Top Ten Things Not to do in Customer Service

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This list was published on January 6th, 2015. It looks like nothing has changed in seven years, so I hope you enjoy it.

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This list was inspired by standing in line at Wal-Mart to return a screwdriver that broke. I know. Why would I buy a screwdriver at Wal-Mart? Long story. Let’s just say it was an emergency purchase that did not go well. I hope you enjoy the list.

Top Ten Things Not to do in Customer Service.

10 If you are next at the customer service desk, do not fall asleep. If you do, at best, you will get yelled at by the crowd. At worst, you will not hear the word “Next” and will be knocked off your feet by the person behind you. This could lead to a severe injury. ) Or even worse when you fall on your returns which are glass Christmas ornaments)

9 If you are at the customer service desk, have your receipt ready. If you don’t, at best, you will take precious time to find it causing your linemates to want to kill you with their bare hands. At worst, the time it takes to find the receipt will be multiplied exponentially for the last person in line. (You do raise the possibility that they might just pass away from old age before getting to the front of the line)

8 If you are in line at customer service, do not sigh loudly when the person in front of you does not have a receipt. If you do, at best, you may get some evil looks and bad words. At worst, the person in front of you will take exception to your sigh. (You may have to defend your audacity with real knuckles)

7 If you are at the customer service desk and have lost your receipt, do not try to talk the clerk into a refund. If you do, at best, you will waste your and everyone else’s time. At worst, you might just be in the presence of a classical professor from the local college. (He just might figure out how to have you towed by your feet around the city much like Achilles dragged Hector around Troy)

6 If you are in line at customer service, do not believe you will get to the desk quickly. If you do, at best, you will cause your blood pressure to rise. At worst, you will initiate internal tension that could culminate in a rampage through the store, undoubtedly leading to your arrest. ( If not mandatory treatment in the local state mental hospital )

5 If you plan to go to customer service, do not finish that Big 32 oz cup of soda before arriving. If you do, at best, you will be mildly uncomfortable as the line creeps along. At worst, you will have a full-out emergency and will be unsuccessful in having someone hold your place. (You now have a choice to lose your place in line or gross out the entire store )

4 If you are in the customer service line and feel faint, do not fall down and try to remain in place. If you do fall down, at best, you will lose your place in line. At worst, you will lie in the store unnoticed by store personnel until closing time. ( Of course, all the patrons who pass your comatose body will secretly be grateful to you for dropping out of line and making their wait shorter )

3 If you are at the end of the line at customer service, do not look to the front to figure out how long the wait will be. If you do, at best, you will calculate the delay to be more time than you thought. At worst, when you divide the amount of transaction time by the number of available hours, the result will be more hours than the store is open. (This will cause a feeling of panic, which has at its root the fact that you traveled fifteen miles out of your way getting here and you are supposed to be somewhere else )

2 If you finally get to the front of the line at customer service, do not try to explain anything to the clerk. If you do, at best, you will waste time by missing the critical questions on whether the item is damaged and would you like the refund in cash or on the card? At worst, you will tell the clerk enough to give away the fact that the item was a gift and that the receipt is actually a forgery that was produced by your uncle while currently serving time in the federal penitentiary for making phony hundred-dollar bills. (It is an excellent  forgery, though)

1 Once you have finished with the customer service clerk, do not take the time with idle chit-chat. If you do, at best, you will have the clerk yelling, “I can help the next customer here,” over your attempt to be friendly. At worst, you might just cause a swell behind you of those wanting you to move, which might lead to several older people being pushed down. (Those folks are incapable of getting up because their Life Alert is out of batteries, and they were in line for a rain check for the battery special, which now looks like it may expire too.)

I am at Story Empire today talking about goals. Go HERE if you are curious.

91 comments

  1. haha, did you ever try # 2 ? I did once – and only once!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never did but who knows it might work. Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I suppose we should find comfort in knowing that somethings never change. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is true. 🤣. Thanks, Jill.

      Like

  3. I do #3 all the time. Sort of. Try really hard to avoid customer service lines.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me too. Since the pandemic I try to avoid any lines period

      Like

      1. I hated them beforehand. Now, I don’t even bother unless it’s grocery shopping. Just linger and wander until I see an opening.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think I’ll be shopping at Walmart any time soon. At least not for a screwdriver.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it might have been a fluke but who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not a fan of shopping at Walmart to begin with. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    What a great, all too familiar, list. I feel really sorry for the customer service employees. All day long they deal with irritated customers. And though I try not to be one of those folks, it happens. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes the customer service folks are the cause of the irritation too. Thanks, Gwen. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gwen M. Plano · ·

