All posts for the month April, 2014

When The Customer Isn’t Right

Published April 12, 2014 by mindfulofchatter



Today was a long day at work. Not a bad day, just a long one. We worked a little OT to finish up an order. At 10 minutes to close, a customer came in to drop off a piece we agreed to do at our cost. Now you need a little back story.

This customer, Ms Boffy, had brought single items to embellish in the past. We took her item even though we generally do not do single item orders. In this case, it is boffy covers. A boffy is nursing pillow. You use it to support the baby while you nurse. They seem to be all the rage. Me? I just used a regular pillow with my kids. This may explain why my kids are kind of weird. I didn’t use the proper pillow. Bad me.

Anyway, Ms Boffy, has brought us these boffy cover things in the past and we have done them. She has been happy with our work. Until two weeks ago. Keep this two week time frame in mind, please.

Ms. Boffy brought in a new pillow cover. She chose the color she wanted the embellishment to be and the font type. We told her we’d ring her when it was ready. Everyone was happy. The pillow cover was put into the queue and done in the color Ms Boffy has chosen and in the place she had designated. Now these boffy pillows are a U shape. They hug around your body, I assume for stability, like those neck pillows hug your neck. The embellishment (in this case the baby’s name) was placed to face outward, towards whomever else may be in the room. It is was done that way because we all assumed that you would know your own baby’s name, and want the name to face visitors or family members.

Are you all with me so far? Good.

When Ms Boffy came to pick up the pillow cover, she was upset. Apparently we put the name on upside-down. She wanted the name to face the mother (perhaps this new mum has short-term memory loss and needs the reminder of her baby’s name?). Wanting our customer to be happy, we offered to remove the name and put it on correctly. She agreed. But then she decided she also wanted to make some changes. She changed the color of the thread (we embroider this stuff) AND the font style from a block to a cursive. We said okay, we’ll do that. We’ll make it right. So we patiently removed the original embroidery and made a new name in cursive. We re-embroidered the pillow cover in the new color with the new font type in the new position Ms Boffy had asked for. Now the font change meant the old needle punctures showed along the edges. In most cases, once the garment is washed, the apparel threads move back into place and the needle marks are not noticeable.

Ms Boffy came back and picked up the re-done pillow cover and took it home. This is not the end of our story.

Monday we got a call from Ms. Boffy. She was still unhappy. The needle marks showed. This was to be a gift and she didn’t want the needle marks to show. We told her to wash it and that that should take care of the issue.

But Ms Boffy was still unhappy. She shows up on Friday afternoon (close to closing). The needle marks still showed after she washed and dried the cover. This was to be a gift and she wanted it done ‘right’. We apologized to her. We offered to do a new pillow cover for free. She wants the new cover the next day, Saturday. We are not open on weekends, we tell her, but we can have done Monday for her, no problem.

And now it begins.

‘I am not happy’.

We understand that. We made an error by not making sure we had the name placed as you desired, and we are trying to make it right.

‘I don’t understand why you can’t have it for me tomorrow. You have always done my stuff in a couple of days’.

Today is Friday. Monday is a couple of days. We are closed on weekends.

‘The baby is being born on Monday! I need this now!’

If you bring us the cover Monday morning, we can have it done the same day.

I don’t understand why you won’t work with me.

Ummmmmmmmm…………..say what? We are TRYING to work with you. YOU are not working with us. Not even a little bit. And get your fraking kids off our displays and out of our candy bowl, please (okay, we never that bit out loud. But we did think it really hard). At this point, it has been one week.

Fast forward to today. (zzzziiiippppppppp!) We are now a t two weeks since the first ‘boffy fiasco’.

The now infamous Ms Boffy arrives at 5 minutes to close with a new pillow cover in hand. She is still angry and whining. She wants to pick a new thread color. Okay. We let her pick a new color. Now she wants to change the font – again. We said no. We explained (again) that we are replacing the work she was unhappy with for free. This means we use the same name file we used before, we do not spend more time to create a new name file in a new font. The whining explodes to near abuse.

‘I am unhappy!’

Yes, and we are trying to fix that

‘I can’t believe you won’t work with me!’

We are trying to work with you

‘YOU did it upside-down the first time. It was YOUR fault!’

And we re-did it at your request. In the manner you requested at no additional charge

‘It left holes all over the place. I don’t like it! I am unhappy with it and you are refusing to fix it’

We changed it at your request. You changed the font and that left a gap between the old and the new. Embroidery makes needle holes. We can’t do anything about that. We are offering to replace our work for free. This means exactly that. No changes in the  work we have already done.

‘BUT I AM NOT HAPPY. I want to change it. I want compensation for it being done wrong. I can’t believe you are refusing to work with me on this!’

We are trying to work with you. We are replacing our work for free, even after we changed our original work at your request. This is a two-way street. You need to work with us a little as well. You are refusing to do that.

‘I AM NOT HAPPY (okay, okay. I get that already – sheesh!) I want compensation for it being wrong the first time, for my time, for the driving back and forth, for the fabric (she makes these things), for my time and money to wash and dry the other cover, for the fact that this was to be a gift and now it’s late!’

Okay. Stop right there, lady. Now you have crossed over into the realm ‘who do you think you are?’ and ‘WTH?’. You don’t get compensated for everything. We made a mistake. We fixed it at your request. you didn’t like the fix. We offered to do it again for free. Now you are DEMANDING we compensate you 10x the amount we charged you in the first place? Are you insane? (the correct is ‘yes’ by the way)

(Oh, and please note, we never saw the old pillow cover and were taking her word that the holes didn’t close up. I personally rubbed a thumbnail over some of the holes to see if they would close. And they did)

This is when the customer isn’t right. Not even close to right. Not even on the same planet as right. This is entitlement at it’s finest. She imagines she is entitled to getting everything she wants. For free. She thinks that it is okay for her to yell us and verbally abuse us because we made a mistake. She imagines if she yells and makes threats, she will get her way. The same way a spoiled child gets a toys or a candy bar by making a scene at the market. Ms B fancies herself to be the Queen of Hearts. All ways are her ways. Off with our heads!

It isn’t okay. It’s rude. Actually, it’s beyond rude. It’s being plain old mean and nasty just to get your way.

Ms Boffy decided not have us do the new cover. With threats of bad word of mouth and a call to Better Business Bureau, she stomped out our door and zoomed off in her giant SUV. We watched her go and bid her a not so fond farewell. She will not be missed. We will take the hit she will give us and move forward. There is nothing more we can do.

So keep this in mind the next time you have a problem with a service or store. Remember they owe you only what you have purchased (if it is broken or wrong), not the entire world. Work with them to a good solution. Then everyone wins!

And don’t be a Ms Boffy. Ever.