Rude retail staff suck


Last night I had some time to kill while my oldest son was at practice. I found myself in the city near a good mall with a long list of things I needed to buy. So I headed over and started making my list smaller. First I stopped at the pharmacy and grabbed laundry soap and toilet paper. They were on sale and are always needed. I went out and placed them in the trunk then headed into Target.

I must say I was very discouraged in Target as nothing was marked and I had to keep bugging staff for pricing. Even though things were marked down they were not a great deal. Yet the staff were all very helpful and friendly. Every one had a smile and were eager to assist customers with pricing. I was super surprised as they were all recently informed that their work place would soon be shutting down and they would be losing their jobs. Their spirits were high and they were all great!

After making a few small purchases there, I headed into the mall. I needed to get some clothes for my two teen boys. My tall, thin teen boys who like the latest styles as any kid does. What better place than the mall to get clothes for teens?

I walk into a big chain store and start looking around.

Nobody greets me.

Not a biggy, I really do not feel like being bugged anyway.

I hear voices and see how friendly the young ladies are to the teens coming into the store to window shop. A few girls run tot he change room, try on some things then leave. No purchase made.

I start searching for a certain size jean. I am now in need of help. I am moving piles, sifting through hangers with no luck. My full hands make me drop my bags and still nobody is around. They are at the counter chatting. I look over hoping to wave someone over, but they are too engaged in their conversation.

With no luck finding the size needed, I pick out a hoodie I am certain will fit and a few T shirts. I grab a pair of sweats that are a great price and proceed to the counter. I stand in front of where they are talking. The one girl looks up “Did you find everything you needed?” she asks. I respond “No, actually. Do you not have jeans in size XYZ?” She responds, “nope” and nothing else. She then takes my stuff to the end of the counter, 3 tills over and rings me in. Leaving me standing there. I figure I should go to and walk over. She never said “I can help you down here

Feeling a bit frustrated I say “Oh I swear we bought some at the other locations last month” I spend way too much money in this store yearly for my two boys and am sure I bought their size recently.

She say “no you should get a shorter size as they are still long”


Me “Well that is not the right size. No big deal. I will look elsewhere”

I smile and she stares at me stone faced. If you have teens you know the look.

I proceed to try and chat saying it is hard to find the right sizes for my tall thin boys as often these sizes sell out quick. She responds “YOU should just shop online!” still no expression. But I did catch her **eye roll**.

I look up and see the price rang in wrong on one T shirt and mention it. She argues it and I point over to the sign. She corrects it.

At this point it is not even what she is saying that is irritating me, it is her attitude and body language. She can not wait for me to leave so she can finish her chat about the city bus schedule with her friend.

Yeah I am there in my runners, no make up and a lot larger than their biggest size would ever fit. I have never worn any of their clothes as this store did not exist when I was a teen. However I have shopped there before and even experienced rude customer service at other locations. Once from a store manager even. But last night I had enough. I had to say something.

“You are not really friendly are you!?” I exclaim. I am not looking for a friend, I am not looking for a commission based sales person who will not leave me alone from the moment I step in the door. As a paying customer all I wanted was a little decency. Small talk and a smile goes a long way in the grown up world you will find.  She scowls at me and tells me “It has been a long day! Anything else?” Looks at her friend and AGAIN **rolls her eyes**.

I reply “Just the bill thanks” she hands it to me and walks away. I then say “Is your name on it?” She turns and then realizes she pissed off the wrong mom and quietly says “yes”.

I walked out of there quite grumpy with the lack of help I received, the rudeness I experienced and the pure carelessness of the staff.

Do these young people not realize that it is the parents who have the cash? It is the parents who are keeping them employed? I have vowed to never step foot in any of this retailers locations now. This was not the first issue I have had with rude retail staff at their locations.

If I can tolerate the smelly cologne, loud music and catty chit chat. They should be able to tolerate me buying from them!

Please tell me I am not alone. Have you experienced this kind of rudeness?


  1. cindyloveofbook says

    You are not alone Kim. When I worked retail as an assistant manager (about 16 years ago) I noticed the change in mentality of these kids entering the work force. There is no respect or customer service anymore. I agree its us that is paying for these kids to have jobs and really does it hurt to have a small or small chit chat?