        LOL…so true. And when that’s the case, I want to talk with the manager. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve had two returns recently one went really quick and easy and the other was a bit of hassle, but it wasn’t the clerks fault it was the computers! I find the computer or register are common issues nowadays. Once the clerk got the computer to listen/understand it printed the return label and Bob was my Uncle! Still that’s 15 minutes of our lives neither the clerk or I will get back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Producer took back a garage toolrack that wouldn’t hold the tools. In order to install it I had to take off all the packaging which was all shrink wrap so of course it was destroyed. The clerk said they don’t take back anything not in original packaging. The Producer said softly, “Call the manager.” The clerk made an instantaneous refund. Maybe it was policy to offer first line resistance and then if the customer pushes back refund the purchase. It does leave a bad taste though especially if the product doesn’t work. Thanks, Deborah.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. At least a screwdriver makes a decent ice pick, and gives a nice story to tell your guests at the next party.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is true for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I admit I’m bad for #8. If you’re in line, you’d better have your stuff ready. I also always have a Kindle with me whenever I wait in lines.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always love those folks who seem to have forgotten what they were in line to do. It’s the same person who waits until the end of a huge grocery check out to start looking for a checkbook.Thanks, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, John. I try pretty hard to avoid Customer Service, but next time I have to use it I’ll try to keep these in mind. I’ve never thought of Walmart taking back tools. I remember when Sears was well-known for replacing any Craftsman tool one could manage to damage. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This one was clearly malfuntioning from the get go. It was a rachet thingy that didn’t work. Thanks, Tim.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I just mail the offending item back!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have an aversion to paying for postage. We would rather fire up the old V/8 and burn gas money as to go to the post office, UPS, or have a FedEx pickup.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And of course you stand in line at the PO!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Of course. 😊

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  11. Good advice, John. I’ve been in those lines.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been trying to remember the last time I visited customer service, and I can’t. There may have been some traumatic event that wiped clean my memory of such places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nature’s way of protecting you from trauma

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh dear. I fear I’m guilty of #8 (maybe more than once!) At least I lived to admit it, right? I don’t particularly enjoy Customer Service, even on the phone!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me either. Thanks, Debbie

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great tips, John. Might I add one? If there is more than one line, do not pick the shorter one. Those always take the longest time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Good one. Thanks, Joan.

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  15. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I try to avoid being in this line at all costs. Good one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I’m with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I haven’t set foot in a Wally World in over 20 years, nor have I returned anything in person in at least that long! I do most all of my shopping, except groceries & some books, online so … returning something is super easy! I don’t do well standing in lines, as my patience tends to be minimal at best. Good list, John! Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just can’t imagine you not being patient, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmmm … I detect a note of sarcasm there 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  17. John, I got to the front of the line quickly, once. I took the time to gaze around, preening over my good fortune. The customers behind me grumbled for me to get on with it. Great list. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Thanks Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I used to work in retail and had to deal with returns. People without receipts drove me crazy. I mean they could have stolen it from the store or from the person who bought it originally. One woman bought an entire set of china dinnerware, had a dinner party, washed everything and brought the set back!! She had her receipt but we knew what she had done. (she forgot about knife marks). Another guy bought a cookbook, photocopied the recipes he wanted and brought it back for a refund. The things people do! I just about always returned their money with a smile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Goodness. Those are some beautiful people for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Very sound advice. I do try to avoid the customer service line at all costs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Good idea.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Now you tell me about the Big Gulp? A little too late mister!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry. I hope you made it in time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Uh . . yeah . . sure? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahahaha. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I think we’ve ALL been here. For me, it was always at Target somehow where I got trapped in that line that never moves.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Target is a good one too.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I usually end up taking the loss because I can’t stand the thought of those long lineups. Patience is NOT my strong suit, lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can relate, Jacquie. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh, yes! What a nightmare to return anything right now. Great tips!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know right?

      Like

  24. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Great list, John! Customer service—what a misnomer. I had a recent problem with my cable company. Completely frustrated, I searched their website for a place to air my grievances. Not finding anything, I called the 1-800 number. When I asked their operator for an address or number to call their customer service, she put me on hold and came back 5-10 minutes later to tell me she didn’t think they had one of those.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. I feel your pain. Thanks, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. How do you break a screwdriver?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a rachet type that didn’t work properly.

      Like

  26. I was laughing hard, and then I got to #1… I’ll spare the details. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Jennie

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Causes me to ponder what one does to “gross out” people shopping at Walmart. Seems a lofty goal. Giggle. (Everyone is someone at Walmart.) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. I think creating a yelow river might do it.

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      1. I know right? 😳

        Like

  28. Thankfully, there is no concept of a line in India. The store clerk handles a million customers all together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Or mishandles them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As long as he doesn’t ‘manhandle,’ all is forgiven

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can see that. 🤣

        Like

  29. FUNNY!
    I like these lists, always get a chuckle. Thank you for re-posting them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading them. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you including me today, Sally.

      Like

  30. WilliamPriceKing · · Reply

    Great list, John. I, too, have had my share of rolling eyes and idle chatter from people in front of me. Since Covid, I avoid lines like the plague now. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes lines are the plague now, William. Good to avoid.

      Like

    1. Thank you, MIchael

      Like

  31. We are in the century of services, but all want to be served the same time. I love the idea of a store full of vending machines. 😉 But only if i can pay in different ways. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Don’t really need human interaction. Thanks, Michael.

      Like

  32. Standing in line at a Customer Service Desk is like going to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. There are just some experiences that are universal no matter where you live. Great list, John. I chuckled the whole way through. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Lol, I enjoy your top ten lists John. Everyone one of them spot on. My weakness though is always #8. Still working on that one. Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debby. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I think we can all relate to this post, John. The one about not finishing the huge drink, in particular, resonates with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. Those 32 oz drinks are a menace. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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