The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Everyone likes to quote “The Customer Is Always Right!” as though it’s some sort of magic phrase that gets you what you want.

What nobody seems to understand about it is that this is how customer service personnel are trained.

Never tell the customer he’s wrong.

A customer comes in and says “I want my money back for this sweater.” It’s torn and has a stain on it. The customer doesn’t have a receipt.

He claims he never wore the sweater and it was like that when he bought it.

Now, you know the customer is full of shit. In fact, chances are the dipshit customer is trying to return it because he couldn’t get the stain out.

But you don’t SAY the customer is full of shit.

What you say is that you can’t accept a return that isn’t in saleable condition. It was like that when you bought it? Why, that is just terrible. The cashier who rang it up should have seen this stain, and that tear, and sent someone to get a replacement in saleable condition. That was a terrible misunderstanding and you are truly sorry for it.

But you still can’t take the return.

Now, if the customer starts bitching about how he’s always right, you just nod and say “oh, yes, indeed – you’re completely right; it was like this when you got it and you just didn’t notice and never even wore it, that’s absolutely correct, sir.” And you have to sell it. You have to make the customer believe that you believe that he’s not completely full of shit.

But you still can’t take the return. It’s out of your hands. However, if he’s got the receipt, then at the very least you could identify the cashier who sold him that sweater for disciplinary action. Oh… no receipt either? That’s too bad. Tell you what, we’ll put this on the agenda for the all-hands meeting next month, just to remind everyone about making sure sold items are in good repair before the customer pays and leaves the store with them.

But you are right, sir. This sweater should not have been sold to you in this condition. That cashier is a right bastard. Now here you are with a stained, torn sweater that you can’t return, and it’s not even your fault. Why, if it had been in saleable condition when you bought it, then all you would have had to do was bring it in… with the receipt… and gotten your refund. But that pigfucker of a cashier sent you away with a torn, stained sweater which you now cannot return… even with the receipt.

The customer does not always get what he wants. You just pretend he isn’t the lying fucktard he is, when he happens to be a lying fucktard. (Not all customers are lying fucktards.)  He still has to bring the product back in saleable condition with a receipt if he expects a refund.

The policy makes a lot more sense that way, doesn’t it?

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