I must share a recent dispute I’ve been having in the shop. If not for anything else, then for my own well being. They say it’s good to write things down.
A man starts coming into the shop early this summer. He’s a budding marine keeper that my co-workers show an unwillingness to deal with. I don’t pay much notice until he one day calls to say that we have high levels of nitrate in our R/O water and we have killed all his fish & corals. I ask him to bring in the R/O plus a sample of his tank water & his test kit to ensure all bases were covered. Whilst waiting I ran around the shop in a panic testing our R/O water and all saltwater tubs previously made up. All results came back negative.
The man entered and a cloud sank in store. It was like someone dimmed the lights. He was adament he was right & that he had tested correctly and his entire demeanour reflected this, both in front of myself and other customers. He looked a bit sheepish after I had tested his R/O with both mine and his test kit which both showed zero nitrates. His tank water however, was impossible to test accurately as the colour changed to max before all the drops were in the vial. He left as I said, rather sheepish looking. Soon after this he asked me for a trade. He’s given up the marine and was going back to freshwater as he couldn’t manage a marine tank. I gave him over £200 credit for his live rock and bits and pieces. The deal was very good, partly because I felt sorry for him and partly because I was worried he’d kick off in a discussion about price. The truth is he almost bit the hand off me and accepted the offer immediately. He was very pleased, couldn’t thank me or praise us enough. He had fallen out with his previous LFS and would defo use us from now on. And indeed, so he did, until the credit ran out. One of the items he bought during the summer was an external filter to the retail value of £99.99.
Sunday morning he entered the shop for the first time in months. He claimed his filter was leaking and he wasn’t happy. I started processing the return and before I had finished he had already threatened me the first time with his brother who allegedly works for Trading Standards. As I’m standing there trying to help him I find it extremely provocative to be threatened with Trading Standards before I have even explained what is going to happen. So I make it clear, “There’s no need to get uppety about Trading Standards as I can assure you that we’ll ensure you get everything within your rights.” The argument is now a fact and nothing I can offer will please him. I explain that there is a 10 day turnaround as the filter will be picked up on Wednesday and a replacement or repair will not be delivered until the following week. In the meantime I offer to lend him an identical filter which he could run with his own filter media. He refuses as he wants a new filter there and then and calls his Trading Standards brother. He proceeds to talk on the phone for several minutes and I on purpose left the room until he was finished. When he finally comes off it he tells me I am wrong and he is entitled to a brand new filter today.
I remember his previous antics, and decide to shut him up. I get a new filter, place it in front of him and I say “You will never be happy. No one has ever got better deals from this shop than you. Not because I have to, but for an easy life I’m now giving you a new filter, however we will not be able to provide any further service to you in the future. He says that’s fine and shouts a threat about online reviews before he leaves. First stop Facebook. He writes (from his female partners profile):
beware beware when buying filters from this shop i bought 1 5mths ago and it started leaking when i took it back with my recipt they wouldnt replace it and offered me a 2nd hand one to use while mine got repaird when i told them i spoke to
trading standards i was told to stop being upity by the owner then his lacky who cleans the glass told me i dont have to bring trading standards into it so i called trading standards from the shop and they were obviosly listening to my call and when i came off the phone a new filter got banged down on the counter and i was told they no longer wanted my custom so these amatures wont see any more of my money and i will be calling trading standards again cause ive just noticed my new recipt is only for six month so any one buying anything expensive from this shop beware
I can’ believe it. He’s still arguing even though walking away with a brand new filter.
He claims I’m refusing to replace at the same time as he’s admitting to getting a replacement.
He says he called Trading Standards, but on a Sunday morning?
He calls the shop owner “The lacky?”
We won’t see anymore of your money? You never spent anything except some cans of R/O water!
He’s still calling Trading Standards because of his receipt? A barefaced lie as I gave him his original receipt back! The one stating he didn’t pay by cash or card BTW, but by a credit!
which.co.uk writes regarding faulty items:
You have the right to get a faulty item replaced or repaired if it’s too late to reject it. (Usually within 3-4 weeks) You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whatever would be cheapest.
Under the Sale of Goods Act, the retailer must either repair or replace the goods ‘within a reasonable time but without causing significant inconvenience’
I believe that we are more than standing up to these requirements. So I PM’d the Facebook profile, stating clearly that I’d welcome a call from his brother or indeed anyone else working for Trading Standards. I also explained that the comment had been deleted and threatened with legal action for his defamatory comments. And a few more choice words, most of which concerned his actual legal rights, but also how he quickly is running out of aquariums to go to. And oh yes, a link to the Trading Standards website…
So instead of having a happy day, where a bunch of happy customers came in to the shop, I have been walking around like a thunder cloud. Because of one single customer that can not be pleased and we have served 8000 customer by now. I haven’t tested his old filter. He claims that it’s leaking. I’m not sure you know. He couldn’t test for nitrates… If not, it’ll come out of my pocket, but he’s like L’Oreal – Worth it, if never ever to be seen again.
When I came home he had posted the following:
just another comment about buying filters from this shop because my last comment got took off if they have nothing to hide they shouldnt remove the comment being found out about trying to rip off customers must be bad for buisness
take a leaking filter back thats only 5mth old and you get offerd a 2nd hand one while it gets repaired when you get trading standards involved and they get found out you get a new filter and barred if you have nothing to hide leave the comment on because i put a review on every review site i could find
So I started this rant. You know what? It feels really good to have it down in black on white. If you are reading this I felt reassured enough after writing it, to click “Publish”…
Anyway, although out of the system, not so much out of mind. I now have to call our solicitor in the morning to start proceedings to stop him carrying on like this. Not to mention calling Trading Standards…
I don’t feel we/I deserve it. I don’t feel it’s justified. He could cause us damage. It must stop. Oh Joy!
I was considering whether to hide the name on the posts or not. It was the 2nd post that made up my mind. He is insistent to get his message out, and albeit I have once again deleted his review from the public view on Facebook, I have now given him his wish on our very own website. Contradictory to his claims, we’ve not been found out and we’ve got nothing to hide…