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If A Business Wants My Money, They Need to Be Nice to Me

As we emerge from our pandemic imposed staycations and things return to a more recognizable semblance of normal, I’ve noticed something. The customer service I receive is either excellent or horrible. There doesn’t seem to be anything in between.

I received the worst customer service possible at the big box store a couple weeks ago. They’ve gone to mostly self checkouts, but I still want a cashier to ring me up. I don’t receive an employee discount for ringing up my own items, it reduces jobs, and I resent it.

I needed to pick up a handful of things from the store on the way home from work, so I stopped at the big box store. I finally found my items, no one approaching me to offer assistance, and made my way up front. I got in line at one of the two live person check stands open. There, I waited my turn.

The cashier rang up my shampoo, which was in the system correctly. The conditioner rang up $5.00 more than the shampoo, which I questioned. I explained to her that they were the same size, brand, and variety. The only difference was one was shampoo and one was conditioner.

I asked if I could have a price check. She propped her hands on her hips and repeated the amount. Then she asked, “Do you want it at that price or not?”

I told her to keep it. Why would I pay $5.00 more for conditioner than shampoo? Though I’ve shopped in that store since before it was a big box, I’ve already taken most of my business elsewhere. Being refused a price check is a good way to ensure I do more shopping down the street.

A couple days later, my husband had to go on a liquid diet for a health issue. Don’t worry, he’s fine now. Well, there’s only so much soup I can stand, so he suggested I go get myself a burger on my way home from visiting some family. I had a hankering for the unique flavor of a Burger King burger.

There was only one vehicle in the drive-thru when I pulled into the lot. I waited a short while before his order was taken, and he drove around. I took my place at the order box and was immediately asked if I could wait a moment. I told the man on the other end of the speaker I would wait. I picked up my phone and thumbed through some photos I’d taken of the grandkids. When I looked back at the clock, I realized I’d been at the order box for fifteen minutes. I was starting to pull away when the man asked if he could take my order.

I told him what I’d like and pulled around the building. I was surprised to find the truck that had been in front of me at the order box was still at the window. A few minutes later, he received his food and drove off. I heard the worker talking to someone in the kitchen as soon as I pulled even with the window. That’s when I realized there were only two people running the place.

The worker greeted me with a smile. He handed me my food and told me to have a nice evening. I tried to give him my debit card, but he wasn’t having it.

“No, ma’am. Your dinner is on us tonight. We’re very sorry for your wait,” he told me. “We hope you’ll eat with us again.”

I thanked him and took my burger home. It was every bit as good as I had expected. The fact it was their treat and they were so nice made it taste even better. I will be going back there.

Customer service still means something to me. I’m a person, not a robot. If a business wants my money, they need to be nice to me.

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