How NOT To Run A Business

March 15th, 2011 | Posted in Advertising, Money Issues | 1 Comment

One of, if not THE, most important things to any business regardless of what kind it is or what it sells is the customer. The customer is, in fact, the whole point of the existence of said business. That said, it should be obvious to anyone that how the customer is treated and paying attention to the customers and their needs should be among the very highest priority for any business that wants to keep their customers.

Happy customers almost always come back. More than that, Happy customers tell their friends and associates about your business and advise them to go to you when they need what you sell. Happy customers are some of the best, most effective advertising you can possibly ever hope to get.

Angry customers, on the other hand, don’t usually come back. More than that, Angry customers tell their friends and associates about your business and advise them to avoid you like the plague and tell them to go somewhere else when they need what you sell. Angry customers are your worst nightmare.

Angry customers can send you to the poorhouse in a hurry. They can cause you nightmares that your public relations department could well spend years repairing the damage done by one angry customer.

The reason I’m writing this is, in fact, because I am an angry customer.

I went shopping last night at my local Town & Country in Highland, Arkansas where I bought some of the last groceries I expect to be able to afford this month.

All went well until it was my turn in the checkout. The total came to $43.08. I handed the cashier girl $10 in cash and told her that I needed her to only take $20 from one debit card and that I would get the balance with my other debit card.

I had to do things this way because that’s where the money was. I have, in fact, done this same type of thing countless times at that same store for well over a decade without ever having a problem.

Until last night that is.

She applied the cash to the bill without a problem. However she apparently didn’t hear, didn’t understand, or simply was not paying attention to what I said about how I wanted to handle the rest of the transaction.

She allowed the entire remaining amount of $33.08 to hit the debit card that I had asked her to only deduct $20 from. I had very good reason for only wanting her to take $20 from that card.

It only had about $23 and change on it.

When I went to present the second card to take care of the balance, she was totally clueless. She didn’t understand why I wanted to use the second card because the $33.08 had been accepted by the first card. Of course it was. That was my overdraft protection kicking in.

That overdraft, which she caused by not listening to me because she was too busy talking to the guy that was hanging around the register, cost me an additional $30 for an overdraft fee.

That’s thirty dollars that I do not have.

I told her what she had just done to me and she stood there with this blank look on her face like she couldn’t possibly understand why I was upset. After all, the card had worked hadn’t it?

I had to leave because I was so furiously angry that I would have done a number of extremely regrettable things had I stayed. This morning I called the store manager.

This proved to be a waste of time.

He told me how sorry he was about what happened and assured me that the cashier, identified by her operator code on my receipt, would be spoken to about the matter by him.

As for the thirty dollars this cost me that I don’t have, he told me that there was nothing he personally could do and that he would have to call the corporate office and talk to them. I gave him my number so he could call me back.

About fifteen minutes later he called me to let me know that corporate also said that there was nothing they could do. I was not surprised. Businesses today don’t value their customers like they did a few decades ago when I was young. Back then a manager would have apologized profusely, reimbursed me the thirty dollars, and probably fired the cashier after docking her pay by that amount.

Instead all she’s going to get is a talking to.

I can’t begin to say just exactly how wrong that is. My finances, which were already balancing on the edge of a razor, are now thrown into total disarray. I am going to have the hardest time trying desperately to make ends meet. All because this little teeney bopper cashier that probably hasn’t even graduated high school yet didn’t bother to do her job and pay attention to the customer.

If she didn’t understand what I asked then she should have at least called for someone else to help get things done the way they had to be done. But no, she couldn’t be bothered to do that. She was too interested in talking to whoever that guy was hanging out by her checkout line.

Instead I get to pay, with money I don’t have, for her incompetence.

SHE did something wrong and I get to pay for it.

That’s just wrong.

I feel like I’ve been robbed.

Thanks Town & Country, way to take care of your customers . . . NOT!

Technorati Tags: public relations fail, customer relations, public relations, business, incompetence, stupidity, overdraft, theft, unnecessary expense, customers, expense, town & country, robbery, corporate greed, grocer, heartless corporation, angry customer, fail

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One Response to “How NOT To Run A Business”

  1. […] The final addition of injury to insult came in the form of the events that I describe on another blog in a post entitled “How NOT To Run A Business“. […]