August 28, 2011

Would you like some service with that ink?

Last week I had an experience that brilliantly shows what I think is wrong with customer service today. I walked into my local Staples store here in Regina to pick up a couple of printer cartridges. It was 9am and when I walked in I was just happy that they were open. I knew what I wanted, where it was in the store, and I hate shopping so I made a beeline for the ink cartridges, grabbed the two I wanted and headed straight for the till.

Only one till was open and there was a woman with a cart full of school supplies at the front of the line. I was next, then a gentleman with a single item in his hands stepped into line behind me. We were not long in line when one of the clerks opened a second till.

The gentleman and I walked over to the newly opened till and he said to me, "after you"... that was our only mistake. The clerk rings my ink cartridges through and it comes to $51.36. I give him $100 bill and $1.36 in change. He puts all that in the till and then sighs. "It's a little early to change $100, I am going to have to call for change." I am thinking 'well alright but you have been open an hour, it is school supply shopping week and I spent half of that hundred already' but of course, I say none of that.

After a few minutes, the change person had not yet arrived at the till so I said, "Let me see if I can find something else." I knew I had two twenties in my wallet and had seen a folded up five in my change purse. Along with what loonies I had, I got $50.00 together and handed it to him. "There you go", I said. He looked at me and said, "It is in the till, I can't take that out now." I found this amusing because his till drawer is open and I can see the $100 bill sitting in the drawer but he cannot make the change to the transaction at this point.

I held back my snicker but the gentleman behind me began to get a little impatient after a few more moments of no Mr. Change-Guy showing up. He then stepped up and said, "Well, I am spending $80.00 for this so why don't you just ring me through and then you can make her change", pushing his four twenties toward the clerk. He looks at the gentleman and says, "It is already in the till, I can't do that."

The gentleman looked at me and rolled his eyes. It all seemed so ridiculous that I said the first thing that came to my mind... "The till has officially become more important than the customer!"

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