Terrible Customer Service At Party City
Yesterday I received the worst customer service at a Party City in Virginia by a sales associate we’ll call Lindsay. I walk up to checkout line and Lindsay seemed bothered by my presence. She began scanning my merchandise without saying a word. Lindsay refused to give a simple greeting even after I spoke to her. I told Lindsay that a greeting and good customer service would keep customers coming back. Unfortunately I commonly receive this type of service but once I mention customer service people usually change their tune and try to fix their little attitude but not this time. Lindsay refused to acknowledge I was speaking to her. It was then that I asked to speak to a manager. When the manager arrived I asked if I could speak with her. Lindsay snaps at me saying “You can talk right in front of me”.This was the first time she looked up and made eye contact and it was very rude. I told Lindsay I was going anywhere WILL talk in front of her. This is not the way a sales associate should speak to customers and I am absolutely appalled that the manager stood there and allowed it. I calmly explained to the manager that her associate was very disrespectful and refused to greet me. Lindsay didn’t deny her poor treatment yet the manager immediately sided with her saying she has worked with her for some time and she is always polite to customers greeting them and asking if they found everything ok. I informed the manager that Lindsay was not polite and STILL had not greeted me. I asked “what is so hard about saying hello” Lindsay says to me “I usually greet customers but you’re the only one didn’t speak to”. Only then in a patronizing manner did Lindsay look at me and say “HI” and threw her hands up as if to say “Are you happy now?”. I strongly believe I was treated in this disgusting manner because I am Black and Muslim. Lindsay needs to be trained on how to speak to customers and better hide her dislike for people who are apparently different from. I told the Manager, had I not been so exhausted from a day out with 3 small children I would take my money elsewhere because I absolutely despise bad customer service. A simple greeting will keep customers coming back but that particular Party City has definitely lost a customer. I asked the on duty manager for the district manager’s contact information because it was clear she didn’t care to reprimand the employee. Instead of giving me what I asked for she gave me the store number so I have yet to speak with anyone who will actually do anything about this terrible customer service. I have since emailed the company’s customer service department, Facebook page, and made contact through Twitter. I was sent a message stating I would hear from a customer service representative soon.
After I left the store a woman who had witnessed the incident approached me. She told me she was happy I had stood up for myself and that the sales associate was clearly racist. She informed me that she was a Christian woman and that all Christians do not think this way. I let her know that I was aware as I have family who are Christian as well. I also told her that it really matters to speak up when these incidents are taking place. Many are in denial that racism and bigotry is “a thing” in current times. Many want to pretend those who complain are doing so because they have “nothing better to do” but it’s clear to the ones being mistreated that there is an issue! The woman promised she would no longer stay silent and speak up when others are being mistreated. I could see tears welling her eyes and believe she is sincere. I gave her my information so hopefully she is reading this and knows that now is the time for ALL OF US to speak up when we see anyone mistreated. Especially when it comes to blatant racism and bigotry.
Prior to the parking lot conversation as I was leaving Party City I made sure to let Lindsay know I was sick and tired of dealing with disrespect from people like her. I treat everyone with respect regardless of what I THINK I know about them. If you make a decision to work in customer service you better make sure you can provide good service to all and not just those who look like you.
Update: I received a call from who I believe is a district manager with Party City. He apologized for the bad service I received and asked if I had any further comments I’d like to add. He informed me that he had spoken with “Lindsay” and that she did not deny any of the details included in the letter I wrote. Lindsay has since been written up and the report is in her permanent file. Unfortunately, it had to come to this. It really doesn’t take much to give good customer service. Hopefully others like her will recognize that there many of us who will not take disrespect from rude people!