a_midnight_mile a_midnight_mile wrote in customers_suck
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I work for a membership-based nonprofit as a front desk wench, among other things. Our membership dues are $80 for one year, and that cost goes right back into the organization, not someone's pockets.  A few days ago, I had a guy call in, sweet as pie, saying he attended one of our seminars awhile back and was interested in joining.

Great! Until...

"So what are your specials right now? Can I get a discount? Can you give me more incentives to join?"

Sorry, we're a nonprofit and unfortunately we don't have any specials or discounts unless someone purchases a gift membership for you.

"Are you sure?"

Yep. Sorry! But $80 gets you a lot of things! For a whole year!

He seemed only slightly put off, but accepted it and hung up.  Five minutes later, I see his number pop up on the caller ID again. I answer it and am immediately hit with "I NEED YOUR OWNER OR MANAGER NOW." Our Executive Director was in a meeting, so I told him he could leave a message if he'd like. No, not good enough. He needs to talk to someone NOW. Okay then. So I send him to the office manager. After she gets off the phone, she comes in to tell me that this guy screamed and threw a 5 minute long tantrum about us not offering discounts, and how our website sucks, and that we suck for charging for our services. Right. Because companies (especially nonprofits) don't have to have any kind of funds to operate or anything. Get a grip, dude. Shitty part is, she sent him to our Executive Director's voicemail after her answers apparently weren't good enough either. Luckily my boss can usually smell a rat and doesn't tolerate customers being dicks to us, so hopefully this guy was finally told to stuff it.

So, we have a lot of companies and contractors who pay to advertise their services on our website and in our newsletter. Had a lady call yesterday who explained that she was selling her rental property, and wanted to know if we could recommend any real estate agents or brokers. Sure, no problem! She was already on our website so I directed her to our online vendor directory and told her to click on the link that says "Real Estate Brokers." We've got a list of about 20 different realtors and companies who advertise with us, and they are all reputable and have to sign a code of conduct in order to advertise. As soon as she clicks on the link, she goes "Oh wow..." (and this is usually the part where people get really excited and grateful and thank us for the recommendations so I thought that's where this was going) "you know, you are SOOOOOO UNHELPFUL. Wow. There's like 20 listings here. How am I supposed to know which one to choose? I don't have time to weed through them all!" 

O_O *gulp* ...wat.

Apparently she wanted me to hold her hand and give her personal recommendations on one or two companies max. Lady, I'm a renter, I'm sorry I don't personally deal with realtors. I don't know any specifics other than "these people advertise with us." Good to know that providing you with a TON OF RESOURCES is "sooooo unhelpful." I ended up sending her to our director of advertising, since she works more closely with, well, advertisers. I understand if you want a detailed personal recommendation, but please make that clear instead of asking "can you recommend any real estate agents?" 99.9% of the time our customers are grateful when we point them to our vendor directory, sheesh. 


2012-11-14 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

.. You work at a NONPROFIT. That guy can go to hell. Seriously!
Eighty dollars a year is like, 6.67 a month. Two lattes. Less. I hope someone told him where to shove it.

The other lady is ridiculous. I work at a major telecom, and I sell cellular phones & PDAs. a common complaint I have, after offering help learning, advising customers where to go for tutorials, and directing them to online resources, is that it is "too much." People want everything done for them! I'm surprised she didnt ask you to CALL the Realtor.


2012-11-16 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Dude. I've been at my job for over 4 years and one thing I've learned is that a lot of people don't want to find things for themselves and need their hand held through EVERYTHING. We have an advice line where people can call with quick "best business practice" questions but 9 times out of 10 it's someone who wants our adviser to actually do the work for them. Common sense is not common when it comes to our customers (but if it was I wouldn't be posting here)!


2012-11-14 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

"How am I supposed to know which one to choose? I don't have time to weed through them all!""

Because of course you not only have the time, but you magically know everything about the customer and her needs, and can therefore recommend the PERFECT realtor.


2012-11-14 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

I also work for (another form of) a non-profit and your post just made me laugh at how idiotic that first caller was.

As for the second one, hell if you're in the US there is always, Angie's list?, and oh... I dunno, does she have any friends that could recommend who they use?


2012-11-16 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)

AHHH seriously! Pretty much the first thing I thought of after I transferred her to our director of advertising was "Wtf, I'm not Yelp!" Good effing LORD if our customers just used Google for once in their lives I could probably eliminate 80% of the facepalming I do every day at work.


2012-11-15 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Ooooh. I'm a CAE in the DC area and totally curious who you work for. :P


2012-11-15 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Is that Paula Dean riding a stick of butter on a rainbow background??? If so, LOVE IT.


2012-11-15 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

I did a double take as well!


2012-11-16 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

I totally didn't notice that until you pointed it out. That image so needs some sort of sound added to it. Perhaps the wicked witch theme from the Wizard of Oz?



2012-11-15 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)



2012-11-15 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)



2012-11-16 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)

I work for an association that advocates for landlords/rental property managers in Seattle. We are member-funded and we offer advice on how to handle stuff as a landlord, various classes, L/T law resources, rental forms, credit checks, etc. Holy crap there are a LOT of entitled jerks in this field.

Edited at 2012-11-16 02:54 am (UTC)


2012-11-16 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)

You mean non-profits don't run off butterfly kisses and unicorn farts???