On a shoot today and we needed an extra camera battery for the Canon 5D. The producer called the closest Wolf Camera at about 4:30, which was about a mile away from our location. “Yes, we have the battery,” they tell her.
I drove down there, only to get the run-around. “It isn’t in the battery book,” he mused as he walked over to the antiquated computer system from 1985. He punched in the model – Canon 5D, Mark II. A slew of options came up, and he placed them on the counter before me while I called someone on set to verify. No, the battery I need is an E6. None of the options the guy has given me are anything close to an E6.
“My boss called earlier and spoke with someone who said you guys carry it.” I said, wondering if the battery had been set aside somewhere.
“Honestly, she spoke with our district manager, and he has no idea what we carry,” the clerk replies lamey. “I’ve never heard of the E6.” He saunters over to the battery book again and flips it open again. “I have an E3.”
“Can you doublecheck for me?” I press, gesturing to a more modern-looking computer in the middle of the sales floor. The previous week, I went into a different Wolf Camera, completely ignorant to what battery my new Nikon D60 used. The kind sales clerk gladly checked for me on his personal cell phone, I bought the battery, and everyone was happy. But this guy – Mario, I think his name is – must be on salary and not commission, as his enthusiasm for being of any use is dwindling.
After a quick glance at Ritz’s homepage, he’s had enough. “It doesn’t say on our website.” Not satisfied, I continue. “Can you check online? Google, or something?”
“No, we don’t have internet in here,” he says, and hesitantly types in canon.com, which, surely enough, doesn’t load. And then, he loses all grasp of good customer service. “You can drive down to our West End store and see if they have one.”
Yes, thanks, buddy. You’ve already given me the run-around, tried to get me to buy a battery that you were unsure of, and didn’t bother asking one of your coworkers for assistance. It’s 5pm rush hour traffic and your solution is to send me downtown? How about you call the other store and check for me?
But whatever, I’ve had enough of this guy’s crap, and he’s had enough of me. He moves on to some elderly woman who’s got her eye on a Sony digital camera, and I move on to the female clerk. She follows the same protocol, but for whatever reason, it only takes her 2 minutes as opposed to dawdling Mario’s 15. I tell her the battery I need – an E6 – and she checks. Nope. She calls the West End store. They don’t have it. She suggests Dury, another camera company in town. I call to check – success. They’re located about 15 traffic lights away, and now it’s 5:10pm. They close at 5:30pm.
Wanting to give Mario a kick for wasting my time and being completely worthless, I book it across town, completely at the mercy of Nashville’s screwy, ill-timed traffic light system. Taking backroads and avoiding the majorly congested areas, I arrive at Dury at 5:28, just in time to purchase the battery and return to set.
Don’t you want to give people the same type of service you’d want to receive if you were the customer?