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Airstud Vs. Vitamin World  
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2652 posts, RR: 3
Posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1175 times:

A week ago, see, I used the "Contact Us" feature on Vitamamin World's website to submit this here:

I was excited to use my 40% off in-store-only coupon and drove all the way to the Maplewood (Minnesota) Mall on Tuesday night.

I walked in to the store and the employee was away from the register, talking on the phone to a customer. I found the item I wanted, placed it on the checkout counter, and waited. And then waited and waited and waited while the employee stayed on the phone, not once acknowledging my presence with an "I'll be right with you" nor even with as much as eye contact. He finally ambled up the register, still without as much as eye contact, and his phone convo continued on for long enough for me to doubt that his coming to the register had anything to do with my presence there.

I walked out of the store, having wasted a lot of gasoline, time, and self-respect.


This morning, I received this here:

Dear Airstud,

Thank you for contacting Vitamin World.

On behalf of Vitamin World, I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced and thank you for bringing it to our company’s attention. Please be assured that we take our customers’ feedback very seriously. A copy of your e-mail has been forwarded to the District Manager for this location. The District Manager will be in contact with you to discuss this situation.

We value all of our customers and appreciate you taking the time to report your experience to us. We hope that you might continue to trust us with your nutritional needs in the future.

Sincerely,

Melissa
Customer Service
Vitamin World


I observe I am not the angry, piss-and-vinegar type guy I used to be; frankly, the whole "I apologize" together with the deferential "We hope that you might continue to trust us" bit kinda ties everything up in a bow, right there. I guess maybe the older you get the more you realize there's not much more you should try to extract from people.

Which is why I'm not super-happy about this email, which arrived about a half hour later:

Good morning Mr. stud,
My name is bla and I am the district manager for the Maplewood Mall location. I received an email from our customer service department outlying an unpleasant experience you had there. First, I would like to apologize that you did have an unpleasant experience, but I would like the opportunity to make it right.
I would like to take a few moments to speak with you at your earliest convenience or if you could provide me with your number, I would be more than happy to contact you when it is most convenient for you.
Please feel free to call me at (903) bla, this number is my cell phone and always on. If by chance I am with a customer and am not able answer, I will return the call immediately.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Sincerely,
bla


OK... so let's say I call the guy... what should I expect? How should I react?

I had a customer service catastrophe with Eddie Bauer...actually about 14 years ago now; sheesh - but it was that memorably catastrophic, actually. At one of the low points in that protracted episode, a gal from their corporate hq in Seattle called me with great despondency in her voice, wailing, "I would like to make this up to you!!! What can I do?!???" I told her I'd call her back, which I never did, because I couldn't envision me doing anything but brow-beating her until I was to encounter the limits of human brow-beatability. (I got an impressively composed letter from her a week or two later, but I didn't respond. for the same reason that I didn't call.)

And now here I am again: Owed something.

I am so scared of being a jerk when on the phone with this District Manager type person.

How do you handle it when a retailer/service provider/airline wrongs you and is trying to make it right? How do they make it right?

[Edited 2013-02-27 23:29:41]


Pancakes are delicious.
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3741 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1168 times:

For a start, I think you should blank the phone number and names from your post.

Lest the mods get there first...   



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2652 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1164 times:

Well, it's a business contact, not a private/residential one... but okeldoke...

(Pancakes are delicious.)

[Edited 2013-02-27 23:32:37]


Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3741 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1136 times:

I guess you should just have a chat with the guy and tell him exactly what happened... Without sounding angered or like you're owed something. Just explaining why you had to leave.

Your arguments will be a lot more convincing if it appears you are doing it calmly and for nothing else than the frustration that was caused.

He'll probably tell you what he can do for you, or you might ask for something, within reason.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20494 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1136 times:

I'm confused, did you get your vitamins or not?

That said, I'd explain to the district manager that you wrote because you didn't like going into stores, then walking out feeling like a schlub. He'll probably want to get the details about your experience. Then he'll probably want to do something to make things right so that you'll shop there again.

Get an actual store credit, not further discount coupons, that would at least pay for the bottle of vitamins you were going to buy plus what you think you spent on gas, since you're going to have to drive back there again.

If he doesn't offer at least that, tell him thanks very much, you'll do business elsewhere.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2652 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1094 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
or you might ask for something, within reason

Yeah that's the thing... I'm not awesome at determining what's within reason and what ain't...

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
I'm confused, did you get your vitamins or not?

I did not.   Note my original email to Vitamin Monde; the jerk stood at the cash register not acknowledging my presence at all and making me doubt whether he had any intention of helping me.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
Get an actual store credit, not further discount coupons, that would at least pay for the bottle of vitamins you were going to buy plus what you think you spent on gas, since you're going to have to drive back there again.

hmmm... I suppose that sounds reasonable. I was going to buy a box of those multivitamin packs, "Ultra Man" (oy) I think is what they call them. Those go for >$40, so realistically I kind of doubt they'd comp me one. (Eddie Bauer said they'd send me the sweater I tried to buy but couldn't because the cashier was blowing her nose on her bare hand; it was a $52 sweater on sale for $29.99. By the time my complaint reached Seattle the sale was over so after shipping me the sweater they started aggressively, nearly combatively, invoicing me for $52   .)

Ya know, I guess the only thing to do here is to call bla and see what the heck happens. (See how I myself react... I might at the very least have some black comedy to look back on...)



Pancakes are delicious.
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20494 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1069 times:

Quoting Airstud (Reply 5):
I was going to buy a box of those multivitamin packs, "Ultra Man" (oy) I think is what they call them. Those go for >$40, so realistically I kind of doubt they'd comp me one.

They might. There's a huge mark-up on vitamins, and that's a product that'll have you coming back on a regular basis. Tell the guy you were really disappointed by the behavior of the clerk because you wanted to see how the vitamins would work with your regime or something (you can sell it as well as they can, LOL).

Good luck! Let us know what happens.



International Homo of Mystery
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