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    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    Customer Disservice

    Cody's convenience store has a promotion going on to where you get 2cents off each gallon of gas purchased with a receipt totaling $30 or more from a local grocery store within 7 days of the date of the receipt. Great idea, huh?

    Not quite.

    See, they want to keep your receipt or cut off the section of it with the coupon on it, so if you are like me and keep your receipts for your personal or tax records, they don't want to let you take part in the promotion. After a bit of consternation and creative thinking, we got them to agree to simply initial the coupon on the back and mark it as used "just this one time" they said, as if they were doing something special for us somehow by honoring their company's promotion.

    So after getting all of that taken care of, we filled up the tank. Usual gas station etiquette and operational procedure states that you can't prepay for a fill up, 'cause ya never know quite what the full cost will be, and can't start pumping gas until some type of payment method is entered. I figured they had some way to set the pump to change the price from inside the store with a promotion like this, so I put my debit card in the slot and pumped my gas.

    When I went in to retrieve my receipts however, the "customer service" females behind the counter told me that I could not get my discount unless I paid inside, something they had not deemed necessary to disclose to Keebler when he first went in with our coupon.

    To be perfectly honest, I went from happy, smiling, and friendly to not smiling and speaking very clearly, but in no way was I rude, or near as obnoxious as they became during my visit.

    Immediately they condescendingly accused me of being rude for being surprised that they were unable to keep their company's end of the coupon deal. Speaking to me as if I was an idiot, they asked me if I had thought the pump was somehow 'intelligent' and knew I had a coupon.

    I replied that if I were going to be rude, I would do that little head wobble and start screaming like one of those Bridezilla girls. They didn't get the point that I simply wanted decent service.

    (store manager): "Get out of my store and don't ever come back"

    I didn't leave.

    They were appalled at my insistence that I receive decent, or even passable, customer service, and seemed to have no concept as to what dealing properly with a customer entailed.

    It most certainly does not include becoming threatening, and raising one's voice. I would hate to see what would have happened if they had actually had a difficult customer!

    I had to ask for my receipt, something that should be automatically offered to each customer with a purchase, upon which I wrote "Did not receive discount" and asked them to initial it. They refused several times, telling me to leave, got belligerent, grabbed my receipt, snarled and yelled at me, and scribbled all over the receipt.

    A worker snarled something like: 'find a quarter out there on the lot, that's about what you would have saved'

    At this point, another employee emerged from the rear of the store to "observe". I found this very threatening to my personal safety, as the stance and attitude of the employees was very aggressive. Having "backup" is always threatening to the person you are accosting, I don't care who you are. Of course, I soon realized the reason for the third person.

    Manager said something like: 'I told him that you would have to pay inside' while pointing at Keebler.

    Ah, so that was why she was called out; so that manager could lie right out and have someone to back up her story if necessary. Of course I'm also sure by their attitudes that they were perfectly willing to wrestle me out the door if they thought there was a need.

    I was sorely tempted to simply sit in front of the main entry doors and not get up, but I'm far better than that.

    Worker "She asked you to leave 5 minutes ago"

    Keebler: "Actually it was less than three"

    I guess they are far too good to be bothered with a legitimate concern from a paying customer.

    Of course, then I had to request a new receipt that had not been mangled by their ire.

    Needless to say, I asked for their names, which they were exceedingly reluctant to give, the manager (I presume) told me her name, but would not spell it, instead telling me that her name was spelled "how you spell (name)", and purposely covered her name badge. After prying the first letter out of her, we finally got the spelling of her first name, and asked for her last name, which she also refused to give, keeping her badge covered with a clipboard. During this time, she was becoming even more agitated, making statements about how I was going to "come all up in here" and "try to get her job"... Mayhaps this type of thing has happened to her before?

    Me: "You have a lovely day"

    Unidentified worker: "yeah, right"

    Me: "I would say something, but I'm not going to sink to your level" as I walked out the door.

    I walked briskly out to my car, got my camera, grabbed a shot of the outside of the building, and returned to the interior of the store for a capture of the two caustic and ill-trained beings behind the counter. Surprisingly, they did an admirable job of trying to hide. I should have had the camera on the four shot mode and caught them off-guard after the first flash went off. Ah well, hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

    Honestly, our dear manager had rights to worry. I don't take this type of treatment lightly, and I'm sure her employers won't take too kindly to her (or her underlings') actions either.

    Proper names have been wiped from this post in order to be nice until I speak to the corporate offices. If the head people of the company do not at least apologize, names will be shared freely. *grin*


    TheRambleman said...

    Yeah, it sounds (I sure do like the word 'sounds', don't I?) like you handled it all pretty well, although how a shy girld like you could do it surprises me. *grin* Anyway, let us know how it all turns out :-)

    Faith said...

    I would hate to be the person who crossed her!

    I'll be looking forward to seeing how the corporate level answered you!

    Whimspiration said...

    I spoke to corporate today. Things are looking promising, and i will know more on Wednesday when they get back with me on what happened when they speak with the assistant manager of that store (previously thought to be a manager), and the district manager for the area.