ash (wolfbane) wrote in bad_service,


I have been wondering about this (inactively, obviously) for over a year now...

A couple years ago I worked at a shop that sold CDs and DVDs. When we didn't have a certain title in stock, we were usually able to special order it for a customer. Special orders would typically take anywhere from a couple days to a week to come in, but imported CDs and harder to find stuff could take up to a couple weeks. There was this one guy who ordered a DVD that, according to our computer system, looked like it could be ordered though it might take a little longer to come in.

A couple weeks after he had ordered it, he gave the store a call. My coworker answered the phone and informed the man that the DVD had not yet come in. Of course he wanted to know if there were any updates on when it might be arriving, which is a question we dealt with multiple times a day. My coworker checked the computer and realized that the disc was in fact out of print (something that had literally happened the previous week), making it impossible to procure the movie. He told the man this, in as nice a way as possible. He made sure to apologize.

The man on the phone expressed some concern over the fact that he was told we could order the movie, and now was being told that he couldn't get it. Rightfully so, I suppose. My coworker helpfully suggested a couple options, i.e. purchasing a used copy of the movie through ebay or amazon (an avenue that our company could not go down). Keep in mind that nothing was paid for yet - a customer tells us they want to special order something, we place the order, call them when it comes in, and then they come in and pay for it.

This conversation continued to go on for 5-10 minutes, at which point my coworker said "I don't know what you'd like me to do for you."

This line ended up causing such a big problem that he almost lost his job due to the overwhelming number of complaints that this man sent into the corporate office. This concluded in the company personally ordering the used version of the DVD off amazon for the man and giving it to him for free, and my coworker getting written up and suspended for a week's time.

Would you take similar measures if this happened to you? I have to admit I would never have used that line when dealing with a customer, but it doesn't seem that over-the-top awful. What do you think?
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