Customer Service is Dead

With jobs being sent overseas to Indian call centers, I know that’s a rather redundant statement but after experiencing a plethora of customer service adventures within the last week, I’ll gladly make this declaration once again.

Customer service is DOA. Dead, kaput, ceases to exist, etc.

Now you would think that, given the weak economy and people making wiser choices with their money, retailers on every level would do everything within their power to not only satisfy their customer inquiries but to go beyond their expectations. Hell, competition is fierce when money’s tight so retention should be what’s on a retailer’s mind more than anything.

Not so.

Take, for example, the experience I had at Target the other day when trying to return an item without a receipt. Not only was I treated like a criminal but I ended up leaving the place with said item only because nothing could be done at the store’s level for whatever reason. In addition to all that, I was told that the return required everything that the item was packed in: box, instructions, Styrofoam packing, twist ties, etc. Having worked in retail for years including the Target store where I attempted to make the return (T-195 in Long Beach if you are keeping score), this struck me as being rather strange.

Their policy aside, the ass-hole-ciate at the Service Desk immediately came off with an attitude regarding my situation which didn’t help matters. The item – a motorized Razor scooter for Anthony – is a common item that they always carry. But according to this moron, the item’s availability at this store was questionable and if it wasn’t carried, I’d have to go to another store.

“You would have to go to the floor and get the same item so that we can scan it,” she told me.

“What do you mean I have to get it? Why me? There isn’t one person on that salesfloor that can bring it up here?” I spouted, already annoyed.

Knowing that waiting for another ass-hole-ciate would be like pulling teeth and listening to Kenny G. combined, I ended up going to the floor, taking a picture of the item’s barcode with my phone, returned to the desk and told her, “There’s your UPC. Do what you need to do.”

Then it turned into a big fucking mess that I wouldn’t wish upon anybody and in the end, the manager got involved and refused to take the return. Instead, he told me to call Razor USA for instructions on how to return it. At least he offered to give me the number.

Gee, thanks.

The calls to said company’s overseas “customer service line” were useless. They actually had Ann take apart the scooter, which I believe might have voided the warranty, to check on something she had no idea how to check. And because we didn’t have the receipt, they wanted our bank account number so that they could “trace” the transaction.

Excuse me? Are you kidding me? Fucking hell no are you getting that information!

Fed up, I tweeted @RazorUSA and, in 140 characters and two tweets, angrily made my point:

razor tweet

Turns out that if you light a public fire under somebody they take it a bit more seriously because I’d say within an hour, I had a reply. We are now in direct contact with their US-based Customer Service manager which is great, provided they can offer some kind of resolution to our problem.

As of now, our call has not been returned. (UPDATE 8/17/11: We did, however, get confirmation that a replacement part was being sent.)

That’s just one situation. The other one involves a phone case I bought on Amazon which turned out to be the wrong one for my phone model. Admittedly, it was my fault for ordering the wrong one so I explained the situation to the seller and they agreed to send me a replacement.

I sent the case back to them along with the order information and my phone model. Within 10 days, I had my replacement case: the wrong model replacement case.

So I sent an e-mail to them telling them this was the wrong one. Their reply:

Ok that is not what you ordered with us sorry,,

Well, no it wasn’t, you assholes. With the returned item, I sent the correct model number I needed. Maybe my English isn’t all that good and maybe they misunderstood what I was telling them. Either way, they didn’t seem to concerned that I had the wrong case. Rather than deal with them anymore, I sent this:

Nice reply.

Never mind the return. I will be selling it and getting what I need on eBay.

To which they said:

That’s perfect! Great day

Really, LowerPriceUSA? Are you that fucking lazy that you can’t read an e-mail or is your reading comprehension at a second-grade level and the words I wrote were just too big for you? (Judging from their replies, it’s entirely possible.) How completely lazy are you so as not to deal with a customer return and have no issues with them reselling your item on eBay? You must be making money hand over fist if you can afford to not handle a return properly and risk having the customer write about their poor experience on their blog for the whole world to see.


