What's following is a factual representation of how a sporting goods store failed to satisfy a customer. The store? Dick's Sporting Goods in the West County
Mall. Their failure? Treating customers as expendable. This is an eyewitness account of how not to keep customers.
A friend of stlrecruiting.com went to Dick's Sporting Goods to purchase an elliptical trainer on 05/08/05 to purchase the Horizon Fitness CSE3 Club Series Elliptical trainer. They browsed the fitness department for about ten minutes while a group of sales people congregated at a checkout, chatting. When someone did come offer, they found out that the model they sought was not in stock. The salesperson offered to sell them a broken floor model of the Horizon Elliptical trainer...
( a lesser version of the model) they were looking for. In order to have this floor model in working condition, it was suggested that they pay them for the floor model, take it home and then make an appointment for someone to come out and fix it.
This was not acceptable, so they asked how quickly they could get one of
the models they were looking for in stock. They were advised that there was
no way to know for certain. A raincheck was offered - with a request that the model be shipped. Although they receive several
shipments each week, it was not likely that it would be placed on any trucks for delivery the following week. There was no way to ascertain when it would be shipped. It could be several weeks.
The sales person, who indicated that he had only been working for Dick's
for one month and acknowledged that the policy made little sense, also
stated that there was no way to guarantee that it would be shipped at
all. They took the raincheck from the sales person. The fitness manager
was not there.
They looked around the store for some time, but were unable to locate any
other manager, so they left. One of the couple called to speak with the fitness
manager for clarification on their policy the next day. She was advised at that time that the information given toher by the sales person was correct. There
is, in fact, no way to assure a customer that an item carried by Dick's
and shown on the sales floor as an item available for purchase, will
ever actually be shipped to the store after a raincheck has been given
to a customer. The fitness manager also advised her that if she was
unwilling to wait indefinitely for the item, she was free to order it online
and pay additional shipping costs of $149.99. The fitness manager then suggested that she
contact the corporate headquarters and gave her a disconnected phone
number to do so. He also suggested that she not call them again to check
on the status of the item, because they have no way to find out if an
item has been shipped.
Far from me to point fingers, but I doubt the policies and practices sent from the corporate office of Dick's Sporting Goods include rainchecks with no purpose, broken floor models, or instructions not to call back to find out when items will be in stock. In fact, if anyone from the corporate office of Dick's Sporting Goods feels that these actions by the employees or the fitness manager of Dick's Sporting Goods in the West County Mall in Des Peres reflect poorly on the corporation as a whole, they are welcome to contact this site and I will put their reply on these pages, as well as putting them in touch with the customers - who then had relatives purchase the elliptical trainer from the Springfield location of Dick's Sporting Goods and bring it down to St Louis.
Now, one might assume two things - one that Dick's sold an elliptical trainer anyway, so why should they care? Those people should never be in marketing. The second assumption would be that this is an isolated instance where employees are having a bad day or maybe just weren't very good.
That would be an error. We do not know why Dick's Sporting Goods has employees who don't understand how to get an elliptical trainer from one store to another. Maybe it's training - maybe it's policy. After I forward this to Dick's Sporting Goods website, perhaps we'll get an answer.
There it is. An open invitation to Dick's to correct a wrong.