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To wonder why this lady acted like this, or does she have a point?!

(40 Posts)
serendippity Mon 21-Jul-14 10:18:16

I work in a busy town in a tourist info office. We sell tickets for some attractions slightly cheaper than the attraction itself.
To cut a long story short we had a small electrical fire in our computer and, obviously, it had to be unplugged so therefore we couldn't sell anything, but remained open to help people with advice etc.
About 3 hours after the computer started smoking a lady walked in and enquired about tickets for an attraction. I explained we had had a fire and we couldn't sell anything, apologised and explained politely we would have to wait for the computers to be fixed and was unsure when this would happen. her exact words were: "well that's disgusting. Why should families miss out and have to pay more money?" I was taken aback I admit and my words back were "We had a FIRE. This morning. I'm sorry but I can't help that!"
She then responds (very loudly but not quite shouting) "Yes, I understand that, but I've visited your town, seen on your website that you sell tickets and I'm now going to be out of pocket. It's very poor"

I mean...Really? For the record I probably didn't respond brilliantly, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Disappointment I can understand, but outright anger?

treaclesoda Mon 21-Jul-14 10:21:43

some people are just dicks. My office was once evacuated due to a fire alert - not a drill, an actual 'fire alarm has gone off and we don't know why'. I was on the phone with a customer at the time and told him politely that I'd have to ring him back as we were being evacuated and his response was along the lines of 'so? why would I care? I expect this dealt with now'. Dick.

Electricfairy Mon 21-Jul-14 10:22:18

Some people just love to have a reason to feel self-righteous, so you did her a real favour. Probably made her happy for the rest of the day. How do I know this? I sometimes feel those horrible symptoms rising in me, but try and stamp on them. I think it comes from a dreadful relationship with my older sister as a child, all about wanting to be the most aggrieved.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 21-Jul-14 10:22:32

She was rude, daft and a bit thick by the sounds of it.

RiverTam Mon 21-Jul-14 10:23:12

I can understand her disappointment but obviously it's not anyone's fault so she was being very U to respond as she did. I think what you said was fine in the circs!

I suppose it might be worth looking into how you can still sell discounted tickets of the computer is down for any reason (power cut, for example)? I guess it would be as well to have a plan B.

treaclesoda Mon 21-Jul-14 10:24:19

Yes, that's true. Whilst I wouldn't have been rude like this woman, I would have been wondering why there wasn't a paper based way of buying the same ticket.

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 10:25:20

She may have been very short of money and perhaps that difference would mean she'd have nothing spare after paying full price. I live on a TIGHT budget and a disappointment like this would upset me....not enough to shout at someone though.

Numanoid Mon 21-Jul-14 10:25:39

She was rude and unreasonable. And she used that word. Disgusting. I think any customer using that word should automatically be denied further assistance, it's a bugbear of mine.

JonSnowsPout Mon 21-Jul-14 10:28:55

Being short on cash isn't a reason to be rude.

effinandjeffin Mon 21-Jul-14 10:29:36

I can see both sides tbh.

Perhaps she had budgeted for the cheaper tickets and now couldnt afford to pay the whole price. It can be quite annoying when you've meticulously planned something and then it goes out of the window.

None of that was your fault but you really couldn't understand why she was disappointed? Agree with pp who said maybe you can look into selling the tickets
some way that doesn't rely on the computer.

She was unreasonable to take it out on you though.

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 10:32:21

Yes she was unreasonable but so were you OP for speaking rudely back. In your position I would be sympathetic and try to work something else out for customers.

needaholidaynow Mon 21-Jul-14 10:32:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

plinkyplonks Mon 21-Jul-14 10:33:02

Err - there had been a FIRE.

Sorry she was slightly disappointed but I repeat ... there had been a FIRE!

You were apologetic and explained the situation.

She was then rude to you - it's not your problem, it's hers for being rude.

AMumInScotland Mon 21-Jul-14 10:33:42

Because the world revolves around her, by rights, and anything which gets in the way of that is someone's fault and they ought to grovel in the dirt rather than allow there to be anything in their lives which is more important than her current whim.

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 10:42:59

Customer was rude but OP was unprofessional in her response

* was taken aback I admit and my words back were "We had a FIRE. This morning. I'm sorry but I can't help that!"*

Suggests she raised her voice and was sarcastic.

MrsBoldon Mon 21-Jul-14 11:11:30

Oh God, the OP wasn't unreasonable at all!.

Some people really need to know that the whole bloody world doesn't revolve around them or what they want all the time.

Shit happens, we can't always get exactly what we want at any given minute and isn't always somebody else's fault. I think an electrical fire is a good enough reason for someone to be very mildly inconvenienced!!.

reallywittyname Mon 21-Jul-14 11:25:33

She was being a twat.

Ellisisland Mon 21-Jul-14 11:30:40

Oh I have had loads of incidents like this. I used to work as cabin crew and my most memorable one was we had to delay saving food because a guy had had a heart attack so we were all busy treating him. I made an announcement letting the other passengers know and one grabbed me as I walked up the aisle and said 'you aren't a bloody doctor are you so what can you do? You know what you can do? Get me a fucking sandwich!' I just ignored him but seriously! I'll just put the oxygen tank away and leave him whilst I get you and egg and cress. Some people. It was only a bloody flight from London to nice for crying out loud not a flight to Australia. Grrrrrrr some people

Ellisisland Mon 21-Jul-14 11:31:03

*serving food not saving

Numanoid Mon 21-Jul-14 11:48:16

Ellis That's shocking, human greed is appalling sometimes. Was the passenger who had a heart attack okay in the end?

To everyone who is saying the OP was unreasonable in her response, she did explain, at first, in a polite manner, what had happened, and she apologised, even though it wasn't her fault. The woman was then plain rude to her, so it's the customer's lack of manners which caused the problem here.

serendippity Mon 21-Jul-14 11:55:38

Thanks all.
The reason we can't do thing on paper is that it all has to be logged on the computer so we can be invoiced by the various attractions.
But you are right, it's something to look in to.
Numanoid It was the use of the word "disgusting" that really made me cross. I pride myself on dealing with the public calmly at all times, but this woman seriously nearly made me loose it, so I'm cross with myself too.
Yep, totally understand those on a tight budget when on days out and get why someone would be disappointed, but she spoke to me like a piece of dirt and like my role in life should be just to serve her..iyswim.
She then went on a rant about how awful our website was, and refused to believe me when I said she was looking at the wrong website, that simply mentioned what we did.
Some people...

settingsitting Mon 21-Jul-14 11:57:06

I dont take any notice of such people op.

settingsitting Mon 21-Jul-14 11:57:52

I just let them wash all over me.

serendippity Mon 21-Jul-14 11:58:32

No, no I didn't raise my voice and I don't think I was sarcastic...but, yes I was floored and maybe didn't respond as proffessionaly as I could have done, hence this AIBU thread smile

serendippity Mon 21-Jul-14 11:59:34

ellis that is appaling!

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