Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GOOD Business!

I've been so worked up lately about getting less-than-stellar customer service...I figured it was time to tell of some local businesses that offer amazing service.

Lynn's Audio Video
...a local electronics store.

Back in college, I drove the car that I've adored more than any other. My beloved red VW Beetle. Man, I miss that car. definitely had its flukes. Like the time I rolled the window down and it got stuck. So I had to drive all the way Salt Lake on a windy, cold day. There are very few places that can fix foreign cars.

Anyway, one of those flukes is that the stereo quit working. Just wouldn't turn on at all. I took it into the dealership, where they told me I needed a whole new stereo. It'd be hundreds of dollars, because it was a specialized Volkswagen stereo, of course.

On a whim, I thought I'd might as well get a second opinion...or at least see if I could buy a cheaper stereo and somehow make it work with the VW system. So, to Lynn's Audio Video I went. The stereo guy took a look at it and said, "Ok, I know this is totally weird. But just last week I had a Volkswagen in with the same problem...and we noticed this 'secret' little fuse behind the stereo, not with the other fuses. I replaced that and it worked." He said he could replace that and see if it worked, if I was willing to buy the $3 fuse regardless of if it worked or not. Worth a shot, right? He replaced it, and IT WORKED!

My mom called the dealership and spoke to the man who quoted me hundreds for a whole new stereo. He was completely rude and said there's no way that was possible. She assured him that the sales guy was surprised as well, but that it had in fact worked. He again said there's no way and told my mom flat out that she was lying. (ha, maybe this is a tale of bad customer service after all!)

I was (and still am) impressed that Lynn's would offer this solution, at virtually no profit to them. The sales guy could have so very easily told me I needed a new system and made some commission. I so appreciated the honesty. I don't know if the VW dealership actually knew about the problem or not, but either way, they could have definitely had a better reaction. Even if they were completely humoring us, a simple friendly response would have sufficed.

So...if you are in Logan and in need of any audio/video equipment, I can recommend Lynn's for their honest service!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Grrr #2

Next Story:

AKA: Christmas Card FIASCO!

Last week, I jumped on Sam's Club's website to order my Christmas cards. Got them all made....went to send them to print. My store says "Not Available". Perfect. I've seen that message before when they get a little backed up. So I waited a few hours, tried again. No. Called the store. "Our system went down yesterday. It won't be up again until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week (12/22)."

So, I decide to go with Wal-Mart, which I quit using once I started using Sam's Club about 3 years ago. But, my account's still there, so easy enough. Make my cards, send them to my store. I distinctly remember checking the location because we have a "north" and a "south" location in Logan. The north store was selected, because it was the only one I'd ever used for photos in the past, pre-Sam's Club.

I also signed up for text message alerts when my order was ready. The website said that due to volume, my order would not be ready until 4:00 the next day. Yet I received a text about an hour later to say that my order was ready. I thought maybe there was a mistake, so I called to verify. The clerk told me that for some reason, "the system sends out the text when the store receives the order, not when it's actually ready." This is a flaw that needs to be fixed in order to utilize the convenience of the texting system. A text when the store receives my order is useless!

Then, the next day I went to the store I had selected to pick up my order. Again, not Wal-Mart's fault, but the line was SO LOOONG. Will was charming the people behind us, so we chatted with them for a good 10 minutes or so while waiting.

The clerk looked and looked for my order and could not find it. I presented her with my order receipt and she searched online for it. She then showed me on my receipt that it was sent to another store 90 miles from my home.

I've never even been to that store.

When I told her I did not select that store, and have never even been there, she replied, "Sorry, sometimes our system just bounces orders to another random store." She was nice and all, but...

