Last month, I had a package to return to a company as part of a mystery shop I did. I logged into FedEx and printed out my pre-paid shipping label, then brought the package with me to work so I could drop it off at a pick-up location after work.
Right off the expressway is a little hole-in-the-wall combination dry cleaners/shipping business called Boxes & Bows. It’s been there for as long as I can remember, so I decided it was as good a place as any to stop by. I was already running late since I had to work over, so I stopped there on my way home.
Entering the store, I noticed kittens playing on the floor behind the counter. Cute. I like cats.
I said to the lady, “I know I’ve missed the cutoff for pickup, but my package is ready to go, shipping label’s already printed and on it. May I leave this with you guys for tomorrow’s pickup?”. You would have thought I’d announced I was someone from the IRS, come to seize property.
She launched into a soliloquy, telling me how UPS and FedEx don’t honor claims on packages like mine, that she’d be stuck with it if something happened to the package. Or that I would…She told me I was required to find a driver and hand it to him in person. I explained that I’d dropped packages off at Pak-Mail several times and never had a problem or been told this.
To that, she haughtily replied, “I have no desire to be part of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure”.
Yes, that’s what she said, an exact quote. I was speechless. For a moment.
After a beat, I looked at her and the man behind the counter and said, “Oh, so in other words, I need to go to a less snobby store”. With that, I turned on my heels and left.
Had she been polite and said, “No, I’m sorry, I’m not an authorized FedEx shipping location, but XYZ over in town is.”, I would have understood. I might even have taken note of the services they do offer and come back to do business there. I don’t care how long a person’s been in business in a small town, how well-heeled she is, how much an institution. There’s no excuse for treating a customer that way.
Right after I left there, I headed to the aforementioned Pak-Mail. As always, the guy there took my package with a smile and no hassle. I told him about my experience at Boxes & Bows and when I got to the “multi-billion dollar infrastructure” part, he chuckled and looked around his small store. He said he wasn’t familiar with the owner, but I wasn’t the first customer who’d said something about that place. When I said goodbye, he said he had to head in the back and count his billions.
I’ve been to Pak-Mail in Heath several times and the guy there is unfailingly friendly and helpful. We joke about his billions now, too.