*in my opinion
HMV, the video/music/book/abuse company in the United Kingdom is struggling. And I can see why. My fiancee, an upstanding UK citizen (and tall, leggy blonde, yum) bought two Nintendo 3DS systems from the Bury St. Edmunds HMV store in the ARC. So far so good. She brought the game systems home and, within an hour, her daughter’s system shut itself off three times. Not cool.
She returns to the HMV in Bury St. Edmunds within five hours or so of buying the units and asks if she could exchange one of them. Seems reasonable? Someone sells you defective merchandise, you generally want them to take it back and give you one that works. It’s a pillar of our civilization’s trade and barter system.
The employ she talks to says they need to see the fault. And of course, true to some sort of engineering law that I am not well versed with, the device doesn’t shut down in the five minute test. So the employ says they can’t take it back.
“I have to see the fault,” he says.
Okay, this is a little surprising. She spent nearly 500gbp ($750) in their store and wants to return one of the two units she bought. Does this sound suspicious? She doesn’t even want to return it. She just wants one that doesn’t have the undocumented “Shuts itself off” feature that this one comes with. She says she wouldn’t lie about it. At which point, another employee, a bald guy with earings (you know who you are, you tosser), tells her that:
“Lots of customers lie.”
Well, things spiral out of control a bit. The manager of the store continues to refuse to exchange it. He tells her to call a customer service phone number and talk to someone there. But my fiancee is an angel, and angels can’t use phones because their hearing works on a different frequency to humans. So she says that her hearing doesn’t allow her to use phones and wouldn’t it be more convenient if he just exchanged them for her. This went on for a bit, until, eventually, the manager literally threw his hands in the air and said, “Fine.” and went to get a new unit. Yay. Only took fifteen minutes of arguing to make this man agree to the basic tenets of capitalism. But trouble had only just begun.
While the manager goes to the ubiquitous “back,” the bald employee approaches my fiancee, who is there with her 7-year-old daughter, and begins to *scream* at her. He shouts about horrible customers taking advantage of stores. He basically insinuates that she is stealing from HMV. He screams at her for being stubborn and for costing them money. There are people in the store. They stop to watch. Tears brim in the eyes of my fiancee as she explains that all she wants is for her daughter, a cancer survivor, to have a working 3DS.
The manager returns from “the back” and, to his credit, is horrified by the scene. He runs to the employee and tells him to stop shouting, tells him to go “cool down.” Then gives my fiancee the new unit.
As far as HMV goes, I now understand why going under. There are numerous complaints about them not taking back items and giving customers a hard time. In ancient times, if a merchant was dishonest, word got around and that merchant became a goatherd or a gong-farmer (look it up). I see a lot of goats in HMV’s future.
As for the employee, I would like to invoke karma, here. I would like to talk about how miserable your life must be to abuse a mother and her seven-year-old daughter. I would like to try to understand what in your upbringing makes you think this is in any way acceptable.
But I won’t. I’ll see you in Bury and *talk to you about in person.
(*No HMV employees will be injured in the production of this blog. Author is implying only a conversation in which he calls said employee a gong-farmer, wanker, tosser, and possibly a ninny.)