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View Full Version : The age-old saying that "the customer is always right" may soon be put out to pasture


|Zach|
01-20-2007, 03:01 PM
I like this move...some of the actions of people at retail stores is disgusting.

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/03/01/the_unethical_but_mostly_legal_retail_shopping_tactics_of_devil_consumers.htm

The age-old saying that "the customer is always right" may soon be put out to pasture. Why? Increasing numbers of stores are cracking down on what they call "devil" shoppers -- customers whose buying and returning practices, some legit, may actually cause the store to lose money -- and the stores believe they're better off without them.

Best Buy stores have gotten so fed up with their "devil" shoppers -- a group they say makes up 20 percent of their customer base -- that they're actively trying to eliminate them from their stores. These shoppers (see below for a description of some of their tactics) account for as many as one-fifth of Best Buy's 500 million customer visits each year, and according to Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson, "They can wreak enormous economic havoc."

So now Best Buy is fighting back. They've started training their employees to identify "angel" shoppers -- the ones who buy highly priced items like HDTVs or just-released DVDs without waiting for a markdown -- and cater to them while "blacklisting" the devil shoppers. The staff uses a quick interview of sorts to identify the different types, which they internally call:

* Barrys: High-income men who like action movies and cameras
*Jills: Suburban moms who want to help their families
*Buzzes: Male technology fans who want the latest high-tech gadgets

Other practices Best Buy has put into play include adding a 15 percent restocking fee and selling restocked items over the Internet as opposed to in stores.

But Best Buy is not alone. Some stores will go so far as to remove "bad" customers from their promotions mailing list or put them on long holds if they call stores with too many questions and no intent to buy. And stores like Express, KB Toys, the Sports Authority, Staples and Guess have all adopted a new technology called the Return Exchange to monitor customers' buying habits.

When a purchase is made, the device records the consumer's name, address, age and transaction details and sends it to The Return Exchange's database. The company says the device is meant to stop shoplifters and other fraud-doers, but it doesn't stop there. Each store inputs certain criteria, such as a high number of returns or a dollar amount on returns, after which a customer's return can be denied.

Said retail consultant King Rogers, retail stores lose some $16 billion a year because of fraud. "Consumers are going to find more stores with tighter, more restrictive return policies than they found last year. When you look at the economics of it, $16 billion a year in losses, they have to tighten up," he said.

But others are worried that consumers will get the short end of the deal.

"I'm concerned about the 99 percent of consumers who are not abusing the system," said Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org, an Internet public service site. "It's the wrong size, the wrong color, the mother bought clothing for kids who didn't want it."

Already the Federal Trade Commission has been asked to investigate the legality of stores monitoring and denying customers' returns, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed legislation to require stores that do limit returns to warn shoppers of the practice.

-Shopper Tactics That Might Send You to the "Blacklist"

The following practices are among the most common and most offensive in the eyes of retailers. If you commonly engage in any of these practices, you may soon find that your next return is denied or your name has been added to a store's "blacklist" of bad customers.

*Buying a product, taking advantage of the product rebate, then returning the product for a refund.
*Buying clothing or another item, wearing it (or using it) once, then returning it (the classic example is the evening gown that's worn with tags on for a night, then returned).
*Buying an item and returning it with the intent of buying it at the reduced "open-box" price
*Buying clothing or another item with the intent of returning it later and re-buying it at a markdown price.
*Buying a product at a discount, such as from the store's selection of "loss leaders," (low-priced products stores lose money on that are designed to attract customers) then reselling it on eBay for a premium price.
*Finding rock-bottom prices on Web sites, then challenging stores to pay up on their lowest price guarantees.
*Taking up an employee's time to ask questions about a significant purchase with the intent to buy it elsewhere.

Most consumers do have good intentions at heart and make returns for legitimate reasons. Retailers are aware of this and wary of portraying a too-tough image to customers. Said Anderson, it's a fine balance to ward of bad customers without turning away the good ones.

"The most dangerous image I can think of is a retailer that wants to fire customers," he says.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 03:08 PM
There are some pretty good strategies here.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 03:11 PM
I feel so badly for Best Buy.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 03:14 PM
*Buying a product at a discount, such as from the store's selection of "loss leaders," (low-priced products stores lose money on that are designed to attract customers) then reselling it on eBay for a premium price.
*Finding rock-bottom prices on Web sites, then challenging stores to pay up on their lowest price guarantees.


These two really bother me. So, you have two corporate policies designed to manipulate consumers in these examples but when the consumer turns the tables on the retailer it's a big no-no? I don't think so.

I always make a store price-match if they have a policy indicating that they do price-match.

Adept Havelock
01-20-2007, 03:16 PM
The customer is not always right. However, they are always the customer.

A business that forgets this will not be around for long.

Phobia- An excellent point.

|Zach|
01-20-2007, 03:17 PM
These two really bother me. So, you have two corporate policies designed to manipulate consumers in these examples but when the consumer turns the tables on the retailer it's a big no-no? I don't think so.

I always make a store price-match if they have a policy indicating that they do price-match.
Eh, there has to be some legitamacy to the whole thing. If you wanted to buy a couch why not make some Chiefs Planet store and advertise it for 25 bucks so you can go in and get it matched.

That is a ridiculous example but there has to be some line with a policiy like that.

Davechief
01-20-2007, 03:24 PM
For some quality entertainment you should log in to bestbuysucks.org

Funny Stuff!

