As some of you may know,the artiste D’Banj struck a deal with UAC to exclusively release his music some months ago. The 'Mo Hits Compilation' CD was the first album to be released under the arrangement between both parties, as the disc was solely available at Mr. Biggs outlets in a bid to curb piracy of his hard work. As a big fan of the Kokomaster’s, I was eagerly anticipating the release of his much-hyped new release, ‘The Entertainer’. Since the official 2-part launch of this effort was just held this past weekend, I felt there was the likely possibility that copies would be available to buy at various locations of the popular eatery.So,on my home, I decided to quickly check at the Mr Biggs outlet near my home. Since I wasn’t certain that the CD would be available,i decided to save my time by asking the security guard at the entrance(while still in my car) to kindly help me find out if the album was being sold in-store. The nice chap returned about 30 seconds with the ‘good’ news of the item’s availability. So, innocently trying to take advantage of his helpful demeanour,I then asked if he could quickly help me purchase a copy. When he expectedly obliged, I handed him some money. He quickly returned with a CD and my change. As I was about to thank him and tell him to keep the remaining money for his pleasant attitude, I noticed that he had bought the 6-month old Mo Hits compilation album(which i already owned instead.
Understandly,I told him that wasn’t what I wanted and that he should help return it and bring back my dough.Surprisingly, he didn’t come back as quickly as the first time. About 4 minutes had passed and I was about to exit my car to find out why, when he suddenly returned with the same CD and change. He mentioned that the staff had refused to take back the CD because it had already being registered into the machine as a sale. When he saw my instant visual expression, he suggested that I come in to see the shop supervisor myself.I entered to see a petit lady who I quickly figured was the person in charge. When I expressed my displeasure, she told me the exact thing the security guard had relayed to me. According to her,it had already been registered and therefore, was ‘impossible’ to accept it back.’ See me see trouble o’,I said to myself.
For those who know me,I didn’t disappoint. I started to rake. What did she mean?Was it my fault that their security guard gave me wrong information? It wasn't as if i returned a day later with the item or something.I told her that registering the sale didn’t stop her from adjusting/reversing the transaction.Afterall,the item would be back in their custody and would therefore not affect any accounting records. As accountants would say, it(the CD)was still ‘stock-in-hand’ at the end of the day. This ‘Madam Tiny Manager’ still wasn’t budging. Well, neither was I.I then asked her what happened in cases where a cashier mistakenly overbilled a customer at the till. Would the client be told ‘Sorry, but the items have already being registered. So it’s your loss,sir’’?It was when she subtly insinuated that it was my fault for not coming in myself to make sure it was the actual copy i was buying that I erupted. By now, most people across the floor had noticed our back-and-forth display. A shameful situation in which the ‘king of a customer’ was being treated in a typically naija way by a company’s person of assigned authority.
I guess it was when I told her that I was ready to take this matter to the highest level at UAC if necessary that this 'lady in desperate need of customer care schooling' decided to have a change of heart (it could also have been because she noticed my vocal range was reaching an Opera tenor’s level).She asked me to hand over the CD and, seconds later, sent one of the till girls to hand me back my money. I must confess I was pleased that my tough stance had yielded fruit.However,I felt disappointed in what this episode showed about our customer service culture in this country. Or rather, lake thereof. So many times I have observed customers being treated by company staff as if they (the customers) were beggars or being given the product/service free of charge. Like I tell some friends, the main reason why this sad situation continues to thrive is because many accept it.On several occasions, I’ve seen staff of supermarkets, fast food joints etc practically raise their voices at customers. Yes, the ‘victims’ may have been annoying, illiterate or slow but since when did that give anyone the right to talk down on them or treat with disrespect?They are paying for the goods/service,arent they?People fail to remember that without clients’ patronage, there would be no revenue and logically, no salary or jobs available to this rude set of employees. While the complete eradication of this ‘customer care’ problem in our homeland may be a long time coming, the short term fix lies in our hands i.e. customers. The solution: Never accept crap from any of these people especially when you know you haven’t been treated properly or courteously. And please don’t relent. NEVER.
Afterall, you all saw how it paid off in my battle with the Mr. Biggs lady.