Wednesday, July 1, 2015

More Customer Service Nightmares

As I may have mentioned before, we have a lot of awesome customers, except for the Chosen Few who feel that it is their job to occasionally call me and behave like a total (insert favorite adjective *here*).

Or, as Aussa at Aussa Lorens so succinctly put it..."throw some shade".

I had another of these lovelies call me the day before last, at 7:30 a.m.  I should have known.  Because my FIRST rule of phone etiquette is to never answer my business phone before 9 a.m.  Never.  NOT. EVER.

I have also learned that ANY call that comes through on my phone caller I.D. as "Restricted"...also do not answer those EVER.  Because anyone who PAYS to have their phone number hidden is hiding something.  Like the fact that they're an ass.

But I was caught off guard the other morning, namely because I thought it might be the Sheriff's office calling.  Not that that's a normal thing around here, but our daughter had her smartphone stolen the night before (insert lots of cursing about thieves *here*), and I had talked a couple of times with an officer by phone.  So I was thinking it was the nice sheriff guy calling at 7:30 a.m. the next morning to tell me Hey, we found your phone, because we're awesome, and here's a winning lottery ticket, too.

No.  UNfortunately, it wasn't the cops.  It was a customer, whose name may or may not be RICHARD.  I didn't answer the phone as a business, BECAUSE IT'S AN HOUR AND A HALF TOO EARLY FOR THAT.  I just said "Hello", because it's 7:30 a.m. and I'm thinking it's the cops, so I may as well just answer as myself.

This guy doesn't even pause.  He jumps right in, ignoring the fact that IT IS 7:30 A.M., which is a time of day that my brain only has certain sectors functioning--namely the Take Out The Dog sector and the Is There Coffee Made Yet sector.   So my ears heard this:  "I ordered from you last year, and my delivered product was too short.  I ordered 16" and I had stuff that was 12-13" long in there."

Me:  *blank stare at my phone because no coffee yet*

Him:  And I have some other questions too.  I just sent an order online just now and I haven't had a response yet.  Did you get my order?  Did it not go through?  Because I have some concerns about last year's order.

Me:  *blank stare at my phone because no coffee yet*

Him:  Hello?

Me:  Yes.  Hi.  I'm not at my desk for another hour and a half, so I haven't had time to check my e-mail yet, but I will call you back after I get in, OK?

Of course my office is about 20 feet from the couch, but if I don't set some boundaries, I will have people calling me at 10 p.m. to talk about their orders, so I'm very strict about my office hours.

We hung up.

I called him back at 9 a.m., STILL thinking at this point that this is a normal customer.  As in, someone who just needs to place an order, and who is also probably an early riser.

hahahaHAHAAAHAA.  Oh, no, my dears.  That would be too easy.

I'd try to make this shorter but...I can't.  You're here, so you know that already.

He morphed into a total condescending, snide, pompous, JERK.  The third (or fourth, I lost count) time that I spoke with him, Shane was actually sitting here, so he is my witness.  I never lost my cool, and I was never rude to this guy, but he was one of those people who just kept pushing and pushing.

I double-checked his original order, and he had in fact ordered 14" wood, so the 12 and 13" pieces would make sense. I told him this.  He disagreed, even though I have the 14" noted in three places on his account from last year.

moving on

He then also "needed to ask" me about the type of wood he got (a year ago).  He's pretty sure it wasn't all the right variety.  I cheerfully said I couldn't possibly know what was on that truckload, because it was a year ago, but I'll make a note to MAKE SURE that we get the species right this year.  Because Shane, who can tell what kind of tree it is, by the sawdust it leaves, couldn't possibly know wood species as well as a realtor.

NEXT, he needed to to point out that our delivery fees also "aren't fair".  Because he checked, and we charge $40 to come to him (he's across a state line) and yet we "deliver for free to towns in our state that are, in fact, further away" than him.  I said, yes, that's right.  We charge $40.00 any time we cross the state line even if you live one inch over the state line.  We had to draw a line somewhere, dude.

He wouldn't let it go.  He was like " charge more, even though I'm closer.  I understand, then, from what you're saying, that you treat your Idaho customers better than you treat your Washington customers.  I see."

