Thursday, April 05, 2007


Germantown, WI

Tom McMahon had a less-than-pleasurable experience at a Germantown PETCO. The title of his post alone says a lot:

My Experience At The Germantown Wisconsin PETCO At 5 Minutes Until Closing: The
Manager On Duty Tells Me Sorry, We Will Not Sell You Those Two Large Bags Of
Ferret Food Until You Move Your Van From In Front Of The Store

Tom was in a tough place, having to decide whether or not he should give his money to this store considering the experience even though it might mean his ferret would go unfed. Fortunately, he opted to spend as little money as possible, as opposed to the $40 he intended on spending.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So was he parked where he wasn't supposed to be parked? Why does the fact that it was 5 min to closing make it alright to park wherever you want to? I think this complaint sounds lame.

5:43 AM  
Blogger David Casper said...

5 minutes to closing.

No other customers at the store.

Heavy purchase.

Most, if not all, of customer service is meeting the needs of your customer. Considering he was the only customer at the time and was not infringing upon the ability of anyone else to shop in the store (which I would not endorse), it would seem apparent that meeting his needs should have been the only thing appropriate at that time. Even if, say, he were parked in a fire lane, I'm willing to bet had he pulled up to load his car after the purchase was made there would have been no problem. This is a simple case of a store manager not putting the customer...the only customer...first.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I would have said fine and told the manager that he could carry the food all the way out to the van.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Tom has an inability to plan ahead. What he did was wrong. Why do some people think they are above everyone else?

11:26 AM  
Blogger David Casper said...

Anonymous, I get the feeling you work in retail. If that's the case, I can assure you that you are a prime example of of what's wrong with customer service these days. This is not an issue of someone thinking they are above everyone else. I'll be the first to say that "the customer is always right" is a misnomer. In fact, I wrote a lengthy paper on that some years ago, having spent a good time working in customer service as well as having a background in marketing. The belief that the customer is always right ends when that belief infringes upon the rights of another customer. That did not occur in this case.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Billiam said...

Dave, I have to disagree with you here, reluctantly. I understand the time of day, and the heavy purchase. Yet, if it's a no parking zone, it's a no parking zone. People do that all the time, park where they're not supposed to. I understand yours and Toms argument, but that doesn't make it right. had I been the manager on duty, I would have cashed him out, then asked him to please park in the correct spot the next time.

4:38 PM  
Blogger David Casper said...

Ah, but Bill, you would have met the customer's needs for that transaction at that very moment and kindly reminded them that parking in that area was illegal. You wouldn't have refused to make a sale to a customer until they complied with your demands, thus jeopardizing the reputation of the business and, ultimately, the bottom line.

12:05 PM  
Blogger DannyNoonan said...

Well, the point of providing good customer service is to retain customers and get new customers by word of mouth etc. So actions that are considered good customer service are more or less defined by how many net new or repeat customers the action will produce.

After reading this post or hearing this story, some people might see a store owner that respects the law. I know some people that think illegal immigrants are bad simply because they are in the country illegally and [allegedly]choose not to patronize businesses that hire them. These people are kind of jerks but I'm not sure that a business that would cater to them on that exact premise would be irrational. Other people might hear about this and see a business that looks out for the safety of others (if the guy was parked in a fire lane) or for the elderly/handicapped (if he was parked in a handicapped space). They might choose to patronize the store for that reason. There are a number of ways that this dude's action could be considered a smart business move. I'm not saying that that is the case, just that it might be the case.

Do you have any data that would support your conclusion that this guy's act will produce a net loss in business for him? I'm geussing you don't. Nice try though.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one likes it when you go to a business right before closing.. If you have any experiene with working anywhere.. especially retail.. you should know that they're practically closed down anyway at 5 mins till.. like the registers and things.. Plus you probably came off as a jerk if you just parked right in front of the store.. it's probably a fire lane anyway.. plus telling you to move is kind of mandatory.. they're responsible for keeping all fire exits clear and free of obstruction.. in this case you were a hazard

8:39 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home