I recently purchased a very small MP3 player—the type with no screen and designed for extreme portability. I wanted to use two different playlists on the device. Despite my doubts that it was possible, the salesperson assured me that I could create two playlists and choose between those two playlists on the actual device. I purchased it.

Once I was home, I could not work out how to upload two playlists to it. I went back into the store and spoke to a different salesperson. He confirmed my original doubts that it was not possible on this particular model.

Then the conversation took an interesting turn.

He started telling me how the salesperson I dealt with always just tries to get the sale and isn’t that knowledgeable. He told me he often receives complaints about that person, but the boss isn’t interested because his sales numbers are always so good. I heard a number of stories about dissatisfied customers in relation to advice they had been given.

I really just wanted to find out if what I wanted to do was possible so that I could stop wasting my time if it wasn’t possible. I wasn’t even that interested in swapping the device with one that could play multiple playlists—although I would have considered it if I had been offered the option.

What I did find out was a lot of information that completely undermined my confidence in the store where I made the purchase, and the next time I went shopping, they were at the bottom of my shopping list.

A simple apology and an explanation that the other salesperson may have misunderstood my request would have been a better option.

Privately, the second salesperson could have coached the first one and expressed his dissatisfaction, but I didn’t need to know all of the intimate details. Of course, I am not telling you to lie to a customer—I just don’t believe you need to volunteer every sordid detail about an incident.

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