Dennis Carr (dennisthetiger) wrote in bad_service,
Dennis Carr

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Joined this just now. I hail from customers suck - where there's kind of antithesis going, but evil people as we are all aware can inhabit both sides of the counter.

Such as this one.

Let's set the wayback machine for the first Sunday of March 1997. I specifically remember this because for a while, I was working the Los Angeles Marathon as a radio operator. To help you understand here, between 1997 and 2002 I would work said marathon by proceeding to my mother's home the day before, doing whatever, spending the night, and getting up at oh my God in the morning to get to my post, then returning to my mother's home in a very tired state of mind before proceeding to work or home (depending on my state of employ at the time) the next day.

It was on this night that I proceeded to a Blockbuster Music in Montebello to look around and see what I could get with about $10. Musically, nothing interested me, but there I found a CD rack with a $2.99 price tag on it. I picked one such CD rack, a 20-oz bottle of Coca Cola, and proceeded to get checked out.

Imagine my surprise when the total exceeded $6. I did a quick mental calculation - the coke couldn't have been more than $1.50 with tax and bottle deposit, and sales tax on $2.99 at 8.25% (LA county charges that) would be more like $3.24. Overall it should have come to short of $5.

I looked at the terminal. The culprit was the CD rack, which was ringing at $4.99. So the conversation thusly ensues:

Me: Yo!
C: Clerk
M: Assistant manager

Me: Excuse me, there's a price tag on this for $2.99.

C: It's $4.99.

Me: (seeing where this is going) Can I speak to a supervisor?

C: (gets supervisor)

Me: (opens bottle of coke, takes sip)

M: Can I help you?

Me: Yeah, this item I'm getting is tagged at $2.99, but it's ringing at $4.99.

M: Well, that's the price. The computer is always right.

Me: What? I've been working customer service for four years now, that makes no sense.

M: It's company policy.

Me: (decides not to argue the merits of GIGO in either sense of the term) You know what, fuck it. I'll just pay for the coke.

A few days later, I called a district manager. I was told that policy was that the customer was always right, and what I described (in a bit less detail than I outlined here) should not have happened. She offered recompense in the way of coupons, but I turned them down; in retrospect, maybe I should have taken her up on the offer.

As you are likely aware, Blockbuster Music is no longer around. Media blames MP3s, I suspect; I blame this attitude from the front line for the demise of this company, not to mention the constant incongruities of their databases.

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