August 20, 2018

How not to treat a customer

My oldest son, my wife, and I visited my parents yesterday. On the way home we stopped a the grocery to grab some stuff for dinner. While we were inside, my son stepped out of the car to have a cigarette (I know, but he will soon be thirty). When we came out he asked my wife if she had any change so he could get a Coke from the machine in front of the store.

As he was feeding the coins a store employee confronted him. She told him she was sick of the homeless beggars accosting people in the parking lot and he needed to leave -- now. When he proceeded to buy his pop, she threatened to call the police. He explained he was here with customers. He told her he got change from his mother. The employee harangued him until he walked away.

He was more than pissed. I told him to shrug it off, people are jerks in general and that she saw him climb into the car with us.

He was still angry thirty minutes later. At that point I wished I had gone into the store and had a word with the manager about jumping to conclusions and customer service.

We did the next best thing. We called the store when we got home. I then told my mom. She shops at that grocery on a regular basis and knows the owner. Of course the weasely woman denied the whole thing. She said she asked him politely if he had been looking into cars and panhandling. She said the store had a complaint earlier in the day and wanted to make sure it wasn't the same guy. According to her, she apologized when my son pointed out he was with customers and got change from his mother.


I can see why she jumped to the wrong conclusion. But she should have waited to see if he accosted others. More importantly, she should have listened to his explanation. Calling customers homeless beggars and threatening to call the police is not the way to grow one's business.


Carole said...

It is annoying to be pan handled outside of grocery stores or drug stores when just minding my own business and trying to get back to the car. I can understand that store employees want to chase them off. However, that was a major if understandable, blunder. Of course the employee should have apologized. Your son should also consider dressing a little more neatly so people won't think he's homeless.

Joe said...

He was dressed in nice jeans and a T shirt. He is a corporate trainer and in no way looked homeless

Jean said...

Sounds to me that the employee needs some serious training in customer relations.

Linda said...

I would call her the liar she is, involving someone higher than the store manager, pointing out she lied to cover her own mistake.

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