I can excuse barking back at an unruly customer. I understand setting someone straight who is out of line. But what do you do, as a customer, with a salesperson that bites your head off when you’re being nice? No complaining, no whining, no demands, just a pause.
Is there a new customer service tactic being developed that trains the sales person to strike first before the customer has a chance to complain? If so, I’m the first victim.
I had travel plans go sideways, for reasons that I won’t bore you with. So, I decided to call Northwest Airlines (whom I now affectionately call Northworst) to see if we could fly rather than drive to get our plans back on track. As always, when asking for the nearly impossible, I always start out as kindly as I can, explaining that I understand if what I’m asking for can’t be done, but I have to ask anyway, just in case it can.
The person on the other end was very clear with her answers, and explained what I would need to do in order to get three tickets from Greenville to Detroit tomorrow. I paused to consider the cost, and then it came:
“Well! What do you think you’re gonna get, trying to travel within 24 hours, this close to Christmas!”
And the tone was downright nasty. Loud. Rude. I was shocked. And, while it may have taken me 15 seconds to consider paying double what it normally does for that flight, my decision immediately swung the other way. Forget it. I was not getting on a plane with a company that preemptively lambastes its customers.
No excuse. None. Nothing would explain yelling at a customer for merely pausing during the conversation. I didn’t raise my voice, I didn’t balk at the cost, I merely paused. Wow.
I know that United flies Greenville to Detroit, too, it’s just a bit more expensive. And maybe it’s worth it to not get yelled at by Ms. Cranky.