“Without good customer service there will be no customers to service” – Anonymous
Last week I went into a popular craft store, to pick up some fabric markers that I needed for my daughter-in -laws baby shower. While walking around the tightly packed aisles, bumping into wreaths, fake flowers and glitter, I noticed an end cap that had gift cards for sale. I think woo hoo I can wrap up some last minute gifts. So I decided to get three different cards, one being for the Gap.
As this was a total win and there appeared to be no lines, I dashed to the cashier; another woman quickly gets in line behind me. Her cart was half filled with crafty things and she too had a handful gift cards. I placed my items on the counter and the cashier picked up the Gap card, looked at me and said “Just to let you know, this one may not work”. I looked at her and said, “Excuse me, what did you say? It might not work?” She explained that she had a few customers that complained about them not working. I looked at her and said “Excuse me, but why would you be selling these in the store, if you knew there was a problem with them?”
The woman behind me asked to speak to the manager since she also happened to have a card for the Gap as well. We both agreed that it was really bad business and wanted to voice our complaints to the manager. A young man comes walking up and the woman behind me asks if he is the manager. He says “No I was just in the back and came to see to see what was wrong up here”.
Now a third woman gets in line with a cart over flowing with of all sorts of craft items and is listening to our now rather animated conversation. With a domino effect she decides to tell the young man to go get the manager, now.
A guy who claimed to be the manager, walks up and asks, “What seems to be wrong here, ladies?” I replied first “can you guarantee that the gift cards you are selling are going to work, after I give them to someone for Christmas”? He says “Well yah, of course, why?” How about we start with the cashier who said there have been problems, but before I can say that the woman behind me pipes up “well, the date, on the back of the card I have, is 2009”. I looked at my card and sure enough it was from 2009. I was floored. I never even thought to look at the back for a date!
I proceeded to tell him that it was really bad business, to be selling gift cards that are so old. I know for a fact that some companies start deducting from the face value, if they are not used within the year they are purchased, so these probably are worthless. He then proceeds to say “I don’t like your tone”….OK, now I’m looking around for “Caught on Camera” crews.
I put all the gift cards down, told the cashier to ring up the markers, only because that was the sole reason for this trip, and exit the store. Suddenly, I noticed the second woman walking out behind me, without her purchases either. The third woman? Well she left her overflowing cart, pulled out her phone and is now loudly telling someone all about this, as we, in that domino effect, leave not feeling the holiday love.
As I sat in my in my car in the lot totally pissed off, the third woman walks over to my car and knocks on the window. I roll it down, and she asks “have you ever experienced anything like that before”? I of course answered, “No”, but went on to tell her that I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t think the manager or the incident was worth me getting anymore upset than I was, so decided to just leave.
She then told me “well don’t you worry someone else will be doing our complaining for us! That call I made was to my husband, who works for one of our neighborhood newspapers!” .Well ok, really where is that “Caught on Camera” crew??
Aside from a total vent, I’m really writing about this to warn you all, out there. Before you purchase gift cards, for the holidays, or anytime, check the date on the back of the card. They all should have the current year, or don’t make the purchase.
OH yah, frosting on the cake………the markers were dry!!!! UGH!
Wishing you all… Happy Holidays!