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Gun store just lost a customer...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by wristtwister, May 24, 2008.

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  1. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    I was in the gun store where I usually do business yesterday, and they had several SIG P226's there which had "just come in". I patiently waited on the sales clerk to come over to wait on me, and the guy was "intercepted" by another customer as he was walking over to me.:cuss:

    This guy obviously knew absolutely nothing about guns, and was talking in circles to the clerk, while I was standing there waiting to buy the Sig. The clerk actually asked me what I wanted, and I told him "I want to buy this Sig", and pointed at the gun I wanted. "I'll be right with you"... was his answer.:confused:

    He then proceeded to pull all three of the Sigs that he had in the case out and started showing them to the other customer. He even inspected each gun for the guy and recommended which ones he buy (he wanted two)... so my gun walked off in the other customer's hands.

    He then came back over to me and asked me "which gun was it you wanted?"
    I told him that I wasn't interested in "what was left" since he had just sent the gun I wanted to buy out with the other customer, and he kept saying "Oh, these are such a good buy..."... The problem was that the one I wanted had no holster wear on it, and looked pristine through the glass... and I suspect it was. The one that was left was holster worn and half the finish was worn off the slide.

    I told him that he had probably just lost one of their best customers... and I was surprised at his reaction. "What do you mean?" he asked me...:uhoh:

    Just in case he was in the slow learner's class, I told him "I pointed at the gun I wanted to buy and you sold it to the guy who walked in and butted in ahead of me. I've bought a gun a month from you guys for the past several months, and I don't appreciate being treated like this".:what:

    His reply... "Well, what do you want me to do about it? We've already sold those guns...":neener:

    "Never mind," I told him... "I know how to take my business elsewhere... I can just wait and buy my guns at the gun show in a couple of weeks... and I'll be sure and let everybody know how you treat your customers".:mad::fire:

    I hope they go out of business if that's the best they can do...

    WT
     
  2. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Sorry, dude - I know how frustrating this is. BTDT.

    Maybe it would be more effective if you let the shop owner know what happened. I doubt that it was personal - never attibute to malice that which can be readily attributed to stupidity.

    This has actually been a problem of mine (as I call it, "I must have my invisibility hat on today"), and when they reach for the one I want I actually announce in a loud voice, "I have been standing here to look at that. May I?".
     
  3. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    I have always been willing to wait my turn and never shy to tell a clerk "It's my turn" when he gets confused by an over-eager customer. I would have surely told him "That's the gun I just told you I wanted to buy. Why are you showing my gun to someone else?"

    It should never have to come to that but I sure would have spoken up loudly to save me and the clerk some grief. The other guy who jumped ahead of you? pf-f-f-t!
     
  4. bensdad

    bensdad Member

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    This post makes me feel a little guilty. I'm one of those guys who gets sick of waiting for people who just want to handle the guns. When I'm there to buy, I'm there to buy. I have obnoxiously walked right up next to someone who was there before me and said, "Hand me that Taurus. I think I want it."

    I'm sorry about your experience. I'm sure it's no consolation, but you've taught me some manners. :eek:
     
  5. RandomMan

    RandomMan Member

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    As one of those gunshop clerks, I assure 1) I try and help the customer who was there first. 2) There is NOTHING more annoying than trying to help a customer who has no clue what they want and won't stop pestering you so you can help another customer. THE problem with being a clerk is, I CAN'T just ignore one customer for another some of the time (like I said I try and help those who are first, but if I've got a really squeaky wheel that needs grease, it needs grease).

    Also, "being a really good customer" doesn't qualify you for better service than the next customer, sorry it just doesn't. I treat the customers I see three times a week as well as I do the new customer, in fact it's usually vice versa, my "Really good customers" are OK with being patient knowing I will take care of them, that they don't mind if I have to help a "not so good customer" for a moment.

    I realize you lost the gun you wanted, but to be honest if you wanted it you should've butted into the guy who was being shown guns (that cut in front of you), and TOLD the clerk, "Excuse me, not to be rude, but I was here first and that gun is the one I wish to purchase." If it were ME, I would instantly set that gun aside and asked another clerk to come over and start working with you. If he refused to help you after that point, THEN I would've walked out and I think you would've had just cause for a complaint.

