The Classic Book Store Headache


Carolanne argh 4From: Quik Stop

It's time for a bookstore story!

One time the phone rang. This was not uncommon, and actually I usually preferred phone people to those actually in the store so I picked up.

Me: "Good morning, Nobble Barnes, how may I help you."

Her: "Yes, hello... I'm looking for a book."

Me: "Well, we have plenty of em, which one is it that you're looking for?"

Her: "Well, I'm not sure exactly of the title."

Me: "Ok, what do you know about the book, I'll try to figure it out."

Her: "Well, I know that it has an author."

Freddy face patMe: "Ok, well that describes...every book ever. What else do you know?"

Her: "Well, I know that it's blue and it's this big."

Me: "Erhm, how big??"

Her: "This big!"

Me: "You realize I can't SEE you over the phone... right?"

Her: ::embarrassed:: "Oh, I'm sorry." ::Hangs up::

--Quik Stop


Order Pick Ups: Why Is It So Painful For You To Prove Your Identity?


Carolanne argh 3From: Proxi3d

I work in a bookstore, and we have a fantastic service. You can order any book or item we are currently selling and send it to one of our stores across the country for free shipping. We will call/email you once it arrives, and will hold it for a month before we refund the order and return the product. If you can't make it in, we even have the option to go online and select a designated pick-up person who has the authority to pick up your item. This way, there's no chance of your items being left randomly on a doorstep or stolen. Sounds great, right?

One small catch; we need some sort of ID. It can be any type of governmental photo ID, the receipt from your order, or the email we send out with your name and order ID. If you have none of these, or your name doesn't match, then we can't give it to you because you technically aren't the person who placed the order.

Queue the angry lady (AL). I was working the cash registers this morning, and she decided to come up to me to pick-up her order.

AL: I have some books, they're here, can you get them for me?

Me: Of course. Did you order and pay for them, or just have them be set aside?

(note, we do place books on hold up at the front, hence the question. The books that have been paid for and ordered are at the back of the store behind employee doors for extra security)

AL: What?

Me: Did you already pay for them?

AL: Yes of course.

Me: OK, great! Do you have any ID or confirmation so I can get your order?

Freddy skull hugAL: Why do you need that?

Me: Well, we want to make sure the correct person is getting the correct package, so we always ask for ID or confirmation.

AL: Well, this is ridiculous. I don't see why you need my ID. I should've just shipped it to my house if it was going to be this much trouble. Why do you need to see my ID?

Me: To confirm your identity, ma'am. Do you have your driver's license on you?

AL: No, you aren't seeing that. I have the email here somewhere.

roots around on phone for a bit

AL: I can't find it. Fine, whatever, here's my driver's license. dramatically takes it out of its slot and slams it down on the counter

Me: Great, thanks!

At this point, I can finally confirm her identity, and call out her last name and ID type for my coworker who has been on call to pick up her order. I've honestly never seen anyone be upset that you need ID to pick up something you paid for. Isn't that better than having some random person steal your things?



A Tale of Two Names


Carolanne computer 1From: Fallen_Empress

I used to work for an online textbook store, which meant that all of my customer interactions were via email.

This customer will be known as "Two Names", or TN for short. Now, one of the services the store offered was a program to sell your books to us. It's a fairly simple process: Create an order, send in your items, and wait for them to be evaluated. Everything was going well until Two Names received a payment.

TN: I received the incorrect check. Could you please send me a new check with the correct name?

Unfortunately, check mix-ups do happen but we're more than happy to fix it.

Me: I apologize for the inconvenience. Could you please confirm your order information so I can look into this?

They reply with their order information, including the amount they were supposed to receive, their address, and their name. I check the order only to find that everything matches...except the name. However, the name in the order doesmatch the email signature they've been using to contact me.

Me: I've checked our system, and the order you're inquiring about appears to match the information you provided.

TN: The check you sent me has my American name, and the bank won't let me cash it.

Carolanne computer 3Ah. Now we get to the real problem. People adopting American names when they emigrate is nothing new. Most of the time, this can be easily resolved by showing two forms of ID, one with their birth name and one with their American name. I explain as much to the customer, which is apparently where I go wrong.

TN: [National Bank] won't let me do that. I showed then my ID and they won't let me cash the check because the names don't match.

I know what bank they're using. I know for a fact that as long as you can prove your identity, that bank will cash your check. At this point, I'm beginning to get frustrated, as we've been going back and forth for a couple of days.

Me: I apologize for any confusion, however if you have two separate forms of ID that show both names are yours, you should be able to cash the check.

TN: You put the wrong name on the check. Can't you just send me a new check with the correct name?

Me: I'm sorry, but we can only issue checks to the name provided when you placed your order for security reasons.

TN: Well I already sent the check back, so I need you to send a new one.

It is at this point where I lose my capacity for words. No one instructed them to return the check and I haven't seen it in the pile of returned mail in the office. I have no idea where this customer returned the check to, nor can I issue them a new one.

Me: I'm sorry, but we haven't received your returned check and as I explained in my last correspondence, we can only issue checks to the name that was provided when you placed your order.

TN: If you're not going to pay me, then send my books back.

Me: Unfortunately, once your books have been accepted, they're given to the buyers.

TN: This is stealing. You're illegally holding my property and you won't provide payment.

I decide to relay this catastrophe to my manager, who basically tells me the same thing I told the customer. They continue to insist that we're 'stealing' and eventually, I hand off the email chain to another coworker.

I left before Two Names had their issue resolved, but I was told that last time someone did this it took 6 months to get everything settled.