Customer Service Theft

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Sean Mackinder helping a customer at the register 

Customer Service Theft

By David Bebo

It’s happening everywhere. Consumers are stealing from retailers across the country and it’s probably already happening in a neighborhood near you.

It’s called customer service theft and its storming the nation. Consumers are coming to brick and mortar stores for information on products, and then purchasing the very same product online. Wasting valuable time of retail sales associates while trying to catch a bargain.

The savings are tremendous. On average consumers are probably spending just a little less online than they are for the gas to get to these stores and then back to the internet.

Sean Mackinder, manager of an Abbadabbas shoe store, says that he has noticed an increase in foot traffic but sales seem to stay the same. He then explained how customers openly admitted to trying shoes on for size but had the full intention to buy them online.

“I guess people just want to come in here, look around and then ask me a bunch of questions. Most of the time I have what the customer is looking for but they just want to buy it online because it is five dollars cheaper,” said Mackinder.

The problem with customer service theft is that it is consuming retail associates valuable time.

“I work off commission and I have bills to pay. I don’t have time for people to come in here and run me around and then not buy anything. I would rather spend time with customers that are actually interested in buying something from me,” said Ben Neuhaus, a sales associate at a local Abbadabbas shoe store.

Although the internet is great for convenient shopping, it lacks the necessary search engines that can provide consumers with knowledge on products. The consumer is now forced to go waste somebody’s time.

Danny Czeczil, a frequent online shopper, said that he enjoys the convenience of online shopping.

“I just think buying things online is easier. If I am curious about how something looks or want more information about it I’ll go to a store and ask somebody,” said Czeczil.

Fortunately for retail sales associates a solution will eventually present itself. In the future stores will no longer be able to compete with online businesses and will have to close their doors. Only then will the retail associate know peace…and poverty.

Do you prefer online shopping or would you rather make purchases from a local store?

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