If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Customer Service Rant - Academy - FAIL!

MG is heading off to the National Guard Youth Challenge Program again in January, so we are now in the process of re-buying all the supplies we donated to the program six weeks before she decided to re-apply. UGH!  Anyway...

We took a trip to Academy today looking for training tennies, warm-up pants, sweat shirts, and gym shorts. The whole time we were in the clothing section I saw not one employee. When we went to look at shoes there were two there, neither of whom seemed to want to be bothered with something silly like answering quetions for us. Well, to be fair, one of them did glare at me and say "in a minute" and honor that by coming back, answering one question and then quickly disappearing again.

After 15 frustrating minutes of searching in vain for the shoes in boxes that matched the shoes on display I was ready to walk out. However, I'm not one to give up so easily.  Instead, I pulled out my trusty new cell phone and called the store and requested to speak to the General Manager.  Her polite "How may I help you?" gave me the perfect opening to explain that I was standing in her shoe department needing assistance but was loath to ask for help from either of the sullen, inattentive red-shirts I'd seen skulking about. Of course she promised to send someone right over. 

Five minutes later we were just leaving when a woman who didn't even introduce herself showed up looking amused (WTFrig??). She followed me back to the aisle where we'd just been scavenger hunting and proceeded to re-scavenge the racks. And then guess what?? The "in a minute" chick decided to come help. However, all she managed to do was prove what a poor team leader -- yep, she wore a Team Lead badge! -- she is by not being able to find anything in her disorganized team zone. hmmmm...  Ten MORE minutes later they both finally gave up and said the shoes we wanted weren't there. No offer to help us find the right size in another shoe. No apology for having wasted our time. Just  "sorry, they aren't here."

As we were preparing to leave I couldn't resist the urge to get in one last shot teaching moment.

Me: Missy (not her real name, but DEFINITELY her real attitude), as a team leader you should keep in mind that the proper response to a customer's request for help is a smile accompanied by, "Yes, Ma'am. Let me finish with this one thing and I'll be right with you." Not, "in a minute."

Missy:  What I said was "I'll be with you in a minute."

Me: Oh? I didn't hear the 'I'll be with you' part; probably due to the fact that the look on your face said, "why the heck are you bothering me?" which can be very distracting.

Missy: I didn't ignore y...

Me: Excuse me? Are you going to argue with me? Really? I'm trying to offer you constructive criticism here. Take it or leave it.

Missy:  (now with fake smile gracing her mouth but woefully missing from her eyes) I'm sorry, that wasn't my intent. Thank you for the input. I will keep it in mind.

The manager-type person never said a word.

So, three guesses where my next Web surf will take me... I sure hope Academy has an onine complaint form to make it easier.

Peace, Blessings, and Really? Geesh!


  1. Once upon a time, a long time ago (in a galaxy far from here?) shops worked on the assumption that "the customer is always right".
    End of fairy story!

  2. Hello Damama,

    My name is Dave Biediger and I am the Senior Communications Coordinator at Academy Sports + Outdoors. At Academy we strive to deliver exceptional customer service every day and we appreciate your feedback very much. We regret that you had an unsatisfactory experience with us. If you would like to use our on-line customer service form you may do so at http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=company/contact_form. We would like to help you find the shoes that you are looking for. Please let us know what you want and we will try to locate a pair for you and ship them to the store in your area.

    Warm Regards,

    David W. Biediger
    Academy Sports + Outdoors


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