I don't think they teach "customer service" any more at all. I'm still young (24), but I've been working in customer service/retail since I was 16. Maybe I've been fortunate that all my jobs have put a heavy emphasis on the customer part of service, but I notice when I go into stores in the past couple years that the associates don't know how to interact with a customer.
This guy certainly didn't get the memo that you shouldn't insult your potential customers to get their business.
I was walking through the mall with a few friends. One of them was walking a little bit ahead of us. There was a stand in the middle of the hallway that was selling hair straighteners and curling irons. It was the kind of stand where they step out and ask you to come try their product. Well, my friend that was ahead of us got suckered in and stopped. He wanted to show her a curling iron. I should point out that this friend has curly hair. She's also the kind of person who will listen to the pitch just because she feels guilty saying "no, thank you" and she looked at us with a look of "help me!" lol
I'm still a few feet behind her while she's standing there and as I walked up to her I linked her arm and said "I'm sorry, we're in a rush" and started walking away with her.
As we were walking away, he yells out "Bring her back. Not you! I was talking to the pretty one!"
I'm sorry. Excuse you?! I turned back around and said "Do you really think that's the best way to sell your product?!" and we kept on our way, but I was still a little in shock by how rude the comment was. I was insulted the comment itself (shooot, girl, I'm FABULOUS!) but by the audacity and most of all the stupidity of a salesperson to say that to someone who might buy your products. And for the record, at the time I had quite long hair and I use a number of hair appliances.
I noticed a woman behind us with a shocked and disgusted look on her face and when we stopped she came up and said "that guy is an ignorant asshole. How disgusting and rude do you have to be to say something like that? I'd report him to his manager" I thought it was a good idea, so I went back.
He was with a customer, so I went up to the two girls that were also working there and I said "Hi. I'd like that guy's name and also the number of someone I can reach to make a complaint about him" and they said "what?! what happened" and I explained the situation to them. They weren't surprised at all and one of them pulled me aside and said "Honestly, he is an asshole. We can't stand him". I'm shocked.
While I was talking to them, he must have heard me and he came over and knew exactly why I was there.
This is more or less how the conversation went:
Him - "Miss. I'm sorry for what I said"
Me - "Well, I don't accept your apology"
Him - "I'm sorry. I was just trying to have fun, trying to make a joke"
Me - "That's not funny and that's not how you make a joke. That's insulting and not to mention embarrassing. And just so you know, there were people around that heard it and were also not impressed. A woman stopped us and said you were ignorant, and I agree. She also said that she would likely never stop here because of it. And this isn't a store... people aren't coming to the mall specifically to come to you. Your business comes from stopping people, you need to be extra nice. Do you really think anyone is going to buy from you after you say that? You need to learn some customer service. Who owns this stand? Is there someone I can call? Because they should know what their people are saying to customers"
Him - "I'm really very sorry. I wasn't thinking."
Me - "Clearly!"
Him - "What can I say? I shouldn't have said it. I'm very sorry"
Me - "You should be. Now can I have the number?"
Every time I would ask for the number, he would just keep saying sorry but not actually giving me the number. He also kept putting his hand on my arm, which really pissed me off at this point. I kept telling him not to touch me. lol. Finally, he wrote down a number for the company that owns the stands but didn't tell me/write down his name. I looked at it and said "...and your name".
By the time I left, he looked very scared and worried and a bit like he was going to cry.
The truth is that I had no intentions of actually calling, but I wanted him to think that I was going to. He needed to know that you don't say something like that to a potential customer.
-A man at a mall stand selling curling irons stopped my friend (with curly hair)
-I linked arms with her and kept walking
-He said "Bring her back. Not you! I was talking to the pretty one!"
-I told him that wasn't the best way to get customers and walked away
-Another shopper told me that I should go back and complain
-I went back and asked for a phone number to the owner/manager of the stand and wouldn't accept his apology
-Had no intention of calling, just wanted to scare him
ETA: unfortunately, it's been about a month or so since this happened so it's a little late to call. thinking on it, i kick myself a little for not calling because i really should have. but like i said in the comments I was thinking in the moment and seeing him almost cry made me feel better at the time.