Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Abuse, etc

My favourite argumentative customer stopped by this afternoon to brighten my day...

About 6 months ago there was an incident with this man, wherein he posted money through the door while the shop was closed, along with a little note stating that he wished to purchase an item in the window. Now, he had done this once before and I had asked him not to do it as we don't put things aside. Personally I think it's pretty rude, like snapping your fingers at a waiter. Anyway, when he came in to collect his item, I gave him his money back and explained politely that we were unable to reserve items (this is company policy - many shops alas do not enforce it otherwise I would get a lot less hassle over it). Cue a tirade of personal abuse, how did I ever get to become manager, he never gets this anywhere else, why is it always me that he has a problem with, etc. I confess, I saw red, and snapped at him a little more than I should - I believe I told him that we did not operate a mail order service. Though really that is a point of fact. He duly wrote a letter of complaint to head office about me, and what an awful person I am, which my manager read to me over the phone (very entertaining) with a wry smile. Nobody seemed bothered except the customer in question.

This man comes into the shop fairly frequently, always talking loudly about 'certain members of staff' - if he has that much of a problem he should just stop spending money in my shop!

But today there was another fracas. I wasn't even involved - I left the shop floor as soon as I saw him to avoid any nastiness, but heard raised voices a few minutes later and so went to see what the problem was. The short version is that he wanted to buy an item costing £1.25, but didn't have any cash. My volunteer on the till told him that we couldn't do credit card transactions for less than £5 (not strictly true but £1.25 is pushing it a bit!), and my assistant manager had stepped in to mediate. She had elected to carry out the transaction just to get him out of the shop, but he was determined to have his little rant. 'I don't want to cause an argument' he says - oddly enough, I think that's exactly what he wants - whilst continuing to complain about us. I heard Katie say that she'd had a long weekend and didn't want to argue, to which he replied that he worked much harder than us and what would we know about it! As soon as I appeared, despite the fact that the whole debacle had had nothing to do with me, it was instantly my fault. Having said absolutely nothing, he turns on me and starts saying oh yes you always have a problem with me, don't you remember I wrote a letter of complaint about you because you wouldn't hold an item... And so on. Then he point to my assistant manager and tells me that she would have kept his item! Which isn't true. She better bloody not anyway. As he left the shop he started saying that he didn't know why I was still working here, shouldn't I have a job at Marks & Spencers by now! (Maybe he has a problem with them too...) He also made derogatory comments about my appearance and my wages (how would he know).

The manager of our other branch along the road rang me ten minutes later to tell me that he had just been in, saying 'you wouldn't cause world war three if I wanted to pay for something for £1.50 by credit card, would you' - and telling him what a bitch I am. He will also be writing in to complain, again! God knows what about though, we put his transaction through, we weren't rude - he has absolutely no cause for complaint. I'm finding this extremely frustrating, and frankly if he continues to treat us with such contempt I will feel quite justified in barring him from the shop altogether. Though one suspects he is something of a misogynist. It's one thing to disagree with our policies, many people do, but to be slinging personal insults for no reason is totally unacceptable. I wish there was someone I could write to to complain about my customers...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, But you do have the right to respect and he doesn't have the right to abuse anyone. I would suggest that banning him from the shop would be a perfect solution. He doesn't spend money and he causes trauma to you and your staff. Abusive people should be put in their place. Be nice or we won't let you play with us.
Keep up the good work!