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Pampered Chef: Rant Tired of being pushed around by customers

  1. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    This month has not been my month for dealing with customers! Does anyone else feel like they are being bullied and pushed around?

    Two incidents in the last month have made me very upset. The first one was a show that I did 2 weeks ago for a host...(during the Feb special of the stones), this customer, in the middle of my demo, interrupts me to tell me that she has 2 stones that she brought for me "to look at"...as I am taking her order, she brings me a bag w/ 2 broken stones, one of them a bar pan and another a rectangle stone (the flat one) that is clearly broken in half. I asked how old they were. The bar pan looked very used and she said she'd had it for a while...the other stone she said she had for a while, but never used it often and it cracked while in the oven. I told her that the bar pan looked to be out of warranty and she was fine w/ that, ordered a new one off this party at the 20% off, but the rectangle stone she wanted me to check for her...she had no receipt, didn't know who she bought it from, how long ago, etc. She even gave me 2 names to have HO check for her (hers and a friend) to see if they combined orders, etc and it may be on this. So, I call HO the next day, tell them the situation, and I am put on hold for almost 20 minutes while they are checking for this. The rep comes back and tells me that this stone was bought in 2000!!! I called the customer back to let her know that this cannot be replaced "for free" since it's out of warranty and she reads me the riot act! She told me that it is not right, she "couldn't possibly have had that stone for that long" and that she hardly uses it, it shouldn't matter if she's had it for 10 yrs, 10 months, etc. She also gave the host (her sister) $200 in orders toward her party that she threatened to withdraw from the show, told me to hold off on putting the orders in until she could see if "she could find someone else who could fenagle getting her a free stone if she gave them these orders". I told her that I was sorry there was nothing "I" could do but if she's that unhappy she should call PC and talk to them about it. Turns out, the host was so upset over her actions, and the possiblility of losing the outside orders that she went ahead and paid for the stone herself to make her happy.

    Second incident that happened, I had a lady call me in Jan for a catalog show for Feb. I sent the catalogs and emailed the specials for her and the outside order form. So, the first week of Feb she gives me a few orders and it turns out that I mistakenly gave her the order form for Jan that had the free bar board/colander on it. 2 people got free items, one got the bar board, one got the colander. I felt bad that I did this, and I went ahead and told her I would honor the free items for her guests. I put in a personal order about 4 weeks ago for these items to be shipped to my host that I paid for so they would be happy. I just received an email from my host this morning telling me she received the bar board but has not received the colander yet and her friend is very upset and will not order from her again. :eek: I checked the shipping status on it and it just says "shipped" but does not have a tracking number or any info yet. I will call them in a little bit to see what's up.

    I guess I'm just feeling like I do things to try to provide good customer service and I get walked all over. A customer isn't going to order again over not receiving a "free" item yet? Another customer is going to pull $200 in orders because they won't replace a piece that's 12 yrs old? I mean, come on! In both those instances, I could have just told the first lady to call HO herself to find out about getting it replaced, and the other one I could have said "yes it was my goof, but we are only going off of the Feb guest special"
    and be done with it. I feel like every time I try to right a wong I end up being the bad guy and getting dumped on.

    Not looking for a solution, just venting. 2 cases in a few weeks really has me bummed. :(
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #1
  2. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

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    {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

    As we say, "bless and release". They are out there and unfortunately we have to deal with them. At least we have a safe place to vent.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #2
  3. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

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    Sorry you're dealing with those issues. :(

    I still feel sick over a host I lost due to something like this. She hosted twice for me, both were my highest shows ever. She e-mailed me that her bar pan broke because she dropped a glass salt shaker on it (it fell out of the cabinet). I told her that unfortunately accidents aren't covered in the guarantee. She was so disappointed she said she'd never buy from PC again.

    UGH! I even offered to give her a discount on it on top of her 10% discount as a past host, but she was still mad at the principle of it. :grumpy: I keep thinking that maybe I shouldn't have told her anything and just had her call HO and ask. Then maybe she would've separated me from the experience.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #3
  4. Brenda.the.chef

    Brenda.the.chef Advanced Member Gold Member

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    you did nothing wrong. You went above and beyond what is expected of you. There are just people out there that feel we 'owe' them for some reason.
     
