We are in the process of redecorating our offices at work and, being the person in charge, I took a day off to travel to the city for some furniture shopping. We need a conference room table with several chairs, we need some guest chairs for the individual offices, and we need two really nice chairs for our reception room.
I put together a short list of all the best clearance and outlet locations so that I could use my one day wisely and, hopefully, successfully.
I started out yesterday at about 9am and by 1pm I had everything I was looking for except the two chairs for the reception room. I had seen a couple of nice riveted leather chairs earlier in the day but it was one of those "What if I find something I like better?" situations. But by the time I had visited all the stores on my list, I had not found anything better so I went back to make a deal on the two riveted leather chairs.
Keep in mind that this store is basically the scratch and dent dumpyard for a local furniture chain. And if you get lucky and have a little initiative, you can find great deals on furniture that requires minimal repair. Or can be strategically placed so that no one ever sees the damage.
Okay, so I go back to the store looking to make a deal on the two chairs. They were marked $244 each. One of them had a leg that would need to be removed, repaired, and re-attached. So I asked the salesman if he would take $400 for the pair. He told me that he couldn't make that call but I could speak to the store manager. So I go over to the manager's desk and say, "You have two chairs over there marked $244 each. Would you be willing to take $400 for both of them?"
Here's the part that tee-totally pisses me straight off:
He just looks at me.
Smirks a little.
Shakes his head.
Me: "Sooooooooooo, you're not interested in making a deal?"
Looks at me.
Shakes his head.
WTF?!!?!?!!! HE DIDN"T EVEN SPEAK WORDS TO ME! As if I am so dim that shaking his head is the only form of communication that I will understand.
And you know what? If he had just said to me, "Ma'am, we have this stuff priced as low as we can" or "I wish I could" or "That has been a popular item and it sells really well at that price" (or anything!) I STILL WOULD HAVE BOUGHT THE FLIPPIN CHAIRS! I was willing to take the hit on the $88 if he wasn't.
But you know what I did?
I walked out.
And straight to my computer when I returned to my office to write a letter to the company to inform them that they had lost a good customer forever. I bought my new living room and bedroom furniture there when my first husband and I divorced. I bought several tables and shelving units there when I opened my gift store a few years ago. And we were in there just last month looking at new mattresses and home office furnishings.
So yes, that company just lost a good customer. A good customer who USED TO spread the word about their good quality and great prices.
This time, I hope my letter elicits a termination of employment. Maybe that manager would do better as a telemarketer or something. NOT.