    -Rob
     
  6. loop

    loop Member

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    This is interesting to me because I'm the editor of a monthly business magazine and the subject of my column this month was poor customer service.

    Most business owners have no idea if they have good customer service or not. That is why it is important to tell the owner when you are unhappy with the service. He doesn't know his customers are displeased unless someone spells it out for him.

    As a customer I've found I have to be kind of pushy to get good service these days. You tell the salesman you want a laptop and they'll push what they want to sell.

    I would not give up on that shop if I was previously satisfied with it. I'd talk to the owner and express my dissatisfaction. Then I'd decide if I want to continue doing business with them.

    I would also agree with RandomMan, you should have butted in.

    OTOH, I'm gettin' old, don't have a lot of time to waste on idiots and I'm fairly influential in my community. I expect to be treated with respect. If I'm not treated that way I'll tell you about it - right in front of your customers and employees. But, I do it very calmly with the reasons clearly spelled out.

    And, I'm not sure from your post that you really received poor service. I am certain you were not assertive enough.
     
  7. jlh26oo

    jlh26oo Member

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    I might have missed this if you already mentioned it in your O.P., but were you or the guy who left with your gun there (at the counter) first? I.M.O. it doesn't matter how much that guy knows about guns, or if he's taking too long to look at them, but first come first serve on who gets it. However, even if he was there first, if you told the clerk you decided to BUY (not look at) first, while the other guy was still deciding, then you WERE "first" (unless the other guy was there first, and had already decided to buy, but was just choosing which one(s) he wanted).

    Either way, the clerk should not have asked what you wanted if when you said I'LL TAKE THIS ONE, he was going to sell it to someone else. W.T.F. did he ask in the first place for, that's just adding insult to injury! I'd take my business elsewhere too, and +_1 on letting the owner know about it.
     
  8. kbmark

    kbmark Member

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    So I was in a shop one day and watched as a clerk ignored and treated a customer much similar to what happened to you. The customer left..and returned about forty five minutes later. Asked the clerk to get a manager, and proceded to show them both the reciept he had from the purchase of almost thirty thousand dollars made at the shop down the street.
    The clerk was fired on the spot. It doesn't help at all I know. You should talk to the shop owner. They don't want to lose customers, and need to know if they have an employee driving away their bottom line.
     
  9. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    ^^^ That might work, but then again it might not.

    I've worked for two gun stores in my existence here. The first was, at one time, the greatest place in the OKC area to buy a gun. It had an immense selection, knowledgeable staff, and the lowest prices.

    Notice that all references were made past tense. These days, the staff are paid minimum wage plus .2% commission (whee!), and are treated worse than cattle. There are nine customers for every salesman, and the owner himself is so stubborn, he thinks it's still the 1970s. He doesn't give a damn about the store, or he'd 1) retire, 2) hire more salespeople, and/or 3) at least clean the dang place. Any problem you have makes you a pain to deal with, and he wouldn't care if you left with $30,000 of what could've been his money. No haggling at all, or else you're kicked out of the store. :barf:

    On the other side, I've worked at a tiny, cramped Army surplus store, paid minimum wage, and had one of the greatest honest businessmen (usually an oxymoron, but it applies) as a boss/owner. He know his regulars by name, and the only markup he does on guns is about 5% above cost/shipping to him. I once traded a pistol for a stripped AR lower, and as I was about to walk out the door, satisfied, he called out for me to "hang on a sec" as he took up a sack and disappeared for a moment. He came back with a mag pouch, three 2nd-hand magazines (hand picked), rebuild kits with green followers, ammo, a sling, and a detachable rear sight.

    He's pulled me aside (before and since my employment there) and told me about special deals that weren't going out to the racks--Ishapore 2A1s for what AIM was selling them for (before shipping), no charge on the transfer fee; single-cases of unusual surplus ammo for about 1/2 of what most places were charging; weird bayonets that he was going to keep for himself but thought I might want, and then giving a fine example to me; and so on. He has earned every dollar, every loyal customer.

    If you're ever in town, go by Brigadoon Military Surplus on Sunnylane just south of SE 15th. Often, there're a few things that need to be seen in there. :)
     
  10. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Did the guy see that you were there first and simply get intercepted? Of did he step out of the back and simply help the first guy he saw? As a retailer, its difficult to organize customers when you walk up on a few that are all standing there. You can ask who was first, but most of the time they'll all say "Me". You've got to choose someone, ya know. I try to look for the one that seems the most polite. :evil:
    When the clerk asked what you were looking for, you should have specified which Sig you were interested in, or if you hadn't decided yet, that you were in line first and would like first dibs on them.
     
