January 2003 Archives

Worst Buy

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My family received some extremely poor customer service from one of the national electronics stores; this letter was an attempt to publicize our experience:

My family had a recent experience with poor customer service at a local retail chain store; I hope your readers will find it instructive. (I won’t mention the store’s name, but I’ll call it “Worst Buy” in order to tell the story.) My brother-in-law visited a local “Worst Buy” store to purchase a handheld PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) for college. The sales clerk retrieved a PDA box from a locked cabinet behind the counter and sealed it in a clear plastic bag. My brother-in-law paid $180 and, after driving home, found out that the box was empty.

He returned to “Worst Buy” the next morning in hopes of exchanging the empty box for one that actually contained the product he had purchased. The inventory clerk refused to help him, told him to “call the 800 number,” and then walked away from him. After hearing about this insult, my sister-in-law called the store in an attempt to resolve the situation. All she received was the same useless advice to “call the number.” When she asked for the store manager’s name, the inventory clerk hung up on her!

At this point, my wife and I became involved. We accompanied her brother back to “Worst Buy,” whereupon my wife announced that we would not leave without either a PDA or a $180 refund. The assistant manager on duty whined that he was “unable to help,” made a few phone calls, and wasted more than an hour of our time being argumentative. He eventually relented and gave my brother-in-law the PDA he had paid for.

Especially during an economic recession, retail employees should treat their paying customers more respectfully, instead of passing the buck to a corporate call center. If we hadn’t been so persistent, my brother-in-law would have been ripped off. Due to the mistreatment we received, our entire family is now unlikely to patronize the “Worst Buy” chain in the future. I’m sure their competitors will appreciate our business.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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