Customers who fly off the handle as a first reaction

Another warning sign is anyone that says “the customer is always right” as part of their logic or arguement. In 99.99% of the cases, it means the customer is not right, knows it, and is trying to pull a fast one.

Yes. We had a woman (my last firing) who would come in, spend a couple hours browsing–A COUPLE HOURS–would make us look up untold numbers of movies, would argue with the correct title was *Alfie *or What’s It All About Alfie?, would end up with dozens of movies, from ever section, spread around the stores in little piles, then invariable bring one or two movies to the counter, ask us to hold them for her, and never pick them up. Last time she was here, after about an hour, I told her I had some things I had to do, and unless she was going to be renting, I didn’t have time to keep looking things up for her. She goes “It’s all about the customer service.”

I said, “It’s only customer service if you’re a customer. You never rent anything.” (She hadn’t rented for almost a year, and her account carried a late-fee balance over $30.)

Come to find, after I put a note in the log that she’d been 86’ed, my boss had 86’ed her long ago but forgot to put a note on her account.

Sure, the customer is always right, but at a certain point customer ceases to be a customer and becomes the reason you have a security officer.

FWIW when I worked on Jaguars we had customers that came in two flavors. As nice as the day was long, or the assholes from hell. All of our customers were rich so it wasn’t a money thing. We used to talk about this to try and figure out why one customer was so nice and the next was such an asshole.
After much discussion we came up with what was the divider.
If the people made the money themselves they were nice people.
If they married it, or inherited it they were assholes.
This held true without fail.
Since more women marry money than men do, this might explain your female foot stampers.

In general I’m sympathetic with what you’re saying, but what you’ve described here seems like a clear cut case of unauthorized use of a credit card.


Not necessarily true for your situation - but just because it’s the first time they’ve talked to you about the problem doesn’t mean it’s their first discussion about the problem.

My first reaction is usually calm, but after the 18th call, hold music for hours, voice mail systems from hell, being re-routed, being mis-informed, being flat out lied to, by the time I finally talk to “Chris,” I’m angry.
And I try not to take it out on this person, but if they do anything that looks even remotely like it’s going to be more of the same shit - well, it’s just too much.

so the answer to:“Why do you think that being rude and abusive is a better way to solve this problem?”

is “the alternative clearly doesn’t work, and this way, both parties are upset - not just me.”

My philosophy to console myself after a customer-from-Hell scenario has been similar: I’m glad I don’t live with them, and I pity whoever does.

I think we can all agree that sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and take the gloves off. I’ve done it sometimes, that’s because a lot of merchants and service providers do suck.

However I cannot see how a reasonable person can start by just assuming the worst and escalate from there. How about you first let the other person explain itself.

It reminds me of that joke about a guy getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. He sees a light in the distance and walks towards the lone house. While he walks he starts to play scenarios in his mind where the person in the house will refuse to help him and starts to get agitated. He knocks on the door and before the person who answers has a chance to say anything he screams “take your fucking telephone and stick it up your ass!”.

And I don’t completely disagree with you, but why would the parents insist on not honoring it after finding out their minor child has been ordering stuff online. Or will the let the merchant spank their kid?*

*I am generally against spanking, just a rhetorical question.

I disagree with this, VCO3. I don’t disagree that it can happen, but spineless management doesn’t create assholes, it only enables them. I think it’s more to the point to say that some people like abusing others, and CSRs are handy targets who can’t effectively defend themselves.

Even in the cases, such as lissener’s current situation where management backs him up, the most he can do, really, is show customers the door - satisfying, but still not exactly a threat to make an asshole quake.

Oh, God, “that’s not acceptable” kills me.

A large part of my job is arranging group travel. One of my current projects is getting 21 people to and around Micronesia. I recently worked with 3 different travel agents to get the group the specific flights they wanted at the best price possible. The group leader’s response to the flights we’d found was “That price is too high. That’s unacceptable.” (He’s not paying for the tickets himself; our organization is.) Listen, buddy, you’re the one who needs to get to Micronesia. The airline is the one with the seats. We haggled and bargained and negotiated as much as we could on your behalf, but at the end of the day, the airlines are the one with the power, not you.

I’ve noticed this about the female foot stampers, too…usually, they’re older women who used to be hot and used to always get their way because they were hot, then once they lost that ability, they turned downright nasty and bitter.

I had an ebay customer recently who started out unreasonable and escalated from there. Mostly, I sell high-end cosmetics. I had one compact that had a crack in the powder. Now, I had paid $5.50 for the compact, and they retail for around $25.00. But I just wanted to clearance it, because it was damaged. So I listed it at .99 plus shipping.

In my listings, the return policy is clearly stated: if product is defective or significantly not as advertised, I will issue a replacement or refund. Buyer assumes all shipping charges.

Well, the guy who bought my cracked powder emailed me saying my listing was fraudulent, because what he received was crushed and unusable. I responded that I would refund his purchase price, and told him that out of about 50 such compacts I had sold, this was about the third time I’d encountered this problem. My guess was overly-rough handling by the post office. He responded that it certainly could not have been rough handling by the post office, as the package showed no signs of damage, that I had obviously knowingly sold a useless compact, and he demanded not only a refund of his .99 but also his shipping fees.

I responded that of course there was no sign of damage to the package-it was a freakin’ bubble envelope. What kind of damage would he expect to see? But I reassured him that the photo in the listing was the photo of the exact item I’d sent out to him. I also speculated that perhaps the crack in the powder made it more prone to breaking during shipping.

