Monday April 9, 2007
To the Manager –
I am sorry to say that I had one of the worst retail experiences today that I’ve ever experienced, and it was in your store, and it’s compelled me to write this letter to you so that maybe you can share it with your staff and they can maybe learn something from it and organize their selling priorities a little bit better in the future.
I have been a long time customer of your store because I believe very strongly in not buying anything from a pet store that sells cats and dogs, and so therefore I’ve always spent all my fishkeeping money at your store – which has been a not insignificant amount of money – I have spent several hundred dollars at your store in the last couple of years, and have generally received perfunctory, satisfactory service.
But today was another case entirely. I arrived at the store at about 1pm and waited for a few minutes while one of the employee’s finished up with another customer which was completely fine – there were 2 employees working today – the second employee was casually talking with another female the whole time I was in the store. I couldn’t tell if he was selling her anything or if they were just talking – but the whole time I was in the store he talked to her non-stop – so he made himself unavailable the whole time I was in the store from beginning to finish.
When the sales person finished with that customer I said to him that I needed help with my fish tank and started describing what was wrong with it – the phone started to ring, and since we were the ones nearest to it – he answered it – and spent about 30 seconds answering a question for the person about a sick fish – which was fine – I just stood there and waited for him to finish, and when he did, we continued our conversation and I started asking what kinds of products I should buy.
Then the phone rang again – and he answered it – this time it was a person from Saint John New Brunswick with a sick fish tank. And for some reason the sales person thought it was appropriate to talk on the phone with this person for more than 10 minutes while I just stood there and waited – a person who was going to be paying your business actual cash money – a person who comes to the store regularly and gives your business money – a person who is going to be talking to other people locally about your business – either good or bad – and he left me standing there waiting. For more than 10 minutes – while he discussed the merits of different types of anti-biotics with this person in Saint John New Brunswick.
It might have been fine had the other sales person working noticed the gaffe being made and left his friend and taken over the sale – but he just continued talking – and I continued standing there and getting more frustrated – so what I did was just get the products that I figured I needed and put them on the counter so that the sales person could ring them in – while he continued to talk on the phone to the person from Saint John New Brunswick!
Surely you can understand what a ludicrously bad sales thing is going on here! So while I am piling all my items on the counter I guess he had finished answering the questions to the fellow in New Brunswick and he hangs up the phone. And during this time another gentleman had come into the store – and while the sales person is ringing up my sale – of items that I had picked out by myself (not really knowing whether or not they were the best items to buy) – with no help from the sales person because he’d been on the phone the whole time – this guy starts asking questions about “loaches” – and he’s asking it in fact to the other sales guy who’d been talking to the girl – but the guy who’d I’d been dealing with starts answering the question – so that was it – NOW I was pissed off.
I say to the sales guy – “what do I have to do to get some attention?” Even now you’re talking to someone else?” And then that pisses off the other customer – like as if I’m the person being rude.
Well I can tell you – I was not the one being rude – it was your sales person who had been talking on the phone for the last 10 minutes completely ignoring the customer in the store (me) who was going to be giving your store money to keep your business open. Money that this customer is not going to be giving you anymore. Today I spent $56 something in your store – and I say $56 something because your sales guy didn’t even give me my receipt!
I have to say that I am SO happy that Petcetera has opened up in Dartmouth – because fish owning people now have an alternative in this city where we didn’t before – before we had no where to go but to your store if we wanted to be politically correct – but now we can go to that store – and I can tell you with great certainty that I will be buying all my fish supplies at Petcetera in Dartmouth from now on because of the way that your staff made me feel today.
Now that there IS an alternative in our fair city – I think you should be giving some inservices to your staff on how to treat the customers – that when people call asking for advice on the phone – that those people come SECOND – that you take those calls only when there’s no one in the store. Period. You don’t make customers standing in the store WAIT. Period. And then if the customer standing in the store has the audacity to complain about it – you DON’T make them feel like they are the rudest person on the face of the earth.
Your sales person said to me that “he thought that in previous times that I’d been to the store that he’d been very friendly to me, so my rudeness to him seemed very uncalled for – well what I would say to that is – every other time I’ve been to the store – I’ve ALSO been very friendly to him – and THAT should say something too. I am a very friendly person – so me being rude to him today should ALSO say something. I was very affected by his very poor attitude.
If you have too many customers have the same experience that I had today, and who have been shopping at your store simply because they shopped at your store because they didn’t want to buy at a store that sold live animals – and now can shop at Petcetera – you’d better start counting your pennies.
Tonight though we got to blow it all off in a very nice walk in the woods - doesn't Buttercup look beautiful?
And doesn't Daisy look beautiful? I JUST caught her in the lens before she zoomed off beyond me. She moves fast!