leaving for Tupelo, Miss., to visit the pain clinc there for my 3 month spinal shots that they wouldn't let me have last Tuesday. I am excited. Maybe after Thursday, I can rest some. But YOU, Sue, take good care of YOURSELF. With FOND Thoughts, KENNETH


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Sorry you had to go through all that, but thank you for entertaining us with it.


BusinessTime profile image

BusinessTime 5 years ago from Twin Cities

OMG. Mind-blowingly terrible. And all for a pair of shoes...


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

Hi Kenneth, this is so well written, I could actually feel the anxiety in the words. Great hub!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 5 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

I think I have been to the same store, lol. Great hub!


The Fastionista 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth! I've just read your title and I'm already laughing - now I'm going to read the hub I already know I'm going to love... And, yes, I love it!! This is fantastic - I mean, not fantastic that you had to live through it, of course - this is written like a (very well done) sitcom scene - tension builds, goals are in conflict - I've had writing teachers who could benefit from your talent with comedic structure. Thank you yet again for a wonderful read!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Business Time...Thank YOU, but life, like someone said long ago, is stranger than a Shakespearian play. That, my friend, is a TRUISM. May you have a great day filled with peace.

KENNETH and Thanks for stopping by. Come by often.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/17, 2011

9:43 p.m./cst

CreatePerfection, hello to you too. Your remark made me feel good. Thanks so much, but I cannot repay you in wealth, not because I wouldn't, its because I haven't any wealth...monetarily speaking, but as for GREAT HUB Friends, writers talented like YOURSELF, Im the richest guy in the USA! Much appreciation, KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/17/2011/9:45 p.m/cst

janiek13, you think? LOL. I hope not. This store IS the worst in customer service and the "employees,' do what they want and remain employed, but employees who CARE about the company are fired. Go figure. Satan at work, huh? Thanks for the lovely remark. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/17/2011

9:46 p.m./cst

The Fastionista . . .How can I thank you, one of the kindest, most-successful, delightful hubbers online? I can't. I just smiled at YOUR comment and I just ADORE your honest and upfront way of commuicating. I do. And let me hear from you often. Take care and have a great day Friday. KENNETH


HikeGuy profile image

HikeGuy 5 years ago from Northern California Coast

Kenneth -- What a gem. You've really captured the idiocy of certain retailers who put inane policies -- and incompetent employees -- at the center of their businesses. Good thing you rose above all that to tell the tale!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

HikeGuy . . .My SINCERE Thanks to YOU for this great comment that I hope that Im worthy to receive. I have been the 'victim' many times, as you too, of inept customer service reps. And I could top that with a 2-week battle over the phone I had with 6 various inept, so-called "trained" techs from SafeLink, the free phone people. But I try to be a man of honor. Thanks again, HikeGuy. I really appreciate you and the comment. Visit with me anytime. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

HikeGuy . . .THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND REMARKS. I just hope that Im worthy of your words. And I would talk about SafeLink, the FREE phone company, the "mother of inept technicians and reps," but I wont. I do have a few shreds of honor left. Thanks, KENNETH and visit me anytime.


Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 5 years ago from drexel hill,pa

ANother great topic we can all identify with...Thumbs way up!

..."I whistled "Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald," by Gordon Lightfood as I walked toward the store." Hysterical. You're knack for detail gives your writing such a unique and lovable "voice." You obviously love doing this and people love reading you.

PS Sorry it took me so long but I wanted to formally thank you for your kind words and generous comments on my hubs. They were among the sweetest I've ever received and they warmed my heart. Thanks so much, Kenneth!

Sue


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11-23-2011

Dearest Sue, "a Sincere, heart-felt, THANK YOU, for this very-touching and sweet remark that, believe this or not,l came at a perfect time for I have hit a depression stretch of road today for some reason and YOUR comment made me smile. Thank you so much. Your compliments did NOT fall on a deaf heart. I shall remember you for a long time. Sincerely, Kenneth

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