  5. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    That's how I feel about my rectangle stone lady...I since she wasn't MY customer I should have told her to call HO and deal with it herself, but I wanted to try to "help". :rolleyes:
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #5
  6. ShellBeach

    ShellBeach Veteran Member

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    I had a lady who wanted a measuring cup replaced because her dog chewed it up!
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #6
  7. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    I had a lady chew me out a bit because she had a Food Chopper that was within warranty it sounded like (we know how "it sounded like" can really be, yes?) and asked if I could get it replaced for her. This wasn't a customer of mine, I just met her at a vendor fair- she was working a food booth that I was buying lunch from. I said if she had her receipt I would be happy to take care of it for her. She said "Who keeps a receipt?!" I wasn't in the mood, so I said "You wouldn't take something back to Target without a receipt would you?". She just looked at me and said "I guess not", and that was that! HAHA. I didn't care that day. People figure they can blackmail us with orders and future business to get what they want for nothing. I'll help someone with a legitimate issue, etc. But "entitlement cases", no thanks. I don't need that kind of business, now or in the future. Because you know it never ends.

    Thankfully, this isn't the NORM.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #7
  8. chefjeanine

    chefjeanine Senior Member Gold Member

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    Nip it, nip it, nip it. Your "helpfulness" is causing you trouble.

    Your know the drill: We tell our customers to keep their receipts. We tell our customers what to do if there is a problem (call the number on the back of the receipt).

    If this person comes to me with a problem, I kindly explain that they will need their receipt and can call the number on the back. No receipt? I give ideas on how they can figure out who the consultant was so perhaps a receipt can be generated.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #8
  9. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    This is EXACTLY what I was going to post. If the customer didn't buy it from me - I explain how I would be a middle man for their issue, and that they would get a better and quicker response by calling the # on the back of their receipt. If they don't have a receipt, I do exactly what Jeanine does.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #9
  10. pchockeymom

    pchockeymom Veteran Member

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    HA! I DID this, had the gal locate her receipt, then told her to call PC and the gal was so pissed that I wouldn't call PC for her that she cancelled the catalog show she'd booked and said she was calling the rep she'd bought it from so that rep could call for her! :eek:

    You just can't please everyone!
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #10
  11. freebyrdz

    freebyrdz Novice Member

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    For me, I do not want repeat business from someone like that. You can be sure it will be repeat you-know-what. I love people that I meet through PC and don't want to spoil my fun. Make up the money somewhere else.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #11
  12. heather223

    heather223 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I am sorry that you had these issues. It does get really hard when they didn't buy the item from us personally and then they don't know when they bought it. Or when they think we should just get them a new item when it is out of warranty or it is damaged because of mis-use.

    I just had a host ask me if I could get her Mom a new Apple/ Peeler/ Corer/ Slicer. When I asked her how old it is, she told me that it is well over the 3 year warranty period. She then proceeded to tell me that I should return it under someone else that recently bought it. REALLY?? I kindly informed her the company puts manufacture dates on the products and checks them when we send the product back. I also kindly told her to have her mom call me as what is broken maybe able to be replaced.

    Oh- and I have to really get better about giving people the home office number when I am at vendor events. Only 1 time has helping someone out with a return from a vendor event turned into a customer. Not worth the hassle!!
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #12
  13. EmilyStraw

    EmilyStraw Member

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    Sometimes we can run into situations that make it seem very difficult. As a new consultant I ran into something pretty similar on my 5th show. After a lot of brainstorming with the customer, though, we came up with some pretty good solutions. No, she didn't place a giant order or anything like that, but I am still grateful I was able to help a customer, and now I have ideas for what to do in the future when situations like that arise up. I don't think she will order from Pampered Chef any more, but if she does, she knows that I spent a long time working with her and I will likely be who she calls. Take every customer situation as a learning experience and grow from it, you will be one of the best consultants ever.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #13
  14. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    Honestly this is why I don't handle returns for customers! As consultants we aren't suppose to handle returns since we are the "sales" people not the returns people. If someone brings a product to a show, I give them my card with HO's number wrote on the back and tell them to call.

