‘Are you right?’ he asked from afar.
‘No’ I replied.
I was looking for an email on my phone.
‘Ahh, a problem with your phone?’
The assumption there was something wrong with my phone set the tone of what was to follow.
He finally sauntered over to the service desk where I had been standing for only twenty minutes. He was nothing special to look at. Just an average- looking overweight dude with a puffed-out chest. I began outlining my grievance to him and attempted to back it up with the transaction I had been looking for on my phone. He sat down at the desk shielding his computer screen with an enormous potted palm.
‘I’m the manager. Just let me do my job’ he interjected.
Wow! How great are you? Congratulations!
I recently bought an air conditioner from the Dodgy Dudes, a reputable store for white goods. The salesman (SM) didn’t have to do a sales pitch because I had done my research and knew exactly what I wanted. A Big Brand wall mounted air conditioner. The sale was quick, the transaction was done and the commission was on its way. Not to me, although it should have been. SM couldn’t get me out of the store quick enough to move onto the next customer.
The next day, two big boxes containing the air conditioner were delivered. A further three days later the installation man (IM) from Dodgy Dudes arrived as planned.
‘This is not a straight-forward installation’ he declared. I already knew that because the installation was briefly discussed with SM at the point of sale. I remember the conversation well. “No problem’ said SM. ‘The outside part of the unit can be installed on the roof at an extra cost to you”. Fair enough. I assumed the SM would have had this same conversation with the IM when he booked him in for my installation. Obviously not. The IM looked annoyed and left because he didn’t have the equipment required for the ‘not straight-forward installation’.
Later that day, I received an email from the Dodgy Dudes requesting a further payment of $600 for the ‘not straight-forward installation’ to go ahead. In order to pay the additional expenses, I had to enter my phone number and the work order number that appeared on the email onto the attached e-invoice. Not so simple. A big red alert appeared on the invoice telling me that my phone number did not match the work order number. I knew my phone number was right so it could only be one thing. Naturally I called the Dodgy Dudes to get some clarification. And my air conditioner installed especially as I was really starting to feel the heat.
I ended up with the Dodgy Dudes call centre. ‘The number is incorrect. None of our work orders start with that digit’.
The call centre advised me to ring the store where I had made the purchase. Over the coming week I called the Dodgy Dudes at least twenty times. And twenty times the phone call started and ended the same way.
‘Air conditioners please’.
‘ I’ll put you on hold while I find someone from that area to assist you’.
No one ever picked up. Not one single time. I was put on hold indefinitely. There was only one thing left to do and that was to pay the Dodgy Dudes a return visit.
Meanwhile back at the service desk
The manger pulled up my transaction details. All was quiet while he perused his computer screen for a few minutes.
‘What’s your actual phone number?’ he enquired in his usual condescending manner.
‘My phone number has not changed. The work order number is incorrect’.
That was followed by a short, sharp ‘Shhh’.
I was silenced again. I disliked this rude dude more by the second.
I took a look
He made a few phone calls in a low, secretive voice.
I parted the palm and strained my neck to see what was on his computer screen. As a person with low vision, I couldn’t see anything. But he didn’t know that. It forced him into submission.
“Ah, I see the problem. There’s a typo in the work order’.
You got it!!! What a clever little manager.
Action at last
After uttering those words, his demeanour completely changed. He immediately called the IM and spoke in a loud clear voice. “Yes that’s right. Top priority installation. Today or sooner. The poor bugger is standing right here next to me’.
I guess that was his way of saying ‘sorry we stuffed up’.
The air conditioner was installed two days after the encounter with the manager. This happened to be the same day I received a Dodgy Dudes gift voucher for ten dollars via email. I dragged it immediately into my electronic trash bin. Just one more thing to do. Click on ‘delete permanently’. And that’s what I did.