Saturday, August 15

An Exercise in Futility

Did you ever go to the phone store with great expectations and excitement for what might be and get them all dashed to the ground and stomped on by a clerk??? Well, then, you know just how my daughter and I felt this morning.

She has decided to change her cell phone plan to our company, since hers doesn't work around here (and some places between here and where she lives and works), so off we went this morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to the Ver*zon store. The company she works for has an agreement with Veriz*n, giving her a discount, so the idea was to get a family plan with the three of us on it, and change her current cell number to the new phone.

We looked at all the models that were available, and she settled on something called the Alias 2. First, the clerk had to search 4 different places to see if they had that phone in stock. After 5-6 minutes and the help of another clerk, he finally found one. Then he set out on the computer to gather all the information he'd need. My daughter wanted to know what the discounts would be, both on the plan and the phone before she locked into anything. It is unfortunate that the only way the clerk can know that info is to input all our personal info into his computer first. I think they try to wear you down by making you stand there for a long time. They used to have stools to sit on (when it was Allt*l), but now they've removed them. Maybe they think if they keep you there for a long time you'll make a quick decision to buy without really looking at the plans.

Would you believe that the clerk had no idea how the phone opened up? The photos of the phone on the box showed it opening 2 different ways, depending on whether you were making a call or texting. He said "They must have changed that model.", without even asking anyone else how it worked. I picked it up and studied it; noticed an extra hinge on the top and discovered it would open sideways (horizontally) as well as vertically. In my eyes at that moment, the clerk was dead meat. How on earth can they employ someone who doesn't know how the phones work??? Especially someone whose appearance isn't exactly going to inspire confidence. He had to have been at least 45-50 and he wore a deep, bright purple shirt with a yellow, black and white tie. That wasn't too bad, but the thing was: he had a receding hairline and a long, lank graying ponytail - and I mean long - at least 2 and 1/2 feet hanging down his back. That, and a pot belly does not bespeak one who knows his business - especially when he so readily proves that by not being familiar with the merchandise.

If he had said....."Bear with me; I'm new at this." I would have been happy to. If he had said, "I need to ask someone else", I would have been patient. All he did was get up and walk off (2-3 times) without saying a word about why and where he was going. Is that any way to treat customers?

At that point, I went to a chair in the waiting area. A short time later, I saw my daughter with another clerk, and apparently she wasn't any more satisfying than the first one. We left. We just walked away without saying goodbye. We figured if he could do that - so could we.

14 comments:

PI said...

How very frustrating for you.
Now you know I'm not going to know what a tylene is.
Handkerchief?

Ginnie said...

I hate that stuff. It seems to me that service is getting shoddier all over the place. I couldn't believe the poor service that I got in Starbucks yesterday !

srp said...

I hate wireless stores.... and never understand the terms... it seems we should all be lawyers... at least if we want to understand half of the stuff we have to sign these days.

Gilly said...

I'd have walked off long before you did! You must be the soul of patience!

There is no excuse for shoddy service. There are plenty of good people wanting jobs who could do a far better job than that bloke!

And as for receding hairlines and pony tails.........

JeanMac said...

Usually these folks are so "knowledgeable" that I am intimidated!

Joy Des Jardins said...

This is just shameful Judy. Why are these people being being hired...and why don't they care? I've noticed this happening more and more as i've shopped in stores....poor customer service in general. What's really unusual is that in a store like you were in...they really try to hire people who are on top of things because of any technical questions they may be asked. Shameful!

kenju said...

I forgot to add that when he called our name, he mispronounced it. We looked at him quizzically, and he said "OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT."
How clueless is he?

LZ Blogger said...

Boy can I ever relate to this post. Mrs. LZ and I just went through this at the beginning of summer. Bottom-line... we are NOW on two different plans with two different companies... OH WELL... live and learn! ~ jb///

robin andrea said...

We had a similar experience once at a phone store in northern California. I can't even remember why we were there anymore, but whatever it was, it took us hours (literally). I'm pretty sure the store closed while we were still in it. We were the last customers with the lone incompetent clerk. It was spooky.

Arkansas Patti said...

Might be a case of the company letting go the employee who could intimidate with his complete knowledge because he was too high paid and replacing him with a lower paid, less knowledgable, no experience person.
Lower salary cap can only mean poor service. A sad sign of the times I fear.

rosemary said...

What a horrible experience.....we have Veriz@n and have had no issues. We were lucky to get a young kid that was a whiz. i even took my laptop in and did all of the sync work. You needed a bitch with you like me. I would have embarrassed everyone in the store.

Darlene said...

In addition to your bad experience I have found that clerks can no longer add without seeing a picture on their computer, can't spell, and don't care.

Don't get me started about techies you talk to on the phone. Arrrrgh!

AJ in Nashville said...

That's precisely why I still have my Fred-Flintstone-era (circa 2005) Motorola Razr (not even the VCast model) — because:
a.) it still works great.
b.) I rarely text.
c.) it allows me to avoid the idiots at the AT&T wireless store for just a little longer.

Shiny Rod said...

I've been on AT&T for quite some time and have not had any problems. I did find that I could have got a better deal if had got my phone at Costco and AT&T did not want to give me the same deal. I did manage to get a big discount because I'm a State employee. I will never go back to a phone store after that.