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To think it's rude to I ignore customers in person, in preference for the phone

(80 Posts)
LardLizard Wed 20-Apr-16 20:38:18

V annoyed today, dd turned up to a sporting lesson, ten mins early to get checked in and start on time

Anyway we stood at the reception desk being ignored for customers on the phone, phoning to make bookings

Waited patiently the first time, but when she had finished one call, and thought, oh she will just about deal with us to get us in on time, she took another bloody phone call

I said we are here for the such and such at such a such time, and replied I'm in the phone, as if I was the one bring rude

Chorltonswheelies422 Wed 20-Apr-16 20:40:54

You should complain to the customer service manager. YANBU at all,

ChemistryHunt Wed 20-Apr-16 20:42:33

Wasn't this posted a few days ago, but in a shopping setting rather than a sporting lesson?

YANBU - however it may come down to a manage meant decision or lack of basic training. Or it could just be a rude person.

It won't improve unless enough people complain/highlight the issue to be management though. They can't see everything and probably don't know it's a problem.

TattyCat Wed 20-Apr-16 20:44:49

Many, many moons ago, I was taught as a receptionist to always deal with the person in front of you and ignore the phone if necessary because they will phone back. I'm not sure when it changed but yes, it's rude. Just because you're already there I guess they assume that they already have your business and you can therefore wait. Annoying.

ButIbeingpoor Wed 20-Apr-16 20:56:09

God yes YANBU. I hate hate hate this. I ran a pub for years and the Company policy was to answer the phone within three rings. Not in my boozer, matey. ( channeling Peggy Mitchell obvs)

LardLizard Wed 20-Apr-16 21:06:52

If it was in a shop it would be annoying, but this was extremely annoying as we needed to be on time for a sports lesson to begin, and she basically made us a min or two late, when we should have been a few mins early


Also she was a bit snotty in her manner, it especially annoyed me when she said, I'm on the phone.

I will complain then, just didn't know if I was going mad

whats4teamum Wed 20-Apr-16 21:14:59

YANBU you deal with the person in front of you.

However, (not directed at OP) don't phone a shop on a Saturday afternoon droning on about a minor matter dithering. Shops do not have a receptionist devoted to answering the phone. It is the staff on the shop floor who take the call. They have people waiting in front of them. If you feel compelled to call then leave a message on the answering machine. Don't keep phoning every 30 secs.

I totally agree OP you were treated rudely.

WiIdfire Wed 20-Apr-16 21:19:12

I did work experience in a shop once and it was explained to me like this: the person in the queue can see you are on the phone, so knows you are busy. The person on the phone doesn't know if you are running around with loads of customers or just sitting there filing your nails, ignoring them. Therefore answer the phone first, to maintain good impressions.

louisejxxx Wed 20-Apr-16 21:21:58

YANBU! I ALWAYS let the phone ring out if I'm dealing with someone in person....and I'd someone was to approach me in person at the exact same time as the phone started ringing, I'd speak to the person in front of me and let the phone ring out.

louisejxxx Wed 20-Apr-16 21:22:14


CaptainCrunch Wed 20-Apr-16 21:24:44

I was always taught to deal with the live customer in favour. Phone calls can wait.

booksandcoffee Wed 20-Apr-16 21:26:03

It seems pretty rude to me. If it happens again phone her up whilst you are standing in front of her.

Flisspaps Wed 20-Apr-16 21:29:09

Wildfire that was what I was taught too

LardLizard Wed 20-Apr-16 21:33:08

Normally I would have put her straight in no uncertain terms, however as my dc was a bit nervous about this sport lesson, I didn't want to cause any beef as such
So I let it go, at the time

Plus she was pretty rude about something else, when I asked how my dc should be dressed when I booked, I was told short sleeved tee, when we got there she was in a shirtsleeved tee, not sleeveless or strappy actual short sleeved tee and was told she must cover her arms, for etiquette
Lucky I also had a ong sleeved top in my bag so told dc to put that on
Then rude lady repeated it's for etiquette
I carried on trying to let it go over my head as to not upset dc

As felt like saying, you said when I booked short sleeved tee would be fine, but as I knew this would upset dc, just tried to let it wash over me

Then sure enough when we started the activity the two other dc had short sleeved tees

AuntJane Wed 20-Apr-16 21:34:07

Many offices (including mine) have targets for answering the phone within three rings. Since this is reported on, the phone will take precedence over the person waiting at your desk!

It's horrific, and extremely bad practice, but unfortunately it is a product of target-driven working.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 20-Apr-16 21:37:59

When I worked in retail, our policy was to answer the phone first (as they can't see you're busy, the queue person can), but immediately put then on hold saying you're currently dealing with another customer.

gandalf456 Wed 20-Apr-16 21:42:07

Yanbu. She should have dealt with you after the call as you'd been waiting longer. If the phone hadn't stopped, what should she have done? Left you there?

Saying that, if it were that busy, there should have been two on the desk at that time. OnE for the phone and one to check people in so, in that respect, it wasn't her fault

ElectronicDischarge Wed 20-Apr-16 21:47:07

I was always taught a real life customer came first.

It's crap hearing a ringing phone. But still.

Real life spend money, phone might not

Ameliablue Wed 20-Apr-16 22:07:14

I do think it is rude and would always deal with face to face first but I seen to recall a training session I've attended at some point in the past saying that phone was more important because they couldn't see why you were busy and the face to face person would be happy to wait as they could see/hear the phone.

SurroMummy13 Wed 20-Apr-16 22:15:23

You should have called the reception. Seems like you'd have had better service!

HormonalHeap Wed 20-Apr-16 22:39:36

Yes! This drives me bonkers. Why is someone on the end of a line more important than someone standong in front of you?!

justdontevenfuckingstart Wed 20-Apr-16 22:45:12

My job we leave the phone and deal with face to face. Is soo rude to do otherwise.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Wed 20-Apr-16 22:53:19

I had a similar experience at the dentist. Having had the treatment with the hygienist, I went to pay at the reception desk. It was 1pm and, apparently, their lunch break, so only a relief receptionist was on duty. She took a phone call whilst I waited and waited and waited. Fifteen minutes later she finished the call and was quite stroppy with me.

Not acceptable in my opinion, especially when I'm paying them.

DaphneCanDoBetterThanFred Wed 20-Apr-16 23:04:07

I had an interview for a hotel receptionist position and was asked what I'd do if I had a customer walking to the desk when the phone rang. I said I'd deal with the real-life customer first as it would be rude to ignore them. I was told that was wrong, that I should deal with the phone call first as it was a potential new customer whereas the person in front of me likely already had a booking, had already paid so I could make them wait shock Great service! I turned the job down. I mean, I can see the logic in a strange, money grabbing way but.. Ergh.

LyndaNotLinda Wed 20-Apr-16 23:11:53

My vet's reception answers the phone and asks if your call is urgent. If it isn't, they deal with the person at the counter and then come back to the call.

It keeps everyone happy. But you do need 2 people on reception. Actually if they had 2 people, it would probably stop any issues at all

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