    It drives me nuts when I see customer's complain about HO not doing anything on their returns on the facebook page (ie, I dropped the product, it's out of warranty, no receipt) and then other consultants say "well you should have called your consultant, they can help you out". Um no, if HO can't help you out, how is the consultant suppose to help you out?? Sorry for my mini rant
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #14
  15. chefjeanine

    chefjeanine Senior Member Gold Member

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    This is what I was taught (highlighted portion) when I started my business and that's what I continue to do today. I don't handle returns for my own customers unless it's within the 30 days of an order being shipped (where I can make an adjustment online). Of course I will print a receipt for them if they can't find theirs, but I have them make the phone call.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #15
  16. ChefZee

    ChefZee Member

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    I'm so sorry you're dealing with these jerks!

    So I live in Japan and there are a BUNCH of different bases and the one I live on is pretty far South that nobody comes here. My first week as a consultant (didn't even have my kit yet) I was caught between someone on my base who just did a $1400 catalog show and a consultant who didn't do her job well (on the farthest base from me...about an hour drive) who took the money, didn't submit yet and wouldn't return calls. That experience left such a bad taste in the host's mouth, she told me she didn't want to host anymore shows, but she would buy from me. Just extreme patience and understanding. She turned into one of my best friends (and customers). She does nails from her home, and gives me a show monthly, whether it's her show or a client.
     
    Mar 16, 2012
    #16
  17. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Some people are just twiddleheads (The Furry Guy's favorite term for them). It does seem like they arrive in our lives in bunches. Bless and release. And, may it be years before you encounter another twiddlehead.
     
    Apr 9, 2012
    #17
  18. Sheila

    Sheila Legend Member Gold Member

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    I've learned not to even get involved if I can't look up the purchase date in my computer or unless it was done by someone on my team that I can call to get the purchase date. Anything else is usually too big of a headache! And it's always the one that you go out of your way to please that cause the most problems. Murphy's Law! LOL

    As for the customer who dropped a salt shaker on the stone & broke it ... really? She's being a bit immature for holding that against PC. PC didn't drop that salt shaker. LOL
     
    Apr 9, 2012
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  19. chef131doreen

    chef131doreen Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I think in some cases like her spending 200.00 I would have offered to put the 20 % off stone on the hosts discount to maybe bring it to 40 or 50 % off . That my have made her feel better . You will be hit with unhappy people but in this business I would have maybe gone. Little out of the way to help then explain that she needs to hold on to her recipes ect .
    Just my though
     
  20. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    I just had another incident concerning the stone lady....I had a booking about a month ago from the party she was at (it was her niece), and while th stone lady was NOT at this show (thank god), she did place an order w/ my original host, stone lady's sister, who was at the show. She only ordered a nylon knife...the show went well...I forgot that before all this happened the first time, I had put her email info in my newsletter contacts...so on Sunday (Easter Sunday, mind you), I get another scathing email from her about why do I have her in my contacts when I "refused to take her order from her niece's party"! I was like "whaaaaa????"....so I immediately emailed her back telling her I had no idea what she was talking about, and the only order I knew of from her was the one she placed for the knife with original host. I put a call into the niece who had the last party to find out about this and she sent me an email back last night stating that stone lady had indicated after her show that if she had any other orders going in she wanted to add some additional items (bc she can't put anything on her own order ya know, she has to piggy back shipping w/ someone else all the time) so when her niece told her she didn't get any additional orders after her party she just closed it out. The niece told me that she got very abrupt with her that she didn't get her additonal items ordered and she had NO idea that she was saying I "refused" to order these items for her!

    I normally wouldn't care about something like this, or take it to heart so much, but I am still getting bookings off the original host, and now the niece, and they are all family and I am worried about my reputation with these new shows. I am hoping that everyone in the family realizes that she must be NUTS and doesn't put too much stock in what she says about me. :rolleyes:
     
    Apr 10, 2012
    #20
  21. PamperedchefDaly

    PamperedchefDaly Member Gold Member

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    Would she stop buying from Macy's if that salt shaker dropped on a Macy's bowl? You just can't fix stupid, so there is no sense in trying. Bless and release.
     
