Poor Customer Service Rant

After driving my little Japanese delivery van for a year and a half with no radio I decided it was time to bite the bullet and put one in. I went to one of the local stores with a car audio department to buy an adapter for the wiring harness. Since the van is a 16 year old imported vehicle there is no cross reference for part numbers in any of the North American systems. I explained this to the salesperson and ask if it would be possible to either look at what they have available or speak with the installer. The salesperson said no to both. He informed me the only way to find the part is with a part number.

I decided I was wasting my time and told the sales person I would just go to another store. His response really floored me. He said “WE DON’T NEED CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU ANYWAY!” Now I know that he was frustrated because I didn’t fit into the mold he expected me to but to tell a customer you don’t need them is going way too far.

I went to a different store about a block away and got the part by doing a comparison. The sales person at the second store asked if I had the vehicle there and had me bring it right into the install bay. He asked if there were any other parts I might need or if there was anything else he could do to help. He thanked me for my business and sent me on my way.

I was frustrated to the point I was temped to do a social media blitz and bash the first store. I cooled off by the time i got back to my shop and decided to call the manager of the first store and vent. I explained my side of the story to the manager and my perception of what had transpired.
[list] I chose his store as my first stop because I had dealt there before and gotten decent service.
I had explained to the salesperson that my situation was outside the normal.
I had tried suggest a solution to find the needed part.
I had been disrespected by one of his staff.[/list]

The manager apologized for his staffs actions but it really felt like he was giving lip service until he suggested that the salesperson should also call and apologize. I did get a call from the salesperson.

Now what should I have learned from this whole thing?

Don’t buy Japanese delivery vans?


I’ve had close to the same experience, oddly also in an electronics store. I’m a nearly 52 yr. old white man and I think they were automatically stereotyping me. What that punk didn’t bother to find out was I had already spent a few grand with his BOSS’S establishment over the previous year. After being dismissed much like you were, I calmly walked to the other sales counter where I knew the owner was working and spoke with him. I told him that were it not for the previous great service from other sales persons I would have walked out the door and spread the news. He excused himself and very professionally, very calmly, took this young man “out back” and when he came back in I got what I felt was an appropriate apology.

The moral of the story in our own businesses is to remember we don’t, nor do we tolerate staff that would dare to treat our customers in anything resembling that manner. I’m not so sure I’d be able to be as calm and professional about it as this guy was.