Phobia
01-20-2007, 03:34 PM
Eh, there has to be some legitamacy to the whole thing. If you wanted to buy a couch why not make some Chiefs Planet store and advertise it for 25 bucks so you can go in and get it matched.

That is a ridiculous example but there has to be some line with a policiy like that.

Well, most brick and mortar stores won't match internet pricing.

As many times as I've been screwed by massive conglomerates, I'll stick it right back to them every opportunity I have (within reason).

Saulbadguy
01-20-2007, 03:36 PM
Best Buy is a terrible example. They are the king of screwing customers.

|Zach|
01-20-2007, 03:37 PM
Well, most brick and mortar stores won't match internet pricing.

As many times as I've been screwed by massive conglomerates, I'll stick it right back to them every opportunity I have (within reason).
I think if this were the kind of thing that were limited to massive companies that would be one thing...

The amount of people that go so far out of their way to screw any establishment is incredible.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 03:44 PM
I think if this were the kind of thing that were limited to massive companies that would be one thing...

The amount of people that go so far out of their way to screw any establishment is incredible.

I've been on both ends and I'll agree. People screw everybody they can. It's mind-boggling.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:08 PM
Wow, this shit is infuriating. If you don't want customers to take advantage of price-matching, then don't offer it you dumb motherf*ckers....

Basically, they only want stupid customers who overpay for everything to be their shopper base so that they can pull in a higher profit.

AndChiefs
01-20-2007, 04:16 PM
Wow, this shit is infuriating. If you don't want customers to take advantage of price-matching, then don't offer it you dumb motherf*ckers....

Basically, they only want stupid customers who overpay for everything to be their shopper base so that they can pull in a higher profit.

As someone said earlier most brick-and-mortar stores don't accept price matches from the internet. I'm thinking they're saying they don't want customers who go online and then expect to get those deals. Not saying I agree with it...just saying.

Besides....what store wouldn't want stupid customers who overpay for everything as their shopping base? :)

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:24 PM
When I was working at blockbuster I would have people yelling and screaming I won't my monster babes 5 video and take off my late fees then they would literally spit in my face and do crazy shit. Retail sucks dick. People would always buy movies with our crazy deals like buy two for 10 and bring them back when the sale was over. I would uphold store policy long enough for the people to bitch and moan until the manager gave them what they want. It would be nice for some retail places to stand behind their employers instead of giving into the retards. This is a long rant and has no point whatsoever.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:25 PM
As someone said earlier most brick-and-mortar stores don't accept price matches from the internet. I'm thinking they're saying they don't want customers who go online and then expect to get those deals. Not saying I agree with it...just saying.

Besides....what store wouldn't want stupid customers who overpay for everything as their shopping base? :)

I've had BB match online prices on more than one occassion.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:26 PM
The internet is hurting these stores more than 'devil' shoppers. I think if these stores would be more proactive in giving their customers the best price AND service then they wouldn't have so many people trying to out sleeze them.

I do very little shopping at B&M stores anymore. Most of it's done online and at deeply reduced prices.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:26 PM
When I was working at blockbuster I would have people yelling and screaming I won't my monster babes 5 video and take off my late fees then they would literally spit in my face and do crazy shit. Retail sucks dick. People would always buy movies with our crazy deals like buy two for 10 and bring them back when the sale was over. I would uphold store policy long enough for the people to bitch and moan until the manager gave them what they want. It would be nice for some retail places to stand behind their employers instead of giving into the retards. This is a long rant and has no point whatsoever.

If the store has any intelligence, they will realize two things:

The customer must bring their receipt:

If not, then they either get store credit or a refund, but both at the lowest price the item carried in the last 30 days.

It's not a tough policy to uphold, and it's completely fair.

Calcountry
01-20-2007, 04:27 PM
The customer is not always right. However, they are always the customer.

A business that forgets this will not be around for long.

Phobia- An excellent point.I cannot believe that a business would consider someone a "bad customer", they are just not THEIR customer.

Just wait until a "bad customer" finds out they are on that list?

Welcome to a whole new category, "Bitch customer from hell."

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:30 PM
If the store has any intelligence, they will realize two things:

The customer must bring their receipt:

If not, then they either get store credit or a refund, but both at the lowest price the item carried in the last 30 days.

It's not a tough policy to uphold, and it's completely fair.


yeah but this is joetown we are talking about they aren't trying to get their money back. They are just trying to watch as many movies on meth as possible so giving them instore credit just means they stretched that 10 dollars into more movies they can stay up for weeks on end. It sucks you try to spend your whole life helping people and they just want to fist **** you at every turn. I will never be rude to people, but I can understand why people go bad.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:32 PM
Best Buy stores have gotten so fed up with their "devil" shoppers -- a group they say makes up 20 percent of their customer base -- that they're actively trying to eliminate them from their stores. These shoppers (see below for a description of some of their tactics) account for as many as one-fifth of Best Buy's 500 million customer visits each year, and according to Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson, "They can wreak enormous economic havoc."


If "devil shoppers" are 20 percent of their business, then they need to redefine "devil shoppers". I'm not sure it's feasible to drive off 20 percent of your customers, even if they're the high-maintenance ones.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:34 PM
yeah but this is joetown we are talking about they aren't trying to get their money back. They are just trying to watch as many movies on meth as possible so giving them instore credit just means they stretched that 10 dollars into more movies they can stay up for weeks on end. It sucks you try to spend your whole life helping people and they just want to fist **** you at every turn. I will never be rude to people, but I can understand why people go bad.

