FYE Customer Service

FYE_logo_clr For Christmas, my parents gave me several DVDs that they purchased at FYE. Of the four DVDs they gave me, I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing two of them (it’s the thought that counts!) and went to return them at the store last night. I figured I’d have about $36 from the return that I could put towards some new DVDs.

I go to FYE every now and then and have always had okay experiences. Not bad, not great. I’ve always been fairly indifferent towards the store, which for a store I don’t shop at too much is just fine. However, my most recent experience annoyed me as both a customer and a customer service writer and consultant.

I had receipt for the DVDs and the credit card that was used for the return. I went into the store and browsed around for a while. I picked out two DVDs that I liked and figured I would even have some money (roughly $8) left over to use for a future purchase. I took everything up to the counter, waited in line for a bit, and got to the employee.

The first employee was friendly enough. She seemed a bit confused about how everything was going to work, but she was working. I gave her my name, address, etc. for the return. Apparently, though, what she was doing was not working because she went away (without saying a word to me) and got someone else to help her.

This second woman (who I think was named Tonya) did not even acknowledge me (I was simply he for the entire customer experience). Tonya talked to the first employee about what was going on (and what I/he bought and did) and apparently there was a problem (I was not told of this). I gave my name and address again and that did not matter. There were still problems and she asked for the credit card to refund the extra $8 or so. They couldn’t give me a gift card, but that was fine. I gave her the credit card and then I was suddenly made aware of a sale that my parents took advantage of that included buy two DVDs, get one free. One of the DVDs I was trying to return was the free one (since it was the cheapest). The sale was no longer going on, so the value of my DVD was $0.00. The receipt said it was valued at $7.99 or whatever it was, but apparently there was a sale on “select items” which had completely disappeared and was no longer valid.

That was the fatal flaw in the experience. The whole point of bringing in a receipt for a purchase is to have the clock set back to the time of purchase. If prices change, it doesn’t matter – the receipt is the way of proving that. Apparently, at FYE, that is not the case. The sale was no longer going on, so I didn’t have the option of picking a new DVD to get for free or getting a refund of the price of the DVD at the time of purchase (which I think would be fair). Tonya didn’t want to honor what the receipt said.

I pointed out to Tonya that I was getting a refund of $0.00 for one of the two DVDs I was trying to return and that I might as well keep it. She really didn’t appreciate that observation and it made her even shorter and ruder than before. Reluctantly, she gave the DVD back. I paid for the second DVD I wanted and left. Not one apology for the misunderstanding or hint of empathy from anyone.

Personally, I found the situation to be unethical. I can see and understand FYE’s position, but I think the practice is generally unethical. A receipt should let you set the clock back. The experience was horrible. Tonya was the quintessential example of an employee who clearly did not like her job/the customers she was dealing with. The experience was just a negative one and I don’t forsee myself shopping at or recommending FYE again.

This situation can teach customer service providers a few things:

  • Keep your customers in the loop. One of the reasons this experience failed completely was because no one told me what was going on, took any time to explain anything, etc. Keep your customers in the loop and let them know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
  • Acknowledge the customer. Tonya should have introduced herself and addressed me by my name. They had my name (I gave it to them twice) and never used it. Using “he” or “she” when the customer is standing right there is unacceptable.
  • Don’t be cheap. I had expressed interest in buying more DVDs at FYE (hence why I asked for a gift card) and was obviously an interested customer. If I were Tonya, I would have just given me the 8 bucks and have been done with it. Nordstrom would have done that. Most stores would have.
  • If you can’t, be nice. If the computer wouldn’t let Tonya do it or she would get yelled at by her manager for doing it, that is okay too. It isn’t really about the eight bucks for me. She could have apologized, expressed empathy, or done something besides just glaring at me. There is always something you can do and she did nothing.

I filled out the store survey mentioned on the receipt and will send the URL of this post to FYE. Let’s see what, if anything, happens. In the mean time, I think I will buy my DVDs from Amazon.

9 Responses to “FYE Customer Service”

  1. Cheryl said:

    Dec 28, 07 at 9:40 pm

    Ironically, I was at Macy’s last evening to return the Christmas gifts purchased by my husband. It seemed as if everything in the store was on sale, but I had all of my receipts. When I asked for a refund, the clerk was most gracious, and I was refunded the entire amount despite the same merchandise marked down to 50% off.

    I tend to stay away from stores and companies that do not adhere to “bending over backwards for the consumer.” Competition is stiff out there, and I really do appreciate those folks who go the extra mile to make my shopping experience pleasant and fair.

