Last Minute Customer... (warning)

Vixen78

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Warning! Rant Mode ON:


What is it with difficult customers coming in at the last 20 minutes of the day to want to return something and then continue to give you their life story?


I mean honestly, I understand that you bought something and now for whatever reason you would like to return the item… You must know that the returning of an item does take longer than the buying process, Right?



It’s not like you can expect to walk in and drop your item on the counter and expect money in hand within seconds. Unfortunately things just aren’t that simple, and a paper trail is needed, and the item you are returning needs to be looked at to make sure of it’s condition so you can receive a full credit…

Things take a little longer when you don’t have your receipt in hand and we have to go searching for it.


I know all of this seems like basic knowledge, but it never fails. For whatever reason, many people wait until the last few minutes just before the department closes to want to return their unwanted parts.



It’s just aggravating when that happens at 4:50pm and we close at 5:00pm and Mr. Customer brings in his special order part because it was not the cause of his problem and he wants to return it with out his receipt, and he paid with his credit card.. which now has to go back on the same credit card, and since the Office Manager doesn’t allow us to do return transactions, someone from the Office now has to come down stairs and do the return on the machine *sigh*


Anyway, the whole reason behind my rant is due to a Customer that came in at the end of my shift wanting to return the steel wheel she had purchased last week for her 2005 Sebring Convertable.


I was the Advisor that helped her last week and I remembered the transaction… Going back to last week, She was walked over to the Parts Counter by one of the Service Advisors and they seemed to know each other and I was asked to take care of her *wink wink*. Not that I don’t with all of the customer I deal with ,but the *wink wink* was to make sure I gave her a good deal on the Wheel she was looking to purchase.


She came in with her registration in hand and was looking to get a Full Size Steel Wheel to replace the Full Size Aluminum Wheel that came with the car. As she went to use it and saw there was a good sized crack in it and obviously didn’t feel safe using it. She had a feeling that the same OEM wheel would be pretty pricey and she was hoping to get a spare of the same size wheel that was less expensive. Which sounds easy enough,right?


Although having the VIN# handy was nice, I could not use this information for what she was asking for. The VIN# only tells me what the vehicle has, and since she was asking for something that did not come with the car, I had to take the VIN filter off to see if a Full Sized Steel Wheel was an option.


Are you with me so far?


Once the VIN filter is off I can now see all of the options Chrysler used for ALL 2005 Sebring Convertables. There were at least 6 Aluminum Wheel options and 1 Steel Wheel option and 1 Compact Spare option… None of which have the dimensions or sizes listed, hence why it is important that we have your VIN#, and can filter out the options.
So I let her know that there was 1 Steel wheel option, but I can’t be sure that the wheel is the right size, or if it will mount properly. With that being said, she still wants to purchase the Steel wheel because she doesn’t want to go any longer without having a spare tire in her trunk.


I write up the special order card, let her know when she can expect it to be in, gave her a discount on the part and finished the transaction. I was suppose to charge her @ $150.00 but instead she paid $115.00 + tax.


Seems she bought her spare tire from Costco and went to have it mounted on her new steel wheel today, only to be told that the tire would not fit the wheel, and it was pointed out that the wheels she has on the car are 16 inches and the steel wheel was only 15 inches. So you can imagine that she’s not in a good mood when she comes in looking for a credit.


She comes to the Parts Counter and says that this wheel is the wrong size and she can’t understand how it could be wrong when I had her information, and goes on to say how frustrated she is because she’s having such a hard time trying to find what she wants and no one has been able to find a steel wheel that will fit and of all places, she thought we being a Dealer should get it right.


At this point it all comes back to me and I remember the scenario behind this transaction, and I told her that can understand her frustration and asked if she had her receipt so I could start the return process.

Sounding more upset, she doesn’t have it and has no idea where it is and makes a point to say that I was the one who helped her. I let her know that I remembered and also recalled giving her a special price and with out her receipt I don’t know what she paid in order to give her a credit.


Now I’m not one to put myself in a confrontational situation, I could see where she was upset and confused with how things worked and I wanted to try to calm her down and explain things in a way she could understand. She had the mentality that we should know what size wheel she needed and why couldn’t we just look it up and order it.


I looked up a 2005 Sebring Convertable and printed the screen so she could see what I see, showing her the 6 different Aluminum options, the 1 Steel option and the 1 Compact spare option… I went on to explain that the Sales codes next to the description have a meaning, but without the VIN I can’t decipher what the “WCF” “WCE” “WFE” means nor are there any sizes listed. This is all I see!