Losing a dipshit customer like that is better for business than sucking their dick to keep them. There comes a point at which the retailer must take a stand. Telling them that there is no logical reason to remove their late fees if they didn't turn the video in the time allotted puts the ball in their court. By checking out the video and signing the membership policy, they agree that they must return said video in time otherwise they will pay the fee. If you steadfastly refuse, then they can go somewhere else and spend just as much money at your store (nothing), than they were before while also keeping your product.

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:34 PM
Maybe Joe cool the camel can come in and attract young buyers to a place with them losing 20% It helps when cigs kill off most of their consumer base correct?
joking of course/

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:36 PM
Losing a dipshit customer like that is better for business than sucking their dick to keep them. There comes a point at which the retailer must take a stand. Telling them that there is no logical reason to remove their late fees if they didn't turn the video in the time allotted puts the ball in their court. By checking out the video and signing the membership policy, they agree that they must return said video in time otherwise they will pay the fee. If you steadfastly refuse, then they can go somewhere else and spend just as much money at your store (nothing), than they were before while also keeping your product.


I agree and I won't talk about it anymore.

|Zach|
01-20-2007, 04:37 PM
If "devil shoppers" are 20 percent of their business, then they need to redefine "devil shoppers". I'm not sure it's feasible to drive off 20 percent of your customers, even if they're the high-maintenance ones.
The money and resources tied up into servicing these customers is enourmous.

Think of some different ways this shows itself.

- Money lost due to mark down in trying to sell reutned items
- Money lost when a manufactuer denies a retail store credit because an item was never defective at all
- Money lost in your emplyoees time. Instead being more productive they are sqabbing with someone for days on end trying to keep your company from getting ass ****ed.
- Money lost from you shying away legitimate customers from the decrease in sales you are doing because you were ass ****ed.

If you could throw those 20% out and just deal with the 80% you are going to do just fine. That isn't even mentioning employee morale.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:37 PM
If the store has any intelligence, they will realize two things:

The customer must bring their receipt:

If not, then they either get store credit or a refund, but both at the lowest price the item carried in the last 30 days.

It's not a tough policy to uphold, and it's completely fair.

But even policies should not be set in stone. For instance, Circuit City has a 15% restocking fee on their returns. We purchased a digital camera for Christmas. It was a Polaroid and it was crap. The camera took terrible pictures because something was wrong with the flash. On return, the store did not have the item anymore and wanted to refund me the money at 100% only if I got a CC gift card or purchased something else.

Well the camera was blister packaged and the ONLY way to know it was defective or crap was to OPEN the package. The manager was a complete and total asshole. I explained to him that him keeping my $15.00 was going to cause me to stop shopping there and that he shouldn't treat me that way because over the past year we had spent over $1500 dollars at CC including a computer purchased just weeks before.

He didn't care. I explained to him that I was in the market to purchase a different digital camera, one at least three times as expensive, and that it wouldn't be from CC because of his attitude. He didn't give a shit so I left.

I wrote a letter explaining the situation to their corporate HQs. They refunded me the money. I didn't purchase the camera from them but from Amazon.com for over $130 cheaper than what they were selling it. I don't know if I'll buy from CC ever again because their management was so unprofessional even though their corporate office did correct the problem.

Any company that would fight over $15 with a customer that has spent $1500 in the past year is a company that has a very bad business sense and ultimately is not one I want to do business with.

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:37 PM
You know what I hate? The other day I was walking into applebee's at around closing time and I got the worst service extra. If the guy would have been halfway polite I would have tipped him a 20 spot for my meal alone. Instead he threw is potato soup all over me and was rude. It went all over my tank top. Then they ran out of ketchup. Worst day of my life. Customer service is dead!

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:39 PM
But even policies should not be set in stone. For instance, Circuit City has a 15% restocking fee on their returns. We purchased a digital camera for Christmas. It was a Polaroid and it was crap. The camera took terrible pictures because something was wrong with the flash. On return, the store did not have the item anymore and wanted to refund me the money at 100% only if I got a CC gift card or purchased something else.

Well the camera was blister packaged and the ONLY way to know it was defective or crap was to OPEN the package. The manager was a complete and total asshole. I explained to him that him keeping my $15.00 was going to cause me to stop shopping there and that he shouldn't treat me that way because over the past year we had spent over $1500 dollars at CC including a computer purchased just weeks before.

He didn't care. I explained to him that I was in the market to purchase a different digital camera, one at least three times as expensive, and that it wouldn't be from CC because of his attitude. He didn't give a shit so I left.

I wrote a letter explaining the situation to their corporate HQs. They refunded me the money. I didn't purchase the camera from them but from Amazon.com for over $130 cheaper than what they were selling it. I don't know if I'll buy from CC ever again because their management was so unprofessional even though their corporate office did correct the problem.

Any company that would fight over $15 with a customer that has spent $1500 in the past year is a company that has a very bad business sense and ultimately is not one I want to do business with.


You should have gone to Circuit City to see if they would price match.

Demonpenz
01-20-2007, 04:39 PM
I don't care how much money you spend. I think it is good policy not to deal with terrorists.

