There are some customers who deserve a punch in the mouth, or at least the audience’s line from “Am I ever going to see your face again?”.
There are some people who should have their licence to shop taken away from them.
Let me give you some theoretical examples;
The “customer” that couldn’t afford to get his laptop fixed. He brought it in. The price is on wall, it gets explained to him, quoted to him and he signed to say he understood. The bloody laptop is worth $1500, you telling me he can’t find a hundred bucks??? So he gets time to pay, lots of time. Then he pisses off to Queensland (strangely that would have cost more for the flippin’ air fare!) So he gets phone calls, letters and a dozen chances to make a arrangement, any arrangement, but he doesn’t. So he gets a final notice, long after the 3 months we promised (in writing) that we would keep trying. And when all else fails, we reluctantly sell his laptop to raise the money he owes. A year later he wants to know where his laptop is. Did he get the letters? Yes he did. Does he remember speaking to us on the phone? Yes he does. Does he remember the bit about “final notice - we will have to sell your laptop to recover the cost” yes he does. Which bit of “we sold it” does he now not understand?
The “customer” that asks for a quote to fix his laptop. He pays the quote fee, we quote. Strangely enough, our quote matches the one he got elsewhere because they came to the same diagnosis we did. But that’s not good enough. He wants it “diagnosed”. Hang on, that is what we did. Hence the quote, we’ve tested, diagnosed and we now know what is wrong and have provided a plan and quote to fix it. But sorry, that is not good enough. (repeat the above paragraph 8 times, going round and round in circles...) So he’s claiming we breached our contract and wants to go to court. Frankly, I’ll welcome an adult taking a look at this case.
The turkey that dropped his laptop. That’s not why he’s a turkey, we’ve all dropped a laptop, that’s an accident, they happen. Its how you move forward that defines if you are turkey or a reasonable human being. So, he brings it in under warranty. Obviously he had forgotten to mention to the manufacturer’s call centre the bit about dropping it. So we do what we can, we order parts and we don’t mention the dropping bit either. But when you order a screen, keyboard, top case, bottom case, DVD, mainboard, hard drive and just about an entire laptop, there are going to be questions. So when asked by the manufacturer “Has the laptop been dropped or otherwise damaged?” I quietly say “maybe”. And his warranty is cancelled by THE MANUFACTURER, not me. But of course who does he want to punch? That would be me. He’s a turkey.
Are we allowed to punch them in the face or tell them “no way, get F’d, F’off”? No, we are not. That would be bad customer service. We grin and bear it. We try like heck to focus on the 99% who are decent human beings. We’re in the service business after all.
So the next time you have an issue with the service anyone provides, may I suggest you remember they are human beings too? Quiet, polite, honest and above all respectful will get you places, shouting, abuse and insults will not.
Do we screw up? Yes we do. That would be the human part. Do we have good intentions and will we sort it out given a reasonable chance? Of course.