FYE has some problems with customer relations.
FYE takes in DVD’s and CD’s for store credit. So, in November, I took some DVD’s over to my local FYE on a Saturday afternoon.
A young man at the counter politely explained that they don’t take trades on the weekend. It’s too busy. Come back during the week. I nodded and said I would, thanks.
I work weekdays so it was a few weeks later when I had a free evening and made a special trip back to FYE with my DVD’s.
Another employee, a pleasant young man, said, “I’m sorry but we’re not taking any trades now until after Christmas. Our stock is too full.”
I was mildly irritated but understood.
A few nights ago I tried it again. I walked in at 8:05 p.m.
I plopped my booty on the counter. Before I could say a word, a rather forceful young woman shook her head: “We don’t take trades after 8 o’clock.”
I’m a mild mannered guy, patient. To a point.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“No,” the woman said. “Not after 8. It’s store policy.”
A young man next to her, ringing up a customer, said, “It’s company policy. It’s always been that way.”
I felt my face get hot. “Do you have any other little rules and policies you haven’t mentioned? This is my third trip here.”
“No,” the girl said. “We have to process them and that’s why we don’t take them after 8.” She saw my anger and softened. “We take them during the day and even Friday nights — before 8.”
I walked out without another word.” I’ve never done that before.
But they did everything wrong. The girl, while not confrontational, was not friendly. She was the epitome of the cold bureaucrat “just following orders,” just adhering to “company policy.”
Anyone in PR or marketing knows that she should have been — right or wrong — apologetic: “I’m sorry no one explained that to you . . . I’m sorry you had to make three trips in. . . .”
Her partner should have kept his mouth shut. First, he was dealing with his own customer and should have been paying full attention to him. The customer should not have been put in an uneasy position of now being part of something unpleasant.
And please, don’t ever, ever tell me “it’s always been that way.”
Though the kid didn’t mean it to be, it’s condescending. It inherently says, “you’re new to this game and you didn’t play by our rules– rules that we’ve always had.”
Yes, I’m new to bringing in DVD’s for credit but I’ve been a customer with FYE and its predecessor, Record Town, for longer than these two clerks have been alive.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars in this place.
I do not blame the clerks. I blame management. There are holes in the training.
Isolated case? Maybe, but there shouldn’t be isolated cases in customer relations.
This was bad customer relations. Bad public relations. Bad marketing.
Business is business. Right?
Not when you’re dealing with people.