Saturday, October 30, 2010

My 2 Trips To Fry's Electronics in Tempe, Arizona - Piss Poor Customer Service

So, I sat here for a couple of hours playing around on the computer - putting up with the thing shutting itself off, coming up with repeated "serious error recover" messages and other stuf - trying to talk myself into get the components to put the new computer together. 

When I finally got that past me, I took off for Fry's Electronics.  Walked in, got a cart, walked to the appropriate portion of the store.  The salesman - of whom I had discussed this with last week when I bought the 1 tg hard drive - was busy.  I stood next to him and patiently waited. About 20 minutes he was dealing with this guy.  No biggies - not yet anyway.  He takes off to get the guy some paperwork, comes back, then they go to get something else.  He knows I'm there.

He finally gets done with that guy and comes walking towards me, I was about get this thing going - when another customer asked for help.  Instead of helping me, he goes and helps that customer.  That other customer had JUST showed up, he didn't have to wait as I did.  This is a BIG no-no in my "how to treat customers" book.  I mean, I had waited a LONG time already.  Well, this other guy is taking him back and forth between motherboards and processors.  I decided to leave.  I didn't get far until I thought, hmmm, maybe I'll just buy all of this stuff online - I'm going to need the make and models of all of this stuff here.  I went back and started jotting all of that down. 

The salesman was with yet another customer, but at that point, I wanted nothing to do with him.  I spent some time looking at the stuff and decided to leave yet again.  This time, though, I stopped at the deli counter and got a sandwich - their deli has great sandwiches, I'll say that much.  I decided to go back after I had waited for the sandwich for a while and try again.  I had already committed to myself to getting the thing today, that's really what I wanted to do.  So, I go back.  He's at the center where all the associates congregate to deal with customers and print out order requests for the cage up front.

I stood next to him again, just waiting.  He got done with that guy and walks off again!! He turns around, goes back to the counter on the other side, looks at me and leaves.  I'm scratching my head, WHAT did I do to get this guy all riled up?  The last time I had spoken to him was last week and we left on good terms.  Today, I didn't even HAVE a chance to speak to him, I was just waiting.  He had acknowledged seeing me there waiting, so I knew he knew I wanted to get some help.

I didn't know, but this time I DID leave, went to Home Depot instead.  Needed another electrical outlet for outside - the other one broke.  Those GFCI outlets are worthless for outside use.  Get a drop of water on them and this spring thing pops out of it, breaks the button and you now have a useless, $15 to $20 part that has to be replaced.  I did not get GFCI this time, it's the 4th time I've had to replace it.  The whole setup has a plastic cover on it to keep it from getting wet in the rain. 

Back home.  I decided not to let this go, I just never do.  A fault, whatever you want to call it, I don't take well being treated poorly by associates who have whatever cranked up their rear.  Maybe he was just having a bad day, I don't know, but when I have a bad day at work, I don't take it out on customers.  I bite my tongue and grin and bear it. 

I called, the store's general manager was on the floor, leave my name and number.  Okay, I did.  30 minutes later, the manager for the computer components portion of the store returns my call instead of the general manager.  Oh well, who cares, maybe this guy is more appropriate to talk to, anyway.  Told him the story.  Don't have a clue what was up in his crawl, but there must be something in there.  This manager offers me $50 off if I come back in today and buy what I originally was going to buy - I had told him I was going to drop 4 to 5 hundred today getting a new computer setup. 

Too good a deal to pass up.  I go back.  The sales associate that had ignored me earlier was REALLY ignoring me now - he took off and was out of sight.  I waited for quite a while for this guy to show up.  But, I was being patient, I figured $50 off was a good deal.  I ended up with more than that off, in reality. 

We went around to all the components, he suggested a few different setups than the guy had last week.  He fully explained why and I was good with that.  A little more money, but a better setup.  He said a 500 watt power supply probably was not going to be enough, I would need a bit larger, so I ended up with a 700 watt power supply, a nice case, the motherboard I was originally looking at and the processor I was looking at.  He suggested a graphics card, I got 4 gigs of memory to start out with - would have loved to get 8, but, 4 would be a good start and double what my current machine is.

We get to the computer to checkout.  He throws in a 3 year warranty on the motherboard and processor for free - normally $40.  He takes off another $50 on the purchase price of the system.  I've got $90 worth of stuff, free.  Yes, I would have bought the extended warranty on the board, it was only a 15 day warranty otherwise.  He comes up with a total price, less than what I had expected, we shook hands, I said thank you very much, have a great day.  I go up to pay for the stuff.  I wanted to put $100 of it on a credit card and $50 on another to make sure I have enough in my bank account after paying for the rest of it to be able to deal with any emergencies that might come up.  The first card worked,the second did not. 

