Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lousy Zara employees obviously don't want a job this recession

Location: Ontario, Toronto
Industry: Retail
Annoyed By: Employees at the Toronto Eaton Centre Zara

Obviously, Zara employees at the Toronto Eaton Centre don't know ANYTHING about customer service nor do they understand that the fact that they have a job is thanks to loyal customers like myself. They do, however, know exactly how to lose the customers they have left.

Imagine this, it's closing time on a Sunday evening and you've got 30 seconds to take advantage of the awesome sale going on at Zara at the TEC. It's got your name written all over it. Fabulous shoes, cute little dresses, snazzy belts... all at the crazy starting price of $19.99. We all know what a good bargain means during a recession like this one so naturally, there is a huge line-up for check-out amidst the messy clothes piles all over the store.

I worked in retail not too long ago, during the Christmas season, Boxing Day, any holiday of the entire year, you name it... all filled with crazed sale-seekers. I know what it's like to be left with the enormous piles of clothes in the fitting rooms; the never-ending line-up that you must check out quickly and efficiently; even got the occasional scolding as the cashier. But there was never a time that I yelled at a customer nor did I ever speak in a condescending way (at least not to their face). That's the sort of thing you save for recovery chit-chat with your co-workers after the store is closed.

Today I witnessed something completing appalling as a sales associate yelled at a customer who walked into the store 2 minutes after they had closed the gates half-way. I'm not defending what the customer did because I know I hated the lingering customers after closing. But first of all, the gate is HALF-way down! If you don't want people coming in, you station someone at the door to kindly say that the store is now closed and will re-open again tomorrow morning. I used to have that nasty job of turning people away... and I know it can be done. Secondly, I believe there's a more civilized way of telling someone that the store is closed. This sales associate at Zara said to an incoming customer, "Excuse me, the store is actually closed now." And the customer, as wrong as she was, said, "I know." This is where the sales associate responded loudly for everyone to hear, "Excuse me, it's not "I know". It's that the store is now closed", accompanied with the bi*chiest expression she could manage.

Prior to that encounter, she unabashedly and sternly told browsing customers that the store is closed, as well as the fitting rooms. She might as well have commanded us all to put down our items and walk out of the store. I certainly did.

I am a goddamn paying customer. I work as hard as they do to make my money. If I want to be yelled at, I would defy my parents every chance I got and then head home for the scolding. She didn't speak directly to me that way but I was shocked by the way that other customer was treated.

If you want to lose your customers, Zara, please continue to employ lousy, miserable, useless sales associates who are not helpful in any way and encourage them to yell at the scarce number of shoppers out there during the recession. No matter how good of a sale you're putting on, there is no way I'm spending my hard-earned cash at your store to be treated with no respect... or to stand there and watch someone else be treated like crap. Don't forget that you're still in business because people like me are spending money in your stores. Unbelievable. What a disgrace and sadly, this is not the first I've heard of the horrible customer service at Zara at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

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