Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Staples Customer Service

I like to think of myself as an easy customer.  I generally know what I want.  All the customer service representative has to do is convince me I have made the right choice and take my money.

Today I went to Staples to buy a networked hard drive for a client.

I knew the model I wanted and the price I wanted to pay.

We walked into the store (myself, my client and his assistant) and noticed, as soon as we walked through the door, one member of staff berating another.

We were ignored by everyone, but luckily we saw the item we wanted.  It happened to be at a good price so I took an empty box to the counter.  This is where the fun starts…

The person was still having a go at her colleague and we had some effort to get her attention.  She stomped over to us, snatched the empty box and stomped off, without saying where she was going.

The young lady that was being berated was left to smile at us, some what embarrassed.  I asked if the other lady was having a bad day and if there was a manager about.  Apparently that was the manager!!

The manager returned with the product and unceremoniously dumped it in front of me.  I opened the box to confirm what was in it.  I wanted to make sure that if I needed anything (cable, UK plug) we purchased it then and there.  The manager was not best impressed and scowled at me as I checked.  As luck would have it all the elements I needed were in the box

My client gave the manager the correct amount in cash (£199) only to be told that the unit was £239.  We pointed out that the shelf said it was £199.   After quizzing me if I was sure it was £199 she was not convinced and made a performance of stomping over the shelf to prove me wrong. She grabbed 1 of the 2 extra large shelf labels checking something on the back of the label and comparing it to the product.  Mumbling some comments under her breath (I did not catch what she said) she stomped back to the counter and made a “Managers Override”.  Displaying zero good grace.

We were all keen to get out of there, but my customer did want to explain to her how unimpressed he was with her attitude.  I also told her that were it not for the fact that we needed the device we would have walked out and purchased it elsewhere.  She acknowledged our comments, but did not apologise.  Clearly she did not really care.

In times like this, when jobs and customers are hard to come by, I would have thought that a shop would have been happy for a £199 sale, CASH (a card would have incurred processing fees), in less than 5 minutes with very little sales effort required.

I filled in Staples online questionnaire, they did not get a good rating, and will be interested if they reply.  

Whether I or my customer will be using Staples again remains to be seen.  I certainly will not be going back to the Old Kent Road store.

A bit of management level customer support training required I think.

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