I get yet another email, saying I had 6 hours to refund his shipping fee, or he was going to leave me negative feedback! (Yeah, as that would have me quaking in my boots; if you have 230 positive feedbacks, and one negative, that’s not scary stuff). So I emailed him back and said that my policy is clearly stated in my listing. Either he hadn’t read my policy, making the whole thing his problem, or he had read it, and implicitly agreed to it by bidding on my auction. But I also told him to feel free to leave me negative feedback if that was what he felt compelled to do.

Well, I haven’t heard any more from him, and haven’t gotten any feedback at all from him (which is fine with me!)

But really, you know, in spite of my stated policy, I have been known to refund shipping costs under some circumstances, and might have been inclined to do so for him, had he not been an asshole from the start!

Yep. Not a peep from her today. I sent her an email asking to know if everything was OK, called her and she does not answer her cel phone either.

While I am not Miss Cleo I can predict that if the PA hadn’t been cleared by now I’d have gotten a call *real *early today.

Sorry MG, but you have no idea how the dispute process for credit transactions work. Both major associations (Visa and MC) have huge rule books detailing how a dispute transactions is handled between a card issuer and a merchant bank. And lets be clear, as a merchant you are not “charged back” anything. Your BANK is charged back, and if they fail to prove that the sale was legitimate, they take the money from you and it goes to the card issuing bank (a bit more complicated than that, but more or less how it works).

If you are losing money for CB’s you need to contact your bank and find out why. Most banks have floor limits for CB’s and wont even fight a charge if it’s to low. Or maybe your bank just isn’t very good at handling disputes. I would shop around and find someone else to represent you.

I am willing to be educated, but I’ve been selling online for five years. I am sorry if I cannot dismiss my own experience: the chargeback is rarely reversed even when you have tracking nos. and signed receipts. I work with many processors, not just one. Please read the report I linked.

The money is taken from my account if the customer files a chargeback. It’s that simple. Plus I am charged a fee.

Which is a convoluted way to put what I said above.

Sorry to disagree, but it’s my experience, and the general consensus among online retailers I talk to that the biggest problem we have is not foreign scammers, you don’t survive long if you can’t recognize those. The biggest problem we face is “friendly chargebacks” and domestic scammers.

The process flows (in most cases) like this:

Customer contacts their card issuing bank to dispute a charge

Issuing bank can make a Request for Copy, which is just them asking the merchant (thru the merchant bank) for a copy of the receipt. For transactions without a receipt, the Issuing bank will submit a chargeback (with all supporting documents showing the transaction was a fraud). A chargeback automatically takes the money from the merchant bank and gives it back to the Issuing bank.

If the merchant bank reviews the supporting documents and decides that the transaction was fraud, the dispute cycle ends there and the Issuing bank keeps the money, and the merchant is then debited for that sale.

If the merchant bank reviews the supporting docs and feels it was not fraud, they prepare whats called a Representment and sends back to the Issuing bank all the supporting docs they have showing it wasn’t fraud. The representment, like the chargeback, takes the money from one bank and gives it to another.

Now, the issuing bank reviews the supporting docs from the representment and decides if the transaction was valid. If they feel it is, the dispute stops there, and the cardholder is told they owe the money. If the issuing bank feels the charge is still not valid, a new process is started called Arbitration.

And I will stop there. If you want more info, let me know via email and I can fill you in, or open another thread in MPMIS.

:eek: That made my day. Never seen that before. Holy cow.

That it is, but the key is that the unauthorized user in this case is also the responsibility of the card holder. If a parent brings their minor child to a store, and the kid breaks something, the parents are going to be expected to foot the bill. If a minor child takes the parents’ credit card and rings up a bunch of charges, it’s the parents’ responsibility to cover the charges, not to pass them back to the company that was fulfilling what appeared to be a legitimate business order.

I ordered a watch band from a jeweler because the stupid expensive watch I own cannot be fitted with an ordinary watch strap. The jeweler calls New York, tells me they have one left, it will be here in two weeks. I call nearly one month later after hearing nothing and the clerk I speak to says the manager handles all those sales and he will call me as soon as he comes in, in about 15 minutes. One hour later I call back, no she still can’t help me, the manager is just stepping in the door now, give him a few minutes and he will call me right back. One hour later I call back. Hello, manager speaking how may I direct your call? Well I’d like to check and see if my watch strap has arrived it’s been nearly a month. Oh, I’m sorry I’m making a bridal presentatuion right now, I’ll have to call you back,. WHAT!!! Strangely enough after I explained that noone from his store ever calls me back, he then says the strap is probably in the back he will go check. He has received one strap he says and describes it, is it mine he says. Don’t you know I say. You have the order forms. How about you just send me a check and give me my money back. Fine he says, delighted to be rid of me. Is that customer service? I don’t think so. That is why people lose their tempers, horrible customer service. First I should have been called when the watch strap did not come in when promised. Second, the assistant ought to have been able to check to see if my order had come and call New York if it had not. Third, if that is impossible, the manager should have called me before taking on another customer. Fourth he should have apologized for not doing that instead of telling me he would call me back. Fifth he should have turned his customer over to someone else so that he could take care of me, a prior customer who is getting terrible service. I really don’t have much use for a jeweler but I can assure you there are thousands out there and only one I will never return to.