Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Customer Is Usually Wrong

What happened to the old saying "The customer is always right?"

A recent odyssey I had with Best Buy stores tells me that this saying no longer applies. My daughter bought a DVD (she saves allowance and babysitting money to buy DVDs of a certain television series), and found that one of the disks was missing when she opened the package.

Unfortunately, some time had elapsed between when she bought it and when she opened it. When I brought it back to Best Buy, I presented them with a crumpled-up, illegible receipt I found in her room for what I thought was the DVD. A computer scan of the receipt showed that it was the correct series but wrong season.

The customer service rep asked if it was possible to find the correct receipt. Anyone who has a teenager knows that, at times, Jimmy Hoffa could be buried somewhere in their room and you would never know it. I cannot get her to put a shirt in a hamper let alone put a receipt where anyone could find it.

The customer service rep refused to exchange it without a receipt because I could not "prove" it came from their store. Every DVD she buys from comes from their store because they have the best price, but that did not matter.

She suggested I contact the web site listed on the back of the package to see if I could get it replaced. When I did, I was basically told it was not their problem--the retailer has the obligation to stand by their product.

At this point, I did what any red-blooded American would do. I called the store manager and--excuse the expression--bitched. I was told to come back in the next day and they would exchange it, no problem.

Why did it have to take going to the top of the store's food chain, complaining loudly to the powers that be, and driving back and forth to the nearest Best Buy twice (30 minutes from my house) to get something done? Several years ago I returned a duplicate DVD that my son recieved as a birthday gift to Walmart with no more that a small bit of one of their price tags on the corner. I did not have any problems.

Are retailers getting stingy in this economy? Or perhaps they are falling into the trend that seems to permeate every aspect of our society--courtesy and cooperation are being overtaken by rudeness and laziness. A check of the store's records would have shown that I have a rewards card that lists most of the DVDs she has purchased.

I plan to complain to their corporate headquarters about this incident, but a small fish complaining to a big corporate whale will probably have little effect. Still, it is the little fish in the school that keeps the whale alive, and I intend to get out my harpoon on this one.

Ahoy, maties! Captain Ahab is on the hunt!


Sarah Albrecht said...

By all means, complain away! Don't businesses & government officials have a way of figuring for every customer/voter comment how many people feel the same way but don't say anything? (If that makes any sense.) Happy hunting!

JGA said...

Many jobs now do not have the wages or benefits to attract a better employee.
I recommend you use the Michigan Attorney General's Office as I did in Pennsylvania.