Kim Throneberry guest blogs: Trials of arcade life

I work in an arcade. There is also a restaurant portion that is currently under construction, so you could say it is similar to a non-corporate-owned Dave & Busters. In our arcade we have a photo booth. For $3, you can choose one of many fun borders (or none) and take three pictures that it will print out two strips of. It's a pretty sweet deal, I think. Below is a photo of the screen you see when you're inside the booth.
Let's note that at the top of the screen it clearly states that it costs $3. Then, at the bottom, it clearly states that the machine does not give change.

Now, tell me why probably no less than five times a week, someone wants their money back because they didn't realize how much it cost or thought it would give them change. One, why would you think it would give you change to begin with? Yes, the bill acceptor says it takes $1 and $5 bills, but that's because some people want four strips or what have you. What machine has ever given you change other than a vending machine? Did you expect it to spit out EIGHT QUARTERS at you? Did you not notice that there was no change slot? Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. The other day a woman came down to me at the front counter and the following conversation took place

CUSTOMER: The photo booth doesn't give change?
ME: No…
CUSTOMER: Oh...is there a way I could I get my money back?
ME: I'm sorry, we don't have a key to the machine. If you'd like we can take your contact info and the next time they come they can issue you a refund.
CUSTOMER: No. That's okay...they should make it more clear.
ME: Well, it does say across the bottom of the screen that it doesn't give change…

She was mostly polite about it and just let it go. This is the typical reaction most people have. 

Last Sunday morning, I opened at 10:30 a.m. after doing a twelve hour shift the night before. I was tired and less in the mood to deal with stupid people than usual, but Sundays are thankfully pretty laid back. Then in comes this guy to ruin my morning.

He is the first customer of the day and has put $2 in the photo booth, thinking for whatever reason that this is how much it costs, and wants his money back. I explain to him that I'm sorry, but I don't have a key to the machine, as it's not owned by us. While he has no problem understanding this, he doesn't accept it and still wants his refund, because he doesn't have any more cash and he's not going to "just throw his money away". The guy has gone from annoyed to 'roid rage in ten seconds.

First off, really? Not even one more dollar bill? You had exactly $2 in your wallet and nothing else? Not even a five that I'd be happy to change into ones for you? Doubtful, but whatever.

Second, it is two dollars. Why are you getting hyper-aggressive with me and in my face on a Sunday morning over $2? Even more so when the whole situation is your fault to begin with! It's not as if the machine malfunctioned. It's really not my fault you don't know how to read, dude. I try explaining again that we don't own the machine, I don't have a key for it, the refund would need to be issued by them, not us, etc and he demands I talk to with a manager. At this point, I just go downstairs and issue him the lousy $2 refund because my boss isn't there on Sundays but it's what he would do, and mostly I was really tired of dealing with Sergeant Douche Dad. He was, of course, very smug about it when I came back with his money which, you know, was the cherry on top of the whole situation.

The whole incident brings me to a final gripe. The old idiom that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar holds especially true in regard to help in a customer service situation. I'd wager that 80% of the problems people encounter in our arcade are the customer's fault. They swiped the card incorrectly, they didn't read something, they didn't listen when we explained something, etc. Dealing with this stuff is part of my job and I get it. Most of the time, I try to be as kind as possible about righting the issue and ensuring that everyone leaves having had a fun time. HOWEVER, when you come up to me looking to pick a fight with a mega attitude before you've even started talking, it does not make me want to help you. It makes me want to enlighten you to the fact that actually, you're just an idiot. Because really, folks, it's an arcade. It's not serious business. Calm down. Whatever it is can probably be fixed in under thirty seconds. Quit being rude. You're just making both of our days worse. So please, next time you need help from you friendly local CSR, check your attitude at the door; we just want to help you, not rip you off.

No comments:

Post a Comment