Wow. So this is what customer service has come to: fuck whatever the customer wants or is entitled to and sweep them under the rug, or ship them off to become someone else’s problem.

Man, have things changed since I worked retail. This is what it was like back then.

Give me my damn pickle already.

UPDATE 8/17/11: The case sold in less than a day, probably in part to my description:

So I bought a case from Amazon and it turned out to be the wrong one for my LG Optimus V (which I am using to list this item, including the picture taken with said phone). I ended up returning it to the seller and, despite describing my phone model in explicit detail and requesting the correct case in exchange, these morons ended up sending me the case you see here. Freaking idiots. 

I sent a few emails to them explaining that this was also the wrong case and got answers that only be described as nonchalant and useless. So rather than having to deal with these dolts anymore, I’ve decided to sell it here. You would think that the mention of me selling it here instead would make them think twice but they practically encouraged me to do it. 

WYSIWYG. Fits the LG model shown on the packaging. Buy It Now for $5 and it’s out of my life forever. I’ll even throw in free shipping. Winner will also find out the name of the Amazon seller so they know who to avoid. 

If case does not sell, it will be sent into space during the next Russian space mission and given to a lucky cosmonaut as a surprise gift.* 

*May or may not happen

Posted with the eBay Android app


5 thoughts on “Customer Service is Dead

  1. Hey Dave,
    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Just fyi, for your amazon purchase, you can just email amazon direct and request an A-z refund. It makes no difference if you bought it at a marketplace seller, they will give you credit for your purchase.
    As for Target, I have always been able to make returns easily. If you charged it on a credit card, then bringing a statement might help. However, since the manager gave you a hard time, I would recommend typing up an email and sending it to the district manager along with an online BBB complaint. The BBB complaint has worked for me before.


    1. Good to know about Amazon. I had no idea so should it not sell on eBay, I will definitely do that.

      As far as Target goes, I may do that, too. They are getting really finicky with their returns and I never return items. It shouldn’t have to be this way when I do.


  2. You can get a full refund direct with amazon and avoid paying final value fees and paypal fees by selling on ebay. Good luck. I think you should file an online complaint against that Target. Also a good way to get back at that manager and employee for poor service.


  3. Ugh. Unfortunately I can completely relate. One of my hot buttons is how at the grocery store the checkers/baggers always talk to each other and ignore me. I have heard about parties, hangovers, what they had for breakfast, ABORTIONS…yes they talked about it in front of me like I wasn’t there. I wrote a letter to corporate and got a phone call and a $10 gift card. Didn’t quite cut it for me. Oh and I guess this is actually hot button #2 but I swear to you that if one more Walmart/Target/grocery/wherever checker says “you’re welcome” to me when I say thank you I will lose it. I am not thanking them for their great service – I’m just being polite and sometimes sarcastic. I expect to be thanked for my business which is providing their paycheck.

    On another note, I have been out shopping for a counter height bench to add to my dining table. Perhaps tow of them. I found the perfect item in Dallas and since I don’t want to drive 4 hours to pick them up, I clicked on their links that said “need it shipped? Email us for a quote!”. It’s been a week. Nothing but crickets. I guess they don’t need to make a sale…..

    Sorry to vent on your blog but I am right there with you. I spent years in retail and what I’ve been experiencing lately would have caused me to be fired. Just saying. OK….stepping down off the soapbox….


    1. Venting is good for the soul so it’s cool.

      Yeah, I honestly don’t know what the hell has happened. You are right in saying that you would have been fired if you pulled some of the stuff these idiots are doing now because when I worked retail, I went out of my way to make sure each customer was satisfied with their shopping experience and when that wasn’t possible, I did what I could to appease them.

      Today, however, there seems to be an “Oh well” mentality with retailers. I know the economy is in the shitter but now’s the time to be nice to people, not chase them away, which is exactly what they are doing.


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