My thoughts:
  • Obviously, this is a problem! I'm not sure how this could have been prevented, but the website "bouncing" orders to another store is not acceptable. I am, December 22...with $40 worth of paid-for Christmas cards sitting in a store 90 miles from my house! Who knows, you may just get your card in January! Oh, and Sam's Club's website is still down....
  • The texting thing totally bugs me. Wal-Mart is trying to be technologically savvy and make things more convenient for their patrons. But...should really just take the service option off the site until it works correctly.
  • "Bouncing" my order to another random store? Well, they'll need to "bounce" it right back!
  • I totally get that I am the one who waited until last week to consider getting my Christmas cards made...but still. When a business says they can do orders in an hour, or even a day during busy times, customers need to be able to plan on that.
  • Mistakes totally happen. But...I don't feel like much was done to solve it. I emailed my situation to Wal-Mart's online customer service (I don't think I can handle a trip to the in-store customer service! Maybe my $40 really isn't worth it....) and got a pretty generic email back...addressed to "Kathie" and asking if my order was sent to my preferred store. Um...did you read my email?

I think I'm done ranting now...I hope..... Opinions?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I totally get that it's a busy season for service-oriented/retail stores. I get that we're all stressed. And I REALLY get that sometimes "the customer is always right" is total BS. I've worked in service: Emigration Market as a cashier, at a gift store, Einstein's Bagels, as a believe me, I have totally been on the receiving end of an irrationally upset customer who is taking it out on the wrong person. Sometimes things go wrong that the employee you are face to face with has nothing to do with...yet, they get to break the news and deal with it.

ANYWAY- do you get, now, that I really feel like I have a pretty solid, rational grip on the way service-oriented jobs work and how H-A-R-D it can be at times?

Story time.

1. Yesterday, I went to a new restaurant in Logan. It's not a sit-down-and-be-served restaurant, more like a mix of fast food/restaurant. My point is, it should be pretty quick. RJ was working late at school, so I thought I'd call in my order and do a quick to go order. Upon clicking on their website, I saw a link to order online. I'm a bit of a social anxiety type (seriously, I took medicine for it!), so I'd waaaay prefer to take the time to type in an order than call someone. Typed it in, after making an account, and got a confirmation email. My order would be ready at 6:40. Perfect.

Walked in at 6:54, thinking my food is going to get yucky and cold soon because I'm's crowded and I was immediately thankful I ordered ahead. (P.S. I had my two year old with me,...not their fault at all, but definitely added to the chaos. I could only distract him with, "Can you find something red?" for so long. Soon, he didn't even want my phone. That's big.)

I waited behind one customer at the take out register. She was FURIOUS. She told the manager that she's waited an hour for one meal. He apologized and promptly handed her coupons. They finished and he walked away. I stood there for at least a few minutes while workers were buzzing all around. It occurred to me that maybe I should be in the other line....even if I am at the (labeled) take-out register, and I...have a take out order...(makes sense, no?)...

Finally a worker makes eye contact, so I ask if I'm in the right place. She says, nicely, "Yes!" Then keeps doing something else. So I wait...

Finally, the same worker comes to the register and asks how she can help me. I tell her my name. She turns around, looks at a take-out bag with a receipt stapled to it. Then does something else. So...I assume it's my order and she's finishing it up.


As I wait, I see a former coworker. As we chat, she mentions that she and her husband ordered ONE meal to share and it's been 40 minutes!!! After we chat, her husband asks the worker to check on their meal. She apologizes for the wait and says their order must have been skipped. He was not rude, but definitely angry and wanted a response. She hands over more coupons. (Seeing a pattern?)

I'm still waiting.

Finally, I get the same worker's attention and ask again about my order. It's 7:10 at this point. My food was supposed to be done half an hour ago! She says she'll check. As she turns around, a fellow worker calmly says, "Can you help me make this salad?" And she proceeds to in, not appearing to be in any hurry....make a salad. Where is my damn food! Will is all sorts of DONE by this point, bless his heart.

Salad's done (whew!), she turns back around, grabs some receipt tape and says, "We have no record of your order, so we'll need to make it. What did you have?" UGH! I just said I was kind of in a hurry (to get my hungry, tired toddler and his about-to-freak-out mom the hell out of there!) and I'd come back another time.

