As a Christmas gift, one of my friends ordered a Franklin Covey gift card for me, using their credit card bonus points. They placed the order on November 29th or 30th (I can't remember which). My friend was told that I would have the card before Christmas.
My friend recieves shipping confirmation on Saturday December 23rd, stating that the card had been shipped on December 22nd, via UPS (giving the URL to check the status of the package, which is a UPS url). My address is in the email and it is correct. With this shipping date, and the fact that it was sent via UPS Ground, there is no way I'll get it in time for Christmas.
I go to track the package, and according to UPS, it is not a valid shipping number. Turns out, it is a FedEx shipping number, not a UPS number after all. According to the FedEx website, the estimated delivery date is December 27th. The package doesn't arrive and shows that it was recieved in Chicago just that day. Chicago is a few hours from me and I know that there is no way the package is going to make it to me that day.
When I track the package online yesterday morning it says that the estimated delivery date is Friday, December 29th. The reason given is "Shipping Exception - Recipient Not Located" which makes no sense... My address was correct in the shipping confirmation.
The FedEx rep reads my address back to me to confirm that everything is correct. ##### Window Street. I correct the rep, I live on WindRow Street. The rep corrects the address, but there is no way the package will make it on the truck for delivery yesterday. I ask if I can pick it up at the depot and the rep transfers me so I can make arrangements. It's no problem, so I now have my giftcard in my hand.
Too bad it's too late for me to be able to get my planner in time for the 1st of the year via their website.
So instead, on Saturday, I'm going to drive almost 2 hours to the closest Franklin Covey store to pick up my planner. After the fiasco mentioned above with the screwed up address and incorrect shipping company, I don't want to give them a chance to ship my planner to the wrong place. I'm going to make the trip up there with my parents as they were planning on going to one of the outlet malls anyway. There is one only 20 minutes from the FC store I am going to visit, so we will kill a few birds with one stone. :)
So, is it better to refuse someone service and have them never come back, or to tell them flat out they're being an asshole?
Assume the company doesn't need their business desperately, and that the customer has just said/done something that would normally make Gandhi slap them in the face, and that the employee will not be fired or reprimanded no matter what they say. And that there is no manager to call and no other employees.
Here's my take: in this situation (which is not hypothetical), it is in fact better overall to say "Shut up, you know you're being an ad for contraception" when this results in a calmed-down customer, an employee who won't someday go postal because of all the frustration from being a doormat (or "the bigger person" whichever way you want to look at it), and more business for the store since the customer ends up buying something and coming back.
Or, the customer will leave on their own but know it was because of their actions, or because they can't abide taking 1/10 of what they give out. Me, I wouldn't want this customer in the store unless they calm down, and if polite warnings don't work then a rude one is the next step BEFORE kicking them out. Even if the customer is just offended and leaves, that's better than saying, "Yes, sir, sorry sir, it won't happen again sir" to someone who just insulted your intelligence, ancestry, legitimacy of birth, etc. etc.
I was ashamed for being rude to a customer, but now I think there's just something very, very wrong with the idea that one should never talk back. And with the idea that everyone deserves good service, even if they don't bother to make any sense, take a bath, or treat you with as much respect as their car.
Yes, being in customer service means not talking back. The customer is always right, corporate knows best, and always smile. I just think these ideas are wrong and harmful to society.
Oh, and I won't see responses for about 3 days. I thought it'd be interesting to X-post it in customers_suck and my own journal. I really do want to know what the general opinion on this is, I'm not just trying to aggravate people.