Customer Service/ Salesmanship
OK, it's time for me to gripe about the lack of retail customer service again. I know that some day I will be asked to lecture ad-nauseum on this subject, because I seem to be obsessed.. so excuse me while I pull out my soap box and step up onto it....
Here's how it all happened: my lawnmower died last week. Please don't send flowers, as there is a chance that it might revive again one day. This lawnmower was an early gift from Dolly & Beverly. It arrived in the middle of June 2004 as a half-year birthday present. Over the past 3 years, it's been very dependable. But last week's journey through the 3' high grass in the backyard was more than it could take. I hit a tree stump and the blade flew off of the mower. it's probably repairable, but cheaper to replace since the entire housing of the blade was pretty much destroyed. So, I headed to Lowe's to price new lawnmowers. I found a cute little riding mower- 7 speeds and a cup holder! Just what I've always wanted. I thought about it a few days, and talked it over with Joel to make sure I wasn't spending foolishly. We agreed that if it'd make my life easier and if I could afford it, I should go for it. However, he'd seen the same more at Home Depot for $100 less.
So, here's the part about customer nonservice. On Monday, I went to the home Depot on Ponce de Leon Ave. I only saw 2 riding mowers on display and they were both in the $2000 range. I went to the Customer Service desk and explained that I was interested in buying a riding mower, but wanted to know if they had any other models to choose from. The lady at the counter simply said "No" and went back to what she was doing without giving me a second glance. My lesson to Home Depot: if someone comes in and expresses interest in shelling out big money on an item that you don't have in stock, offer another item or offer to call another store, or check to see if you expect the item to be delivered soon. Don't just say "No", and let the customer walk out the door empty-handed.
Next stop-- Lowe's on Camp Creek. They still had the mower that I had scoped out earlier in the week. I went to the Customer Service counter and asked who I needed to talk to about buying the riding mower. I was directed to the Outside Gardening Dept (are there really people that garden inside?). The OGD was a ghost town. I waited about 20 minutes before I finally stumbled across a man that told me that he worked in the dept, but he was busy doing something else and would be with me in a while. I asked if there was someone else that could help me, but I was informed that he was the only associate in the OGD at the time. So I waited. Finally he was able to help me and he asked if I would like to have the mower delivered and I said yes, on Tuesday if possible. He assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. As he was scheduling delivery, he made a frowny face and then told me that it couldn't be delivered until the following weekend. I explained that I lived less than 4 miles from the store and asked him to check again. He came back with the same answer. I responded with "Never mind, I'll buy a riding mower from another store". His response was "OK". Once again, a customer came into a store with a pocketful of money, willing to spend the money, but left empty-handed.
Since the buying of the riding mower had become so stressful, I decided to buy a regular self-propelled push mower-- one that I could load into the car by myself. I went to the Home Depot on Cascade Road and did just that. I saved a lot of money, but I didn't get what I wanted. I like the new mower, but it doesn't make my life an easier. It only has one speed, and no cup holder. But, it cuts grass and I guess that's the real main purpose in buying a lawnmower, anyway.