  22. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    I did offer that...esp with the stones being on sale for the month of Feb she would have gotten it at a steal, but it was the principle that she wanted it for FREE replaced because "she barely used it"...she said it didn't matter if she had it for "10 days, 10 months or 10 years" ...she did have the stone for 10 years...
     
    Apr 10, 2012
    #22
  23. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

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    Why do our customers think that the rules are different with PC than with a store or online purchase from someone else? That drives me crazy. But we put it on ourselves. I just gave a great customer a really good deal on her order (made her host on a set of orders from others that I had so her total due was discounted greatly). I felt good about helping her save all that money ...but then I realized that she never gives me a discount at the store she owns (it's a local meat store) and I wouldn't ask her for one. hmmm...
     
    Apr 10, 2012
    #23
  24. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    Some people are just not satisfied no matter what you try to compromise on. I dont need that kind of business, because, yes, it may make them happy at that moment and they speak nicely of you, BUT then they expect it everytime in the future. And if you dont, just like a toddler knows to throw a fit to get his way, so do these supposed adults! And of course, they tell their friends, and you may get a few that way too wanting the same deal. "You did it for my froend Suzie Snob! Why not me?"

    No thanks. I will offer some, like the host discount, etc, but not going to offer int out of my pocket. They are ADULTS and know the deal. You leep records and receipts for ANYTHING you want warranty coverage on. If they dont like it, tell them to return it to Home Depot or maybe Kohls or JCPEnny. They all have very generous return policies. My Father in law works at Home Depot, he said they have to take something back whether it is sold there or not! A lady at their store one time brought back a set of four CAR TIRES. They took them and gave her money!! I would have said "Show me the place in the store you bought them, so I can give you the correct price back.":angel:


    And for the record, I really hate typing on an ipad!! Excuse typos please...think I fixed the worst ones.
     
    Apr 10, 2012
    #24
  25. cookingwithlove

    cookingwithlove Advanced Member Gold Member

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    When I talk about our warranties at a show, I now add that like all other warranties from other companies our warranties protect you against manufacture defects. Just like a car company if you due to user error you hit a tree, the manufacture's warranty does not cover the replacement. Same with our products. I make a small joke about running the cookware over with your car and it not being covered. It gets them to think about it.

    When I have someone present me with products that I did not sell to them, I tell them they need to know something about when it was purchased. I usually add, "while you are an honest person, there are many out there that are not so honest and buy things broken at yard sales and the Goodwill and expect The Pampered Chef to replace it. So we need to know when and where you purchased your product." This seems to make them understand a little more why we need proof of purchase.

    Some people you will never please no matter what you do. Move on from them. Do you really want that toxicity in your life?
     
  26. BethCooks4U

    BethCooks4U Legend Member Gold Member

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    I just had someone that wanted to "use" the warranty on their Professional Cookware that they've had for around 10 years - not bought from me. The reason? It's starting to look worn. Nothing wrong with it, been treated right, just no looking new. They were disappointed that the guarantee doesn't cover replacement for normal wear and tear but they did understand. lol Really? If you bought cookware at William Sonoma would you take them back 10 years later to get new just because they now looked used?
     
    Apr 10, 2012
    #26
  27. Just found this thread - I recently posted my first problem host issue and after reading this thread I am feeling even better! I was so worried all day today over this host - who has been trying to cut corners from the start. "Bless and release" is what I will be repeating from now on!

    My story: http://www.chefsuccess.com/f19/dealing-problem-hosts-72838/

    Thank you especially to all of our "seasoned" consultants who have been through this! I would certainly rather find business elsewhere with hosts who know the rules and respect both myself and PC!:chef:
     
    Apr 19, 2012
    #27
  28. ShellBeach

    ShellBeach Veteran Member

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    Wow, the fun just never stops with that whackaloon! Seriously - everyone else in the family MUST be aware she's unhinged.

    I've added twiddlehead to my vocabulary:thumbup:
     
    Apr 20, 2012
    #28
  29. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    Ha ha! Yes, I'm thinking so! I have a show tonight for the neice's mother in law, I think I'm out of the circle that this lady comes from, so I'm hoping to just move on, but REALLY...I'm hoping they do know she's a bit unbalanced and doesn't hold anything out for me personally! :)
     
    Apr 20, 2012
    #29
  30. scottcooks

    scottcooks Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Whoa - ladies, this is a flame throwing fiesta if ever there was one. Back up a step: when someone brings you a concern, it is because they care enough to do so. Show them your degree of care, but keep good limits on your time and energy.

