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Poor Customer Service
Old 08-21-2021, 04:17 AM
  #1

Has covid really done a number on stores in your area? So many of our local restaurants and stores have been running with a skeleton crew because there is such a shortage of workers. It also seems like a majority of the ones who are working have no idea how customer service works, which leaves the good workers scrambling to keep things going.

We went to the AT&T store so DH could look at phones. There were three people working. One was just taking up space. Another was not following protocol. The other was working himself to death and constantly apologizing for the others. They were also two people short.

The guy taking up space was constantly interrupting the guy who was working. The other guy was just randomly doing things without any rhyme or reason.

After waiting over an hour, we were finally first in queue. Random worker walks right past us and goes to the people who just walked in. At that point we left. It was after 8PM. I was tired. DH was tired. We were over it. When we got home, I ordered DH a phone online.

Unfortunately, this is a common issue now. Do you think we will ever get back to the point where there will be enough workers to fill the jobs? Are people just going to accept shoddy service as the norm? Are DH and I just turning into cranky old people for expecting people to do their jobs.

Okay. I feel better now.


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Old 08-21-2021, 04:29 AM
  #2

That would be very frustrating. I wonder if there isn't proper training or management? I would be very frustrated by the worker just taking up space.

I was irked a few weeks ago at Target. There was only one actual lane open and there was a long line. I went to self-checkout, even though I had more than just a few things. THREE workers stood close by chatting by the self-checkout while I struggled to check everything out. Who is paid to do the work here?
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Old 08-21-2021, 04:30 AM
  #3

Customer service was struggling before the pandemic. Now there are legitimate staffing issues making things more difficult, but I feel a lot of people are using staffing issues, etc as an excuse to provide crappy service. Maybe I'm just turning into a cranky old person too
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Customer service
Old 08-21-2021, 04:48 AM
  #4

Cranky old person here

I agree with PP, customer service was getting bad before Covid but now itís really evident. My personal pet peeve is when coworkers continue to have personal conversations while their helping me (checkout, return something at customer service, etc).

Ima, that really stinks. Itís so annoying. I hope your DHís phone is awesome and makes up for your cruddy store experience.
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Old 08-21-2021, 04:51 AM
  #5

Spin off: My daughter is currently looking for a job. Most jobs are showing 50-100 applicants. However, itís because people have to show proof that theyíre trying to find work in order to keep their unemployment check. In the meantime, people who actually want/need to work are buried under the other applications. We arenít sure what to do to make employers realize she actually wants to work.


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Old 08-21-2021, 06:41 AM
  #6

Here's a "My experience" and then an "I wonder." My experience is that, while I see signs in my area that places are hiring, I have not seen a drop in customer service. Stores and restaurants are open regular hours and days of the week. There hasn't been a noticeable drop in service. When I went to visit family in Maine, the difference was stark. It seemed like every place was hiring and every place had to cut back on hours/days of the week because of the difficulty in finding staff to work.
I wonder if it has to do with the population in an area and whether there's a seasonal/tourism impact. I live in an urban/suburban area where there's a fairly big population that can be flexible with their work (in a way). There's the stability of government/tech/military jobs that keeps people in the area for the main employment then family members who might be looking for jobs on an as needed basis (students and stuff like that). The area that I visited in Maine is very seasonal; rates for short-term rentals are high and employment needs skyrocket in the summer months then drop precipitously in the winter. They've been hurt by the lack of foreign workers due to COVID.
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Old 08-21-2021, 06:46 AM
  #7

Quote:
Maine, the difference was stark
Yes, there are hiring signs all over, but I think resort areas, like Maine, are really struggling! They rely on many foreigners coming for the summer to fi those vacancies. So they may be down 6 employees while my local place is down 2.

I know when we were at the beach, early season, the wait for a table was 2+ hours and takeout was not available in most places. They were honest and said they were very short staffed.
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:05 AM
  #8

Quote:
Do you think we will ever get back to the point where there will be enough workers to fill the jobs? Are people just going to accept shoddy service as the norm?
Those are my lingering questions too, for months now. Honestly, I think the answers are 1) no and 2) yes. I think this pandemic will change, if not forever, for a very long time the whole economic and business part of our society. Many people donít want to work, and if they do want to work, they want to work from home and dictate what that looks like. I predict a decline in productivity and customer service. Couple the change in employee behavior with the move towards increasing wages (minimum and other), and businesses like restaurants will hire fewer people because it costs too much to maintain previous staffing. So, service declines. Or, if they hire the same number of staff, menu prices will increase. The day care issue is another exampleóday care workers want more pay, people who use day care think it costs too much. Many people want it allóthey want to earn more and pay less. It doesnít work that way.

Things are definitely different now.
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Old 08-21-2021, 07:06 AM
  #9

I think things could change when the extra unemployment money ends after Labor Day. Unless they extend it again seeing that Covid is on the rise again due to the variants and the vaccination rate.
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Poor customer service
Old 08-21-2021, 07:34 AM
  #10

From my experience with AT&T stores, thatís how it always works. One person doing all the work, and two standing around. Donít think Covid has anything to do with this one particular company.


