Sunday, November 27, 2011

Would You Like A Little Sass With That Coffee Pot?

I am just taking a moment here to vent about the double negative customer service experience I recently received at my local Bed Bath and Beyond.  It's obvious that you can either get a deal or you can get service...but you can't have both.

Bed Bath and Beyond is the place you go for a lot of your kitchen, bath and infomercial gadgets.  Cheap and plentiful, you can usually find what you need when you go there.  If you are like me, however, you never remember to bring one of the many 20% off coupon's that clog up your mailbox.  As you approach the checkout line you just know they aren't going to replace that coupon and you are kicking yourself that you forgot yours.  This is the time you are buying a $50 item and the thought of losing $10 is annoying.  All that being said, if this store was really "customer centric" (the latest buzz word regarding how we treat the client) they would tape that freaking coupon to the register like every other store does and beep away at checkout time.  But no, they will not budge when it comes to accommodating you.  They will, however, tell you to drive home, find the coupon, and drive back for an you have the time for this.  I asked again just to be sure while checking out during my pre-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza but, of course, they said no.  I just snorted and grabbed my salad spinner and left in a pissed off mood.

Take these from the mailbox and place directly into your handbag.

As I leave I'm telling myself I'm never coming back to this store.  But when I get home, guess what's in my mailbox?  A 20% OFF THE ENTIRE PURCHASE COUPON!...  good on Black Friday.  I read it doesn't say "not valid on prior purchases", so what do I do?   I plan to head back on Black Friday to get an adjustment on my day before Thanksgiving purchase.  This time I am ready - the coupon is easy to find because it's big and colorful.  It's taking up my entire handbag.

I am greeted at the door by a happy and cheerful 20 year old "Customer Service" associate.  I ask politely about the adjustment and she speaks to me in a patronizing tone and says "I apologize, but we absolutely could not give you an adjustment because this is just for Black Friday purchases."  I tell her it's not stated on the coupon that it's not valid for prior purchases.  She tells me I should just assume the fact that it's just for Black Friday purchases.  I ask to speak with the manager (who never shows up).  I tell her I will just return everything and re-purchase it.  She tells me I cannot do this - it would be committing coupon fraud.   What?  Does this even exist? (as someone who interprets coupons for a living I can safely tell you, no).  I wonder, will they take me to jail where my sentence is being forced to watch "Extreme Couponing" 24/7?  No, I'd rather die.  This snit is taking her job way too seriously and I am getting nowhere so I leave once a pissed off mood...which apparently I do a lot when I leave this store.

When I get home I go on the Bed Bath and Beyond website and write a scathing letter to the customer service hotline.  I am surprised when I get a quick response.  I catch up with their regional director the following day who takes my complaint pretty seriously.  I am pleased when she satisfies me with the adjustment and we have a nice conversation.  I tell her I'm not a complainer - working in retail myself I don't like it when people are in my face.  However I did suggest they put a muzzle on the little 20 year old "Customer Service" associate who's planning on being her CEO someday.

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