Aren’t employees supposed to make customers want to return to their stores? Well, these workers didn’t get that message!
Shoppers on Quora reveal the instance in which they thought, “I’m never returning to this store!” Content has been edited for clarity.
Cutting It Close To The Wire
“One day, probably some 15 years ago, I purchased a laptop from Best Buy. I spent over 2k on this laptop and, against my better judgment, got talked into purchasing a three-year service plan for about another $200 to $300. As an aside, I don’t normally purchase service plans but decided to break this personal rule because I wanted my expensive laptop to be taken care of if anything broke. This experience, as you will see, reaffirmed my practice of not buying service plans.
Fast-forward a few years later. Up to this point, my laptop worked without any issues. Then one day, it stopped booting. I can’t quite recall but I think it hung at the Windows splash screen. Trying to boot into safe mode did not work, as the laptop returned with an error message, which in my limited experience indicated some type of hard drive failure.
I then recalled I had purchased a service plan. I doubted it was in effect as I knew the laptop was now a few years old. I looked for the receipt and the service plan paperwork anyway. I had saved them in one of the pockets of the laptop’s carry case. I found it and was surprised to find the service plan was still in effect – by one day. It was set to expire that night at midnight. I quickly jumped on the phone and dialed the 1-800 number, thinking I had barely made it under the wire. I eventually reached a customer service rep and told him my problem. The CSR eventually told me he could not help me as their systems were down. What? He explained their systems were down and he would have no way to troubleshoot my problem. I asked him if he could at least track I had called for service before my extended service plan had expired? He flatly told me no, reminding me their systems were down. Now I was getting upset. What kind of customer service was this? So after a few more minutes of getting the run-around, I hung up and decided I would have to go into my nearest Best Buy. I could not go in right at that moment though, as it was late at night and the store was long closed for the day.
The next day, I went into my nearest store and hoped to plead my case. I went to the service desk and gave them my spiel. At this point, I was now one day past by service plan date. The service guy heard me out but said there was nothing he could do. I asked to speak with a supervisor or manager but was told the same thing.
I was beyond made, but I did not take it out on the employees. Yelling at store employees was not going to get me anywhere. I tried calling corporate to complain but received the same answer, I was out of warranty. They stuck to their ideals, and did not consider the mitigating factor that was clearly out of my control.
Since this experience, I have never purchased anything from Best Buy.”
What Did She Mean?
“My wife gifted me an Apple Watch 3. It was an expensive gift and I was quite excited to wear one. I took care of it like a baby and was very careful with it. On 30th August, I removed the watch in the evening before going to bed. I woke up in the morning and took the watch out to charge it, and I was shocked to see the display cracked evenly from all four sides. I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was no way, I had accidentally dropped the watch or hit it against a hard surface. I was pretty sure of that.
I went to the nearest store and stood in line for an appointment. There were a couple of other people in front of me. When it was my turn, I explained the situation with my watch and showed it to him. He started using his fingernails to inspect the crack, and I had to stop him immediately. He told me he was investigating the damage and concluded it was due to an external impact. The good thing was he called a couple of other guys from the Genius bar and they too started looking at the watch very carefully. One of the guys said there was no external impact and they would give me a new watch. They then proceeded to give me a token number and told me to bring the watch back when it was my turn and that it would take about two hours. And two hours it took.
I was then invited by another guy who took me to a different corner of the store and asked me where I dropped it, thinking I would ‘confess’ it was my mistake and they would be able to rip me off. I told him it was already checked by the experts and I needed a replacement.
He then proceeded to take down my details and said they would email me when the replacement watch arrived in their store. I was relieved, but I kept wondering what stopped them from taking the broken watch to a workbench and observe it under a magnifying glass and then coming to a verdict rather than scratching with their nails to determine the cause of the broken screen.
They could have just decided to take down my request for a replacement and let me go rather than make me wait for two hours in the mall.
I got an email a week later informing me to collect the watch from the store.
I went to the store and the lady who attended to my case, brought out a new watch, opened the box, and handed it out to me. I was then told to remove the straps from the broken watch and to hand it over to her. She didn’t even bother to help me fix the strap back on to the new watch.
