Ok, so I’m officially pissed off.
It is not very often that I sit down to write a blog with anger in mind. Generally, I use this as a forum for venting my emotions. Sort of a method of taking my feelings out, looking at them, and then figuring out what to do with them. But today, I’m feeling pissed off. Let me explain.
I am interested in purchasing an iPhone. I am a fan of Apple products. Even though the price is a little steep right now, I thought it would be something of a self-congratulatory gift – for being hired at a second job. There is a little known AT&T store just around the corner from our house, and the apple website said that every store selling iPhones get new shipments every evening. To me, this meant that they would likely have a new shipment of phones waiting to be sold on Monday morning as soon as they opened.
I went to the at&t website to see what hours the store near our house was open, and it said they began business at 9am. So at 8:55am, I got in my car and drove over to the shop. The sticker on the door immediately proclaimed the error, showing “Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00am – 11:00pm”. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just walk over to the Starbucks and get a coffee and wait for them to open. Not long after I ordered my Tall Caramel Latte, a fellow wearing an at&t logo on his shirt walked in. I smiled at him, and asked if he worked at the at&t across the road. He nodded. I said, “I’m going to be waiting for ya’ll to open today… I’m looking to buy an iPhone.” He kind of chuckled, and I said, “You have some in, right?” He said, “I’m not really sure. We got 40 on Friday, 10 on Saturday, and I don’t know if we have any right now.” I said to him, “Well, I’ll be waiting out front to find out.”
Ten minutes later I was sitting on the hood of my car, sipping my hot latte, and counting down the minutes. There were some electricians that were trying to get into the empty building next to the at&t to wire it for the Ribs place that was being built. They couldn’t get in because the company that had hired them forgot to send someone out to unlock the building. These gentlemen were sitting across from me on the bench, not knowing when they were going to be allowed to do their work, but not particularly upset because they were being paid all the same. We chatted for a while about the situation of the day, and around 9:30, I stated, “You know… I’m going to be very pissed if they don’t have any phones. Because the guy that I talked to at Starbucks knows I’m out here. And he could just open the door and let me know there are none instead of making me wait.”
I guess that was foreshadowing. As the clock turned over to 10, someone came to unlock the door. I sprang up off the bumper of my Jeep, and walked quickly to the door. I was the only person that had been waiting, so my purchase was guaranteed. The fellow that opened the door was none other than the fellow from Starbucks. I flashed him a grin, and said, “So you’ve got some, right?” He looked down at the floor. “Well, actually, no… we don’t have any.”
I think I stood there for a full ten seconds with my mouth open. “You’re kidding right?” I said, probably very rudely. “No. We don’t have any.”
My response went from not quite polite to beyond disbelief. “You couldn’t have opened the door and told me that you didn’t have any? You let me sit out there for an hour knowing there weren’t any phones in the store?”
At this point, he couldn’t make eye contact at all. He said quietly, “She said to let you come in and we could do a direct order for you.” As he was speaking, another store salesperson walked over. “What is a direct order? How does that work?” I asked. The new guy responded, “We can order one for you online, and it will be shipped to your house.”
I think my eyeballs started on fire here, because even the second salesman stepped back from my response. “I can go home and order the phone online. I could BE at home right now if you had taken a second to let me know there weren’t any phones in the store. Thank you for wasting my time.”
I can’t believe that that is their idea of good customer service. With complete sincerity, I can say I will not be purchasing anything from this particular at&t store. They have lost my business for good – and they lost it because they were trying to get me to make a purchase in the store anyways.