September 11th, 2011


Radio Shack Wait Times From an Old Radio Shack Employee

I worked at Radio Shack for over three years. Once the upper-management started getting crazy about how things were done, I quit working there because:
1. I was moving 3 months from then anyway.
2. I decided it was better to have 3 months of freedom rather than 3 months of bullshit new rules.

But besides that, I still shop at Radio Shack almost exclusively for my electronics. I buy my cell phones there, TVs, cables, etc. Part of that is because Radio Shacks are smaller, I usually can get in and out of the stores relatively quickly without long lines and waits.

Today my boyfriend realized he needed a power cable for a monitor we have. We headed to Radio Shack to get the cable. When we walk into the store, there's two people waiting in line and one person being helped at the register. The sole sales person in the store (also the store manager) is helping the person at the register activate a smartphone. I get it - the commission on selling cell phones is really high and managers are ranked on cell phone sales. I understand why he wanted to spend time helping this guy thoroughly.

Since I knew what I was looking for, I grabbed it and strolled around the store killing time and browsing the goodies. I finally decide to get in line behind the two people (within 5 minutes of walking into the store). 10 minutes later the cell phone sale is finally finished. I'm starting to get anxious, but I really want this cable.

The next person in line has a return. I know how returns work in Radio Shack, because like I said, I worked there. They are easy and require a check of the product and entering some data and processing the return. It takes maybe a few minutes longer than a sale. But the sales associate is SO slow. Finally the lady in front of me is done.

The next customer is quick.

FINALLY! It's my turn. I get to the register and as the sales associate is greeting me, the phone rings. He answers it, without asking me to hold on for a minute or anything. The person on the other end is asking him about a product in the store. The sales associate goes to find it, to tell the person how much the product costs. As he's doing this, the other line rings. He asks the person to hold and answers it. This person is asking him about the iPad2 and if Radio Shack carries it. The sales associate goes on a detailed explanation of how they don't have them in the store, but how they ship to the house and blah blah blah. That guy hangs up. He goes to the first phone call and tells him about the product he was looking for.

FINALLY he hangs up. Once he actually paid attention to me it was quick.
But seriously?

I don't think it was only the bad service of this employee, but Radio Shack in general should not allow only one employee to be on the sales floor. I know that when I quit working there this was starting to become standard.

I also do not think it's okay to ignore customers who have been waiting in the store to answer the phone. If you're going to do that, PLEASE ask the person on the other end to hold - to make me wait when I've already been waiting in line is really poor protocol.

I am about to put in a complaint with corporate.

Annoying, but maybe not bad, service

At Sears, looking at stoves / ovens / microwaves.

Round One

Salesclerk (SC): Hi, I'm [name], can I help you find anything today?

Me, avoiding eye contact: No, we're just browsing right now, thanks.

SC: This model also comes in [several other colors]. Is there anything I can write down for you?

Me: No, thanks, we're just looking right now, and I have a notebook and pen.

SC: We have several specials right now [lists offers].

Me: Thanks, but we're just browsing.

SC: Here's my card; let me know if you need anything.

Me: Thank you.

Round Two, less than five minutes later

SC: Are you finding anything you would like me to write down for you?

Me: No, thanks, we're fine.

SC: So you're moving into a new house?

Me: No, we're just browsing right now, thanks.

SC: Most of these come in several different finishes, so just because it's in stainless steel doesn't mean you can't get it in white or almond.

Me: Thank you, but we're just browsing right now.

Round Three, again, less than five minutes later

SC: That's a very popular model, would you like me to write that down for you?

Me: No, thank you. *makes eye contact with Dale, gets nod* We're just leaving now.

I suspect the constant pestering is corporate policy, whether the idea is to guilt people into buying something, or to keep people from shoplifting, or because some higher-up with more free time than sense has decided that customers start feeling unloved and abandoned if they aren't chatted up every few minutes, but we will be buying our range somewhere else.