Saturday, June 13, 2009

Customer service, is it really that difficult?

In my day....we knew what customer service was! If only I was joking. Last weekend I took 4 rolls of film at Little Mans birthday party. Yes, film. I love my film camera and was excited to bring it out for the party. Today I took my film to Walgreen's as it is one of the few places that still develops it without sending it out. I was given a time that the photos would be ready (an hour and a half after we dropped them off) and took off to run some other errands.

I am one of those people that rips into them as soon as I get them in my hot little hands. It is so unlike digital where you can see everything instantly and it is hard for me to wait. After I made my purchase I started looking through the rolls of film. On the third roll I called the girl from the photo department and told her we had a small issue. She had printed one of the rolls twice. She immediately got on printing out the correct roll and the correct photo CD. Thinking that they would just give me the second set of prints I stuck them in with the other set.

When the girl turned around she asked where the other set was so foolishly I handed them over. I asked what she was doing with them and she said she had to get rid of them. I asked her if she could just give them to me since she was going to throw them away anyway. She said no but said she could ask her manager. When she came back she said he had also said no.

Here's the thing. This was not my mistake. I turned in 4 rolls of film expecting to get 4 different sets of prints. After making my purchase I discovered THEIR mistake, I had to wait around for another 20 minutes for her to print out the correct set of prints and the right photo CD. Doesn't it make sense from a customer service perspective that one would say, "I am sorry for this mistake, please take the other set of prints for your trouble"?

Instead I get the manager who has obviously not had any customer service training. I explained the situation to him and that this was not my mistake. He said "well, we can't just give prints away" so I said "but you are going to throw them in the trash anyway so you are giving them away just not to a person" and he said "I will give you 20% off of your order". Seriously? I already made my purchase so you really want to make another cash register transaction?

I was level headed, I was not my grandmother (who was quite hotheaded), I was reasonable and told him I could just walk around the counter and take them out of the trash can they had just placed them in. Then I got logical. I asked him to tell me what 20% off of $30 was....uh $24. And then I asked him how much the prints would cost at $.24....uh under $6. So I said giving me the prints would be a better choice than giving me 20 percent off. I get the photos and they still come out ahead. He finally got tired of arguing with me set the pictures down that had been retrieved from the trash can and walked away.

I mean, I get it. There are people that take advantage of customer service but this was not one of those situations. This was their mistake and they should have been bending over backwards to fix it.

I did tell the girl behind the counter that she fixed everything just fine and that I wasn't mad at her. I wasn't mad but I was frustrated with the lack of customer service from the manager. This is the second Walgreen's I have had problems with at the photo department. We still have one that we may do business with but they are getting fewer and farther in between.

Film users unite! We are still out here and still want good service!


  1. arrrrgh!! That would have really got my feathers ruffled. I know you handled it with such grace:)

  2. Oooh yeees! I get so irritated anymore. I don't know what it is these days. Are people more lazy, don't care or did their mamas fail to teach manners? In my opinion we have become a bunch of me's and don't care about others. The Golden Rule has left the building.

  3. That is just unbelievable Karen. So did you end up getting the pictures- the duplicate prints? I mean my goodness- if they were just going to toss them, there is no reason why they shouldn't have given them to you. I so agree- customer service is almost nonexistent these days.

  4. It does boggle my mind how certain people made it in to customer service! Get online and write to Walgreens and report him, he'll get reamed for it. Stop going to Walgreens. Walmart and/or most grocery stores develop film, too.

  5. Unfortunately Walgreen's is one of the only places locally that still develops it in house. Anyplace else: Walmart, Rite Aid send it out and the guy at Rite Aid said they lose rolls all the time.