By Paul Pannone
The old adage the customer is always right is not only dead– it’s been buried– according to a growing consensus among business owners who no longer wish to bend over backwards for their customers. Most agree they don’t really know their best customers because they walk in, shop, follow the basic rules, pay and go unnoticed. But everyone knows who the problematic ones are. They’re the ones that can’t deal with sales help, customer service agents, etc, and need to speak to a manager, knowing they’ll get more direct attention and possibly a better deal for squawking.
In preparing for this story I ran across a good piece done by themana.gr and how they view customers. In their story they answer the question is the customer always right by saying;
“It is a common slogan that “the customer is always right”. That’s just not true. The customer is wrong, a lot. Don’t kid yourself and say otherwise. Customers don’t read instructions, they don’t read Web site service or product descriptions, they follow instructions incorrectly, they break things. They’re often confused. In essence, the customer it NOT always right. But the customer is always the customer.”
The mana.gr story deals with general business at large and not necessarily with the wedding business and reported years of abuse by vendors who say they’ve had their fill of bitchy brides. Some suggest they’re getting their pound of flesh and yes, perhaps the pendulum may be swinging a bit too far to the other side, as BitchlessBride eggs on the wedding industry.
Judge Bitchless Bride gathers the support of a growing number of vendors who say they’re sick of being abused by brides.
Last week the world according to Bitchless Bride told brides tough luck on not getting solicited via email. In no uncertain terms BB tells brides who somehow willingly give up their email they also give up their right to privacy. Unlike some of her other more outlandish posts, taken with a smile and a grain of salt, this rant instantly became a favorite of eWedNewz readers who applauded the post.
Currently 79% of replies to the ongoing poll sided with Bitchless Bride saying if I’ve got the email, the bride is getting contacted. Private and public statements supporting Bitchless Bride say years of cowering down to brides is what led to the current state of affairs. One co-owner of a catering facility in Florida, Catering by Robert, Susan J. Stalnaker, told eWedNewz;
“As a wedding vendor who has spent thousands of dollars per bridal show to make a good impression and “feed the onslaught” of brides, their families, and bridal party members, I think sharing their CORRECT email and phone number is the LEAST they can do for all the loot and free ideas they walked away with.
They can always opt out to receive future contacts. In fact, I don’t think bridal show producers should allow them entrance into the show without a verifiable email address. I know this is radical but so many shows attract even non-brides and “under-cover” wedding vendors that do nothing but clog up the aisle and waste my staff’s valuable time in trying to market to the qualified leads.”
Stalnaker is one of very few wedding vendors– including Bitchless Bride herself; she wears a disguise– to step forward and say what they feel, for fear of reprisal.
Sources in the bridal and men’s formal wear business say they’ve implemented new rules and guidelines for trying on products and then ordering over the internet. Other vendors say they won’t give price quotes for their goods and services over the telephone and/or not before filling out a highly specific questionnaire that qualifies whether the potential customer is worthy of their time and service. Many argue they’ve spent endless (and fruitless) hours assisting brides, only to find out they never planned to purchase products with them.
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