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Customer service? More like torture page 2
Customer service gone seriously wrong

  Richard Amrhine's archive
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Date published: 10/14/2007

By Richard Amrhine


I was displeased with this turn of events. I think I said "damn" under my breath. I promised that he hadn't heard the end of this.

He told me to leave the store or he would call security because I had cursed and threatened him. Untrue.

I admit I was furious at the prospect of being stuck with $65 shoes. But I was careful to restrain myself, especially because my daughter was with me. I also believed this would be rectified because we hadn't done anything wrong. We left.

I e-mailed customer service. They suggested I call customer service to explain the situation.

Which I did.

A week or so later, no response. I called back, explained the situation again, and was put on hold. Fifteen minutes later the representative came back to say that she had called the store, and because of "my conduct in the store" they wouldn't be able to help me.

What? Who is the aggrieved party here?

Somehow I came up with the name of the company's director of customer relations and wrote her an actual letter explaining what had gone on. I said the store needs to get its policies straight. Mistakes are made; problems arise. But we should deal with them and move on. That's what "customer service" is about. Among my points was this:

"[T]he issue here is not me, but your salesman who, right or wrong, insisted the shoes be worn out of the store, and your store manager, who apparently expected me to accept tossing $65 out the window. Instead, the store manager should have accepted my explanation and dealt with his worker later, rather than cite my alleged conduct as an excuse to avoid doing the right thing."

I eventually received a photocopied form letter of apology and a $75 gift card.

I gave the card to my wife because I vowed never, ever to return to that store. On occasion, she would stop in to shop for something for herself or the kids. But there was never anything she wanted to buy, until last August--19 months later--when she found a pair of shoes she liked for herself. She handed over the gift card.

It wouldn't work.

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