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  • September's Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    It’s A Numbers Game

    | Denmark | Bad Behavior

    (I work with customer service/refunds and returns for a large electronics store. I am handling customers alone while my colleague is getting lunch. I have one particularly troublesome customer, but she is the only one waiting. While I help her, the store starts filling up with other customers, and I hear one of them asking the others:)

    Customer #1: “Is the queue on a number system?”

    Customer #2: “No, it isn’t.”

    (Once I finished with the first customer, I leave the register for a brief period, came back and in a clear and loud voice say:)

    Me: “46! Number 46!”…

    (Every single customer started frantically looking around for the numbers dispenser, while I tried my utmost to keep a straight face. When it finally dawned on them, all the customers started laughing and the hassle of waiting was forgotten for a while.)

    Not Charged For Battery

    | Burlington, ON, Canada | Awesome Workers, Technology

    (My [Apple Computer] has been sluggish and uncooperative in a way that can’t be accounted for by its amount of free space, its dead battery, or anything else I can think of. I take it to an Apple Store Genius Bar, where they determine that it needs a new motherboard. Since replacing the motherboard would cost over $600, my mother takes it to the Electronics Store where we bought it, since we bought a warranty from them. My mom calls me from the store.)

    Mom: “He says that the motherboard is covered, but the battery isn’t.”

    Me: “Well, that’s fine. The battery isn’t urgent, and it won’t cost me nearly as much.”

    (The employee tells my mom the repair will take two weeks. Almost two weeks later, I get a call that it’s ready, and go to [Electronics Store]’s computer repair counter. An employee brings out my laptop.)

    Employee: “Let’s just turn it on and see if everything’s running okay.”

    Me: “Oh, you’ll need to plug it in, the battery’s—”

    (The employee presses the button and the computer turns on. I stare in confusion.)

    Employee: “We replaced the battery.”

    Me: *shocked* “What?! I was told that wasn’t covered!”

    Employee: “Well, that’s a fun debate we like to have here at [Electronics Store]…”

    Me: “So you replaced it for free?!”

    Employee: “Yep!”

    Me: “Oh, my God! Thank you! This is awesome!”

    Employee: “That’s a nice walk-in, eh?”

    (I look at the bottom of the laptop, noticing it has all four rubber feet; previously it had been missing two which had fallen off.)

    Me: “Did you put new feet on it?”

    Employee: “Yeah.”

    Me: “Wow! Thank you!”

    Employee: “I wish we just kept a bucket of those, because so many Mac users have them fall off.”

    (I left the store glowing with happiness at my like-new computer. I got a $600 motherboard and a $150 battery replaced for free, which means the 3-year warranty I bought has now paid for itself more than twice over. The next day I noticed that they’d even cleaned the screen! Thank you, Electronics Store!)

    Laptop Flop, Part 6

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (When I was going to college I bought a laptop to do my schoolwork on. Being young and naive, I purchased the extended warranty. When I had the laptop for just shy of a year, it mysteriously died. Since it was covered under the extended warranty, I took it back in to be fixed. They returned it to me, but it wasn’t fixed and soon died again, causing me take it back again. This went back and forth for several months. About the seventh time I take it back, I finally ask.)

    Me: “So, how many times do we have to go through this before you just give up and give me a new one?”

    Clerk: “Four times.”

    Me: “Am I getting my new one, then? Because this is the seventh time, by my records.”

    Clerk: “It’s only the second time by our records. You’ll get a new one when it’s been four times.”

    Me: “I swear, it’s been far more than four times.”

    Clerk: “NO, IT HASN’T! We’ll get this fixed and get it back to you when we feel like it, buddy.”

    (Given the rudeness of that clerk, I pretty much give up and adopt an “I’ll get it when I get” attitude. A few weeks later, the college semester is coming to an end. For an oral presentation, I decided to wear my business suit, just to project a more professional air. When I was driving home from class that night, I was passing the electronics store, and decided to stop in and check up on my laptop. I walk up to the desk, and see the same rude clerk working. This time, though, rather than his rude demeanor, he leaps to attention as I walk to the desk.)

    Me: “Yes, I dropped off my laptop to be fixed a few weeks ago.

    Clerk: “Yes, sir! I’ll go check up on that right away, sir!”

    (The clerk disappears into the back for a few minutes. He comes out with a brand new laptop.)

    Clerk: “Well, I have bad news for you, sir. They were testing your laptop in the shop, when it suffered yet another failure. That’s four times, and, under the terms of the extended warranty, let me please present you with this new laptop.”

    Me: “Really? Now it’s been four times? When I dropped it off a few weeks ago, you said it’d only happened twice.”

    Clerk: “Umm… it suffered its additional two failures while we were working on it. So, yup. It’s been four times now, and as you’ve been awfully persistent in this matter, we can give you a new laptop.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, then, thank you very much for this.”

    Clerk: “And on behalf of the store, let me deeply apologize for taking so long to replace your laptop. We hope this hasn’t impacted your business, and that you’ll continue coming to us for all your business needs!

    (That’s when it finally dawns on me: I’m still wearing my suit! The clerk’s demeanor had improved because he was now assuming I was some important businessman, and needed the laptop for work. I decided to roll with it.)

    Me: “Are you aware of how much money I’ve lost waiting for this? I cannot, in good conscience, continue to bring my company’s business here. You can tell your manager you just lost this store the Henderson account!”

    (The clerk went pale and slumped in his chair, as I left with my new laptop. By the way, I don’t know anyone named Henderson and never worked for a company named Henderson. It was just something I saw on a sitcom.)

    Laptop Flop, Part 5
    Laptop Flop, Part 4
    Laptop Flop, Part 3

    Completely Sale’d Out

    | Milwaukee, WI, USA | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful, Money

    (After determining that the Blu-ray player I want doesn’t have outputs that will work with my old TV, I’m trying to decide whether to wait two weeks, when I’ll be able to get a new TV also, or buy the player now, because it’s on sale.)

    Me: “So, how long is this sale good for?”

    Employee: *looks at shelf tag* “Wednesday. But don’t worry; it’ll be the same price.”

    Me: “How’s that possible? Are you saying it’s not a real sale?”

    Employee: “It’s a real sale. But these are always on sale.”

    Me: “If it’s always the same price, it’s not really on sale.”

    Employee: *backpedaling* “It’s not always the same price. Once this sale is over, it’ll be a different sale.”

    Me: “So what will the price be after Wednesday?”

    Employee: “It could be higher or lower. But it could be the same.”

    Me: *laughing* “Well, that pretty much covers it.”

    Dealing With The Cable Guy

    | England, UK | Bad Behavior, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I am working 12-hour night shifts, so I am exhausted from start to finish, but I need some bits and go to an electronics store, straight from work. I wander around the store half asleep.)

    Worker: “Can I help you?”

    Me: *still half asleep* “Yes, I’m looking for some cable. I—”

    Worker: *interrupting me* “Well, yes, I think we do sell cable here. Do you know what type of cable you might be looking for?”

    Me: *deadpan* “Audio cable.”

    Worker: *with attitude* “Well, that doesn’t narrow down very much! ”

    Me: “Look, just fetch me six meters of paired bell wire, a male to female coax, a pack of cable pins, and drop the attitude.”

    Worker: *stands there motionless, mouth open*

    Me: *sweetly* “Now, please.”

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