Something To Remember

A laminated version of this should be next to every cash register and in-bound call center telephone.

Thanks to Tim!


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  1. CaptainPsyko says:

    Is the customer right when they believe that the price of a product should be free because the price sticker is not present?

    (yes, I have seriously heard and had this argument)

    The fact of the matter is that the customer is not always right.

    Perhaps we need an updated version that can actually be applied. “The Customer Always Deserves the Benefit of the Doubt,”

    Though I suppose that lacks some of the zing.

  2. joehowe64 says:

    God, I hate that stupid, stupid statement!

    No, the customer is often wrong.

    Is calling HP to complain and scream about your Dell wrong, or simply confused? Spending 10 minutes asking them to please look at the sticker on the front of their system and read it out loud is like sticking needles in the eyes of my folks

    Or how about when you listen to a call when a customer has filed a termination level concern, and it turns out the CSR did nothing wrong. You call the customer back, and they say “You can’t blame me for trying.”

    You know sometimes, and only sometimes, good customer service is telling the customer to go to hell.

  3. homerjay says:

    Oh yeah. I have to agree. Ben, you know as well as anyone that customers are OFTEN wrong, especially the custoemr who claims he’s moving to the Congo just to get out of his cell phone contract. He may still get his way, but he’s wrong.

  4. surfacenoise says:

    Bleh, anyone who’s ever worked in customer service (in any capacity) knows the customer is often, often wrong. That said, every customer should be treated cordially, at least until he starts acting the asshole.

    The sign above is just stupid. It’s passive-aggressive smartass tone riles more people than it sets at ease.

  5. Pelagius says:

    The customer may be wrong, but it feels so right!

  6. pacifistviking says:

    But this sign SHOULD be placed where employees dealing with customers should see it, because customers should be treated with a degree of respect and not be assumed to be wrong. That’s just good business.

    On a recent trip to Target, a donut was rung up as a muffin. My wife said, “Isn’t that supposed to be 59 cents?” The employee just said, “No, it’s 84 cents.” As it turns out, we were right. But either way, the employee should have said, “Let me check on that for you,” since clearly the employee didn’t know for sure (or just though she knew for sure and was wrong). (By the way, after paying but then double-checking, I did tell that employee she was wrong–politely, like a human being).

    I’d look at it as burden of proof. Yes, customers can be wrong, but if a business wants to keep good customer relations, it should assume the customer is right and has the burden to show if the customer is wrong.

  7. phrygian says:

    What an awful statement. The customer can be wrong. I’ve been a customer who has been wrong. (*gasp!* Did I just admit that freely and in public?)

    I always preferred, “Right or wrong, the customer is always the customer.”

  8. Hellblazer says:

    The customer is wrong far, FAR more often than the customer is right. Anyone who’s ever worked a job in customer service knows that.

    The customer always believes himself to be right, which is usually why they’re such a problem. Adhering to “The customer is always right” as inviolate dogma gives =lots= of people the idea that their word on the situation is final. My attitude towards getting a job done (no matter which side of the equation I’m on, customer or service provider) is that if the customer is indeed ‘always right’, then that makes them more knowledgeable than the person working for them. If you know more than the person you’re paying to provide you with a service, then =why are you paying them=? Do it yourself.

  9. joehowe64 says:


    That’s what is posted in my centre!

  10. Triteon says:

    The customer may always be right, but that doesn’t mean the company is always wrong.

  11. Beckie says:

    I agree with the sign. Someone should tell Cingular Wireless this.
    Beckie in Alabama

  12. Ben Popken says:

    Erskine writes:

    “The Customer May Be Incorrect, But They Are Never Wrong.”

  13. non-meat-stick says:

    The Customer is always there.

  14. joraf70 says:

    No, the customer is not always right, but they should always be treated right. I learned this while working in a posh resort hotel.