A Blockbuster manager responded to reader Sarah’s refusal to sign up for Blockbuster’s rewards program by declaring: “Fucking customers, I’m tired of everyone not listening when they don’t even know what they’re talking about.” Sarah had politely declined to enroll in the program several times before the outburst.
My boyfriend and I entered the store on 1848 Airport Rd., Suite K in Chapel Hill, NC at 9:30 PM on Saturday, August 25, to rent two movies. As I am a previous Online customer, but have never held a Blockbuster in-store rental account, I signed up at the customer service desk before checking out with a very polite woman. She started to explain the Rewards program, but upon my polite expression of disinterest, she offered me a brochure and said I could read it over and decide later if I’d like to enroll.
After receiving my card, I went over to the rental desk and waited in line. An employee at the rental desk asked if we were ready, so we proceeded to check out. He asked if we had just registered, and we told him we had. He then began to tell us about the Rewards program, and I showed him the brochure we’d just been given and said we weren’t interested at the moment. He continued to tell us about it, and I told him expressly I was definitely not interested. He continued describing it, and I said, “No, really, it’s okay. I’m not interested. Thanks though.” He started to get visibly frustrated with us, and said that we didn’t understand, and then asked if we’d be renting another movie from Blockbuster in the next year, and how we could get a free movie every month, and I said one more time that I was really not interested. My boyfriend at this point felt like I was not being respected (which I wasn’t), and said, “I think she knows what she’s saying, she’s not interested.” At this point the employee said, “NO, you aren’t listening, why don’t you tell me what I’ve been talking about?” I was incredibly offended at this point, as I feel that the customer is entirely entitled to refuse voluntary programs. At this point, I asked to speak to a manager, and the man held up his employee ID badge to identify himself as the manager. I was amazed that any company would place such a rude individual into such a position, and asked him if he was seriously the manager. Finally, he muttered, “Fucking customers, I’m tired of everyone not listening when they don’t even know what they’re talking about.” This was absolutely absurd, as there were children in the store, directly behind us in line — not to mention that he had just cursed at a customer. He began to argue with my boyfriend, at which point I just asked for our merchandise so we could leave. He slammed the DVDs down on the counter, told us they were due Saturday, and was very visibly on edge.
This encounter has completely turned me off of all Blockbusters at this point, and I’m actually dreading even returning the DVDs I rented tonight. I seriously hope Blockbuster doesn’t intend this to be the normal experience for its customers, and I suggest you seriously consider this e-mail as fair warning of an out-of-control situation. I have heard of absolutely horrible customer service experiences at Blockbuster stores in the past, but I never really believed them until tonight.
I am so horrified by this experience, I am considering filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Again, I’ve dealt with a lot of rude employees at various institutions, but I have never felt so disrespected and so upset as I am tonight.
Reasonable upsells are tolerable when delivered by polite employees, but no customer should be subjected to aggressive outbursts, especially not from managers. Beyond complaining to the Better Business Bureau, contact Blockbuster corporate at (214) 854-3000 and let them know their manager’s outrageous behavior cost them a customer.