How often do you walk out of a business beause of the service?

Not because you can’t find the product you’re looking for, I mean. The “Rights” zombie thread got me thinking about this.

I’m starting to think there’s been an almost “tectonic” shift in the customer<->business relationship in the last decade. Maybe it’s due to online sales or stores being part of a corporate chain, but I’m surprised at how often I leave nowadays without buying anything… because I’m being ignored.

In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself standing, ignored, in the order line at a Wendy’s (I left), at the counters of two jewelry stores (I left), and in both Lowes and Home Depot. (I don’t even need to mention Best Buy, do I? That would be redundant). In every case, the employees were nearby, aware of me, and yakking among themselves.

How often does this happen to you? How do you handle it?

In one case I found an asst. manager, and asked him to call their competitor for me, since his employees were too busy to help me. :rolleyes:

'round here, Lowes is great. Home Depot sucks. We have three Home Depot’s and I’m (literally) not kidding when I say that I think they train their staff to not help customers. I’ve seen them walk out of aisles that customers walk into, I’ve had times where I’ve stood looking at products with a stumped look on my face and had employees walk into an aisle and duck back out of it or walk right past me, I’ve seen 7 or 8 employees all in one department chatting instead of being where they belong etc… And this happens and all three of the Home Depots and I know it doesn’t just happen to me. Lowes on the other hand is great, I go there instead when I can.

My favorite story about what you’re looking for though. I was in the market for a BIG screen TV. I go to one store, I stand around in the TV department for about 15 minutes looking at the TV’s. The sales guy is on the phone, but I catch his attention and he puts his finger up to acknowledge me and tell me he’ll just be a minute. 15 minutes and 3 phone calls later I walk over to a different department and ask someone for help with the TVs. They tell me that there’s a salesman over there. I explain that I saw him, but I’ve been over for 30 minutes and he doesn’t seem that interested in talking to me, he’s just been on the phone the whole time. This guy tells me to head back over and he’ll send him over. Okay. So I head back over, park my ass back in front of the TV I was looking at (this was a 50 inch plasma back around the early 2000’s). The TV salesman looks over at me and says “I just have one more phone call to make and I’ll be right with you” and I said “I’ve been here for 30 minutes, I’m leaving, you’re clearly far to busy to take care of me, thanks” and headed for the door. The guy chased me toward the door, told me he was done and that he could help me now, but I told him it was too late and left anyways. Thing is, there’s another, almost identical store to that one about too blocks down. I went to that one and 30 minutes later had spent $7000. To this day I still regret not walking back into the first store to show him the receipt and rubbing it in his face.

Oh, those three Home Depots I was talking about. One of them has a Menards and a Lowes across the street from it, so if I’m at that one, I’ll walk out of it if no one helps me find that thingamabob that I know they have. Even if I already have a bunch of stuff. I know that Menards and Lowes have all that stuff too, so why stand in line twice.

My problem is not leaving, but rather vowing to never return. I got pissed off at a local KMart a few years ago. I left and vowed I’d never be back. A few times since I have driven a fair distance to go to a competitor, when it would have been way easier to stop at kmart.

It’s rare I’ll leave a store because of bad service on the floor. If the issue is long lines at the cash register, then I’ll drop my stuff and leave.

The one store that is synonymous with that in my mind is Big Lots. Every single one is a long exercise in patience on a regular visit. Occasionally they’ll have a 20% off everything day where it’s not even worth going to the store. It’s ridiculous.

Kmart, on the other hand, I love going to because there’s no one ever there. I’d hate it if I ever needed to get something out of their electronics section because it’s never staffed.

I wouldn’t say I do it often, but it definitely happens. There’s a Starbucks near here that focuses almost exclusively on their drive-through times, meaning the customers who walk in end up waiting forever. A couple of months ago, after ordering my latte and waiting 20 minutes for it to show up, I went back to the register for a refund, and then I left. It also happens at restaurants (should it really take 30 min after we’re seated for someone to ask us what we’d like to eat?) and small clothing stores (please don’t abandon me pantsless in a changing room when you’ve told me you’ll go get me the right sizes).

I’ve worked retail. I’ve been in situations with more customers than employees, and some have walked out. But I always, always made sure to acknowledge the shoppers, indicate that I was just tied up for a moment with someone else, and would be with them ASAP. I feel like that aspect of customer service might be slipping a little. I feel ignored an awful lot.

I hate hate hate going to Home Depot. I get Depot rage. Website says it’s in stock. Can’t find it. When I finally find an employee, he works in another department. Or has never heard of the product. I just try to buy stuff online when possible now, to avoid the bullshit.

I will never set foot in Carson’s ever again.

I like to write the negative Yelp review on my phone while I’m being ignored, or otherwise slighted. It’s really cathartic. Big chains don’t care, but I’ve had local businesses contact me and try to make it right; I always give those people a second chance.

The town that I used to live in had a bunch of bars/restaurants that had horrible service. Unless you were a friend of the bartender. Then you would get wonderful service, as well as lively conversation. I tried to wave down one bartender who spent five minutes talking to a friend while ignoring the entire, rather full, bar.

Only one recent experience. A local Italian bakery that also makes up pizzas, lasagnas, baked ziti and other dinner entree-type dishes for carry out and reheat or bake at home. They have a wall of coolers holding all the pre-made dishes. I loved the place. Fast, tasty and sort of home made.

I had noticed they’d replaced the seasoned workers with kids who looked to be about 14 but figured it was family members.

The last time I was there, I had an armload of purchases that I had placed on the counter. I was holding my wallet, ready to have everything added up and pay, when the very young girl working the register looked up above my head and said “Hi, Ed!” and reached over my shoulder to take this guy’s money for his big pan of lasagna. She rang it up, gave him his change and put it in a bag, while I stood there, in their way.

