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Pushy know-it-all salespeople in hardware stores

  1. MizBejabbers profile image92
    MizBejabbersposted 16 months ago

    How is the best way to handle a pushy, know-it-all hardware salesperson?

    I went to a big box home store to buy paint to repaint an apartment in our rental property recently. My son, who works in the building trades, is doing the painting for me. Since we were changing from medium bright colors to an off white, We decided on using a primer over the colors, but since it didn't cost any more to tint the primer, we decided to have it added. If this covered the darker colors, then we wouldn't be out more time and money, but if it didn't, then we hadn't lost anything. We knew the choice was iffy. I asked for 5 gals. of the tinted primer.  First the woman in the paint department, whom I can describe accurately as a "loudmouthed pushy broad" started telling me "you don't want to do that". I explained to her that I was going to put the duplex on the market anyway, and the new owner could paint over the tinted primer if he wanted to without having to re-prime. Then it was blah-blah, arm-twist, blah-blah. She insisted that I should use a flat paint then I wouldn't need a primer, which I found to be just as iffy. Finally I said that I don't like flat paint, so "just give me 3 gals. of eggshell." Then she wanted to know why I would pay the extra $3 a gallon for eggshell if I was going to sell the property anyway. None of her damned business, so I replied "just give me 3 gals. of eggshell (I had asked for 5 gals. of primer) She looked taken aback that I'd reduced the order. She tinted the 3 gals. and put them into the mixer, then turned to wait on somebody else. It was obvious that she was pissed she hadn't gotten her way and she was turning me over to the sweet young lady to finish waiting on me. That was a relief.
    Today my son got into the same situation with a clerk that he described as an "a**hole" over a $3 replacement plumbing part. Now we are going to have to take back the part which didn't fit and exchange it for one that does. That means my tenant will be going without water for a couple of extra hours until I get off work to exchange the part.
    I appreciate a helpful clerk, in fact, I don't appreciate it when a clerk is not helpful, but why can't these opinionated people who don't know the situation butt out and just sell the item. I don't know how many times I've taken parts back because the salesperson insisted on selling me the wrong size or type, when I being "only" a woman knew what I was talking about. I am trying to be nice to people, but I am starting to believe that these people don't deserve my courtesy.
    I'm sure you encounter these know-it-alls. How do you handle them?

    1. bravewarrior profile image95
      bravewarriorposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      Liz, I think this belongs in Questions and not HP Forums. This question has nothing to do with writing or HP issues/matters.

      1. MizBejabbers profile image92
        MizBejabbersposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Sorry, my mistake. I was unaware the forums were limited to HP issues and matters. The question and answer sections don't give enough space to freely discuss ideas, whereas HP issues can be answered many times with one-liners. If it disappears, then I'll know I posted it wrong. If this is so, then perhaps HP should change its rules.

        1. bravewarrior profile image95
          bravewarriorposted 16 months ago in reply to this

          MizB, I would have walked out of the store but not until I complained to a manager. If a store doesn't respect its patrons, they don't deserve them. Find another vendor.

          You can place this in the Q section without going into such detail. Just pose it as simply as possible.

    2. Life and Luxury profile image82
      Life and Luxuryposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I'be been there. It's a problem with our modern society, and it's everywhere. A lot of people aren't taught manners from their parents anymore. And some of these folks end up in service jobs. I actually like to stay away from people because I am sick of how much I see this type of thing happening in society. But when I can I ask for or look for a supervisor/manager. That often helps in retail situations.

      1. MizBejabbers profile image92
        MizBejabbersposted 16 months ago in reply to this

        Very true. The question is whether it is a problem of manners or of personality. I decided that if I have to buy more of this paint, I will go to another of their locations and hope for better luck.

    3. Motherbynature profile image82
      Motherbynatureposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I have a background in HR and customer service.  What works is to remind the clerk that your needs are more important than his opinion.  Say something like, "You seem to be really intent on dismissing my opinion. Is there a manager available to mediate between us?".  It sounds sarcastic but what it does is remind the clerk that while his knowledge is needed to tell a customer that you cannot pour lye down a plastic pipe, you still need to help him/her find a product to unclog the sink instead of trying to sell her a whole new one.  You are not to coerce the customer into changing their intent. 

      Also, Twitter is very powerful.  If you tweet about bad service at a store and tag them in your tweet they will respond quickly because you put it out there for everyone to see.  They want to show how much they care about customer service.  I did this in an airport about my cancelled flight in Seattle while I was standing there in a long line waiting to book another flight.  An agent from the airline saw my tweet and rebooked me through Twitter and I was able to get a seat before the plane filled up. 

      You have to hold these companies accountable.  They can't just take your money and treat you like that.

  2. ChristinS profile image93
    ChristinSposted 16 months ago

    It is fine to post non-hub related issues in the forums so long as it is in the freeform discussions and it is.  As for rude and pushy salespeople, I would try to find another competitor store close in proximity, then call this stores manager or owner or corporate office and explain this problem is habitual and that you will no longer shop there.

    1. MizBejabbers profile image92
      MizBejabbersposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      Thanks, if you're sure, I'll leave it here. I've been confused about this issue. I thought you could post either place.
      I doubt that this woman will keep her job very long because contractors won't put up with her. This store goes through paint sales people fast anyway.

  3. fpherj48 profile image79
    fpherj48posted 16 months ago

    MizB.....HA!  Why limit to pushy, big mouth sales clerks in Hardware Depts??  They're EVERYWHERE.  The way I see it MizB, we either can't find a person to help us anywhere in the store...OR we get MORE unwelcome help than we want.  I gotta hand it to ya.  You handled it well.  This person probably never had a job with any responsibility nor authority in her life, an abusive, demanding husband for 40 years and rotten kids who took her for granted and forgot Mother's Day!!    LMAO.

    Poor thing.  Now she's in charge of the Paint Dept!!   Look out!  She'll tell you what you need...just step aside and shut up!!......LOL

    I do this all the time......Analyze why people act like rear ends.  It's really fun.  You'd be surprised the scenarios you can come up with.  It's hilarious when you're with a friend and you can laugh your butts off in the car as you think of psychological explanations!!    LOL!   This is how I avoid getting locked up, MizB!

    1. MizBejabbers profile image92
      MizBejabbersposted 16 months ago in reply to this

      I don't know, I get the feeling that she may be the "mother-in-law from Hell." Yes, they are everywhere, but it seems like I encounter more problems in hardware and paint stores. In fact my son had an encounter with a guy salesman in the plumbing department just yesterday, and that's what set me off.
      Years ago, Mr. B sent me to a locally owned hardware store to get a couple of parts for a project at the duplex we were remodeling. When I came back with the wrong parts, he went to the store and sought out the female clerk. He explained to her that he knew what he was doing, and when he sent his wife for parts, to sell me exactly what I asked for.
      He also realized that this woman was very knowledgeable in the building trades. They solved their differences and became the best of friends. That was about 10 years ago, and she has helped us out of many a pinch when we needed something they didn't have. That story had a happy ending.