A Plea For Treating Employees And Fellow Shoppers With Politeness And Compassion

As you scramble to redeem gift cards and return unwanted items, we remind you that honey attracts more flies than vinegar, tart words make no friends, and please stop dropping F bombs in crowded stores.

We’ve gotten a couple emails with similar stories, but we saw the chaos of GameStop in person yesterday, so this one caught our attention:

Hi Consumerist, I saw this go down in a southern California Gamestop today and I thought you might be interested.

Apparently, Activision and Red Octane, the makers of the new Guitar Hero World Tour have a notice inside the box for the game saying that if you have a problem with any of your instruments malfunctioning, you are to contact them via a provided website and direct phone number rather than bring the item back to the store. It sounds reasonable to me, as I had this issue with EA’s Rock Band last year. My guitar didn’t work, I brought the entire bundle back to the store (same store btw), the employees explained the procedure, showed me the paper that I’d missed in the packaging, and I left. Yes it was annoying to have to bring all that stuff up there just to have to turn around and go home, but EA had my new guitar to me in like 4 days and I didn’t even have to send them the old one first. Anyway, the point is this is not uncommon, and it seems to work. But not in this case.

I was waiting in line to purchase a few items and a man walked into the store holding the GH bundle, which was clearly opened. Keep in mind that the store was PACKED and the guys working there were doing all they could. One of the employees noticed the bundle and told the guy what he needed to do, at which point the guy lost his mind. Spewing profanity, in front of lots of kids no less, threatening the employees if they didn’t process his return, Another customer at one point asked the guy to chill out in front of the kids, to which the guy replied “you need to mind your own fucking business.” It was at this point that the store’s assistant manager walked up to the guy, sympathized with the situation, and asked him politely to leave. The guy got into the employee’s favce and said “Switch this shit, or I’m gonna fuck you up.”

Needless to say, the employees at this point had no intention of processing the return, and security was called. The man left before they arrived.

Just wanted to drop you guys a line because I think we get so wrapped up in our own sense of entitlement with regards to retail that we sometimes forget that the people working at the stores are not always the cause of our frustrations. I’ve never seen people treated that way.

The presence of children aside (they were probably buying games with much worse language), there’s no excuse to treat people like that, especially when you’re wrong. We express no opinion, however, on the issue of profanity after spending more than an hour on hold with rude customer service agents.

(Photo: Getty)
Thanks, Clifton!