This LONG blog post is Part One of a series of blog posts I’m working on this week on the horrible customer service I’ve encountered lately.
If your business promises a service, I expect nothing less. For some reason, businesses aren’t getting the memo lately that if you are promised a service, consumers actually expect it. Funny, isn’t it?
On October 12th, my family went to our local ‘Blinds to Go’ store, browsed through the selection of blinds, and for the vertical blinds – narrowed it down to two color choices.
At that point the sales lady informed us that between the two color choices we had narrowed down to, one of the colors were on back order for the vertical blinds and the other color was on back order for the horizontal blinds. She told us that the ones in stock would be installed most likely in two days after measurements were taken. She also told us that most likely the back orders would not arrive until the first week of November, but she would provide us with temporary blinds for the window treatments that were on back order for the time being.
We needed ten horizontal blinds and two vertical blinds.
Since we were in the process of moving after getting A LOT of renovations done in the new house, my mom and I decided that because we were okay with both color choices, we would choose the color that would only have two of our window treatments on back order (common sense, don’t you think? WHY would we ever choose to have the majority of our windows without window treatment for over three weeks by choice?). I confirmed with the sales lady MULTIPLE times which ones would be on back order, and left the store after placing the order pretty satisfied. I reasoned to my mom that having temporary blinds on two of our windows wouldn’t be such a big deal, rather than the whole house.
Two days later, the measurement guy came and measured all the windows. The following day, we got a call from the sales lady we talked to in the store informing us that the blinds were ready and that we should go ahead and schedule an installation date (with the guy that came to do the measurements).
We were scheduled for the following Monday (October 18th) at 3:30 PM, so we scheduled moving into our new house for Sunday (the 17th) thinking one night without blinds was doable, rather than waiting for a whole week until the following weekend.
Fast forward to Monday (the 18th) at 3 PM (half an hour before our scheduled installation time), the in-store manager (George) from the store we placed the order calls us and says the two vertical blinds are ready, but the other ten blinds are on back order (the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what we were originally told!!!!!!)
As all of this is happening, I call the ‘Blinds to Go’ customer service department to explain what is happening and see what they can do to correct the situation. I speak to a Roberta, and I’m not even kidding when I say this, and her response is “So what do you want me to do?”
Gee, I don’t know. How about rectify the situation? Or do something about your incompetent staff. I guess the latter would be kind of hard for you since you sound pretty incompetent for your job yourself…
No apology, nothing. She was clueless.
Roberta made the excuse that perhaps our sales lady was confused because the item names were similar to other products. How that is my problem, I don’t know. Besides, that is irrelevant considering there are item numbers and other identifying points for each product. If this lady is “confused” with the merchandise she is selling, that is obviously something she needs to work on (and double check as she places orders). I don’t know if Roberta thought her explanation sounded reasonable, but it just made both the sales lady and Roberta look and sound stupid.
Roberta goes on to say nothing can be done until the following day because she wanted to talk to the sales lady who placed our order and she wasn’t at work today. Welcome to the 21st century lady, technology has come a long way and phones (and even cell phones *GASP*) have become quite common.
Still feeling absolutely dissatisfied (and since their company’s customer service department itself was useless), that evening we headed back to the store to see if we could work something out. When we got there, we approached George (the in-store manager who called us earlier, remember?).
He was adamant about the fact that our sales lady must have given us the right information and that we misunderstood (yeah, right. all FOUR of us), but that nothing could be done until our sales lady came back to work the next day. When we asked George why he couldn’t just call her and ask what the deal was, he simply said “I’m just not going to do that” and that “besides, our customer service department is already waiting for her to call them back”.
After some back and forth, we finally somehow got George to call the sales lady (nothing was resolved) and then George called someone named something to the likes of ‘Shah’ or ‘Shaw’ who I’m presuming is his boss or something and LIES to him in front of us. As we are standing right there, he tells the guy that he’s playing phone tag between the customer and the sales lady because neither of them are present – like seriously, what kind of a circus are they running? WHO DOES THAT?
To say we were steamed doesn’t do justice. But it gets even worse.
At this point, it’s been well over an hour since we came into the store. It’s 6:56 PM (store closes at 7). The only other associate working that day yells from the back to the manager to ask if she can close to which he agrees. Minutes later, she comes back to the front and starts yelling at us! In a moronic and yelling voice, she’s like what do you expect us to do, call the customer service department – we have families to get home to and shuts off the store lights and starts to force us out of the store. I don’t know her name, but I did hear her mention to another customer earlier that she was from Nepal so that was the only identifying factor I have.
Needless to say, we canceled our order from this store from hell (but not with ease). They wouldn’t even let us cancel our order at first, so I threatened to go directly to the President of the chain and report them to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) … and so of course I got a call right back telling me I could cancel the order.
A) The store wasn’t even closed yet B) If there is an issue, you as a business are supposed to deal with (not cowardly run from it and lie to make it even worse) C) You don’t kick a customer out of the store D) Would any of the above have happened if we were at the store past closing time if we were there to make a purchase instead? Of course not.
As a college student, I’ve worked in retail on the side and the number one rule for dealing with customers is your attitude makes the world of a difference. I don’t know what kind of business “Blinds to Go” is running, but it is by far the most horrendous bunch of people I’ve ever experienced.
I don’t know why after all of the massive renovation projects we took on, something as minuscule in comparison like the blinds gave us the most problems.
I’ll have Part Two of this written and posted hopefully soon – sooner than the six days it took me to write this up since I first mentioned it (and even longer considering when it happened).
P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.