My thoughts:

• I'm not sure where the breakdown happened, but there were at least three hungry, dissatisfied customers. Mine wasn't a fluke. Again, working in service, I get that sometimes there's a fluke and an order doesn't make it to the kitchen. Something's not right.

• No matter the issue, there was a lot of time wasted in getting the "we have no order for you" memo to me.

• I don't mean to be all high and mighty, (but here I go! Ha!) but I feel like if you as the worker are checking on something for a customer, that takes priority....not making a salad with another worker who appears to have it under control. Especially when the customer is right there, can see/hear you, and has been waiting forever!

• I hate the bullcrap of if you complain and get angry, you'll get free stuff. I used to have a manager that would hand out free coupons the moment a customer seemed dissatisfied in the slightest. Then I had an awesome manager that was reasonable if a customer was dissatisfied; he calmly explained things and mellowed things out. He would definitely give coupons in some situations, but not right away, and not without sorting the situation out.

Venting about that...complete. Next story coming...probably tomorrow. I'm still solving that one.

If you're still with me through this LONG post .....Opinion?

(P.S. I typed most of this on my iPhone from the WalMart parking lot while RJ ran into get three things and quickly regretted stepping into the December-at-WalMart mayhem!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 19, 2011


So...I was just at Sam's Club. It was crazy....but not quite as crazy as I would have thought, actually. But, Will and I were definitely ready to be OUT! On the way to the car, I was holding Will with one arm while trying to push the cart FULL of stuff. I thought I was pulling it off pretty well...but this nice man stopped, said, "Let me get that for you..." and started pushing my cart. He said, "My wife's nine months pregnant and these carts are SO big!"

Although it was small, I appreciated that he took the time to help me out, when he could have easily kept walking right past us. He wasn't even going in the direction we were. How nice!

That's all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 16, 2011

Break Your Heart

In my class, we're working on autobiographies. A hilarious post is coming with all the gems from this adventure. But I felt like this one deserved its own post.

Because if this doesn't break your heart right in half and make you want to take a family under your wing for a Sub-for-Santa kind of thing, well....I don't know what will. Maybe it helps to know this little girl, but man is she a sweet little thing.

Here's an excerpt:

"My mom works. She still gets paid, but we have lots of bills. So we do not buy things that much. It's really hard for us. I am not poor, but I am a little okay. But not that much okay. My dad works really hard. When he gets home he's tired because he works really, really, really, really hard."

The part that gets me is, "I'm a little okay. But not that much okay." For an 8 year old to be aware of this and to feel "not that much okay" about it. Breaking right in half. Bless her.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Thanksgiving ended up to be quite the road trip. Will threw up for his first time....a mere 20 minutes from home, with 4 hours more to go! Yep, that Let's just say RJ and I both ended up doing the same at least once through the next day. Despite that, we had a good time. We went to Orangeville (near Price, Utah) to see RJ's grandma. She was so kind to have ALL of us take over her home!

You'll notice a recurring theme through these pictures...Will watching his cousin, Carter, play on an iPad. That's because Will adores Carter, and just thinks he is THE coolest thing ever. Even with an iPad available to play with, he preferred to watch Carter play!

Avery tried to make a move to play....
Will quickly took care of that!

And Avery tried her best nonchalant look.... :)

Carter and I tried to take a cool picture behind this ....thing.

While we drove around and "explored", I kept myself busy....

The cousins enjoyed all the goodies at their great-grandmas!

The adults were consumed with iPhone games....

Greg got in on the iPad fun....

The boys took an iPad break to play some piano!

...and back to the iPads.

Avery finally warmed up to Grandpa. But...then he was scolding the dogs, telling them to "GET OUT!" of the kitchen...except Avery was just walking in the kitchen and thought he was yelling at her! She tore out of there, crying for her mom!