88TG88
01-20-2007, 04:40 PM
I do very little shopping at B&M stores anymore. Most of it's done online and at deeply reduced prices.
thats the way to go

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:40 PM
You know what I hate? The other day I was walking into applebee's at around closing time and I got the worst service extra. If the guy would have been halfway polite I would have tipped him a 20 spot for my meal alone. Instead he threw is potato soup all over me and was rude. It went all over my tank top. Then they ran out of ketchup. Worst day of my life. Customer service is dead!

You walked into a restaurant at closing time? Bad idea. I bet there was a lot more than potato in that potato soup.

J Diddy
01-20-2007, 04:41 PM
You know what I hate? The other day I was walking into applebee's at around closing time and I got the worst service extra. If the guy would have been halfway polite I would have tipped him a 20 spot for my meal alone. Instead he threw is potato soup all over me and was rude. It went all over my tank top. Then they ran out of ketchup. Worst day of my life. Customer service is dead!

should of known better than go into a place right before closing time

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:41 PM
You should have gone to Circuit City to see if they would price match.

Nah, because I'd have to pay sales tax. I hate paying sales tax. Free shipping and no tax are THE way to go.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:42 PM
I don't care how much money you spend. I think it is good policy not to deal with terrorists.

However, if they claim that a suicide bomb is defective and try to return it, I'll bet they're being honest.

J Diddy
01-20-2007, 04:44 PM
However, if they claim that a suicide bomb is defective and try to return it, I'll bet they're being honest.


ROFL

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:44 PM
Nah, because I'd have to pay sales tax. I hate paying sales tax. Free shipping and no tax are THE way to go.

I think you're supposed to fill out a use tax form for that and then pay your local community. You're going to prison.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:44 PM
thats the way to go

Slickdeals.net is my best friend. I saved a ton of money at Christmas because of that website. :clap:

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:44 PM
But even policies should not be set in stone. For instance, Circuit City has a 15% restocking fee on their returns. We purchased a digital camera for Christmas. It was a Polaroid and it was crap. The camera took terrible pictures because something was wrong with the flash. On return, the store did not have the item anymore and wanted to refund me the money at 100% only if I got a CC gift card or purchased something else.

Well the camera was blister packaged and the ONLY way to know it was defective or crap was to OPEN the package. The manager was a complete and total asshole. I explained to him that him keeping my $15.00 was going to cause me to stop shopping there and that he shouldn't treat me that way because over the past year we had spent over $1500 dollars at CC including a computer purchased just weeks before.

He didn't care. I explained to him that I was in the market to purchase a different digital camera, one at least three times as expensive, and that it wouldn't be from CC because of his attitude. He didn't give a shit so I left.

I wrote a letter explaining the situation to their corporate HQs. They refunded me the money. I didn't purchase the camera from them but from Amazon.com for over $130 cheaper than what they were selling it. I don't know if I'll buy from CC ever again because their management was so unprofessional even though their corporate office did correct the problem.

Any company that would fight over $15 with a customer that has spent $1500 in the past year is a company that has a very bad business sense and ultimately is not one I want to do business with.

Yes, and this is an entirely different story. Obviously, you don't like the quality of pictures that are taken, and that is somewhat demonstratable, rather than "I don't want my f*cking late fees on my account".

EDIT: He could have also price-matched said camera that you wanted to buy, and along w/ your GC, you wouldn't have lost any money for your return. But his incompetence and dickheadedness is not universal

I will say this: It is your responsibility to be an informed enough customer to realize problems that may arise with your purchase before you buy the item...Reading reviews online is a great way...if you are making impulsive, ignorant purchases, I can't really say I have any sympathy for you:

An example:

my PIL's recently bought a 46" Sony XBR2 LCD TV (paying 3200 bucks for a TV they could have gotten for 2800) unaware that the model had a problem called "Mura effect" that had they spent five minutes researching online, they would have found out about...Furthermore, they could have gotten a better Samsung for 800 dollars less than what they paid....ultimately, if they run into a problem because of their lack of research, I don't have any sympathy for them.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:45 PM
I think you're supposed to fill out a use tax form for that and then pay your local community. You're going to prison.

Gitmo here I come. ROFL

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:46 PM
Yes, and this is an entirely different story. Obviously, you don't like the quality of pictures that are taken, and that is somewhat demonstratable, rather than "I don't want my f*cking late fees on my account".

I will say this: It is your responsibility to be an informed enough customer to realize problems that may arise with your purchase before you buy the item...Reading reviews online is a great way...if you are making impulsive, ignorant purchases, I can't really say I have any sympathy for you:




I'm a compulsive review shopper. That doesn't keep one from getting the occasional lemon.

Sheesh, the rockin Pany camera I just bought didn't have the 16mb SD card it's supposed to have. I could send it back as 'defective' but I'm not going to bother. Not for a small problem like that for a card I wouldn't use anyway. I've sent Amazon an email and I suspect they'll issue a credit of some sort.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:47 PM
Have you ever been to a restaurant where the service is too good? I was having a business lunch the other day, and we're trying to talk, and every 3.2 minutes one of our three servers would come up and interrupt us to ask how the meal was. I realize that that's a much better problem than bad service, but at some point there needs to be a moment of peace for the diner.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:48 PM
I'm a compulsive review shopper. That doesn't keep one from getting the occasional lemon.

And stores will give you all your money back if you have proper documentation and can show that your product is a lemon and not a product of "user error" or a desire to return it for beer money.

Easy 6
01-20-2007, 04:48 PM
You walked into a restaurant at closing time? Bad idea. I bet there was a lot more than potato in that potato soup.

