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The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

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The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Old 07-19-04, 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by calhoun07
First off, "The customer is always right" was an advertising slogan created by Wollworth to promote his dime stores in the early 1900's. What kills me that since that time moron consumers think that applies to them at any damned store they decide to walk into and think that they should be called right even when they are in the wrong. The sooner people get over that phrase, the better. And last time I checked, Wollworth's dime stores were closed down a long time ago.

There are too many customers who want something for nothing, and they also annoy the living crap out of me as well. It's great to get a deal once in a while, but to revolve your life around getting things for free suggests a deeper problem that's probably not even being addressed here. These people want to stick it to "the man" or whatever but all they are doing is cutting into a store's profit margin, which in turn makes them have to raise their prices for the legit and honest customers they have, creating prices that, in some of your opinions, suck. Well, they suck because you suck. People steal, people cheat stores out of items and try to get things for less than they are worth or free and everybody pays in the end.

One case in point, pistacio nuts at the grocery store. A produce manager told me they are like a dollar something per pound when they come in at cost, but the store has to raise them so high in price because people eat them for free, grazing on them like freaking cattle that they are then going, "Duh, why are these so high priced."

The customer is always a moron. That's the new motto for the new millienium.
you probably work in retail so you're just frustrated but you gotta remember that problem customers are still the minority (less than 1% probably). that said, it's still customers who bring in revenue for companies and which ultimately pay your salary. if you don't like customers, then don't work retail.
Old 07-19-04, 10:39 AM
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Sometimes it's better to make less profit on one item, so you keep a customer, rather than screwing them over on one item, ensuring they'll never come back.
I agree, that rebate-and-return thing is wrong. That's stealing. But then, I'm not a big fan of mail-in rebates anyway--the only reason stores do mail-in rather than instant is because many people either won't mail it in, or will forget about it after 9 weeks. Then the company is stealing. Just lower the price as an 'instant rebate'. For manufacturer's rebates, they could credit the store based on units sold. Some states outlaw mail-in rebates.

That guy who called Domino's also sounded like a jerk--unless the delivery guy is rude, or it takes hours to get your pizza, he should always be tipped. Of course, that 1.00 'delivery fee' is bogus as well--there's never been any such thing as 'free delivery.'

Companies do have the right to choose their customers, as long as it's not based on one of the protected statuses; customers also, however, have the right to not shop there again, and badmouth the company to all their friends. In the case of a crook like the rebate thing, I'm with the company on that one--they wouldn't kiss the feet of a shoplifter because the shoplifter is not putting *any* money in the store's pocket--but in the case of sale-hunters and pricematchers, well, I assume a store wouldn't sell something that would lose them money, and what, pricematching is okay to have a policy on the wall, but they get mad when someone uses that policy?
Technically the pistachio eaters are also shoplifting. When we go the store, we'll give my boy a banana to eat if he's hungry, but then we buy one and tell the person to weigh it twice so we pay for what we took.
Today's society is all about 'gotta get more', 'gotta get ahead', and total selfishness and solipsism. This is evidenced on internet forums, pistachio eaters, Domino's pizza orderes, 'demon customers', and, yes, Best Buy CEO's. There's nothing wrong with making money, or saving money--but when that goal means 'screw the customer/company', then something bigger is wrong.
Old 07-19-04, 10:59 AM
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. The other night, a guy calls up to order and starts complaining about the $1 delivery charge,
If the charge is for cheese, just raise the price of pizza. Of course they don't want to do that, because they would have to advertise it at a higher price. I would compain too about charges. Do people eat at Domino's? Not likely..they are a delivery company, yet they charge a "delivery charge?"

We all know that delivery charge doesn't go into the hands of the poor delivery driver, who probably gets less tips because of this charge.

I aint crying a river over Domino's crappy "charges"
Old 07-19-04, 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by chanster
If the charge is for cheese, just raise the price of pizza. Of course they don't want to do that, because they would have to advertise it at a higher price. I would compain too about charges. Do people eat at Domino's? Not likely..they are a delivery company, yet they charge a "delivery charge?"

We all know that delivery charge doesn't go into the hands of the poor delivery driver, who probably gets less tips because of this charge.

I aint crying a river over Domino's crappy "charges"
My friend the manager says raising menu prices wouldn't help much because harldy anyone pays them - most people use coupons or get the nationally advertised specials. The cheese cost is legit - price of cheese on a large pizza recently went from 65-70 cents to twice that, so the charge really doesn't pad the owner's pockets (a portion of it goes to the company also). Many stores have been charging a delivery fee for a couple years now - this owner held off as long as he could.

