Awful customer service

There’s somewhat of an unwritten code of ethics when it comes to dealing with the general public in a professional setting. Even aside from that, there’s common courtesy that, sadly, seems to be lacking in society today.

That being said, I have to share an awful experience I had today when going to pick up laundry from the laundromat. (Side note: Having other people wash/dry/fold my laundry is bloody fantastic… Expensive, but a luxury I’m willing to make the occasional sacrifice for because it’s so nice not to have to worry about it… and I suck at folding.) I didn’t use my regular laundromat since they had quite a few orders ahead of mine and thus couldn’t get it back in time for when I needed it. There’s another laundromat a few minutes down the road that I went to as a backup, who promised next-day pickup for the clothes. Fine. I dropped everything off yesterday and was helped by a friendly attendant who told me it would most likely be ready for pickup today, and suggested I call to check on the status in the morning. No problem.

Around noon today, I called to check the status, and the person was very short with me on the phone.

Me: “Hello, I’d like to check on a batch of laundry I dropped off yesterday.”

Lady: “It’s done.”

(I hadn’t even given her my name, a ticket number, nothing.)

Me: “Do you know which one it is?”

Lady: “anything brought in from yesterday is finished.”

(hangs up)

It’s a good thing I didn’t have another question, since she hung up on me…

I went down there shortly thereafter, after 3. As soon as I walked in I noticed the attendant sitting behind the counter on her cell phone. She was texting someone while having a conversation on speakerphone. She looked at me briefly, and I gave her my claim ticket to get my order.

While talking loudly and texting, she started looking for my order. The completed orders were on shelving units behind the counter clearly visible to anyone in the store. My order was about eye-level directly in front of where she was standing, and my name was written in black marker in large letters on the bag. Still, she couldn’t locate it. Apparently multitasking was not her strong suit.

I verbally guided her to the bag, and she brought it to the front. She set it on the table, and for a good two minutes focused solely on her conversation and left me standing there, credit card in hand. She mumbled a few numbers, which I asked her to repeat. Apparently that was my total, and apparently I should have been eavesdropping on her conversation as evidenced by the sarcasm in her tone from having to repeat my total.

I paid, and started to leave, but I couldn’t leave it at that. As a customer, in a business I’ve just given money to, I will not play second fiddle to a rude attendant’s personal conversations.

Me: “Is your supervisor here?”

Lady: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Is your manager here?”

Lady: (with attitude) “I AM the manager.”

Me: “I just wanted to say its very discourteous to be on the phone while waiting on customers.”

Lady: (combative) “Yeah? Well my kid just swallowed a whole bottle of Advil, so I don’t care how courteous I’m being.”

Me: “Well, I hope he’s okay.”

I left immediately after, because I realized that staying there would have been a tremendous waste of time. Some would say I shouldn’t have bothered to bring it up at all, maybe that I shouldn’t have such high expectations for service at a laundromat. They’d probably be right, but it could have happened anywhere; I’d probably have said the same thing regardless of what I was doing. As a manager I’m surprised she would be running a business like that.

She could have handled that a few different ways, but acknowledging my statement and explaining the situation in a more professional matter would have made a huge difference, and kept
me as a potential customer, and someone who would recommend that business. I will not go back there, and will encourage my friends and family to go a little further up the road to my usual laundromat, where the service is friendly, and the space is clean and inviting.

From now on, even if my regular laundromat is backlogged, I’ll still go through them. The friendly service and quality of the work are well worth the wait.



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