Yep, that soup could have been a Tyler Durden special.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:49 PM
I'm a compulsive review shopper. That doesn't keep one from getting the occasional lemon.

Sheesh, the rockin Pany camera I just bought didn't have the 16mb SD card it's supposed to have. I could send it back as 'defective' but I'm not going to bother. Not for a small problem like that for a card I wouldn't use anyway. I've sent Amazon an email and I suspect they'll issue a credit of some sort.

This is an apples and oranges comparison....returning defective merchandise does not = returning shit just because you are a petulant customer who needs their eyes stabbed out.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:50 PM
And stores will give you all your money back if you have proper documentation and can show that your product is a lemon and not a product of "user error" or a desire to return it for beer money.

No they won't. CC didn't care if the product was defective or not. Which, it was. The flash wasn't working properly with three different sets of batteries. Their policy was 'opened return=15% restocking fee.'

The CS I spoke to on the phone agreed that the manager was completely wrong and told me where to send an email to complain. Within a day they wrote back apologizing and offering to credit my account.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 04:51 PM
Gitmo here I come. ROFL

As a business owner, I have to fill out a freaking tax form for my office snacks. They don't tax food here, but if I, as a kind and benevolent business owner (just ask DaFace) decide to provide snacks for my staff, I have to pay taxes on it. Why does the City care if a business owner buys food for their employees as opposed to the employees buying it themselves? I bet that 99 percent of companies aren't paying it, but my company was selected for an audit. When I asked why we were audited, they said that the City just went down a local awards list of the fastest-growing firms and audited them. Way to discourage economic growth, Denver.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:53 PM
The CS I spoke to on the phone agreed that the manager was completely wrong and told me where to send an email to complain. Within a day they wrote back apologizing and offering to credit my account.

Which directly undermines the first half of your argument, that they won't. If properly interpreted, they do...

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:54 PM
they said that the City just went down a local awards list of the fastest-growing firms and audited them. Way to discourage economic growth, Denver.

I can't say I really blame the city for auditing uber-fast growing companies. Shouldn't we have learned *something* from the Enron scandal?

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 04:56 PM
Which directly undermines the first half of your argument, that they won't. If properly interpreted, they do...

Actually, my argument was that policies should not be set in stone. I worked retail for over ten years and a few of those in management. When it goes to the corporate level the store manager is usually overriden. What makes the store manager look bad is that he got corporate involved over FIFTEEN DOLLARS. What and idiot. That doesn't make him look effective. It makes him look like a moron. The time it took for two different CSRs to address my concerns cost more than $15.00.

Lzen
01-20-2007, 04:57 PM
If "devil shoppers" are 20 percent of their business, then they need to redefine "devil shoppers". I'm not sure it's feasible to drive off 20 percent of your customers, even if they're the high-maintenance ones.

Heh, good luck driving off that 20% without driving off a significant percentage of the legitimate customers. BB and some of the other retailers they mention are playing with fire, IMO. The first few on that list, I don't do any of the first few items on that list. The last couple are questionable practices, though.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 04:59 PM
Actually, my argument was that policies should not be set in stone. I worked retail for over ten years and a few of those in management. When it goes to the corporate level the store manager is usually overriden. What makes the store manager look bad is that he got corporate involved over FIFTEEN DOLLARS. What an idiot. That doesn't make him look effective. It makes him look like a moron. The time it took for two different CSRs to address my concerns cost more than $15.00.

And had he realized that it was defective, he could have exchanged or refunded your money. You are conflating his mistake as empirical evidence of CC's universal policy, and as was later told to you, the manager's interpretation was WRONG.

FringeNC
01-20-2007, 04:59 PM
"The customer is always right" means higher prices for the rest of the customers.

Regarding Best Buy, here's my take. Comparison shop at Best Buy, buy somewhere else. Best Buy employees aren't on commission, so they don't care. Many other electronic store employees are, and they are on you from the minute you walk in the door, which is irritating if you're not ready to buy, but nice if you are.

Lzen
01-20-2007, 05:00 PM
But even policies should not be set in stone. For instance, Circuit City has a 15% restocking fee on their returns. We purchased a digital camera for Christmas. It was a Polaroid and it was crap. The camera took terrible pictures because something was wrong with the flash. On return, the store did not have the item anymore and wanted to refund me the money at 100% only if I got a CC gift card or purchased something else.

Well the camera was blister packaged and the ONLY way to know it was defective or crap was to OPEN the package. The manager was a complete and total asshole. I explained to him that him keeping my $15.00 was going to cause me to stop shopping there and that he shouldn't treat me that way because over the past year we had spent over $1500 dollars at CC including a computer purchased just weeks before.

He didn't care. I explained to him that I was in the market to purchase a different digital camera, one at least three times as expensive, and that it wouldn't be from CC because of his attitude. He didn't give a shit so I left.

I wrote a letter explaining the situation to their corporate HQs. They refunded me the money. I didn't purchase the camera from them but from Amazon.com for over $130 cheaper than what they were selling it. I don't know if I'll buy from CC ever again because their management was so unprofessional even though their corporate office did correct the problem.

Any company that would fight over $15 with a customer that has spent $1500 in the past year is a company that has a very bad business sense and ultimately is not one I want to do business with.

Sounds like that particular CC needs a better manager. Aren't there like 4 CCs in KC, though? Just go to a different location.

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 05:01 PM
I can't say I really blame the city for auditing uber-fast growing companies. Shouldn't we have learned *something* from the Enron scandal?

