What has happened to customer service?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Memphis East

I had the most unpleasant experience I have ever had shopping today.  Maybe I over reacted but I really don't think so.  I walked into a Memphis (I'll be courteous and remove their name since they called an apologized) department store and shopped for about 30 minutes.  Had two items in my buggy and made my way to the checkout.  Got to the front counter and I'm the only one ready to check out and there is this twenty-something young woman behind the counter who looks at me as I walk to the front of the store.  She never offers, "I can get you here."  Nothing.  I finally ask, "Are you checking?"  "Yes" she says.  Well she proceeds to ignore me for a few more moments.  I ask her to check a price on some shoes that were on clearance before ringing them up and she does.  Here's the kicker, I pay and ...she hands me my bag and says, "Take your cart back to where you got it from."  What?  Did I hear her correctly?  Not, would you please take your cart to the front door or would you mind taking the cart back to the front door.  No, it was a command.  I said, "Excuse me."  She said in a hateful commanding voice again, "Take your cart where you got it from."  I started laughing incredulously at her.  Was she serious?  She continued to stare at me dead pan.  I said, "I don't think so sweetheart.  That is what they are paying you to do."  I walked away with my bag.  I should have called the manager, reported her and asked for a refund but I didn't (cause I really wanted those shoes!!!)

 Anyway, Miss Personality forgot to remove the security device from my shoes so I had to go back to her. (Thank you God!) And of course, me being me couldn't leave it alone.  I said to her, "You know if you had asked me would I mind taking the cart back to where I got it, I probably wouldn't have had a problem, but you didn't even say thank you.  She said, "Say "thank you" for what?"  I said, "How about thank you for shopping at Gordmans?"  I ranted on and said, "You really don't need to be working with the public with that attitude."  She said made a psst sound and said, "I don't have an attitude."  I said, "Honey, you most definitely have an attitude, and I'm quite sure you wake up with it every morning."  I stormed out and am so ANGRY that I thought I was going to burst a blood vessel in the parking lot. At least I got to say what I wanted to say.  Did I overreact?  Maybe.  Am I sick of the rampant rudeness in the USA?  You betcha!  Why do companies hire these neanderthal workers to work the front counters? If they don't hire them with manners then they should have manner training.  I was their only paying customer this morning and they just ran me off...FOR GOOD!

Comments (12)

Connie Betz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate - Omaha, NE
Top Omaha Realtor - Omaha Homes for Sale

Holy Smokes!  That's just aweful!  Maybe you should send an email to their corporate headquarters with a link to your blog that has over 139,000 readers. That just might get their attention.

Mar 16, 2009 08:48 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Debbie,  You've got nerve !  And how rude of you to attempt to checkout when she was standing there enjoying  a moment of solitude.  She might have been considering how to save the world, write a great book or consider how to get paid more for her efforts !    Been there and done that !   Only mistake you made was not telling the boss your thoughts !  Thus pretty much guaranteeing that this waste of spaceemployee ( of the month ? )  will be there tomorrow !  Wouldn't you love to hear her version of this event ?

Mar 16, 2009 08:51 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't think you over reacted.  In fact, I'm just the kind of person who stomps off to the manager. The other day my husband and I went to our local WalMart and the greeter looked like a gang member.  Jeans hanging down low, yeah I want to see your underwear and about two feet of pants piled atop his untied shoes, hat all crooked.  For the love of God, don't those people have a dress code. 

Mar 16, 2009 08:56 AM
Amy Nilsson
Prudential California Realty - Tulare, CA

The sad thing is, the manager probably would have defended the employee. The days of "the customer is always right" are dead & gone. RIP

Mar 16, 2009 09:06 AM
Debbie Mitchell
Keller Williams Memphis East - Memphis, TN
Your "Come to the Country" Realtor

Well I did come directly home and log onto their corporate site and write a scathing email. Not that it will do any good probably because "you just can't get good help any more!"  Right?  And their motto copied directly from their site is "We will delight our guests with big savings, big selection and fun, friendly associates!"  Really?  HMMMM!

Mar 16, 2009 09:08 AM
KATHARINE RAUCH
PRUDENTIAL JOHN M. BRABHAM REAL ESTATE - Shaw AFB, SC

You were too nice to her to not have turned her in for her rude behavior. Her boss should have been told because she will always have that chip on her shoulder until someone addresses it. I got an idea....go back to the store and buy more shoes when she is working. If she again has that crappy atitude, REPORT HER!!!!! 

Mar 16, 2009 09:30 AM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I hope you really like those shoes and they don't give you blisters because I might have demanded a full refund and to never shop there again.

Mar 16, 2009 09:45 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Unfortunately that is the wave of the future. If you're not the owner, it just seems no one cares.

Mar 16, 2009 09:50 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Unfortunately that is the wave of the future,I don't think anyone really cares about customer service anymore. It seems no one takes care of our customers like we do.

Mar 16, 2009 10:03 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Debbie ~ I am horrified on a regular basis at the rude behavior I encounter from people who work with the public. We have deteriorated so quickly into a very ugly society.  And what kills me is that the rude behavior is not limited to young people - older people in customer service roles of all sorts can be rude too - and they grew up when things were different. It is frightening to think about where we go from here because I can't see things getting better, only getting worse, especially since this has become the new normal and kids growing up with it will think it is just the way it's supposed to be.

That being said I've hoped that the current economic climate might lead to better behavior and better employees. And the bad behavior is not across the board - some companies seem to be really good at hiring pleasant employees or at providing good training (but I'm not sure all the training in the world can help some people). Rite Aid employees in my area always impress me and Whole Foods employees are fabulous - they are unfailingly polite and pleasant despite having to cope with customers who tend to be some of the rudest around. 

Liz

Mar 16, 2009 11:21 AM
Debbie Mitchell
Keller Williams Memphis East - Memphis, TN
Your "Come to the Country" Realtor

So true everyone.  The manager of the Memphis store called me yesterday and did personally apologize for the little neanderthal.  She stated that she would be reprimanded and written up for her behavior.  She said they had "reviewed the tapes" and were appalled at her behavior.  I had no idea that I was being taped. I guess Big Brother really is watching every step we make now.

Mar 18, 2009 09:53 AM
Debbie Mitchell
Keller Williams Memphis East - Memphis, TN
Your "Come to the Country" Realtor

So true everyone.  The manager of the Memphis store called me yesterday and did personally apologize for the little neanderthal.  She stated that she would be reprimanded and written up for her behavior.  She said they had "reviewed the tapes" and were appalled at her behavior.  I had no idea that I was being taped. I guess Big Brother really is watching every step we make now.

Mar 18, 2009 09:53 AM