Actually, the drivers have reported tips have improved because a lot of the real cheapskates won't pay the delivery charge and come in to get their pizza.

Last edited by NCYankee; 07-19-04 at 11:17 AM.
Old 07-19-04, 11:23 AM
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So change the coupons. If no one pays the regular prices, they're irrelevant anyway.
I probably wouldn't pay a specific delivery charge. Or I'd order from them a lot less. I do order for delivery, and I do tip, but sometimes I pick up, since that generally saves 2-4 bucks. But sometimes I do, and I count that extra cost as convenience. Of course, when they say 'It'll be there in 2 hours', I just say, Never mind, I'll come get it.
As much pizza as they sell, they could probably up their prices no more than 25 cents a pizza, cover their costs, and people wouldn't notice. But now that they've added a separate charge, people surely do notice.
Out of curiousity, I'd be interested in knowing the profit margin of the average Domino's pizza. As prevalent as their coupons and specials are, if one person buys for menu price, they must be making like 500% profit.
Old 07-19-04, 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by dtcarson
. Of course, when they say 'It'll be there in 2 hours', I just say, Never mind, I'll come get it.
-----------------
Out of curiousity, I'd be interested in knowing the profit margin of the average Domino's pizza. As prevalent as their coupons and specials are, if one person buys for menu price, they must be making like 500% profit.
Wow - 2 hours? I don't know who you order from, but they consider it bad service if it takes more than 30 minutes, even though the guarantee went away 10 years ago.

I don't know the exact cost of a pizza now, but I remember a few years ago hearing something like $2.50 for a large cheese which costs around $10 at the time - not including labor to make it, deliver it, royalties to the company, store rent and utilties, etc. I seem to recall hearing that the typical owner's profit margin is somewhere around 10-12%, though I am sure there is a break-even point in sales volume beyond which profitability increases.
Old 07-19-04, 03:06 PM
  #32  
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Of Pistachios, Pizza, and People

PISTACHIOS -- OK, the store owner is going about things all wrong and merely trying to justify a higher markup. If the problem is that people are STEALING the nuts, and yes, that is stealing, then you don't just mark them up more to pay for the shrinkage. Yes, shrinkage has to be accounted for in the price of a product, but you don't encourage the shrinkage to continue and punish the true customers. The nuts should be prepackaged into one pound packages which would cost less in the long run.

PIZZAS -- I have found over the years that EVERY pizza place that implemented a special charge on delivery has eliminated that charge within months. If the cost of the ingredients has risen, then the cost of the pizza should rise, not the cost of the delivery. As for coupons, most pizza places would not exist if it were not for coupons. And yes, more people should take better care of their delivery drivers.

PEOPLE -- So I am still at a loss here. Why is it not okay for me to go into Best Buy and ask questions (read: waste their time) about a computer that I plan on buying in a month? In the same breath, it is okay for them to continually hound me about a magazine that I have no interest in (read: waste my time) and an extended service plan that will do me absolutely no good (as my grandfather always said, "Extended warranties cover everything that could possibly go wrong, up to the moment that they do go wrong, as long as the item is operating properly")?

PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT -- dtcarson hit the nail right on the head. Their is nothing wrong with trying to save money or make money, until it comes down to "screw the customer/retailer." So I guess I have to ask, such as in the case of the pizza customer who orders once every three months with a coupon and doesn't tip, how do you assign value to your customers? In other words, if you are willing to write off a guy who spends $40 a year with you, what do you do special for the guy who spends $400 a year or $4,000 a year? If the answer is nothing, then you are in the wrong about him AND the $40 a year customer. In other words, if you are going to jettison the "bad" customer then you must be willing to do something special for the "good" customer.

PENMAN -- Here is a first hand example. While working in the video rental business, I took over a new store and inherited what you would call a "demon customer." This lady spent some major bucks in my store, from long before I was ever there. She also racked up some major late fees and always caused problems. It got so bad that the District Manager had to have her home phone number, cell phone number, and pager number changed to keep this lady from calling her. This lady was so known by our corporate offices that she was able to get a Zone Vice President on the phone ON A SUNDAY over some damn late fees! Anyway, corporate had wiped out over $1,000 worth of late fees for this lady, and she managed to run them back up. I don't believe that she was doing it on purpose, its just that she didn't like paying them (she would $1 each time). Anyway, thorugh some "creative financing" I got her back down to zero (I removed half and she paid half on the spot) with the promise that I would NEVER be asked again to remove late fees. Until I left that store she never asked again. I would occsionally remove them as a good will gesture though. And she spent more money in that store while I was there than when anybody else was. So, loyal readers who are still with me, what was the moral that Best Buy could learn here?
Old 07-28-04, 02:42 PM
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Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Abob Teff
I don't want to get off on a rant here . . . so here are a few random thoughts instead:

Yes, a person who buys something, mails in the rebate, and then tries to return the product and keep the rebate is WRONG. No argument there . . .
I agree wholeheartedly here - and I think it's these customers that B&M stores are trying to avoid - the cheaters and the scammers.

