Thursday, 21 October 2010

Wrong Number

Ever had a phone number that was close to a popular business and you end up getting the odd call from people who miss read the number, miss a button on their phone or who just didn't really pay attention when dialing?  Our home phone number similar but I would never have thought it was that close.  Our number would be "555-9999" and Walmart's number would be "577-9999".  Not too close but close enough to confuse some people.

It comes in waves.  We could go for months without a wrong number, then all of the sudden we are getting 8 calls a week.  This week because of the winter roll out, phone calls are coming in droves.  Most people are polite and apologetic.  But you get the odd cretin, who has the manners or a koala bear.  I had one person call today, as soon as I said hello they asked me if this were the automotive department.  I said not it is not the automotive department.  Right away they go off on me telling me to transfer them to the automotive department then and why is this number listed as the automotive department when it isn't.  I replied that this is not the automotive department because this is a private residence.  He then repeated the number he thought he had dialed and I told him the number he had dialed and he gave me a rude fine whatever.  I politely proceeded to tell him that next time he should check the number before he dials and that he should check the attitude with it then promptly hung up. 

This obtuse customer called and told me to transfer them to the electronics department before I even had the chance to say hello.  I told them plainly no I would not transfer them.  This guy then gets real snippy with me and tells me to get my manager on the line right now.  I calmly told him that i was unable to do so because my wife was not home at this time.  He hung up.

My favorite was this one woman who called asking for the Walmart pharmacy.  I politely told her that she had the wrong number.  She meekly apologized and hung up.  5 minutes later the phone rings and the same woman asks for the Walmart pharmacy, I again told her she had the wrong number, this time i went the extra mile and gave her the correct number to dial.  She apologized again, thanked me and hung up.  5 minutes later the same woman's number shows up on my caller id.  I answer the phone changing the tone of my voice and cheerily exclaiming "Walmart pharmacy! How may I help you?"  I took her order and told her that it should be ready for pick up in an hour.

I now have an understanding of what the people who work the phones at Walmart go through everyday.  People are telephone tough guys and feel that they can treat the person on the other end of the phone as if they owe them something instead of treating people with respect.  To get respect you must show respect.  I read an article at one time telling me that Walmart customers are the worst customers in the retail industry.  I believe it.  I also believe that there is a bunch of them who are not the sharpest knives in the drawer either. 
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