I loudly announced (yes, I can be obnoxious) “Oh my heavens! It’s happened! I am invisible!” and I walked away, leaving about $50 worth of food on the counter for them to put back in the coolers. I’ve never been back and don’t ever plan to.


What’s amazing to me, is a substantial number of these ‘service people’ are the ones bemoaning that they need a ‘living wage’.
I must be old. I took the term ‘working for a living’ to heart, when it was pounded into me…

I’ve done it twice over the decades.

Once a gal in a sandwich shop sneezed into her hands and was going to make me a sandwich without washing them. She looked very ill.

I was at a grocery store when all their cash register computers went down. We waited for about 20 minutes. Other customers had already started leaving. The manager would not allow his people manually take money as it ‘would mess up the inventory and accounting’. Things like melting ice cream and meat unfreezing was really going to mess up things more as people just abandoned their carts.

I had been going to a Denny’s, but they would (inconsistently) give me grief if I tried to order something customized off of their Grand Slam menu. One day the hostess on duty flat out told me, NO, they couldn’t accomodate my desire for a Belgian waffle combined with some eggs, turkey bacon, & yogurt, so I just walked out, and haven’t been back since.

The customer is always right…?

Maybe once every two years I’ll get mad enough to leave. Last time was when I was hugely pregnant and trying to buy some fabric at JoAnn’s. There were two people staffing the whole store on a Saturday afternoon, and they were at the checkout talking to each other. There were eight people waiting at the cutting table. I was huge and uncomfortable and supremely grumpy. I put my fabric down and left, and never came back until the store and re-located and re-staffed. It’s much better now.

What you said just reminded me of my favorite FourSquare review. Back when I used to check in on FourSquare everywhere I went, I checked in my local Home Depot and saw that one person wrote “These guys with the orange aprons, they work here, right?” I LOL’d in my car. I was glad to know it wasn’t just me. I like to think they should change their motto to “You can to it…by yourself”.

ETA, the ‘review’ is still there, right at the op because someone the person put it on as a tip instead of a review.

There’s a fast food chain here in town, Culvers, whose employees seem to not get the concept of service. Oh, they’re friendly and all, but they are in no hurry. At all. It’s like the slowness is ingrained into the company’s culture. They have signs outside and inside the building that basically say “You’re going to be here for a while, so suck it up.”

Two examples:

Once, inside the store, I ordered a cup of ice cream. A cup of ice cream.. After I place my order, the guy kind-of casually starts heading in the general direction of the ice cream, then stops to talk to his buddy for a second. Then he heads back in the general direction of the ice cream, get there, and casually looks around for a cup. A couple of friends go by and he chats with them all the while. Eventually he gets the cup and the scoop and casually scoops out my ice cream, all the while chatting it up with his friends. Eventually he gets back to me with my cup of ice cream. Like I said, he was friendly as all get-out, but he just didn’t seem to grasp that a customer would like his order, you know, now.

Another time, I was in the drive-through. This was a weekday afternoon at about 2:30- well outside of lunch rush or dinner rush times. I pull up, the voice says “Welcome to Culver’s, I’ll be with you in a moment.” So I wait. And wait. And wait. After a minute or so, I say “Hello?” to the machine. The girl’s voice comes back, “Sorry about your wait, we’ll be with you in a moment.” So I wait. Some more. And then some more. After about five minutes I drive off.

I would swear the place off, but their food is just. that. good.

I have never gotten angry enough to leave. If I want service, I will find someone and ask them, not wait for them to come to me. I’m not a fan of the super sappy fake happy customer service culture the USA tries to cultivate anyway. They don’t pay the workers enough to care that much in my opinion. They certainly don’t pay them enough to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the tens of thousands of products their store carries, that’s for sure.

My beef is with the companies that underpay, undertrain, and mismanage their employees. The employees are the lowest cog on the totem pole without any power. As such I won’t be going back to a Kmart not because of shitty employees (they did do their best), but because Kmart doesn’t hire enough employees to handle the registers and their inventory/returns system is a load of trash.

I’ve rarely walked out of a shop, and it’s been a while; last time was probably around 2001 or so. I’d stopped at a Denny’s in Wyomissing, PA. When I walked in, there were about four people in the place and no sign of an employee anywhere. I did hear someone talking to someone else in the kitchen. I sat down, figuring someone would be out shortly, but after fifteen minutes with still no sign of an employee, I got up, went to the kitchen door and said, “Is anyone there?” The dimly-heard conversation stopped for a moment, then started up again. So I gave up and took off, but not before helping myself to the contents of the cash register, ha ha ha. OK, that last part isn’t true.

I didn’t even get the satisfaction of storming out in a huff, because clearly no one who ‘worked’ there ever even saw me. I sometimes imagine those poor other patrons futiley waiting an eternity for their waitress to come back, until their desiccated bodies crumbled to dust right there in the booths.

I am a master of that one. More then once I’ve taken a full grocery cart to the manager and told him it’s quicker to check me out than to restock this stuff, but it’s their choice. And then left.

There are two places I will walk out of in a minute- if I go to a sit-down restaurant and nobody has even walked by my table and acknowledged that we were there, if even to say they’ll be with us shortly, within 10 minutes of being seated, I will get up and leave. Also if I take one of my kids to get a haircut, usually Famous Sam’s or CostCutter-type of place, and I walk in and am not greeted within a couple of minutes, even though the people cutting hair are standing right there, I will leave. Obviously you are too busy for me so I don’t want to bother you.

There are far too many restaurants and hair-cutting places around for me to fuck around with that.