Originally posted by Abob Teff
A company who sets policies and the REFUSES to follow them is WRONG.

A customer who searches for the best deal is NOT WRONG.

A customer who uses a company's policies is NOT WRONG. If Best Buy offers price matching PLUS 10% then they should honor it. If Best Buy offers an instant rebate then they should honor it. If Best Buy offers a mail-in rebate then they should honor it.
I think this is an issue of where consumers and retailers have to pick and choose their battles. I purchased an ear bud from for my cellular phone which was really ineffective. I went to return it at Best Buy a week later. The customer service guy was nice enough to hold on to it while I went shopping for DVDs. When I came back with two TV season sets, he also price-matched the flyer I provided from Circuit City.

I made a mental note that 10% difference wasn't also deducted. At the same time, I didn't really care since the potential hassle wasn't worth the additional (less than) $2 savings. The clerk had provided good customer service (by moving me to the front of the line after I was done shopping, accepting my ear-wax laden headset, and price-matching the competitor).

I would have been entirely in the right to argue for the 10%, but would it have been worth it to raise my blood pressure and at the same time ruin the rep's day with a hissyfit over such a small amount. No.
Old 07-28-04, 03:44 PM
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About the pizza thing I think that they are just putting less cheese on the pizza.
Old 07-29-04, 12:46 PM
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Years ago when I was at Best Buy, I had several Deamon customers. One found a top of the line HP computer at Office Max clearanced (they were cutting down CPUs in their stores)for $1200, regular price of $3499. OM had none in stock, it was their closeout unit and they did not have one in a 5 state area. My store had just recently received this model and it was the best unit we had. The customer was there about 3 hours and talked to 5-6 different people including 2 managers.
While I was there I took care of some great customers. There were several Tuesday customers that I would talk with when they came in for their new releases. There were a couple of people that bought 3-4 computers in a 2 month span that I would hook them up with deals when I could. My treatment of the customers was a reflection of my own desires to be treated, plus I was not making any more money by getting a couple of more bucks from the customer. I would go through the obligatory warranty pitch and stop the instant I saw that "not this again" look.
Old 07-29-04, 03:03 PM
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Barings, I see no error in your statement. You hit the nail right on the head, and that is the kind of thing that BB shoots for. Put in place a policy that looks good on paper, but then do not use it unless the customer b!tches, and even then leave it open to the interpretation of the moment. So you were happy with the service you received, excellent for you! However, you said yourself that it is their policy and you would have to through hell to get them to administer it . . . there is the problem.

As for saving the rep's day, again, good on you! I don't blame the rep, I blame the company.
Old 07-29-04, 03:58 PM
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Depending on when i call, I have been quoted 2-2.5 hours for delivery [from both Papa Johns and Dominos]. I live no more than 8 miles from either one, most of that down one big highway. Of course, I'd rather be quoted that, than told 45-55 minutes and be calling them back at the 90 minute mark...
A policy that looks good on the wall, but no one [or few people] take advantage of, is pure profit and good PR for the company.
If someone *forgets* the policy, which can happen, and they are cool when I say 'Did you forget that 10%' [or whatever], things like that do happen, and I don't hold a grudge. But you'd think, a policy that's on the wall in big letters, you'd think the employees would know it. The guy at the door sure does know his policy of 'sticker incoming returns/check outbound packages.'

Sometimes, yes, I do let one thing go to benefit from a better policy. But the sad thing is, we feel like the winner in that case, but the company really won--they only fulfilled half their obligations.
Old 07-29-04, 07:43 PM
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Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Abob Teff

A company who sets policies and the REFUSES to follow them is WRONG.
That's funny, in the other Best Buy thread, I got lambasted for following the 'return policy' 100% of the time. I was called a dick, a bad manager.
Old 07-29-04, 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by dtcarson
Depending on when i call, I have been quoted 2-2.5 hours for delivery [from both Papa Johns and Dominos]. I live no more than 8 miles from either one, most of that down one big highway. Of course, I'd rather be quoted that, than told 45-55 minutes and be calling them back at the 90 minute mark...
Geez that's horrendous - even during snowstorms, my friend's Domino's got most orders out in under an hour, and even though the guarantee ended years ago, they still average about 23 minutes and consider 45 minutes horrible service (which is typical for Papa John's).