  11. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    I'll bet you I was in that store last week. Are the owner's intials F.R.E.D.?
    I was trying to buy a 410 barrel for my contender, could see it behind the counter. Finally flagged down a salesman who asked, "What do you want?" I said, I'm looking for a 410 barrel for a Contender. He just said "ain't got any" as he turned away. Now I could have pointed it out to him, but why throw good money at bad service.
     
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "This guy obviously knew absolutely nothing about guns, and was talking in circles to the clerk, while I was standing there waiting"

    A couple of the shops that know me well have a way of keeping me from walking when they're busy. One of the sales guys will excuse himself for a second from a longwinded customer and hand me a gun to look at.

    Then I have to stand around and wait for him to come back and retrieve the gun. Sometimes they forget me and I have to flag them down to return it.

    They've made a couple of sales this way.

    John
     
  13. tydephan

    tydephan Member

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    I had a similar thing happen to me a few weeks ago. I went in to my local shop with the full intent on buying a Walther P22 for about $350 after tax.

    They had about 7 sales guys working. Customers came and went, yet not once during my hour-long stay at the store was I offered help, despite lingering around the 22 counter for half that time.

    Customers kept butting in front of me.

    I left, not terribly pissed but more than a little disappointed.

    Two weeks later I bought one for $230 FTF in like new condition. Almost a 35% savings. :D :D
     
  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    wristtwister

    I think that I would have to agree with some of the other members here who said that you probably should have spoken up about that particular gun before it was sold. You wouldn't have too be demanding about it; just assertive enough to say you were there first and that was the gun you wanted to buy. If the sales clerk still sold it to the other customer, then I would most definitely want to speak to either the acting manager or the owner.
     
  15. wristtwister

    wristtwister Member

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    Regular customers vs new customers

    I realize the value of encouraging new customers to shop at the store... vs the familiarity of merely carousing with "regular customers"... and this is my point... "regular customers" may or might not spend more than the "new" customer... but over the long run, they will.

    I don't have a special place as a regular that commands special treatment, but I also have some sense of when somebody is jerking me around. If you think the guy butting in to shop is "good customer service"... not corrected by the clerk... I have nothing for your store either. If I was running the shop, I would take the business in the order it should be served... up to the point of giving everybody a number as you walk in the door. Hell, they do that at the motor vehicle division of our state government... and it works fine for keeping people from getting shafted by butt-ins... and they handle a whole lot more people than the gun shop.

    The problem with a lot of small stores is that the staff is either family or all "buddies", and what they do is covered by everybody else in the place if they act out of line. I don't even have an issue with the clerk putting the other guy in front of me (although it's bad customer service), but selling him the exact weapon I was standing there to see is over the top... especially when he took them out of the case and recommended to him that he buy that particular gun.

    Maybe being a "regular" at the gun shop is a misnomer... because everybody that's a customer is a customer... but I sure know who treats me like a person, and who treats me like a "sale"... and if only my money is important to the relationship, I'll give it to the dealer at the gun show who has always treated me well and followed up with customer service to fix any problems.

    WT
     
  16. woof

    woof Member

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    I would have said, very loudly but with a smile, "I have dibs on this one" as I pointed to it. Then stood there and objected if the clerk started to show it to anyone else. "I said I have dibs on this and I will buy it. I'll wait to pay till you are ready."
     
  17. hags

    hags Member

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    Look on the bright side, the 226 that looked pristine probably had slide to frame "slop" that the clerk didn't point out.
    On the other hand, I've run into many with major finish wear that had perfect slide to frame fit.
     
  18. Treo

    Treo member

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    I once walked into a surplus store to buy a knife & sat there for 20 minutes while 2 clerks had a comversation right in front of me as if I wasn't there.

    I walked out went across town bought the same knife , I think I may have paid a few dollars more.

    Anyway as soon as I completed the sale I asked to use the phone called the other shop & asked to speak to the owner. Turns out he was one of the clerks that ignored me, but I made it very clear to him why he lost my business.
     
