Oh really?

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I like writing about BAD customer service experiences.

This is for two reasons -- 1. customer service is so bad in America throughout all fields that there is an infinite amount of stuff to write about, and 2. there's something to learn from each.

The Friday before Father's Day, I went into a major department store near my office to buy my dad a shaving lotion he likes. This stuff is $18.50 for a container. It's worth it, but it ain't cheap.

The woman behind the counter was so fixed on upselling, side-selling, opening credit card accounts and in all other ways being a nuisance, that I was going to walk away, but I wasn't sure where else I could find this brand.

"Did you want the exfoliating ginseng laxative overnight mint jelly they make?" she asked.

"No," I replied, "just the shaving cream."

"Does your dad go outside? Because if he does, you should get him this $85 jar of kiwi lemon butter mango chutney skin cream with lice remover. It's the best!"

"No," I replied, "just the shaving cream."

"Will you be paying for this with your (department store) credit card?" she inquried.

"No," I replied, "I'll be paying in US currency."

"OH!" she squealed, "You should open an account with us, because I get a huge commission for each sucker I sign up!"

Actually, she didn't say that, but she might as well have.

Finally, after what seemed like hours of negotiating and rejecting ridiculous offer after offer for things I neither wanted nor asked for, she said the line that blew me away:

"You'll notice on the invoice a website where you can rate the service you received from me today. I hope you thought it was excellent!" she said, while smiling idiocally.

It was far from excellent. And I rate customer service on a different website:

My own.