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What a f***ed up Yule.
Posted Dec 22, 2001 - 3:30:05

Makes me glad I celebrate most of it on the 25th (I'm wacky that way... and I don't have to work)

Speaking of Working on Yule, work was bizarre. As some of you faithful readers know, I work at the Wireless/PDA department for a leading Electronics Superstore. I had several problems involving a Cellular carrier today... but to prevent lawsuit, I will bitch about them under the pseudonym "X-Cellular" for the sake of this rant.

Well, one of my coworkers had begun doing an activation on a phone for X-Cellular. My coworker, who is in no way as obsessive-compulsive as I am to memorize the SKU numbers for each carriers phones, grabbed a Nokia 5165 that was sitting in the proper spot for X-Cellular phones. Unfortunately, it had been placed there by accident, and was set up for a competing company I shall dub "Y-Cellular". In fact, it turns out that we are out of 5165's for X-Cellular.

We don't realize this until after we send the contract fax through though.

Now, it turns out, that the only phone we have that is in stock for X-Cellular is the Nokia 8260. Now, to give you an idea as to how much of a price difference this is, (during the current sale) we sell the 5165 for $20, and the 8260 is priced at $120. Kind of a jump. And the lowest we've ever retailed the 8260 for is $99. I talk to a manager to see if I can do better, but he says that's the best we can offer. Of course, the manager and I are functioning under the assumption that, as X-Cellular has always told us, you can cancel your contract within the first 72 hours without penalty.

So, I present the two options to the customer (Cancel the contract, or go to the better phone). I also apologize profusely. He's irritated, rightfully so. He's been waiting for four hours, and he's being told we don't have a phone for him. But thankfully, he's also rational enough to understand our position. He chooses to cancel the contract.

And here's where it all goes to hell.

First thing I do is call Credit and Activations for X-Cellular. The poor woman I talked to stated that there was nothing I could do, since they had finalized it in their system. I mentioned that (as I still maintain) you can cancel a contract within the first 72 hours of signing it (by the way, side note, if anyone is viewing this and is extremely familiar with contract law in Wisconsin - e-mail me and tell if if I'm nuts in believing this). The woman tells me there's nothing she can do, but says I should call Customer Service. My first thought was "That makes sense, it's the customer quitting, not the Store".

So I had the customer call Customer Service. And they gave him the run-around for at least a half hour... finally, we ended up talking the the "Market Manager", who said - and I'll attempt to quote - "I'm sorry, but I don't have the power to do that - I'd have to talk to *my* Manager... of course, he's going to be out of the office until Wednesday..." So, I talked to her, my coworker talked to her, one of my managers talked to her... to no avail. See, X-Cellular claimed that they didn't have to give the customer the 72 hours to quit. In fact, they only had to give the customers 72 hours in they had gone into an actual X-Cellular dealership, and not an Authorized Retailer like our store. We argued and argued... but there wasn't much we could do. In the end... we did something almost unthinkable...

We gave the customer the 8260 for $20.

Now, if you think our store took it up the ass, you're mostly right. Let me break it down as to how Cellular Phone sales work in situations like our store has with X-Cellular:

X-Cellular provides the service. For every customer our store gets signed up for a one year contract, X-Cellular gives the store about $200 - regardless of plan signed up for.

Because of this, we often sell the phone for less than cost. The cost on an 8260 is $250. We marked it down to $20.

So, the store took in a total of $220 for a $250 phone. And I blame X-Cellular. Heck, he hadn't even purchased a phone yet. He had a service with no given way to use it - thus, X-Cellular was not providing promised service and still wanting to charge him for it...

Yeesh.

Anyways, I have to say that with everything that happened, I'd like to thank the customer Andrew for all of his patience. In a season where anger and irrationality seem to be the norm, he kept his cool, and understood that it wasn't something that we, as salespeople, could control.

Andrew, you f***ing rock dude.

So, after all of that, I notice that my coworker is going home for the night. I say goodbye, and about fifteen minutes later it dawns on me that I'm the only one there.

I was not scheduled to be the closer...

So, I pull out my schedule that I keep in my pocket, and checked. I was right, I wasn't the closer. A different coworker, in fact, than the one I had worked with was scheduled to be the closer. Not only that, but the guy who I had been working with was supposed to have LEFT when I showed up.

I got confused.

So I pulled out the master schedule. Where my coworker's shift was listed, there was a big X, and where "9:00pm" was listed on my shift, it had been x-ed out too, and "11:45pm" had been pencilled in.

Geh.

Now, this is friggin' Yule! I was planning on going home and meditating for a while, and maybe getting a quick ritual done before midnite. Something that was NOT going to happen if I stayed until 11:45pm. In fact, the last bus leaves at 10:15pm from the mall (which means I have to leave my store at 10:00pm to catch it). Thankfully, my manager understood... and I stayed until 10pm - and from 10 to close, Matt from the Computer department covered Wireless.

Jeez, I got lucky today.
- Traegorn

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