Yesterday my husband rented one of those Rug Doctor Carpet cleaners. He waited patiently while the young checkout girl fidgeted with the rental instructions as a large line formed behind him. I browsed around until everything was done and then we left.
Today, I drove straight from work to return the carpet cleaner so it would be on time. My husband was the one who operated it at home and put it in my car for me last night. I struggled to lift the thing out of my car, and I didn’t feel frustrated after an ACE employee walked passed me and didn’t ask if I needed help. Instead, I proceeded to roll the equipment into the store, thinking I will just drop it off and go home for the day. Instead, as soon as I walked in the door, I was berated by employees. They immediately started inspecting the equipment—I was unaware as to why. I said do I just place this here? Keep in mind I am not even aware of the fact that I have a 10 dollar deposit on the equipment. One employee says, it’s dirty, its full of hair. Confused, I tell them I don’t know what they are talking about. She said it again, “it’s full of hair”. I asked, “Was I supposed to clean it? Where does it say that I am supposed to clean it?” Rudely, the other employee tells me yes and says that when I rented it out it wasn’t dirty so why would I return it dirty. Frustrated I begin to clean the equipment. I get on my knees, in my dress clothes, and I start removing hair off of the machine. Then I hear a faint voice say, use a little common sense. I am getting beyond frustrated now so I look up and say excuse me in a not so nice tone. Looking a little shocked that I heard him and then called him on it, the man said it louder, “You should use some common sense!” I ask if he was the manager. He said yes. I told him I didn’t think it was appropriate to speak to customers in that way. He told me I was being inappropriate by arguing with “his employees.” I told him that I wanted to get the thing cleaned and get out of there. If he would just tell me what to do for it to be clean enough, then I would do it and I would leave. In a snotty tone of voice the manager then said, “Give her the ten dollars. She can take her business elsewhere.” Then he walked off.
I have never experienced such blatant rudeness in my life. I would have never thought a Manager would have such a poor ability to communicate. He made no effort help me, the customer, understand the situation. I have worked in customer service for 8 years. I know how an irrational customer acts—I was not being an irrational customer. I raised my voice in frustration, but that is only because they made no effort to assist me properly or to alleviate any of my confusion. Being treated the way I was treated and feeling the way I felt when I left the store today was not worth a lousy 10 dollars. There are times when the customer needs to be patient and understanding--for example, when a new employee takes a little extra time to check out a customer. However, there are times when the customer is treated so poorly and taken such advantage of that there is no excuse for the behavior. I believe wholeheartedly that this is one of those times.
My husband and I will not shop at ACE ever again. Please remove our names from your mailing list, withdraw our membership from your Hardware Rewards Club, and do not send us any more coupons. We will be taking all of our home improvement needs to Poulsens, Home Depot, and Lowes. I am sure these fine businesses will be pleased that ACE told me to take my business elsewhere.