You asked for a Steel Wheel, there was 1 option and that is what was ordered. I let her know that I had no way of knowing if that steel wheel would be compatible but it’s what she asked for and I apologized, saying I was sorry that it didn’t work for her.


I went on to explain what her options were… 1 being that she go to some place that could measure one of her wheels, get the dimensions and see if they could find a Steel wheel of the same size… or 2 She would have to get the OEM Aluminum wheel that came with the car.

Seems she already tried the first option and was getting no where, then was told to come to the Dealer as we “should” be able to get what she needs. Again I showed her the print out as to what the Wheel options were for that year car and since the Steel wheel offered was not correct, and she doesn’t want to spend the money on the OEM wheel, I can’t help her.

And again she went on to question why I couldn’t get her a steel wheel for her, as she feels that Chrysler MUST make one that is compatible…. you can see where this is going… Around and around and around with me explaining the same thing and her not grasping the concept… all the while I am keeping my cool, and let her know that I am in no way trying to give her a hard time, but I’m trying to educate her and I am sincere in wanting to help her, but she has already exhausted her options, there is nothing more I can do.


So I let her know that I will do the return without her receipt, because it’s the least I can do to help make things better and as a default when doing a return, a 20% restocking fee is added. Now in all honesty we can waive that if we want and in most cases we don’t even pass that on to the customer…



But on the bottom of all invoices it clearly states that ALL special orders that are returned will have a 20% restocking fee, NO returns on electrical parts and you have 30 days to return your parts. A pretty standard disclaimer, but we have made many exceptions in the past.


I realize that the restocking fee was added and thought to myself maybe I should waive that… but I went with it anyway and showed her on the duplicate receipt that I was able to print up, that she paid $115.00 +tax and now with the return there was a credit for the $115.00 nut here’s a restocking fee because it was a special order part so she’s being credited @ $96.60. You know that didn’t go well… *sigh*



Now she’s questioning the restocking fee, saying it’s not her fault that the wrong part was ordered and she shouldn’t have to get penalized. Naturally I go on to explain why we charge a restocking fee, and the fact that it was a special order and the fact that this wheel only fits a 2005 Sebring that came through with the steel wheel option and it’s a very slim chance that we are going to sell this part. Those aren’t my rules, There are many parts that we buy from Chrysler and we are not able to return to them, for what ever reason…



She understands that and recognizes that it’s not my fault, but naturally she’s upset because it just cost her $24.15 to return a part that we are going to have sit on a shelf and she still does not have a full sized spare tire for her car. She did make a point to say that she didn’t agree with the restocking fee and she will talk to my manager about it.


So the whole drive home, I’m thinking about the way things were handled, trying to think if I could have done things differently, but in the end I did all I could think to do. I don’t like seeing customers upset after dealing with me, I do take it personally, it may not be my fault, but I don’t want their experience with me an upsetting one. I know that I’m hard on myself, and and I people pleaser, in most cases I’m too nice, and I do go out of the way to go the extra mile…



I found myself second guessing whether I should have waived the restocking fee, but I know it was the right thing to do… I was a split second decision and I had to put my foot down and commit once I brought it to her attention. I guess I just need to vent and get it off of my chest.

I know that I can’t please everybody, but I still try.


So what did we learn today? We learned that wheel are not created equal. We also learned that you don’t have to like what the Parts Advisor is saying, but I have no reason to lie to you.. accept the fact that what you want to put on your car may not exist.
This concludes the lesson for today….. I hope you come back for the next one
Rant Mode OFF!
 

Oracle

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Wow! That must have been one Hell of a frustrating incident Vixen + you must be a 70 words per minute touch typist to offload your bad day at the office in such detail! ;)

Reminds me very much of my nephew, he used to hate last minute customers even if they bought something coz he just wanted to get home.

Anyways, I can see now how blogs can be therapeutic so a good way of offloading stuff I agree.
 

Vixen78

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hehehe Thanks for reading and for the comment Oracle :) Dealing with the public sure does take a toll on you.. granted some days are better than others..

It does get very frustrating when they ask questions and I answer as best as I can and point them in the right direction, just to be asked a few more times, with the hope that my answer will change to what they WANT to hear...

It's like I'm expected to make their parts magically appear :p but, yes... blogging has been a great release for me... definitely better than keeping things bottled up.
 
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