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Truly a problem?

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So tonight my husband and I went to Walmart to pick up a layaway. While we stood in line we saw 3 associates working hard to fix a problem for a customer. From what I heard she ordered something online and went into the store to pay for it.  I didn't know you could do this so something learned I guess. Anyway, an associate who had been on break returns and before she could even clock back in she is told of the issue and within 3 minutes had it taken care of. She then showed the other workers what to do in the future. So far all is pleasant.

While I waited for an associate to go in the back and get our layaway I hear a person say who wanted to see a manager? The aforementioned customer piped up and said because she had to wait for someone who could finally help her she wanted a gift card. 2 associates stepped forward and explained to the manager what happened. Customer said she was treated nicely but wanted a gift card for her wait. Manager gave her one. I do not know the amount.

My first thought is I would never have thought to ask for a gift card for my wait. It's holiday time and so many new people have been hired and may not know all the ins and outs. Is it etiquette correct to ask for a gift card for your wait when half the staff in that area is working hard to fix the problem? No one was rude to the customer. According to customer she waited 30 minutes, according to 3 workers it was less then 15 minutes.

The workers thanked the co worker for teaching them something they didn't know. I had no issue waiting while most staff helped the customer and staff was welcoming and nice to me, as they were to her.Thoughts?

I am usually of two minds about this.  If a store guarantees that these issues are resolved in a specified amount of time or your money back (or whatever) and they aren't, then they need to pay off.  However, in this particular example I think the customer was being a special snowflake.

That sort of thing truly annoys me because in the long run this ultimately drives up prices in the store.

Hmm, hard to say. I guess if she asked politely and was prepared to take no for an answer, it's no harm, no foul. Or if she knew it was store policy and she was just claiming her right. On the other hand one could argue that the manager might feel unduly pressured to give in to her, to avoid a public scene or bad corporate feedback or something. I have a bargain-hunting friend who is always asking sales associates for free samples (after buying something) and if it's not store policy to hand them out they seem to have no problem saying no to her. Slightly different situation, I know.

I don't think I would be bold enough to do it myself. But, it does sound like she had to wait an unusually long time for something that was simple as long as a knowledgeable person was there (which they weren't at first), so maybe that could be thought of as a customer service problem in need of resolution via gift card.

You never know, and won't hurt to try if you really feel you are owed something.

I bought a printer at Best Buy. It died within the warrenty period and I wasn't able to get back to any Best Buy (we live in a shopper's wasteland) so bought a new printer the I needed immediately at a store we happened upon. My son-in-law took me and the printer to Best Buy with the box and all the documents and still within the warrenty period. First the Geek tried to talk to son-in-law and I said quite firmly, "I am the customer here," was acknowledged, and explained what had happened.

I was asked, "What do you need?", and I said my money back, but I'll take store credit. Got the credit, all was good, stocked up on paper and ink for my new printer (rumors of Best Buy going out of business were ramant so I wanted to spend it).

As we left, our son-in-law is laughing hysterically that he couldn't believe I pulled that off! That was totally against company policy. He still tells the story.

Hey. I was polite, clear, reasonable. What less should I expect?

I absolutely hate the fact that some people feel entitled to compensation for any small amount of inconvenience.  If the woman thought the transaction was taking too long, she could have simply left and taken her business elsewhere. 

Sometimes things do not go 100% they way we would like them to.  That does not mean someone owes us.


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