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Politeness and how it cost me

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by JP UK, Aug 9, 2013.

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  1. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    Afternoon gents,

    I thought you might appreciate a report of my misfortune during my most recent pipe buying trip. I'd travelled to my local smoking shop in Birmingham, having finally decided to bite the bullet on a 2013 Peterson POTY. Now this pipe, of which only one was in stock had tempted me for months. I'd looked at it from afar, slowly coming to the conclusion that a purchase was inevitable. It should be noted that this pipe hadn't moved from it's position in the window for at least two months.

    So last saturday I entered the shop with intent - a brief inspection to rule out flaws, a hold to verify it felt right, and then the painful money related part. The inspection? It passed. No obvious flaws. The hold? Good. It felt right. I was a breath away from taking it when another sales person asked if they could briefly show it to another customer. Fine - I'd spied the 'customer' in question and decided they were a tyre kicker...they had asked to see half a dozen higher end pipes in the ten minutes I'd been in. So no risk, I thought. Let them see it, do the polite thing, then buy it.

    Oh no. Far too easy. While I passed the time chatting to my sales assistant the 'tyre kicker' moved quickly. So quickly that by the time I realised what was happening, their cash was in the till and they were gone, along with the pipe. My pipe. I was, to use a British phrase 'gutted'. If I'd done the 'rude' thing and stopped the other assistant by explaining I was going to buy it, it would now be mine. But no, I'm far too nice for that!

    Now 'can't you just buy one from elsewhere?' Well I can, of course I can. But it would be sight unseen, the shop were not sure if they could order any more in due to the limited number made, so my only option was to buy online. But if I did that I wouldn't be able to do the inspection, check the balance, appreciate the feel until it was all too late.

    To end on a positive, the 2013 POTY is a beautiful shape, it just fits the hand perfectly.

    A shame that I will not get to appreciate it.

    Jon
     
  2. Iain

    Iain Active Member

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    Damn that's a bugger.
    I would order one online, if you don't like it when it arrives you can always return it for a refund.
     
  3. jdto

    jdto Well-Known Member

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    That's a tough break, man. I hope you can get your hands on one.
     
  4. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I'm a pretty calm guy, but I think I just might have thrown a (dignified) fit. That was just wrong.
     
  5. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    Oh, I made them aware of my feelings in a very calm way. Not the first time I've left that shop underwhelmed by the service, almost certainly the last though.
     
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  6. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Good. It's unbelievable the clerk didn't turn to you and ask before completing the sale.

    Hopefully you will find one that suits you even better.
     
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  7. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    The problem is that the shop, despite it's negatives, is by far the closest to me. The next closest is probably Gauntley's but I have to schedule in half a day of travelling for that one.

    Online buying is fine when you are experienced enough to know what you're buying, but for someone like me who is very much still learning, there is nothing more valuable than being able to smell the blends before buying.
     
  8. Russell Hartman

    Russell Hartman Stay Silver

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    At least the clerk could have stated to the other person--"I'm going to step over here and talk to the other gentleman as I believe his intent was to purchase the pipe--he asked first and was handling it prior to me showing it to you."----perhaps a converstaion like that?? Also with the other person seeing you handling the pipe FIRST perhaps he could have asked you---"Sir I also am interested in that pipe--however I saw you handling it prior to me--was it your intent to purchase the pipe??
    I'm afraid I would have turned into a total dick with the clerk after that experience--That situation was NOT a gentleman like situation at ALL. The other fella probably figured he would grab it and split before you had the opportunity to know what was going on.
    Thats a little underhanded if you ask me.--Thats just my opinion though.
    If the clerk showing the man the pipe after they took it from you was presented with cash and a committment from the other guy--the clerk could have at least said--"I'm sorry but the other gentleman over there has already committed to purchasing this pipe--I just brought it over to allow you to look at it--perhaps I can order you another one like this and I can hold for you and contact you when it arrives at our store".
    Is this asking too much--Am I way off base here on my thinking? In my opinion NO--not at all. I would have damn sure left the clerk know of my negative thoughts.
    ALSO---I will say prior to you allowing the clerk to take the pipe over to the other customer--I sure hope that you had left the clerk know of your total committment to purchase the pipe.
    You may have left some doubt in the clerks mind or perhaps they did not know that you had full intentions on purchasing it.
    If the clerk knew that you were going to buy the pipe and then pulled a stunt like that--well then refer to my previous comments. I would have been VERY--VERY upset and probably every person inside that store would have known just how upset. It would have gotten ugly.
     
