I know that the majority of retail workers are overly stressed at this time of year and I really do feel for them, but having acknowledge that - isn't it still their job to be polite and pretend they care about the customer's problem?
DH and I went to BigBoxStore to return some items. We had receipts with us and ID and everything we'd need for returns. We wait in line for just a bit at the customer service desk. A gentleman finally calls us over and DH explains he'd like to exchange these items for store credit. The gentleman asks him if he'd like to return these items? DH looks perplexed and says he'd like to exchange them for store credit, so he can pick out new stuff. The argue about terminology for literally over 3 minutes and the gentleman behind the counter is getting really snotty - dh is genuinely confused. I butt in and say regardless of what we're calling it, we'd like to give these items back and get store credit instead. The gentlemen begins to handle our returns. He issues us 2 individual giftcards based upon the two receipts provided and we assume all is well with the world. While he's completing the transactions he mentions putting the amount on a BigBoxStore Plus Card - we assume it's a special name for the giftcards he's just handed us.
His mannerisms reminded me of Michel from Gilmore Girls, the guy that runs the front counter of the Inn - he was a bit rude. He argued semantics and was just generally less than polite. I wouldn't have thought twice about his attitude if we hadn't wound up coming back over to speak with him (I'll get to this in a minute).
Well we use one giftcard on some items in the men's clothing department and have some money left over on it. We figure we'll use the remaining value and the other giftcard on some stuff in the electronics department. We head over to electronics, and pick out some stuff which means we'll use up the value on both giftcards and pay about $10.00 in cash, which is perfect. We wait at that counter and the woman proceeds to ring through one of the giftcards (which works fine) and lets us know that the other giftcard hasn't been activated. She suggests we go back to the customer service desk, since we told her that we had just received that giftcard about 15 minutes earlier (we still have all the receipts).
We head back to the customer service desk and speak with the same gentleman from before. We tell him that the lady at the previous counter said that one of these giftcards (the one that she hadn't bent in half) hadn't been activated. Gentleman sharply asks DH why he folded the other giftcard. DH tells him that he hadn't folded it, one of the cashiers in electronics had after she had attempted to use the credit on it. The Gentleman then tells DH that he said he was crediting the amount for the return to the purchaser's VISA BigBoxStore Plus Card.
Dh and I both concur that at no point had he said Visa, and we both thought that the BigBoxStore Plus Card was a fancy name for the giftcard. And if he had meant to credit to the Visa, then why did he give us another non-activated Giftcard? Things just aren't adding up. The gentleman proceeds to give us attitude and argue with us and then yell at us for not looking at the receipt, instead of doing what he can NOW to remedy the situation. We wound up calling a manager and she got things done for us - we wound up having the item un-credited to the purchaser's VISA card and put onto a giftcard instead. I'm not in the habit of thoroughly checking my receipts when I'm handed a giftcard that is supposedly for that amount (but I guess I should be in the future).
I know that employees are stressed during the holidays but arguing with a customer instead of trying to get things done is just less than helpful. And trying to tell a customer that they heard something they didn't hear, just isn't going to make any situation better. Had he at any point pretended that he cared or wanted to fix the problem I would have been pleased. All I want to hear is, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding (he takes no blame that way) or let me see what I can do to help you (he wants to fix the problem). Remedy the situation or attempt to take responsibility for it and help me figure out how we can fix it - that's all I want. I don't want to argue with retail workers, it's not fun for anyone. Isn't it part of a retail worker's job to pretend that they want to help the customer???