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Videotron Superclub Lost a Lifetime Customer Because of $1.70 (Bad Customer Service)

Here's a post that is not what I usually write about, but it's still business related.  It just happened to my wife and me tonight.  It's a reminder that no matter how big your business is, you should always treat your customers correctly.

My wife and I had gone out on a date tonight.  After a great meal in a restaurant, we thought: why not go to our neighborhood video rental store, Videotron Superclub (Pont-Viau, Laval), to get a few movies on Blu-ray.  In all fairness, we have not been going much to the Videotron Superclub lately, although I have been a member for more than 15 years.  Our last rental was about 2 months ago.

So, we pick 3 movies and arrive to the cashier.  I enter my login information and then the employee tells me that I have a $1.70 late fee.  "I have what of $1.70?"  "Yah, you have returned your last movies late and it costs you $1.70".

That's when my beautiful and pregnant wife started to say "What did he say?!

The thing is, I said that our last rental was about two months ago.  I remember clearly when I returned those movies – on time – because I arrived at the store and it was completely empty and closed.  In fact, they were in the middle of a renovation makeover that they hadn't even announced when we rented the movies.  So there were some workers there around 9h30pm and someone told me to leave the movies in the store's night drop-box.  At the time, I even remember telling myself that I wouldn't be surprised if a mix up with the movies happened.

And of course, there was a mix-up.  So I say to my wife, "Calm down honey, I got this".  I ask the employee how come there is a late fee as I returned the previous movies on time.  As a matter of fact, we never returned any movie late the whole time we have been members there.  He wouldn't budge and say that I have 3 movies late for $1.70.  That's when the floor manager Isabelle says that she was the one taking care of picking up all those movies from the night drop-box.  She said that they even gave a "free 6-day extension" to all those people who were late because of the renovation of the store that lasted a few days.  They insisted in saying that I was "4 days late" with my movies based on their computer system.  How can this be if I returned the movie while the store was in renovation?! 

We were starting to be quite upset at the situation.  When I am wrong, I am more than happy to pay any late fee and apologize.  But tonight, this wasn't about paying a few dollars.  It was an unacceptable attitude from employees of such a retail store.

After the argument, that's when the employee said "ok, we will remove the fees, this time."  I said I'm sorry what?  "This time?"  Plus the employee had some look on his face and he didn't even look at me while talking.  We came to this store and got treated like kids.  This is a perfect example of careless employees.  In my opinion, they should have taken a few seconds to look at my file in their system and consider that I was a long-time customer without any previous late fees.  They should then have changed their attitude and apologize for their misunderstanding.

On that one, I said: "Rental stores are on the verge of extinction with the likes of Netflix, you have customers (us) coming in your place to rent movies, you upset us with your unjustified late fees, you treat us like kids and then you still make sarcastic comments.  Keep your movies."  Of course, there was no way I was going to rent anything else in this place.  "Oh and I will take the phone number of your supervisor and both your names in note, please."  I got everything on the card, for a later call.

On the way back home, no movie in the hands, my wife and I could not believe just how bad employees are trained.  Not only they never apologized, but also when the manager gave me the card, she still added a "There" that just got us even more upset.  If I was the Videotron Superclub's boss, and I was aware of the situation, I would do a mass training of all employees so that I would not lose one more customer.  Instead of investing in renovating their stores, they should invest in offering the best customer service possible to keep their Lifetime Customers.  After all, physical video rental businesses have their days counted.

Arrived home, we turned Netflix on.