  9. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    I think that is the problem, and in that instant the clerks had to choose between a potential sale to me or a guaranteed sale to the other guy. A sale is a sale and money in the till is a good thing, regardless of how it arrived there.

    What does annoy me is that I am a repeat customer, I've bought a couple of pipes and quite a bit of tobacco recently. So the quick easy one off sale to the other guy has probably cost them much more than simply a missed sale to me.
     
  10. Preacher1611

    Preacher1611 Active Member

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    That's pretty ruff. I think I'd be pretty upset myself. But there are sooooooo many other pipes out there to be bought and smoked!
     
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  11. User3940

    User3940 Active Member

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    The clerk was a jerk. Amazingly inconsiderate of him.
     
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  12. colorduke

    colorduke Active Member

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    I would have choked the clerk then chased down the guy who bought the pipe and kicked his :booty:.
     
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  13. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Active Member

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    they had had the pipe for months and they had a looker (you) and a guy with cash on the table.. if I'm a small business guy I'm taking the sale.
     
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  14. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    I can't disagree with that.

    My irritation is down to my lack of commitment and being a little too accepting.
     
  15. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Ummm. I don't know. JP UK would know the situation best, but in his OP he said he the pipe was in the window and he had "admired it from afar..." When he came in and examined it, according to his post, he was ready to put cash on the table. All I can do is read the post, and try not to read between the lines. If he had said he had been in the shop a number of times and examined the pipe without buying it each time, then he could be regarded as a "looker." Just going by what was said about the situation I'll stand by my original impression that he was "done wrong."
     
  16. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    'He who hesitates is lost' :(
     
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  17. furious

    furious Junque collector

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    Poor customer service and no excuse for it as you are an established customer and should have been afforded a right of refusal once the other guy showed his intent to purchase. Hopefully karma will prevail and the pipe will mysteriously develop a burnout just after the warranty period expires.
     
  18. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Active Member

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    I think you are a looker until the cash hit's the counter.
     
  19. Moose

    Moose Active Member

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    IMO this was a rudeness committed to you by your sales person and they should have done everything possible to have made it right.

    They should have at least offered to check to see if they could get another for you.

    This type of attitude is why a lot of local B&M's go by the wayside, due to customer service. It is all they have to offer as they cannot compete with on line dealers who sell in larger volume.

    Bottom line I hope you are able to find one and enjoy it.
     
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  20. JP UK

    JP UK Member

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    That is the part that saddens me most Moose. I'm of the old fashioned opinion that I would much rather buy from a b&m even if it means paying slightly more. That said, this place makes it very difficult for me to justify giving my money to them when things like this happen. Yes I could ask them to order another in, but do I really want the trouble of going there to do that, then have to wait, then end up paying over the odds, when I know I can have one ordered online within 5 minutes for a lower price? Especially when one factors in the...unique level of customer service they demonstrated.

    It baffles me that a shop of this type, which must be struggling in this economic climate, does not offer exceptional customer service to anyone who walks through the door. Whether buying a Dunhill or a box of matches, if that was my shop I would make damn sure everyone left happy.

    That's why I like Gauntley's. First time I went in, Glynn spent an hour with me with no idea of whether I was going to buy a thing. I left having spent a substantial amount...due to his customer service. It shows that it works.

    Should just clarify the shop I'm talking about is not Gauntley's.
     
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