I jokingly told her I hoped this watch wouldn’t break on its own and she told me such things never happen, and I should not charge my watch all night. I don’t know what that meant.”
That Is Definitely Not Allowed
“Years ago I bought a shell jacket. I loved that jacket nearly to death. The zipper gave me some trouble for a few years until finally, I took it in to get a new zipper. I wasn’t looking for a free repair, I was more than happy to pay for it, I just wanted a proper zipper put into my beloved jacket.
They told me it would take a couple of weeks. I called in a couple of weeks and they told me my jacket was not salvageable because it was so old and they no longer knew where it was and it may have been destroyed already. They offered me a store credit for what I paid for my original. What I had paid for it was in the neighborhood of $100. All the new jackets they had were well over $300 and none of them were remotely what I wanted.
I started making calls to their head office in Vancouver, trying to get my jacket back. After several horrible calls, including one with a guy who argued vehemently I don’t know what kind of clothing to wear in the outdoors, they finally agreed to try and track down the jacket.
About two months later, I finally got my jacket back unchanged. The young fellow in the store when I collected it said this was the first time he’d seen this happen. I asked him to clarify, and he said it was the first time he’d seen a person get their article back. Most people just rolled over and took the store credit because their store policy was to take the article and refuse to give it back.
At best this is a terrible customer service practice. At worst, it is theft. They have no right to take someone’s possession and destroy it and then extort them to buy a new article instead.”
They Did Not Care About Her Situation
“In 2004, I bought cell phones for my husband and myself for Christmas. We had a three-year family plan’ contract with the service provider.
My husband passed away seven months later. I called the service provider, explained the situation, and asked if I could switch to a one-person contract. (Naive of me, I know, but I was new to the world of cellphone contracts.)
They turned me down cold and were actually quite rude about it.
The agent I spoke to just said, ‘That’s not our problem; you signed up, you pay. No exceptions.’
So I was stuck with a phone I didn’t need and wouldn’t be using, and stuck paying for service for two phones for the rest of the term of the contract.
Near the end of the contract, I got a call from a very nice lady on behalf of the provider, inviting me to renew my contract with them. I told her I would swallow ground glass before I ever dealt with her company again. She was shocked, and of course she asked me why.
I told her what had happened when I tried to change my contract. She was even more shocked; she apologized, and said, ‘That’s not our policy; I don’t know who you dealt with before, but they were wrong!’
At that point, I thanked her for her kindness, but I pointed out it obviously only came into play when her company wanted something from me. When I needed something from them, I was treated very rudely and dismissively.
I told her the wrong answer was bad enough, coming from someone who should have known the right answer. That was his job, after all.But if the company’s ‘customer service’ agents felt free to treat people like that, they had much bigger problems than an employee who didn’t know what their ‘deceased customer’ policy was.
I told her it wasn’t so much the contract issue that had upset me, although I did resent having to pay for service for a dead man for nearly two and a half years. It was that ‘Not our problem’ that had really upset me. And I remembered it every time I used my phone.
She tried to talk me around, but I didn’t change my mind. It was eight years before I bought another cell phone, and I made sure I chose a different service provider.”
A Not-So Happy Birthday
“A few years ago, the planets aligned and I had six full hours to myself with nothing to do on a day close to my birthday. My wife was doing something with the kids and I was caught up on all of my work. I had six straight hours to do whatever I wanted. That’s a once-per-year event for me lately.
I decided to treat myself to a good old-fashioned ‘Civilization’ marathon. I went out, found a copy of ‘Civilization V’ for Mac, read all of the system requirements, determined I had all of the requirements, purchased the game for $49.99, took it home, and put it in my MacBook Pro.
That’s when the problems started.
Instead of a game, I got a message saying Steam had been installed (I had no idea what that was at the time), and it would begin downloading Civilization V from the internet. Estimated download time: four hours.
What the heck? The system requirements didn’t say anything about needing an internet connection. I wasn’t about to wait for the game to download on my slow internet.
So I put everything back in the box and returned it to Best Buy. I’d been gone for less than an hour. The cashier who sold it to me was still there. I explained the situation, but they refused to return the game. Company policy and all.
