RadioShack is Seriously Disconnected

Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Tim Mambort.

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Most people are caught up in the Black Friday/Cyber Monday/holiday shopping craze right now. I joined the crowds this weekend in search of something practical for my drive back from Ohio- an iPhone car charger.

In order to avoid the mall or big box stores, I ventured to my local RadioShack for what I assumed would be a quick and simple visit, especially since I was the only person in the store. How could I be wrong when their tagline claims that “RadioShack is Seriously Connected:  Inside our comfortable and easy-to-shop stores, you'll find industry-leading support and expert advice that makes it easier to choose just the right solution for your lifestyle needs.”

I was, in fact, wrong.

Upon entering, a lady approached me (sans warm smile) to ask what I needed and pointed me in the direction of the car chargers. I grabbed one under the $19.99 sign and happily jetted over to the counter, pleased with the short shopping spree.

The total came to $34. I questioned the price and she said it must be marked incorrectly. I know these things happen in stores, so I went back to the original wall and only saw this option. I turned back around and saw the sales rep with her head down on the counter, obviously upset with my problem that I was now causing her. I asked if she could direct me to other options, and this was just too much for her to handle as she grunted at me and pointed in another direction. Since I didn’t understand where she was even pointing, I kindly asked her to lead me in the right direction. Unfortunately for me she had just woken from her afternoon nap, so she wasn’t able to muster up the energy to move from behind the counter.

By this time I knew I was going to take my business elsewhere, but I asked for her name out of habit. This is when she pulled the classic customer service move; she flipped her name tag over so I couldn’t read it. I had to laugh at her smart thinking at this point.

Many of us experience poor customer service that strays from a brand’s tagline and we feel disappointed or turned off. It is a tough situation for brands/stores since there are so many people involved in the interaction between brand and consumer, from the sales clerk to customer service on the phone.

But I can’t stress how important quality customer service is from every pinpoint and angle. I will never walk into another RadioShack or visit its website based on this single episode. With so much competition out there, both in-store and online, brands can’t afford to turn away customers on a regular basis. And after doing a quick search, I was not surprised to see that RadioShack’s stock had tumbled in 2012 and wondered if it could be linked at all to its terrible customer service. It sure can’t be helping.

As someone in the PR business, I would tell RadioShack to own up to its mistakes and overhaul its training program to ensure consumers receive better customer service.  A few years back, RepMan guest blogger Ann Barlow wrote about how Domino’s admitted to failing to offer up the best pizza. After implementing improvements, Domino’s has seen its value skyrocket and gain respect from existing and new customers.

It’s your move RadioShack, what will you do?

2 thoughts on “RadioShack is Seriously Disconnected

  1. Great points, Tim. Sorry that you had such a bad experience with RadioShack, which is surprising because this is a brand that cannot afford to have bad customer service.
    The real question is, did you end up getting your iPhone car charger? And was your experience better at that store?

  2. Laura – Thanks for reading and for your thoughts. To answer your questions, I ended up going to Wal-Mart (of all places) across the street to get the charger. THe customer service was great and the product cost $14.99.