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Dec 28, 07 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Cheryl –

    Thanks for your comment! I think what FYE did is pretty unique. A majority of customer-centric companies, like Macy’s, will honor their receipt and try to go out of the way for their customers. The best companies realize that the goal is to have a longtime customer, not the $7.00 they would save by not doing the refund.

  3. Service Untitled » An example of not being cheap. - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Jan 04, 08 at 4:02 pm

    […] I have talked about the importance of not being cheap before. When you’re cheap with your customers and your customer service, you find yourself losing a lot of respect from customers. […]

  4. Angry Customer said:

    Feb 05, 08 at 9:37 am

    I recently bought my husband an FYE gift card for christmas and found out when at the mall that the FYE store had closed. He attempted to use his card online, and they “canceled his order” because they “couldn’t verify his gift card”. I have no idea what that means, but they also put a “lock” on his card and now we cannot even use it anywhere else. Since there’s no FYE for us to go in to, so we can complain, I can’t find an online customer service center to complain to as well.

    We checked the balance of the card prior to the transaction and it said the amount it was supposed to, $50.00. Now suddenly the card is invalid? He had to give his phone number, they could have called him, and straightened things out, but they didn’t.

    FYE is the worst company to buy things at ever.

  5. victor heroux said:

    Feb 26, 08 at 10:31 am

    i was on able to take your survey it would not come up on line. i am very upset thank you

  6. Wen said:

    Oct 02, 09 at 4:58 pm

    My girlfriend bought a PS3 slim for my birthday from FYE, unfortunately the system was not reading blu-ray discs. Two day later after the purchase, I brought the PS3 back to the store with my girlfriend to exchange the items. The store’s assistant manager refused, and said that I have to deal with the manufacturer for this matter. I had an receipt with me, which states that items may be returned within 30 days. He said that the corporate policy prevents him from accepting video game consoles, and that I can visit the corporate website for more detail. Okay, I can do that, but why would anyone buy a console from FYE when all the other stores will honor their exchange or return policies. Just to name a few: Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmark, and etc (you get the point).

    There is no point in arguing with the store manager if the corporate policy states what he said is true. So, I visited the corporate website, and looked up the return policy. There is a section that says FYE will not accept TV(s) that are bigger 27 inches, and other items delivered via ‘White Glove’. FYE explains that ‘White Glove’ means that an inspection is done prior to the acceptance of the item, once the item is accepted, any issues that arise after must be resolved through the manufacturer. In my case, the product is not a television, and it’s certainly not bigger than 27 inches, the produced was not inspected, and we were not informed that FYE will not honor video games consoles.

    Yes, I can send my system to sony, wait two or three weeks, get a replacement, and probably get a refurbished one. Again, why would anyone want to buy a console through FYE? I certainly don’t have a reason to buy anything from FYE again.

  7. Diddy said:

    Mar 24, 10 at 8:09 pm

    just had the most annoying shopping experience at FYE. theyre in the same mall i work in… which really sucks because im always in there. for them to refuse a return transaction from me drives me insane. i definitely will never shop there again. i wanna set them all on fire. and the return policy is so horrible u would think that they would post it somewhere before u get locked in with a purchase. never again.

  8. Jennifer Marie Roth said:

    Apr 09, 10 at 10:07 pm

    I have to say the managers and people that work in the Fye around me are very rude and immature and the store always looks like shit you could never find anything.The district manager is a stupid retard bitch who has a nasty attitude and everything she is not professional what so ever.

    She is very rude and nasty to the customers.We went in their to find out about Lady Ga Ga tickets and the bitch closed ticket master earlier than she was suppose too that is against FYE and ticket master policy.She is very unprofessional cursing in front of the customers and kids They need to seriously hire more personal people to be district managers because she is not a good leader from what I see.FYE #0932
    2188A White Plains Road
    Bronx, NY 10462-1406

    (718) 792-4233 this is the number and the address of the sote

  9. bonnie melbourne, fl said:

    Sep 19, 10 at 8:09 pm

    I was charged a recurring charge for a rewards card I did not renew I told the person at the counter I could not renew the card because I did not have enough money to do it. I found out that fye rewards card fee was charged to my account on 9/13/2010 causing an over draft of my account. I did not given written permission for this. Now I have to go to my bank and see if they can close my account and also have the overdraft charges dropped. I am not a happy person right now. Fye was good to me up until now.