  2. I hate this, I am a retail store manager and see this more often then I care too. I also have a list of stores that I just wont give my business too. I am also a mother and the primary shopper in my family. I have no problems tell staff that they have terrible customer service skills and I am quick to speak with the store manager or go above that and speak with the district manager.
    The worst I have had was at a Forever 21, I was buying a sweater for my grandmothers funeral and I couldn't reach the size I needed. I asked someone to come get it down and no one came, so I started looking for the pole to grab it down. It's not rocket science and normally when you start to self serve someone comes to help you. I was unable to find the pole so I asked the same lady again, can you get me a size. She looked at me with a blank stare and said what size. i said large. Her response was, "the plus size section is over there" and walked away. I refuse to shop there. I also am questionable and extra hard on people who apply to my store with them as a recent employer.
    I remind people in sales, its a small world and you never know who will come back around and in what position.

    • So true! I wonder if they just don't care? It seems to be a certain demographic and niche of stores that treat people like this most. However I have experienced rude at many places. I think older people appreciate their jobs where younger people may feel they are owed something? I left feeling angry and tweeted them, but it was night time so obviously no response
      My recent post Rude retail staff suck

  3. I experience this almost every time I shop in the mall. And have found a huge decline in positive customer service in general across many sectors. Like you, I don’t want to be hounded by pushy staff but expect a hand when I need and ask for it. I worked retail as a teen and again on maternity leave a few years ago. I understand the hours and pay suck. But any honest job is a job worth doing right and the with the best attitude you can muster. I know that most of my negative experiences were based on discrimination. One rude girl went so far to tell me I shopped in the wrong section as I tried to find a gift for a sister in law. No greeting. No offer of help. On the other hand I’ve also gotten bad service at my favorite big girls store and call them on it. I now do 90% of my shopping online. That doesn’t work for my own clothing purchases but helps ease some of the frustration of coming against rude staff.

    • I had a lady who was maybe a size 10 trying to help me at a plus size store once. I applauded her eagerness, however it was really strange with her not being the plus size person i would expect there. I am liking online shopping more and more lately
      My recent post Rude retail staff suck

  4. It is happening more and more. I was raised in retail, my mom had a clothing store in the 80's and 90's. I learned at a young age how to work the floor and do the cash and how to greet the customer. Nowadays it's like being nice or having common curtosey isn't in the job description.

    I was out shopping for my 16 yr old and received close to the same treatment, like I was bothering them. One store, (with my 16 yr old in tow) the staff never once said hello, they kept standing at the cashier and talking with each other. I ended up in a store with an older adult working the floor (older than me) and spent over $200 and a lot of it had to do with the great customer service I received. Another time last month, shopping with my 15 yr old daughter, I had literally had to flail my arms and almost shout, HELLO, we need help over here as my staring at them and being polite to get their attention failed.
    My recent post Winter's Finally Arrived!! #WhatsCooking in your house to help keep you warm?!

  5. I also like that she told you to shop online..if everyone starts shopping online then bye bye job!! Clueless.

  6. I have experienced rude retail staff as well. I'm happy you mentioned the NICE and HELPFUL staff at Target. I have to say that I have NEVER had a bad customer service experience at Target Canada. They have always been the nicest bunch of people. I will miss this so much as I don't experience great customer service in other stores.
    My recent post Marvel Universe is Coming to Canada!

  7. Vlahopg2 says

    I was at an "adult" women's clothing store, I spent over 5 min browsing listening to 1 clerk badmouth clients to the other clerk …calling them stupid and lazy and messy and laughing.

    Finally she turned to me and said do you need help. I was so mad I said not from you and I'm not shopping here. I debated all day whether to tell the manager. I didn't want her to get fired but I did want her to learn that is so off base and rude …in the end I wound up doing nothing but I still can't believe how rude she was.

  8. That is when I'd be calling into the store and asking for the Regional Manager's name and number to tell them about your experience. Better yet, try giving Head Office a call.

  9. ashley p says

    I worked in customer service for 7 years….started as a CSR and worked up to management. Every customer was greeted (if not when they walked in the door, the moment we saw them). I am not one to be bugged when I shop, if I need help I will ask, but acknowledge me, make eye contact, smile, say hi. It's not hard. If there are customers, chatting with another employee/friend can wait until customers are gone…. I would have been annoyed also
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  10. Common courtesy, and just plain decency are lost these days. There still some great people out there, but they are becoming more rare…

    Common courtesy folks…pass it on!

  11. Judy Cowan says

    You are definitely not alone, I have had more than my share of bad customer service. I have put stuff I was going to buy down and walked out of a store before because if it. I even had an experience at one of the big electronics store when I went in to BUY a new laptop and because I didn't want an iPad the teen was rude and basically refused to serve me. I complained and have not been back in since.

  12. I shopped at Target the other day and had the nicest, most pleasant sales clerk help me….even though she knows she's out of a job. Too bad the people WITH jobs can't be as nice!

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