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Wasting police resources on an upset customer

 

Last updated 8/30/2022 at 1:26pm | View PDF

People have a right to disagree with any other person. This should never result in all-out confrontation where the police are called for improper reasons. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle any situation.

It is not true that "the customer is always right." However, there is a correct and improper manner in working with customers or people in general. For business owners, courtesy is a key factor in working with your customer and not losing business due to a bad reputation. While a customer is not always right, it is not beneficial to argue with that customer. More importantly, though, is that a business owner should never take it as an insult if a customer does not agree with them. If you have a disagreement with a customer, acting in a courteous manner will result in far more benefits to the business than both arguing with a customer or attacking a customer.

An example is an experience a customer recently had on July 27 at a business in the Markets at Mesa Ridge in Fountain. In this example, the police were improperly called on the customer after the shop owner verbally attacked the customer and the customer replied with an expletive comment but expressed no threat to the owner or her store.

This incident all started because the customer did not agree with the untrue corporate policies stated by the owner of store. When the owner stated untrue policies, the customer simply said that it was not true. Up to this point the customer was completely courteous. However, the business owner took the fact that the customer disagreed with her by getting angry and telling her workers to "remember his face" so that they could refuse his business in the future.

The customer may have responded incorrectly by cursing at the owner, but the entire situation could have been avoided had the owner not inappropriately attacked the customizer. The customer left and although he never once threatened the owner or her store, she felt compelled to call the police on the customer. Again, another inappropriate action by the business owner since the customer had left and never voiced a threat. Keep in mind how much of the police force would be improperly occupied if they had to respond to every time someone voiced an insult.

The responding officer contacted and "kindly" said no charges would be filed against the customer; but since he is now banned, trespassing charges would be pressed should he venture into her store in the future. Of course, no trespassing charges could have been legally filed over that incident. To make the situation even more ludicrous, the officer indicated that the owner wanted that customer banned from all of the company's store locations. Again, the officer stated that would not occur at that time. Once again, such a ban could not legally be filed unless the customer had made threats against all such stores. In this case, no threat to anyone or any location was ever made. These stores are also privately owned franchises for which one franchisee cannot ban someone from another franchise owner's store.

The entire situation was blown out of proportion by the over reactive store owner – a situation that was completely initiated by the owner's improper response to a customer who simply did not agree with her. A disagreement to comments the owner had made about store policy that it turns out were completely untrue.

In short, people have the right to disagree. Just because someone disagrees with you should never be taken as an insult. Finally, never call the police just because someone actually insults you unless they threaten bodily injury. This just takes police away from performing their job where it may actually be needed.

 

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