He couldn't get it to take the swipe.  I said, well, just enter the numbers manually.  Can't do that.  Why not?  Company policy.  Why?  Didn't understand it, I've never had a place tell me they wouldn't enter numbers manually off of a card - OUR company does it and so does every other company I have ever encountered where I needed it done or saw other people have it done for them.  He said, well, you can ask the manager.  It was the general manager, I asked him some questions about why they wouldn't do that - calm, cool, collected, not hyper at all, just wanting to understand why and also if he could bypass this policy that the employee could not.

His reply?  Sir, we aren't getting anywhere with this, I don't want to argue with you, is there anything else I can help you with?   I replied that I wasn't arguing, I had only asked questions, what's the big deal?   I then said no thank, there is nothing else I want to do with you, thanks.  Curt and short, I didn't appreciate that man's attitude, either.  I pay for the rest of it, I'm not going through all of that trouble and getting those discounts to end up with nothing, plus spending all that time in there.  I leave.  I have bypassed the "checkers" at the stand at the door many times who want to check your items many times before, even have refused to allow them to look. This time, a woman jumps in front of my cart demanding to see my receipt. 

Note that I was not trying to leave without them checking it, in fact, I hadn't even got past those stands.  I've already had enough problems in this store today, I just handed her the paperwork.  She goes through it, again, and again.  Says I didn't pay for an item.  Excuse me, are you calling me a thief?  Now I was getting hyper.  I didn't print up that paperwork, I didn't check myself out, it was all done for me.  She took a few steps back.  I had had enough of the attitudes at this place.  WHAT, exactly, ARE you saying to me?  You didn't pay for the computer case.  Well WHOSE problem is that?  I didn't fill out this paperwork  - YOUR employees did.

She asks me to step to the side, I wasn't budging.  MORE trouble?  I told her I want to speak to the store's general manager, again.  She goes and gets a manager, but not the general manager.  She demands that I step to the side.  I wasn't blocking anything and I refused to move.  She said she would take care of me.  No thanks, get the general manager, I'll wait HERE.  She insists that SHE will take care of me, I crossed my arms at that point and said nothing.  A few minutes later, the general manager comes out.  He is just as curt and short with me as he was before.  This time, I wasn't taking it.  HOW can YOUR management forget to write up this case on here?  I have already been treated very rudely by one of your store's associates, had the card issue with YOU, now I am being detained at the exit and veritably accused of attempting to STEAL this computer case. 

His apology was worthless, he obviously didn't mean it (his name, for those looking for junk on this store, is David Keith).  He didn't offer anything.  I said that I couldn't afford this case, it was out of budget, I had the understanding that I was paying for EVERYTHING here, by one of YOUR managers who wrote up this contract.  His only offer was to void the whole sale!  After all of this, his offer was of no value to me.  We stared each other in the eyes for several seconds, I was starting to get mad.  He said he could get the manager that did this, but "I don't know what good that is going to do".  I said if your company is going to waste as much of my time as it already has, then I'm going to waste your time as well.  He started laughing, we WORK here, getting paid, what difference does it make to us? 

The callousness of this man?  Well, you begin to understand why the associates take the stance they do when you understand what kind of stance the store's highest level manager takes against his own customers.  The trickle down effect.  However, the manager that is over the computer components section is a totally different kind of person.  He comes up, says, oh, I guess I forgot to put this on the ticket.  I said yes, and it's out of my budget.  I had thought I had this deal done at what we had discussed.  He said, no worries, I can cut a deal with you.  Well, I replied, this case is $70, I mean, I can't afford much more here.  He offered it to me for half off.  $35 for a $70 case.  I took the deal.  I won't get a bargain like that again - anywhere - I had spent a total of at least 2 hours on this deal, more really, but who's keeping count.  Started at 9:00 am, ended at 1:00 pm between the 2 trips.

I'm not saying I didn't get a great deal today.  Not at all.  Definitely got a huge discount on all of this stuff.  But, I did pay for it.  I know, I could just eat the rude service like most people do, they say nothing, leave and either never come back or - they come back anyway and avoid the people that treated them like s***.  

Will I go back to Fry's Electronics?  Probably, definitely if there is a problem with any of this, I have warranties and I intend on getting this thing running as fast as I can - though - I am going to have to read some material online about how to put it together.  There is one tutorial that takes you step by step through the whole process. 

Apparently, however, Mr. David Keith lied to me.  He is NOT that store's general manager, even though I asked him twice about that considering his attitude, the manager's name is Dave Birt, at least according to the BBB - and yes, Keith's name is on there is a manager, but not the store's manager.  I'll have to look into that, perhaps info has changed and BBB doesn't have it current. 

You know, I never did get a  good reason WHY they wouldn't input the numbers manually off of the credit card?!!

Well, that's over.  For now, anyway.  I have a mess to put together here and I am going to start reading that tutorial. I also changed my mind, I wasn't going to have a cigar this weekend, but after this?  Yes, I think I'll go get me a nice cigar, sit out next to my ponds, enjoy my water plants, Koi and goldfish and put this junk out of my mind.

Well I put up a post yesterday concerning the second part of the trip but it ended up in another blogger account I have - and haven't us...