‘But I paid for a game, and there’s no game in this box. It’s just a link to get a game from the internet, but the box doesn’t say I need an internet connection to use this game,’ I argued.
They argued, correctly, they didn’t print the box and that’s something I’d need to take up with the people who made the game.
I understand that they were just following the rules. Still, they ruined my birthday present to myself, a ‘Civilization’ marathon. So I refused to shop there anymore, out of pure spite.”
“I’m About To Throw A Fit”
“I ordered a diamond nose ring from online. I had a couple, but I wanted a round one. The jeweler I normally go to didn’t carry a round one anymore. This was about the same price as the sale price, so I figured it would be about the same size.
When I got it, there was no diamond in the mount. But, the mount was so tiny I had to use my fingernail to make sure I wasn’t just not seeing it. I took it to my local store because it was marked as, ‘no return,’ since it was a nose ring. I was not going to pay for this. I didn’t even want a replacement if that was how tiny the mount was since there was no way it could be a stable mount.
So, I got there and went to the jewelry counter. I explained the situation and showed all my paperwork. She looked up the sale and told me it didn’t match the description in the sale. I said, well, another reason to not keep it. She said she couldn’t return it because it was missing the diamond and the description doesn’t match (the description was a bolt, this was a stud). I explained there was no way I was going to pay for it. She wanted me to call the online customer service. I told her I came to the store because I didn’t want to explain this over the phone. She insisted there was nothing she could do, and she would not be returning it. She even questioned why they packaged the nose ring the way they had in a weird tone.
I said, ‘Ma’am, you better call your manager because I’m about to throw a fit.’
So, the manager came down. I explained the situation while the rep was sulking at another counter. I told the manager how it seemed like the rep was implying I switched out this with a different nose ring. She shouted over, she had not. I agreed she never directly accused me, but the tone sure did seem like it. The manager confirmed it was a nose ring, just a stud. He confirmed the ship date and looked at the metal for any wear. He returned it.
Now, she doesn’t know me, and I was wearing a cheap necklace, but I was offended anybody would think that anybody would scam them over what was probably an ultra-small diamond (considering the mount).”
They Kept On Delaying The Service
“Four years ago, we bought a stove from Lowe’s. It lasted about a year. We had a warranty on it, so I called them. The soonest a repair person could come out was two weeks. Since the stovetop still worked, just the oven and timers and such didn’t work, we agreed to this.
One week later, Hurricane Michael hit, carrying 155 miles per hour winds. The day we were scheduled for repairs, we still had no electricity.
A few days after our electricity was restored, we called to reschedule service. We found out the only repairman who serviced our rural area had lost his business in the Hurricane. No one else in our rural area serviced appliances. It took a lot of work on my part to get Lowe’s to honor the warranty and replace the appliance.
We lost 640 feet of chain link fence to the Hurricane. A salesman from Lowe’s came out and made a bid on replacing the fence. He also made a lot of promises about workmanship and the time it would need to replace the fence.
The work on the fence started a month later than promised and took over a week instead of the three days promised. Our three-yard dogs were stuck on 20-foot chains for that week.
Less than 24 hours after the work was completed, both gates fell off their hinges. Then, we discovered the front fence (wood privacy) was not installed correctly. Lowe’s promised to come out in a few days to look at it. In the meantime, rather than tying the dogs up again, we finagled the gates back on the hinges and jury-rigged it so they wouldn’t come off again.
Lowe’s finally came out and said since we had touched the gates, we had voided our warranty. We had to threaten them with our lawyer to get them to do anything. We also ended up paying someone else to fix the gate and put concrete around the wooden posts.
Now we are three years and two days since Hurricane Michael. The replacement stove we got in early November 2018 totally died. It had been eight days since I could cook. I spent two hours on the phone with Lowe’s the first day, an hour three days later, and over three hours today. The customer service people were either incompetent or trying to drag things out since our warranty only had two weeks left.
