The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 June 2007

The customer is always ...

How you complete that sentence probably depends on whether you've worked any substantial time in retail. I haven't, so I tend to think in terms of "... drunk" or " ... retarded," based on the last few phone calls that the irritated customer-service people (our customer-service people are always irritated, and having worked the phones myself a few months, I don't blame them) told me about. Others with more experience tend to be a bit less kind in their descriptions:

I canít even count the number of times that I have had a customer come in with the misconception that they are right about everything, even though they have never received either the formal education to back up their claim, or any information regarding their claim.

We have some of that too, though we usually don't have someone else to blame:

Just because you think that software created by Microsoft is an issue caused by the retail store, does not mean that we are responsible. If you were to read the fine print, you would understand, and therefore be educated to the fact, that in this instance Microsoft would be the one you need to contact for resolution, not the retail store.

I went looking through my own desktop box, and under Control Panel / System / General I found a Support Information box, which tells me exactly whom to call and when they're open. Perhaps other manufacturers — this box was a custom job from PC Club — aren't quite as forthcoming about their support options. On the other hand, people, I suspect, will bring stuff back to the store for any reason whatsoever, no matter whose fault it is. Your dog peed on your keyboard? Demand a replacement. (It occurs to me that someone is now going to sue a hardware manufacturer for selling components that are not urine-resistant and failing to warn in BIG RED LETTERS that one should not whiz on one's computer. My apologies to the defendant.)

It's things like this that make me appreciate Woot:

If you buy something you don't end up liking or you have what marketing people call "buyer's remorse," sell it on eBay. It's likely you'll make money doing this and save everyone a hassle. If the item doesn't work, find out what you're doing wrong. Yes, we know you think the item is bad, but it's probably your fault.

They'll take it back if it's really, truly defective, but if you're just a bonehead — well, you've given me another way to complete that sentence.

Posted at 7:01 PM to Bushel of Currency , Dyssynergy


If the customer is defective, return the customer.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:54 PM on 10 June 2007

The word "customer" is derived from the Latin stultus, meaning "fool". 'nuff said.

Posted by: Dan B at 3:28 PM on 11 June 2007