What Happened to Customer Service?I am usually not quick to jump to complaining about a business, but I recently had an experience with lousy customer service, and I’m going to publicly ask, “What happened to customer service?”

Those who know me, know I injured my foot a couple of years ago. Now, when I shop for sneakers there are a few features my local podiatrist suggested I look for. Well, of course, as all women know, this makes finding a stylish shoe nearly impossible, so when I found a pair of sneakers at The Shoe Department in St. Mary’s, Georgia, at an affordable price, I was thrilled!

The shoes were located near the front of the store, with a large sale sign that read $39… (something) tucked into the stack of shoe boxes, with a demo model on display above the sign. The shoe matched the shoe boxes under the sign, and these were the shoes I had spent nearly 20 minutes of my life pondering over. I was excited! I had not found a pair of sneakers I liked this much in two years! I was rejoicing, “Momma needs a new pair of shoes!” Well, not so fast, Judie.

The sneakers were “Skechers”. I tried on three different sizes and widths to get the best support and most comfortable fit. A sales representatives walked past me and asked if I was finding things ok? “Yes, thanks.” I replied admiring my soon-to-be new shoes.

A second sales rep repeated the question as I was packing up the rejected pairs. I finished packing up the shoes I had tried on, putting them neatly into their appropriate boxes, and placed them back where I found them and headed to the check-out counter.

With my wallet in hand the female clerk said, “That will be $53.00.” She mentioned some change, too, but I don’t recall the exact amount.

“They were on sale for 39 dollars.” I said politely.

The clerk quickly snatched up the box and walked over to the display where they were clearly market with a promotional price.

“Did I not get the pair shown on the display?” I asked confused.

“Oh sorry,” She quipped with no emotion whatsoever, snatching the sign off of the shoe box. “Someone put that sign there by mistake.”

“…and you are not going to honor the price?” I asked, thinking, it was not my mistake; it was theirs.

Now, I worked in the retail industry for over 20 years, and when something like this happens, you either offer the advertised price, or see if your manager can do something to satisfy the customer.

The clerk’s flippant mannerism made my blood boil. She didn’t even answer me!

Firmly I told my daughter, who was shopping for boots in a different isle than the sneakers were displayed, that we were leaving. “This store won’t honor their sale price, which is clearly marked.” I think I got louder as I spoke. “This is bait and switch, and THAT my dear – is illegal!”

While I’m still wondering what has happened to customer service, I should mention, “I’m still looking for a good pair of sneakers.”

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