    This thread could go for years on bad customer behavior, but what is it they really want? Pampered Chef products that perform as expected. Isn't that what we want too? Sometimes we serve as a lens to help them realize their expectations are not realistic.

    The biggest reason they come to you, is they don't "emotionally" know there even is a Home Office. They think you magically make the PC appear at their host's door. Explain outright that one of the great benefits to being a PC consultant, is we are supported by an incredible staff of customer care professionals whose job it is to help resolve concerns and replace the rare faulty products. Explain the PC is a conservative company with one of the best customer service teams in the industry, that as a customer they will be expected to produce a sales receipt, but for doing so, will receive unparallelled results in quick service and polite care. You can make it emotionally real for them by telling the name of the last person you spoke with at HO and how well they treated you / how well they solved a problem for a host, customer, etc.

    Customer service is about helping, getting the customer a degree of satisfaction, and having strong personal limits as far as what you will or will not do to help them. Personally, I go to the n'th degree as long as they are respectful, kind and polite. The moment they get snarky, my helpfulness diminishes back to level one.

    Lowest level of support- Level One: offer to help them find their original consultant or host so they can get a receipt and return the item themselves.

    Modest support - Level Two: give them the HO main number and explain they will need to ask for a return authorization number.

    Most support - Level Three: offer to package their return item for them and address the envelope and hand it back to them. I would no more pay to ship someone's broken item than I would drive to Target to return their jacket with a faulty zipper. Snarky stop one - if they balk at postage, have them call HO and if HO determines it was PC's fault, HO will send out a FedEx label to ship it free; otherwise, it's their choice to return it or not.

    I have no qualms in telling any customer "it is inappropriate for me to send the item back - Pampered Chef directs me to focus correctly completing customer and host orders, so they can concentrate on fulfilling them. This gets everyone their products quickly and most efficiently."

    If the customer is unusually nice, or if I have a like item I am OK with parting with, I often offer my new or used PC item for their broken one. They are thrilled with the offer, and and if they take me up on it, I do ask them for either a show booking or a referral. About half give me instant future business!
     
    Apr 28, 2012
    #30
  31. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    I respect your post, Scott, but I do not believe this is a flame throwing fiesta...this lady was rude, demanding, obnoxious to me...and I was venting that I had a few instances in a row of bad behavior from customers lately. I think that more and more, customers in ANY "store" expect you to go above and beyond lately, and these customers expect to do NOTHING for themselves while skirting the sytem to get things they want for free. That is what happened to me. When I balked and said I don't play by that rule, I was read the riot act. This is just a continuation of that, with the latest email I received over Easter.

    So while I do agree with you that many customers are nice and understanding, there are quite a few out there who aren't willing to do any legwork for themselves to get their own issues rectified and will instead blame the middle man for not doing more for them when they've really done all they can do.
     
    Apr 28, 2012
    #31
  32. lt1jane

    lt1jane Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Sadly, this mentality is permeating society. I see plenty of it at work. I have no problem helping people when they need it. I raises my hackles to deal with rude people who think they deserve the world handed to them on a silver platter. More often than not, these are the people abusing public assistance.

    I had a pharmacist a few years ago who was surprised that I was at the time on Medicaid and Food Stamps. My husband was unemployed and we needed the assistance. She was shocked because I am conservative in my outlook and "conservatives don't believe in welfare." I told her we have no problems with welfare when it is used as the helping hand it was meant to be rather than the handout people think they deserve. I'm more than happy to help someone who's trying to help themself. I WILL NOT help someone acting helpless. I hate it when women act like "dumb blondes" too. It gives all of us a bad name.

    I am proud to say that it's been about two years since we graduated from that help. It's amazing how having a job helped my husband's self-worth. His drinking is minimal again too. When unemployed, he felt worthless, drank 24/7, and put a gun to his head resulting in me dialing 911. I still worry about his drinking, but he is much more pleasant these days and I no longer contemplate leaving him for the safety of our son.
     
    Apr 28, 2012
    #32
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