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Old 08-21-2021, 07:52 AM
  #11

Quote:
Donít think Covid has anything to do with this one particular company.
I am still very cautious about going in stores. Unless itís groceries or desperation, I shop online. But when I do go in, they blame every problem on Covid.
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Old 08-21-2021, 08:28 AM
  #12

I think customer service has been shoddy for a while.

I went to Walgreen's yesterday to fill a prescription. The woman asked my date of birth. I gave my month and day (like is says on the sticker on the plexiglass!) and she rolled her eyes and said , "year?!" in a nasty tone. Then let out a huge sigh when I gave the year.


I think it is Covid has compounded it though. There are may places here in Maine that are closing their doors due to not being able to fully run with the amount of staff.

We live well inland and DH has been putting in about 80 hours at Hannaford (grocery store) because he has 3 spots in his department that he just cannot fill, and it will get worse after 3 of his workers leave for college next week. That means 6 out of 9 positions will be vacant!
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Worker shortage
Old 08-21-2021, 09:06 AM
  #13

Quote:
Most jobs are showing 50-100 applicants. However, itís because people have to show proof that theyíre trying to find work to continue to get unemployment
My brother is a GM of a hotel and this is exactly whatís happening with him trying to find staff.
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Same here
Old 08-21-2021, 10:11 AM
  #14

Yes, we've noticed a huge shift in attitudes and sales. We have items at certain stores where you are told is "the supply chain' or "warehouse issues" which I translate to staffing, covid or work ethic. Maybe I should consider fear as one of those reasons. Sometimes those items might be available at another business.
When businesses began to open up and ask for appointments to do face to face transactions, we decided to look at new phones. Made the appointment, showed up at the assigned time. We were checked at 2 doorways and very reluctantly allowed in. We were masked and stayed 6 feet away from sales people. We did not touch or handle any merchandise on display. Dismissive attitude, poor sales skills. They could not get rid of us fast enough. We won't be back.

We have We're Hiring signs everywhere, from Taco Bells to the fire/cop shop just down the street.

My brother, who works with a car parts business and was never off work because it's considered essential, has needed to add to their personnel for several months. So they advertize, take applications, schedule interviews....then nothing. No one shows up. It's difficult to schedule sub contractors and workers to show up.

We have a large population that only wants everything back to the way it was in 2018. Now.
Yeah, which part of our lives fits that description?
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Customer Service
Old 08-21-2021, 11:50 AM
  #15

It is rare I go into a business that isn't seeking applicants. Our school district has always had trouble acquiring substitute teachers and paraprofessionals, and it is at a record low with unfilled vacancies.

The vibe I get when trying to address poor customer service is, "Whatever, don't shop here, then." Also, "If I get fired there are 20 other places that would love to have me." The latter comment was on a local news program, made by a food server who was openly criticizing people she felt weren't giving enough gratuity. The manager stated he'd rather try to work with the server on customer service skills than have no one at all.
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:08 PM
  #16

Quote:
I went to Walgreen's yesterday to fill a prescription. The woman asked my date of birth. I gave my month and day (like is says on the sticker on the plexiglass!) and she rolled her eyes and said , "year?!" in a nasty tone. Then let out a huge sigh when I gave the year.
I had a similar experience at two pharmacies a couple of weeks ago. All I was trying to do was get the behind the counter sinus medicine- the kind you have to show your license for. Went to King Soopers first, the employees are chatting and it literally takes several minutes for one of them to acknowledge my presence. Another several minutes for them to decide they're ready to help me. I had the woman the card and my license , she takes forever to pick up the box directly behind her, and then finaly types everything in. "Hmm, this never worked yesterday either." She informs me that because the DL system is down, I can't get it. I ask her if it's just that store or if I'll have the same experience elsewhere. She doesn't know. No apology or anything for the fact that I've now been there for 20 minutes for a product I can't get. And if it's been down for two days now, why on earth is there no sign right out front saying you can't buy those products?? If there had been even a couple of customers in front of me, it could have been 40 minutes for a product they knew full well I couldn't get.

So I went to Walgreens. Same beginning experience. I stand there for several minutes while the employees chat. They don't have the one I want. Fine, get me the closest equivalent. I'm not sure why that was a hard question for a pharmacist, but apparently it was. Thankfully the boxes were in view so I could see what they had, and I picked one out. And thankfully their DL system worked so I could actually buy the product.

I think it's so annoying these days how almost everyone has one of those stupid customer service surveys, and I almost never fill them out because I know that to "the boss" anything but the highest score is "bad," when to most normal people, the highest score means something above and beyond happened. But I would have liked to fill out a survey for both of those pharmacies!
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:54 PM
  #17

I am a King Soopers retiree and your story makes my blood boil. I am begging you to contact the company with this story and be sure to tell them what store it was.

I retired from Kings many years ago but my brother works there now, in Colorado Springs. They have cut ALL part time workers to 20 hours. My brother can't even make ends meet. Yet they are hiring. Tim says they are trying to replace all the grown ups with teenagers. This is because they're trying to finally get rid of the union (the only thing that makes that a good job).

I think it's possible that you are either getting new employees who are worthless or employees who have been around a while and are frustrated. The frustrated employee scenario is hard for me to imagine; I am thinking (and hoping) these are new employees.

But everyone who is retired from this company and everyone who currently works there would appreciate it if you would let corporate know.

And I am so sorry for your experience.
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