I learned that big existing companies don't have to pay the snack tax, but small growing companies do.

FringeNC
01-20-2007, 05:01 PM
I'm a compulsive review shopper. That doesn't keep one from getting the occasional lemon.

Sheesh, the rockin Pany camera I just bought didn't have the 16mb SD card it's supposed to have. I could send it back as 'defective' but I'm not going to bother. Not for a small problem like that for a card I wouldn't use anyway. I've sent Amazon an email and I suspect they'll issue a credit of some sort.

16mb SD Card? They still make those? You can get a gig for 20 dollars.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 05:02 PM
I learned that big existing companies don't have to pay the snack tax, but small growing companies do.

I'm sure flagellation of a concubine would quell your frustration :D

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 05:07 PM
I'm sure flagellation of a concubine would quell your frustration :D

Yeah, but I did that last night. Tonight I'm going to hire some illegal aliens to perform the final episode of M*A*S*H.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 05:08 PM
Actually, my argument was that policies should not be set in stone. I worked retail for over ten years and a few of those in management. When it goes to the corporate level the store manager is usually overriden. What makes the store manager look bad is that he got corporate involved over FIFTEEN DOLLARS. What and idiot. That doesn't make him look effective. It makes him look like a moron. The time it took for two different CSRs to address my concerns cost more than $15.00.

Who looks like a bigger idiot - the store manager who dismissed you with a swipe of the hand or the customer who spent 19.6 hours recovering the $15?

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-20-2007, 05:08 PM
Yeah, but I did that last night. Tonight I'm going to hire some illegal aliens to perform the final episode of M*A*S*H.

If only Denver had more Koreans.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 05:10 PM
If only Denver had more Koreans.

They would have fewer dogs, which according to Big_Daddy is part of their master plan anyway.

stevieray
01-20-2007, 05:10 PM
Yeah, but I did that last night. Tonight I'm going to hire some illegal aliens to perform the final episode of M*A*S*H.


I always knew it stood for benito jiminez.

Calcountry
01-20-2007, 05:13 PM
Wow, this shit is infuriating. If you don't want customers to take advantage of price-matching, then don't offer it you dumb motherf*ckers....

Basically, they only want stupid customers who overpay for everything to be their shopper base so that they can pull in a higher profit.I agree with this.

I had a customer say she could get "wild bird" seed cheaper at Target, I immediately began backing out her sale.

From my point of view, there is no way to determine accurate size and brand exactness with something like Bird Seed, so she can get in the car and pay the gas and time, and fight the 14 stoplights that are between me and Target.

I offer convenience and service to my customers, if they cannot perceive or are not in a budgetary situation that can allow appreciation of that, then I just politely let them go. But never, ever do I consider that particular person a "bad" customer, just not my customer on this particular item of interest today. They are potential future buyers of wares that I do have a comparative advantage on, and I never want to forget that. Add to the fact, that a really pissed off customer, is 5 times more deleterious to your business, than a single very pleased and satisfied customer.

It also annoys the chit out of me when a customer buys a dog house when it is raining, then wants to return it, scratched, and muddied after the storm has went by and say, "My dog won't go in it". They won't even bother to clean the mud out. 20% restocking fee is an absolute mandate for that situation.

At the very minimum, make no enemies. At the maximum, make a friend.



I also encountered a clever little deal once with an automatic water return. A customer brought in an Automatic water fount that had obviously been in use for months if not years due to the vast amount of hard water deposits that had collected on it. He claims that he bought it less than a month ago and it is a lousy product and wanted a refund. A receipt was produced that backs up his claim on the date of purchase and item purchased. It was obvious what happened. This customer bought the same item about a year or so ago, then when it wore out, got the bright idea on how to replace it for free. Just go buy a new one, save the receipt for about a month, then return the old one with the new receipt to get paid. Momma didn't raise no dummy, so he didn't get paid. Sorry folks, but this is the same as stealing in my book.

Calcountry
01-20-2007, 05:17 PM
As a business owner, I have to fill out a freaking tax form for my office snacks. They don't tax food here, but if I, as a kind and benevolent business owner (just ask DaFace) decide to provide snacks for my staff, I have to pay taxes on it. Why does the City care if a business owner buys food for their employees as opposed to the employees buying it themselves? I bet that 99 percent of companies aren't paying it, but my company was selected for an audit. When I asked why we were audited, they said that the City just went down a local awards list of the fastest-growing firms and audited them. Way to discourage economic growth, Denver.So tell me again, why is it that you are providing jobs that are the income to Denver Broncos season ticket holders anyway?

Rain Man
01-20-2007, 05:29 PM
So tell me again, why is it that you are providing jobs that are the income to Denver Broncos season ticket holders anyway?

I check all of my job applicants for cooking spray, and if they're covered in it, they don't get hired.

Though I guess I can see one possible type of policy exception for a cooking-spray covered applicant...

Skip Towne
01-20-2007, 05:31 PM
They would have fewer dogs, which according to Big_Daddy is part of their master plan anyway.
That's no shit. I spent 13 months in Krea an never saw a dog other than the K-9's on the base.

Groves
01-20-2007, 05:35 PM
I had the "privilege" of standing behind a guy at the return counter at Cabela's (a sporting goods store). They have a very generous return policy, and this guy was taking full advantage.

He was "returing" a pair of boots that looked like they'd been worn to mix concrete in every dang day of their long life.

