Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

From time to time I like to post a customer comment, good or bad, to give everyone a glimpse of what it's like from our side of the screen. Now obviously I don't analyze every customer comment in depth like this, but sometimes one stands out for whatever reason. So on Dec 30th, Meg messaged us the following:

"Hello ANime Corner. You were at the AMKE2012 Convention last year and I wanted to tell you about the poor service on how I was treated when I bought a Shaymin at the vendor booth. I lost my shaymin by accident and the seller did not have a replacement NOR DID he give me a receipt for my payment so to give it to him AND had poor lack of storage supply on doubles. I wanted to tell you that if your attending AMKE 2013 this year please be sure your employees provide receipts for customers and have plenty of items in stock should one lose an item or replace due to being broken or rip..."

First off, I want to make sure everyone knows that no one from RACS has ever set foot within 100 miles of one of the AMKE shows, so clearly she just had us mistaken us for someone else (you know Anime this, Anime that - we all probably look alike to some customers), and later she messaged us again to apologize and let us know that she had sent the message to us by mistake, which I appreciated, so no harm done there. Also, to Megs credit, she PM'd this to us rather than stupidly posting in public on FB, Twitter, or a Forum like some people doubtlessly would have.

Frankly, I was glad to actually not be the target of some fans retailer angst this time around, but I got to thinking about her complaint and a couple of things occurred to me:

1) Anime Milwaukee is a February show, so she is sending this complaint to the vendor a full ten months after her experience at the show? What took so long? I can only assume that with the 2013 show coming up, she was sitting around on a Sunday thinking about it and decided that she needed to let the vendors from last years show know how they can do things better for her this time around - well, at least as she sees it.

OK, fair enough, but it does get me to wondering what the statute of limitations on customer angst is. For myself, no matter how bad of an experience I have with someone, I can almost guarantee that six months after the fact I have long forgotten about it.

2) If I read it correctly, she's upset because she lost the item she bought (Shaymin is a Pokemon character, so I assume she bought a plushy or some other piece of character merchandise) and when she returned to the vendors booth to get another one he either did not have one to replace it or would not replace it for free (or offer her a refund?) because she didn't have a receipt. Frankly, neither of which would have been the vendors responsibility, but the incident made Meg so upset that she's taking her precious time to post about it 10 months after it happened. I assume the guy working the booth was a  little gruff with her, failing in his duty to be the expected Anime Retailer version of Mr. Roboto at all times.

I've fielded my fair share of customer angst over the years for things that I myself thought were fairly insignificant or more often 'mis-directed', and while this incident had nothing to do with RACS directly, it still ended up costing me a couple of minutes out of my life long after the fact that I'll never be able to get back, and it makes me wonder if it's just like this in all retail, or if Anime fans can be a particularly prickly group of consumers?

What say you? :-)


mikeski said...

Customers have the wacky everywhere. I worked as a grocery store night manager for about 5-6 years.

One of my favorites is still the (entirely sober at the time) woman who was going off about us not stocking vermouth (we were open later than the local liquor stores, so the usual spot wasn't an option.)

The fact that Minnesota grocery stores can't get real liquor licenses (beer, 3.2% and under, is all they can sell), didn't bother her. The fact that she could have bought some across the street, had she had her vermouth emergency 30 minutes earlier, didn't bother her. The fact that I wasn't about to sell her any of my non-existent alcohol bothered the heck out of her, and she really wanted to let me know about it.

Ben said...

Speaking of misplaced angst...
Many years ago, after getting change from a local grocery store, I noticed one of the dollar bills had "Stephanie Gomez is a whore" written on it. Now, this came as a complete (yet amusing) shock to me, but whoever wrote that must've really despised Stephanie Gomez.

Admittedly, I've had my fair share of problems with a number of businesses, but I've generally tried to remain civil (even if I don't get the desired outcome). On top of that, I also make sure it's being sent to the right person (after all, one person's misdirected angry rant could become someone else's entertaining blog post... oh wait...).

Moral of the story:
Be careful what you write, no matter what you write it on or who you send it to.

Unknown said...

I worked in a Christian bookstore for three and a half years. It was a fun, good job, and customer angst wasn't generally a problem, but it reared its head on a number of occasions.

The best specific example I can recall is a case where a lady got mad at me for imprinting a name on a Bible wrong. It turned out that I had printed the name exactly as she had it written down, but she had misspelled it. Even so, she read me the riot act when I refused to replace it, claiming that she'd never do business with us again and nor would her family.

The manager later told me that she'd already done this same song and dance twice before. And it was less than a month before she was back haranguing us over a sale she had missed.

After I'd been gone several months after finding another job, I asked a friend/former co-worker how things were going. She told me that the lady was still coming in, but this time it was mostly griping that the store would no longer accept imprint requests from her.

Gotta love those small victories.