Nightmare on Customer Service Drive

Halloween is a time for scary stories. We have all heard typical “ghost” and “goblin” stories, but no story is as frightening as that of a horrific customer service experience.  The terrifying tale will most certainly ruin your day—and may stay with you forever.  

It was the winter of 2010 and I received the cutest Christmas gift from my friend; a pink digital camera! As I opened the packaging and started reading the instructions for my awesome new gift, I realized that there was a very large scratch on the camera.  My friend gave me the receipt and I took it back to exchange it for a new one.

I took my prized possession to the store where my friend had made the purchase—where they guarantee the lowest prices, always. I should have known that a store guaranteeing low prices but not good customer service might fall more on the trick side of trick-or-treat. 

I began at the customer service desk where they immediately directed me back to the Electronics Department.  I set my sights on the back of the store and quickly made my way through a labyrinth of hurried customers, shopping carts, and inconveniently placed displays set in the middle of my path.  It then took five minutes before I could find someone willing to assist me.  The man I found was reluctant to help and difficult to understand.  As soon as he opened his mouth he barked at me and said I would not be able to exchange my camera (even for a less expensive one

I know a cosmetic imperfection is not a big deal but he could have said it nicely (remember the blog, “It’s Not What You Said, It’s How You Said It”).  I would have left and not made a big deal if this man would have simply said “I’m sorry, we won’t be able to exchange that for you”—with an explanation, of course.

I told him I would just go back to the customer service center.  Apparently offended by my reply, he immediately snatched the camera out of my hands and started racing to the customer service center ahead of me in order to warn them I was coming. When I arrived, the man was frantically jabbering with the manager about why I couldn’t exchange the product. I calmly informed the manager that I would just appreciate a clear reason as to why I could not exchange or return the camera.  The mad man quickly interjected and didn’t let her answer.

What did I do?
At this point, I was so fed up that I grabbed my camera from the insane electronics guy and left.

Normally, I’m not one to complain, but this was just so out of control that I called the manager in charge of the store. He apologized and said they had had problems with this man before.  Unfortunately an apology is all I was given—no refund, exchange, or follow-up. 

I can guarantee, because of this horrendously ridiculous experience, I will never buy anything from this store again—especially electronics. I still have my cute, but scratched, pink camera. Every time I use it now, I am reminded of a store that excels in low-prices but suffers from terrifying customer service.

What would YOU have done in this situation?



Check out some more terrifying customer service stories here!

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