Letter to the editor 2, July 9, 2020

Customer disservice

Dear Editor,

Please allow me this platform to vent about poor customer service in what is a difficult time for everyone.

On July 6 I had a very unpleasant visit to Walmart's Photo Centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion. I had put in an order online for a photo enlargement and had already paid for the order – I just needed to pick it up. I stood at the Photo Centre reception area for a good 15 minutes without a single employee passing by. I then decided to call the customer service desk from my phone, in which the phone operator simply transferred me to the phone at the Photo Centre (I was standing right there). An employee made her way over to answer the phone and I hung up saying, “Hi, sorry that was me calling I just need to pick up my order.”

She rolled her eyes as she hung up the phone and said to me, “Is this how you contact us now?” Shocked at her response, I replied, “Well, I've been waiting here for about 15 minutes and no one came.”

She then told me that I could've “walked around a bit” to find an employee to help me....

This is an appalling way to treat a customer when the employee should be standing close enough to their post to greet a customer when help is needed. I tried calling the store's customer service number when I got back in to my car, explaining I needed help putting in a complaint about a worker. The woman on the other end of the line asked me to speak slower as she could not understand what I said. I repeated myself, slower this time, “I want to make a complaint about one of your employees.” In French, she responded with “Je ne comprends pas...” and a silence of about 10 seconds long proceeded. She then put me on hold to transfer me. I hate the feeling of a double standard in Quebec employers that those who speak French but no English get hired before those who are bilingual.

A simple question in English was met with a frustrated customer service agent. We live in a bilingual region, how can you not understand me? If I did that to someone speaking in French, my boss would tear me a new one. In the end, I ended up calling Walmart Canada to put in a formal complaint about the first employee. What happened to the customer is always right? Was I being THAT unreasonable to receive such attitude?

Mary Mitchell


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