  19. jocko

    jocko Member

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    about the same

    doesn't seem to matter either the price of the object. \

    I have bought in the past from the same foreign car dealer, a new volvo, jaguar, audi, all great vehicles. Was going to orderr a new Porsche cayman S, with everything on it. About 90 grand, Wanted to trade my Jag that I had bought from them new two years ago, with 26,000 miles on it. They actually told me they didn't want it as they had two used ones on the lot, so I went 110 miles to another Porsche dealer. (who wasnot a Jag dealer even) They served me perfectly, gave me a great trade. Took the sales receipt back to the original Porsche dealer and showed them what they had lost in a sale and future sale. Since then have bought a new Mercedes and a Porsche Cayenne from the "good" dealer. I won't kiss ass to buy from anyone, I won't barge in front of a person either. If the sales people are to rude and or stupid, then it is the dealers loss. THERE ARE SHOPS OUT THERE THAT ARE COURTESOUS and want my business. It is your money and u can direct it any damn place you want..
     
  20. jocko

    jocko Member

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    treo

    hell, our local dairy queen servers do that all the time. I have stood up at the counter and have had them walk by me and others like we were invisible. I have walked out numerous times, just doesn't seem to matter to them. Then people wonder why some people go "postal".
     
  21. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Member

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    I've worked as a waitress and in other customer service positions. A service worker caught between two customers that way is in a bind because he/she cannot serve either customer without being rude to the other unless there is some way of firmly establishing which was in line first to both parties' satisfaction.

    If the store is well-staffed there is the option to say, "Excuse me a moment," to both and fetch another salesperson. If the store is poorly staffed the server is stuck -- unless the customers help them out.

    As a customer, especially as a short female and thus apt to be unintentionally overlooked, I find that a firm, fairly loud, assertive but not aggressive, "Excuse me. I was here first," generally gets an apology from the customer who cut in line and prompt service.

    In the specific case of the OP's situation, I probably would have gone with a request to see the guns in question saying, "Let me see those Sigs while you take care of him."

    A little polite assertiveness goes a long way. I find that, given the willingness to speak up and attract the employee's attention along with some willingness to make the employees' jobs a little easier I almost NEVER get poor customer service. :)
     
  22. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    "Excuse me, I was here first."

    That would have prevented the entire problem. Speak up.
     
  23. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I had a terribly unpleasant experience in one of the biggest shops in Connecticut a few months ago and have sworn to never go back.

    This was perhaps 2 or 3 weeks after the Ruger SR9 was released. I walked up to their used gun counter and saw one in there. I thought it strange. It took about 15 minutes before a clerk decided to come over and see if he could help me (I didn't mnd though. If I were actively seeking imemdiate help I would have asked for some. Instead I waited since I was looking at other guns anyway. No complaint here.)

    I asked him about the SR9. It just came out so I was shocked to see it in the used gun case already. Could I please see it, and perhaps field strip to check its guts. Clerk says they don't let customers disassemble the guns. So i ask if the clerk can do it just so I can see. He says, "I don't know how, and I'm not going to do it until you buy the gun."
    I said fine, and I walked out.
    I sent the shop owner an e-mail explaining exactly why I would never go back again. He never responded to my e-mail.
     
  24. Samuel Adams

    Samuel Adams Member

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    Common courtesy in general and bad customer service in particular are not restricted to gun stores. I put up with it regularly where I live now and even wrote a scathing letter in the local media rag about it. I had mentioned that I recently went back to my home state of Ohio for my first visit in four years. It actually struck me as odd that people actually knew how to say such things as "hello", "thank you" and "can I help you?". Most of the replies to my letter suggested that I move back up north. I think that I might do just that.
     
  25. IdahoLT1

    IdahoLT1 Member

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    It sucks you lost out on that firearm. Theres one gun shop we have here that has like 2200 guns. They are literally on circle racks in the customer area and scattered and thrown over the counters. It looks like most peoples garages, just with firearms. Ive never bought a firearm from them because of the way they treat them. I have handled some of their firearms and said "thank you", left and went to the gun shop that treats me well and ordered it through them. Im a young guy and most people look at me and think im just another kid. Whereas the gun shop i always take my business too, treated me like ive bought 100 guns from them, my first time there
     
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