Me:  No.  We just charge a delivery fee to your state.  For anyone  in   that   state.

Him:  I'd like to know why you have that policy.

He actually argued this point AT SOME LENGTH, stating repeatedly that it's unfair, because he's closer than some of the places we go for free and he doesn't "understand our policy".

He just wouldn't let it go.

Me:  *wth?*  We've had our delivery fees in place for twelve years, so I couldn't probably tell you why they were put in place, but I could probably have Shane call you.

Him:  Yes.  I'd like someone to call me and explain to me why you unfairly charge a delivery fee, when I'm not actually that far away.

Me:  *gritting teeth*  I will make a note of that, but the fees will still apply. *brilliant idea* You may be able to find someone closer to your location there, who could deliver for free, if you check around.

Him:  Oh, I see.  So, just to be clear, so I understand you, you're saying I should find someone else to buy from?  Let me tell you something--

Me:  No, I'm trying to help you.  You could definitely save money if you look around and find someone who can deliver for free.  OR you can come pick it up in Idaho and save the $40 that way (YOU TIGHTWAD).

Him:  I see.  Let me tell you something.  When I call a business for a service, I expect to get that service.  I do not expect to be told by that business to go shop somewhere else.  Because that is what you're saying.  Just so we're clear and I heard you right, I'm calling you to order a service, and you're telling me to find another company to do business with?    


Him:  And when I call for a service, I also don't expect to be told that "Shawn" will call me back.

Me:  Shane.

Him:  So yes, I would like "Shawn" to call me back, because--

Me:  Shane.

Him:  I'm hearing sarcasm now.  I do not expect to hear sarcasm from a business.  I want him to call me back and explain your delivery fee policies to me.

Me:  His name is Shane. (you idiot, if you're going be insulting, at least get the name right). I will pass all of this info along to Shane, and he can help you from there.  Good bye.


WHO does this?  Seriously??? Does he think we're going to call and explain to him our decision-making process from twelve damn years ago and possibly field arguments as to why it's unfair?  I could scream.

Neither of us ever raised our voice, but he was calmly nasty and condescending and, I don't know...(word, word, what's the word?)...when someone keeps trying to cause a fight? Confrontational? Antagonistic.  That's what it felt like.  Like he was trying to upset me.

I hung up, screamed and waved my arms around at Shane for a bit, wiped my tears (because I always cry when I'm really mad, which kinds of sucks), and poured a really strong drink.  Two, actually...

I haven't heard back from him.  Possibly because I blocked his email, because I also know from experience with jerks like this, that they LOVE to have the last word.  After a nasty phone call, they ALways sit down and compose an even nastier email, saying how unhappy they are with our service, or our company, and how they can't believe how rude I was, and how much they hate me and that I am possibly also responsible for world hunger and the Fall of Man.

If he does call back, I'm ready to explain to him, so there's no mistake, that, we aren't suggesting you shop around--we're telling you:  We won't sell to you, ever.

unfortunately, I work BOTH desks...

Yesterday I spent almost all day outside in the garden with my animals, listening to the breeze and the chickens, weeding and picking berries for currant-raspberry jam.  Today I have been out there again all morning, shaping the roses and enjoying the sun.  And I'm going back out there now.

At least with plants and animals, you know where you stand.

hold my calls, I'm hanging with Bindi today

PS-  thanks for listening.  again


  1. I know a guy who knows a guy...long story short...we could break some kneecaps.

    1. HAHAHA. Right? I always want to remind them that I have the driving directions to their HOUSE.

      ...and we *ahem* know a guy, too. I could tell you such a story there.

  2. This guy is the exact reason I say on a daily basis, "I hate people."

    1. He was pretty awful...It helps to write it down and get the whole thing *out* of my head.

      I'm thinking of starting a club for People Who Don't Suck. Maybe I'll start working on some bylaws next... lol

  3. I feel like teaching college these days is much like handling customer service calls. I'm sorry.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I think unfortunately most interactions with the public have this potential. It's alarming how nasty people are willing to be. Almost like they're PROUD of how rude they sound...