Do you live somewhere where there is a severe traffic problem?
Old 07-30-04, 01:33 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Tarantino
That's funny, in the other Best Buy thread, I got lambasted for following the 'return policy' 100% of the time. I was called a dick, a bad manager.
What youre failing to realize is as managers, we must break these rules to keep customers. Customers who spend $200 a month in are store, and return half the crap they buy because its 'defective' are awesome! We should bow down to them.

What I don't understand is why people do NOT read the store policy when they buy something. They come back later and always say "You never told me that", well last I checked, its YOUR responsibility to find out what the policy is.
Old 07-30-04, 01:55 AM
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I have a new sig.

Originally posted by Dabaomb
you probably work in retail so you're just frustrated but you gotta remember that problem customers are still the minority (less than 1% probably).
And you have to remember that they are the loudest and most vocal.
Old 07-30-04, 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
I have a new sig.

And you have to remember that they are the loudest and most vocal.
yeah, I do realize that, but they are still the MINORITY!
Old 07-30-04, 10:28 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Tarantino
That's funny, in the other Best Buy thread, I got lambasted for following the 'return policy' 100% of the time. I was called a dick, a bad manager.
I think you misunderstood the other post. The name calling had nothing to do with you following policy, or even your place of employment.
Old 07-30-04, 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Dabaomb
yeah, I do realize that, but they are still the MINORITY!
A few bad apples ruins the bunch.

I'll never work retail again after putting up with this minority of losers in the past. I'd live on the street first.
Old 07-31-04, 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by dtcarson
Depending on when i call, I have been quoted 2-2.5 hours for delivery [from both Papa Johns and Dominos]. I live no more than 8 miles from either one, most of that down one big highway. Of course, I'd rather be quoted that, than told 45-55 minutes and be calling them back at the 90 minute mark...
Jeez...that is a 16 mile round trip for the poor delivery driver. I hope you tip well.

They are probably quoting you such an excessive time to encourage you to either pick-up your order or (hopefully this isn't the case) call elsewhere.
Old 07-31-04, 08:23 AM
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At Blockbuster, they can put warnings/comments on your account - example: if you complain about too many discs not working when there is no apparent physical damage to them. (not making a judgement on the policy, just adding to the discussion)
Old 08-02-04, 07:55 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Tarantino
That's funny, in the other Best Buy thread, I got lambasted for following the 'return policy' 100% of the time. I was called a dick, a bad manager.
I hate to sound like a talk radio spin-meister (or Teresa Kerry for that matter) but show me where I called you that and I will tell you to shove it, I mean, uh, apologize.
Old 08-03-04, 07:54 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Tarantino
That's funny, in the other Best Buy thread, I got lambasted for following the 'return policy' 100% of the time. I was called a dick, a bad manager.
Don't you know? You're a dick unless you let everyone take advantage of every little loop-hole and give people stuff for free or heavily discounted.
Old 08-03-04, 08:47 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The customer is always right? Not anymore (Best Buy)

Originally posted by Abob Teff
I hate to sound like a talk radio spin-meister (or Teresa Kerry for that matter) but show me where I called you that and I will tell you to shove it, I mean, uh, apologize.
Re-read my post. I said that I was called a dick/bad manager, I never said that you called me that.
Old 08-03-04, 10:30 AM
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Re: Read this...

Originally posted by velveeta
Saw this article posted on another forum (thanks to OP "HIV" over at FW), and thought it was an interesting response:

July 13, 2004, 9:35PM

Some people become real shopping demons
By LOREN STEFFY
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
[snip]
I once raced in on the way home from work, looking for a video camera cable so I could tape a program at my daughter's school. I had less than 10 minutes, but I figured, no problem. I thrive on deadlines.

Finding the cable was easy. Paying for it was the problem. The three salespeople laughing around the computer kiosk couldn't ring me up. Nor could the guy at the camera counter, nor the woman at the customer service desk. No, they told me, I had to wait in the line behind 12 people at the checkout counter, where you had one person working.

I bailed out and went to RadioShack.
[snip]
NO sympathy for an impatient person trying to get preferential treatment. Loren Steffy spent more time running around from counter to counter to try and avoid the line than just getting in the damn line. And then giving up and going to Radio Shack took even more time!

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