The associate even pointed out in the catalogs how these boots must be at least 6 years old because of how many digits the product number was.

They paid him $40, I believe. I always see these old dogs of boots in the bargain section, wondering who in their right mind would have the balls to return them.

Now I know.

I wasn't quick enough to think of a way to publicly humiliate him for indirectly driving MY prices up. I'll be ready next time.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 05:35 PM
That's no shit. I spent 13 months in Krea an never saw a dog other than the K-9's on the base.

I'll bet you saw plenty of dog, just in unexpected places....

Skip Towne
01-20-2007, 05:38 PM
This is just another reason Wal-Mart is kicking everybody's ass. Theyhave the most liberal return policy I've ever seen and I don't see them having these problems.

Saulbadguy
01-20-2007, 05:42 PM
This is just another reason Wal-Mart is kicking everybody's ass. Theyhave the most liberal return policy I've ever seen and I don't see them having these problems.
It's because Best Buy is a bunch of self righteous pricks.

They'd rather you not buy high ticket items there unless you also buy the high profit margin items like cables, extended warranties, and other bullshit.

Skip Towne
01-20-2007, 05:53 PM
I asked my banker why Wal-Mart kicked everybody's ass. He said "better management". I would certainly agree with that in this case.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 05:53 PM
Who looks like a bigger idiot - the store manager who dismissed you with a swipe of the hand or the customer who spent 19.6 hours recovering the $15?

I argued with him for 5, talked to a CSR for 5, and spent approx. 2 minute typing a complaint letter. I made $15.00 in twelve minutes...or didn't lose it depending on your perspective.

I don't make $60.00 an hour so to me $15.00 for less than 15 minutes of my time is time well spent. Especially since I spend more time than that reading stupid posts like yours for FREE.

memyselfI
01-20-2007, 05:55 PM
This is just another reason Wal-Mart is kicking everybody's ass. Theyhave the most liberal return policy I've ever seen and I don't see them having these problems.

Actually Walmart is losing money relative to the way they have been making it. They have also tightened their return policy and you could argue perhaps the two are not a coincidence.

Costco, OTOH, has an insanely liberal return policy and they seem to be making money and growing at a nice rate...at least last time I checked.

Phobia
01-20-2007, 05:56 PM
There's no reason to be rude about it even though soldiers fought for your right to do so.

Skip Towne
01-20-2007, 06:03 PM
I have owned small businesses all my adult life and I have what I call my 2% rule. There are 2% of your customers that you do not want. They cause 25% of your customer problems. Let your competitor spend his time trying to please them. Just make sure you identify the 2% correctly.

doomy3
01-20-2007, 06:21 PM
Well, I work as a district manager for a retail clothing store, and the things people do are pretty ridiculous sometimes. We have a very loose return policy that people really seem to try to take advantage of. I constantly have people bring in jeans that they say they've never worn that have mud on the bottom of them or stains on them. They think I can just throw them away or something. THey don't realize that it doesn't work that way, I would need to sell those to another customer-now who could feel good about that?

We also have many customers who have returned more than they buy, or very close to it. Like a lady comes to mind that last year bought $1200 worth of clothes, but returned $1280 worth. Once you figure in payroll in helping her out, and the clothing that she bought then returned later that will sit on the shelves because it's older, then there are less margins and we will lose money having her as a customer.

We also have a 60 day return policy. But the thing is, when the product first comes in, we have decent margins, and it is going to sell because it is new. At 60 days, if that same thing is returned, lots of times it is a last size that we have left, or a sale item. We could have sold it ten times 60 days ago, but instead, it just ends up sitting there and a lot of items, we LOSE money on by the time we sell it.

If every customer shopped like this, no one would be in business.

BucEyedPea
01-20-2007, 06:25 PM
I'm not a big price buyer. If I like it enough, want it and can afford it I can't see travelling all over to save a few bucks. Exceptions are big ticket items up to a point.

But what I do, is scoop up something I like so it's not gone...then continue shopping. If I see something I like more....I reserve the right to return it. But I don't ever wear it if it's clothes.On home stuff, sometimes I wanna see how something looks or if it will fit. Often things don't work out. I'm very fussy about design and color. It has to look right.

Don't ever buy from Burlington coat factory though. I did that for some home stuff and went to return just a few things outta of a big sale and they wouldn't let me return the few items that didn't work out for me. NEVER even shopped there before.

Good lord, though if this becomes common. My kid hates shopping. So I do hers and buy in several colors and sizes. Then she tries them on at home. I return the rest.

Chief Roundup
01-20-2007, 06:50 PM
*Buying a product at a discount, such as from the store's selection of "loss leaders," (low-priced products stores lose money on that are designed to attract customers) then reselling it on eBay for a premium price.


This is total BS.

How in the hell do they plan on linking your purchase from a retail store to your sell online?

BucEyedPea
01-20-2007, 08:03 PM
I have owned small businesses all my adult life and I have what I call my 2% rule. There are 2% of your customers that you do not want. They cause 25% of your customer problems. Let your competitor spend his time trying to please them. Just make sure you identify the 2% correctly.
That so true! They will actually cost you more money. I even find when I offer to do something for free, just to get PR, that those accounts are the worst ones to please. The cheapest one's who won't pay, try to nickle& dime how long you spent on something etc. etc. I just use a flat rate to avoid that. They have no right saying, all you did was push a button. It took me four years of school, constantly learning updates and 15 years experience to know what button to push.