The really frustrating part of this whole mess was they kept on trying to find an appliance repair person less than 30 miles from our home, knowing the only one in our area had his shop demolished by Michael and chose to retire. Lowe’s kept on telling me they needed one more day’ to find someone. Why? If you can’t find someone in three days, will five or seven days make a difference?
They finally agreed to just refund us the cost of the stove. I will have a check in the mail in two weeks, meaning I will be out of a stove for three weeks. The check will be sent first class, not Priority, and without a tracking number. With the post office being slow, I don’t know when the check will be here.
We are done with them.”
A Very Pushy Salesman
“My problem had been at a furniture store. My boyfriend and I went in to look for something for our bedroom. We were told all the bedroom sets were on the second floor, but they didn’t have an elevator or escalator, (I use a walker, and my boyfriend a cane – we parked in a handicapped parking place) so, ok. We’ll just look around for maybe something else we might need. The salesperson was following us all over the store, he was so close I felt his breath on the back of my neck! I turned suddenly and stepped on his foot on purpose! Then my boyfriend and I left the store as quickly as we could.
When we got home, I went to my laptop and emailed headquarters. No less than 10 minutes went by when I had gotten a response, with an apology. All well and good, but that just didn’t seem enough for me. I sent a reply back to the person who wrote to me and said while I had written the first email, I was on the phone with a friend of mine, then I was going onto complain about what happened. Again, a quick reply from the same woman, who offered me a $100 gift certificate and the address of two of their other stores that were about a half-hour to forty minutes away from us. I said thank you and waited to see if that was really going to happen.
Two weeks later, it came in the mail. The next day my boyfriend and I had gone to one of the stores, it was pouring rain by the time we got to the store. We went in soaking wet and smiled at the salespeople. This time we were at a store that only had one level, and nobody bothered us. We looked all over the store and finally found something. We found a hutch in a girl’s bedroom set we liked. We found a salesman, showed him what we wanted, gave him the gift certificate, paid the balance, and was told we would have the hutch by the end of the following week.
Well, seven, yes it was seven months later, not the next week or next month. I was calling the store every other day and sending emails like crazy as well. Plus I told all of my co-workers, family, and friends about this. Anytime I see one of their commercials on TV, I cringe.”
This Is Why Expiration Dates Are Important
“I used to buy toiletries from a high-end-ish company. I would normally buy a few bottles to stock up. Their products do not have any expiration date stated, so you have no idea when you need to use them. I used their products for 10 years and my purchase records were in their database, so they knew I was a long-time customer.
The product in question was a hand moisturizer. I noticed one particular bottle that I had was extremely liquidy. The aroma was also very different from normal. The viscosity was to the point of being almost like water and you couldn’t use the product properly. This may seem very petty but when you’re paying 100 bucks for a bottle of hand moisturizer, expectations are rather high.
I contacted their customer service. All I wanted was an exchange of products. I was told they were sorry this happened, but they couldn’t do anything. I proceeded to tell them their product had no expiration date and there was no way for me to know if the product would degrade. Through multiple rounds of ‘discussion’, I got nowhere. I then mentioned I was a loyal customer and had been recommending their products to all my friends and followers on social media. My case was referred up the line to management and their tone changed immediately. I was offered a 1–1 exchange.”
The Other Customer Tried To Help
“My mom and I went to a local mall for Christmas shopping. On the way, I stopped at the bank and got $100.00 in twenties.
The first thing we did was eat lunch at a fast-food restaurant that isn’t open on Sundays. My meal came to about $8.00 and change. The cashier gave me back a dollar and some change.
I told her I gave her a $20 and she needed to give me ten more bucks. She said she gave me the correct change. I looked at the receipt and told her she had entered $10 instead of $20. And asked for a manager. A gentleman in the line next to me said he saw me hand the cashier the $20. The cashier told him to mind his own business.
The manager came, I explained what happened and he just looked at me and the cashier and said I was wrong. The other customer told him, no, I gave the cashier $20.
The manager waved his hand at the customer and told him to go sit down.
At this point, I just gave up and sat down. Since the only cash I had prior to ordering was five twenties, there was no way I could have given the cashier anything but a twenty.
I refused to go back or even eat their food. I still haven’t.”