On the low end of the customer service representative spectrum there are those company stooges who seem to not give a rat’s patootie whether or not your problem is solved. In the middle, there are your pleasant, efficient CSRs who can handle customers with aplomb and resolve issues tidily enough. And then, oh then, there are those CSRs on the high end of the spectrum, the ones we love the best.
Up there yonder in Canada, Andrew was wondering if he could possibly be removed from the Shoppers Drug Mart mailing list. It was a simple request, because, you see, his name is Andrew, and not a stranger named Matthew, reports The Star.
As a bit of a joke, he pondered in his request whether perhaps the mail was going to the right place — maybe this Matthew used to live there, or he does live there… in the future.
Naturally, I can draw one of two conclusions from this: 1) that Matthew is a previous resident of this address …
Or 2), and I may be going out on a limb here, Matthew is a future resident of this address, and seemingly against the laws of causation, your computer system has this information and prematurely mailed an advertisement to him before he’s actually lived here.
Unbeknownst to him, the CSR, Mark, who received his missive is a part-time fiction author with a soft spot for sci-fi. As such, he penned quite a response:
Thank you for writing us. We apologize if you have been receiving mail from Shoppers Drug Mart that was addressed to another customer. Unfortunately, we cannot comment on any research projects that we may currently be conducting. However, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with some additional information that would help us determine when the mailer you received was sent. Could you please let us know if it contained any of the following advertisements?
1) Now at Shoppers Drug Mart: Everexis
Cure any disease instantly with Everexis! Great for headaches, colds, cancer and more! With no known side effects, nothing can possibly go wrong!
2) 20X The Points on Meat Products
Got the Everexis munchies? Fill your strange and unspeakable hunger and get 20X The Points!
3) 20% Off Everexis Antidote
Everexis left you slow, lumbering, and quick to anger? Take the Everexis antidote. It hasn’t been fully tested, but it certainly can’t make things any worse!
4) Hide in a Shoppers Drug Mart Refugee Shelter
With over 1,200 locations still standing across Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart is the ideal place to hold up and hide from the hoard. Ration Nativa Cheese Puffs and Life Brand Vitamins while you wait for rescue! Blood samples will be required for admittance.
5) Wheat, Glorious Wheat
Exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart! Rebuild society with wheat, a traditional nonsynthetic foodstuff from the before-times. Act fast, as quantities are extremely limited.
Andrew tells The Star he didn’t realize what he had, at first.
“[The email] read like customer service speak,” he said. “I actually closed it and put it aside. I looked it again and I said, ‘Oh my god, this is hilarious.’ ”
For his part, Mark is a bit surprised at all the attention his response has garnered.
“First, I thought it would be one person reading a joke and a little bit delighted to have it. I didn’t expect to be about 30,000 people reading a joke. And the other thing is I’m leaving the country in two months so I thought the consequences wouldn’t be too bad.”
His employers are pleased at the reaction as well, giving Mark a pat on the back for his creativity and customer service win.
“While [Mark's] response may not have appealed to everyone, we are glad that Andrew took it in the same lighthearted way in which it was crafted. At the end of the day Andrew is a more satisfied customer (which makes us happy),” a spokeswoman said.
But wait — did he get off the mailing list or not? If so, and this “Matthew” fellow does live in the future at the same address, will he be upset at not receiving his flyers anymore? We still have so many questions. Someone call Doctor Who, we need to borrow the TARDIS, stat. Either that or the Delorean will do.
*Thanks for the tip, Beverly!