Bad Customers - Bizarro-Goldilocks
Photo Credit: violscraper
In my article So You want to be your Own Boss - 13 Types of Bad Customers, I promised my readers to expand the individual descriptions of a bad customer. In this article we will concentrate on item #11: customers who are never satisfied with the purchase, or as I like to call them: the bizarro-Goldilocks customers - products are either too much this way or too little another way and never just-right.
As I mentioned in a previous article, my son is in the business of repairing broken screens on iPhones, Samsung Smartphones, iPads, iPods, and other electronic devices in a number of malls throughout New Jersey. A common customer he encounters is someone who will never be satisfied with the product. Let me give you an example.
Sometimes customers damage their smartphone in such a way that fixing it to be 100% perfect is impossible. A customer (let us call him Oscar) brought in a cracked iPhone screen a few months ago to be replaced with a new screen. Our service technician pointed out to Oscar that the lens underneath the glass was also slightly damaged and that three tiny, hardly visible dots would appear in one corner of the screen and to fix that defect would require a new lens costing $180 total or he could ignore those cosmetic defects and just have the glass replaced for $80. Oscar chose the cheaper option.
A few days later Oscar returned saying that the three dots bothered him and (even though the phone worked perfectly otherwise) could we please change the lens for $100. Oscar was told at the time that if he wanted the lens changed at the same time as the glass screen it would cost $100 more but if he came back it would cost $140 more because we now have to unglue all over again the glass we put on from the old lens. However, we only charged him $100.
When Customers Become a Pain in the A$$
A few days later he shows up again saying that his home button was not working just right and wanted it fixed no charge. We had nothing to do with the home-button and anyway his receipt showed that the technician noted on his receipt that he suggested to Oscar that the home button was a little squishy. We refused to fix the button at no charge. A few days later he came back with some other minor ailment unrelated to our original repair and since we saw that this was going to turn out to be the death by a thousand cuts, Oscar was banned from doing future business with us. Employees at our other Mall locations were told not to service him.
A week ago he showed up at the Livingston mall with the same iPhone but with a cracked screen. He had accidentally broken his screen and begged the employee, let me call her Jackie, to fix it. Jackie called my son informing him that a banned customer was seeking to get his screen fixed. My son instructed Jackie not to fix the screen - that this particular customer would never be satisfied. But Jackie was convinced she could fix the screen without a problem. My son still insisted that Oscar be turned away.
A little digression: my readers may be wondering why Oscar simply didn't go to another screen-repair business, there are others in every Mall? Simple: we are the only ones who guarantee the repair of smartphone screens. Other companies use copy-glass and the smartphone never works well afterwards and so they charge their customers all over again if they come back complaining that the lens turns purple. Oscar knows this and cannot abide a screen that is about 50% perfect when he can get a genuine Gorilla Glass replacement from us that will be 99.9999% perfect after installation.
But back to Oscar's newly-shattered iPhone. He convinced Jackie that he wouldn't be a problem and, ignoring my son's warning, she replaced the broken screen for $80.
A few days ago, Oscar showed up at another one of our mall locations with the receipt for the newly repaired screen complaining about the home button, the same one we refused to fix at no charge months back. My son instructed the employee to purposely crack the screen and to refund the $80 to Oscar. He then called Jackie to tell her that we would be deducting $80 from her pay to cover the refund to Oscar.
There are some customers you can never satisfy. The porridge will always be too hot or too cold, and never just right. Businesses do not need nor can they afford these kinds of customers. The customer is always right only applies to those who are not mentally ill.