Thig Lyfe
01-20-2007, 08:04 PM
Customers suck.

gblowfish
01-20-2007, 08:39 PM
I read throught this thread and found it quite interesting. I've been an account service rep for 20 years, and have worked with literally thousands of customers over the years. As a consumer, I've bought lots of stuff on-line, done EBay (while you could still get an actual bargain on EBay) and bought from brick and mortars. Some general observations:

1) About the Brick and Mortar store vs. buying on the web: Yes, if you look hard enough, you can always find an item dirt cheap on the web. But lots of things can happen between you clicking on the item to buy it, and getting it home and using it. Items can be "gray market", that is to say, blemished, re-furbed or otherwise second hand stuff being sold as new. This happens a lot with electronics, musical instruments, etc. Or items can appear to be the same, but the item on the web may be an older model than what the Brick and Mortar store has. They may even have the same part or serial number, but actually be different.

2) Some web based sellers have outrageous re-stocking fees, and God help you if the product is defective or needs service during warranty period. At least with your neighborhood store, most of them will work with you to make sure the equipment works, and if it breaks under warranty, will legitimately help you find qualified service.

3) It's difficult for brick and mortars to price match internet because of the "gray market." Also, does the price you want matched include shipping? Sometime on-line retailers mark up their shipping by 25-30% and gig you there to make up on the difference. Some offer free shipping. Almost all have to charge you sales tax, because they are doing business with you in your state.

4) You can't expect your local store to always be able to match or beat the lowest price you can find on the net. Some things just cost more in the local store. What price is service, advice about the right product to buy, and supporting your local economy, worth to you?

5) I've always found that the customers that bitch the most, fight tooth and nail over every little penny, essentially want the job done yesterday for nothing, are always the ones that are slow payers or crooks. I can smell trouble coming lots of times. You have to look at your customers like a bell curve. You'll have a few customers who spend a lot, are a joy to work with, trust you completely, and sustain your business. You'll always have a few who are total douchebags, look for any opportunity to take advantage of you, are totally untrustworthy and major pains in the ass. Everyone else will be somewhere in between the two extremes.

6) When I sense I have a douchebag on the line, "who can get product X from my competitor Y at Z% less money," I always think to myself "Then why are you on the phone with me? Buy it from competitor Y and leave me the Hell alone!" Usually they're on the phone with me because competitor Y doesn't have the item in stock, or there's some other restrictions or limits on getting that actual price. Maybe a rebate is involved, or they want to use a price they can choke out of me as a hammer to use on competitor Y to lower his price.

For the most part I love working with customers. Some can be a real challenge, and you always have a few come along that are wastes of flesh.

Valiant
01-20-2007, 08:42 PM
But even policies should not be set in stone. For instance, Circuit City has a 15% restocking fee on their returns. We purchased a digital camera for Christmas. It was a Polaroid and it was crap. The camera took terrible pictures because something was wrong with the flash. On return, the store did not have the item anymore and wanted to refund me the money at 100% only if I got a CC gift card or purchased something else.

Well the camera was blister packaged and the ONLY way to know it was defective or crap was to OPEN the package. The manager was a complete and total asshole. I explained to him that him keeping my $15.00 was going to cause me to stop shopping there and that he shouldn't treat me that way because over the past year we had spent over $1500 dollars at CC including a computer purchased just weeks before.

He didn't care. I explained to him that I was in the market to purchase a different digital camera, one at least three times as expensive, and that it wouldn't be from CC because of his attitude. He didn't give a shit so I left.

I wrote a letter explaining the situation to their corporate HQs. They refunded me the money. I didn't purchase the camera from them but from Amazon.com for over $130 cheaper than what they were selling it. I don't know if I'll buy from CC ever again because their management was so unprofessional even though their corporate office did correct the problem.

Any company that would fight over $15 with a customer that has spent $1500 in the past year is a company that has a very bad business sense and ultimately is not one I want to do business with.

So the management or staff did not offer to wave the restocking fee if you bought a different camera?? Or you did not want to buy another camera from them, Then you should have been charged the restocking fee..


See you are one of the devil customers the article is talking about.. You used a camera and returned it, CC offered you another camera or a giftcard and you said no, costing them money on the camera...

Valiant
01-20-2007, 08:47 PM
No they won't. CC didn't care if the product was defective or not. Which, it was. The flash wasn't working properly with three different sets of batteries. Their policy was 'opened return=15% restocking fee.'

The CS I spoke to on the phone agreed that the manager was completely wrong and told me where to send an email to complain. Within a day they wrote back apologizing and offering to credit my account.


There policy is if it is a new camera returned opened and not exchanged a 15% restocking fee...

Did you want another camera? Did you want the giftcard? If they did not offer you to buy a different camera then it is their fault.. If they did and you refused saying you were going to buy elsewhere how is that their fault? especially them following their restocking fee charges...

Valiant
01-20-2007, 08:50 PM
Actually, my argument was that policies should not be set in stone. I worked retail for over ten years and a few of those in management. When it goes to the corporate level the store manager is usually overriden. What makes the store manager look bad is that he got corporate involved over FIFTEEN DOLLARS. What and idiot. That doesn't make him look effective. It makes him look like a moron. The time it took for two different CSRs to address my concerns cost more than $15.00.


No it shows you are one of the people that like to screw over any company in any way possible...

Now if the manager again did not offer you another camera then you are faultless in it, but if he did and you refused you are a shitbag...