Customer or Consumer - a rant

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    If you had a choice of patronizing one of 2 similar businesses, but one referred to you as their "customer" and the other served "consumers", would it make a difference to you?

    If a business has a sign that says, "no public restrooms", dol you still give them your business?
    (A local "eatery" would not let me use the restroom to wash my hands before I ate there. They had the big sign as stated above, and the door to their very empty restroom was open so it was perfectly visible that they had one, and chose not to share.

    I see a big difference between "public" and "customer". I already paid for my food, but it was the last time I went there.

    Another thread referred to folks as "consumers" and it just made me wonder if that's why "customer service" died out -because there aren't "customers" anymore?
     
  2. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    OT here, but in most states any establishment which serves food MUST have a restroom available for their patrons. They do not have to make it available to the general public, but they must have it for their customers. If I were me I would find out if a violation occured, and if it did I would report the offense.
     

  3. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    I think they get away with it because there is no indoor seating.
    They serve food at a window and there is only a patio with picnic tables for sitting.. You're right, though, I should check into it further.
     
  4. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Give me poor service I wont be back,that simple.

    BooBoo
     
  5. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    I would likely not do business with anyone that would refer to me as a "consumer"
    I treat my "customers" just as I would expect to be treated as such from any business.....like a friend!
     
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I always make sure I TELL them why I won't be back as well.......

    Our local Honda dealer ticked me off the other day, and I faxed the general manager the reasons WHY I would not be doing business with them again.
     
  7. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's always nice to inform these people that don't really "get it" that YOU are profit and THEY are overhead.
     
  8. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Whenever I get gas I always make sure there is a restroom first because I get sick to my stomach to smell gas on my hands and I have to wash them after filling up. If the station does not offer public restrooms I tell them they will not get my business. Most of the time they have a "who cares anyway" attitude. I always wonder what the owner would say if he knew this was going on - that people were turning away business because of that.

    I have been at other establishments where they had a restroom and would not let me use it. I suppose it is their right to do this, but I won't patronise a place with an attitude like that. I thought there was a law that dine-in restaurants had to prove a restroom for cleanliness sake. I'd check with your department of health and find out the rules, if I were you.

    donsgal
     
  9. MawKettle

    MawKettle What can I screw up 2day?

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    Well....another opinion on the public restroom thing.................

    I own a small sign making company - we have location in an industrial strip center.

    I do mostly wholesale business - but we are open to the general public as well.

    I have one restroom in the facility. Its located in my manufacturing area - which would mean that anyone using it would have to stroll across the machine room floor - past several work areas - which, while my insurance covers injury to my employees in this area...it would NOT cover injury to customers (because according to the terms of my policy - the public is not to be admitted to this area).........

    So my policy, is for the most part, "I'm sorry, we do not have a public restroom"......

    Have I been known to violate that for someone in dire need? Yes, but only if you are customer that's known to me (you've made a number of purchases here, and I know your face and name)....someone just walking in off the street - I can't take that chance that someone might trip, touch something they're not supposed to, get hit by flying metal in the shop area, etc.......

    Besides the fact that there is a gas station right across the street that DOES have a public restroom............
     
  10. LvDemWings

    LvDemWings Well-Known Member

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    I have never had a problem when asking to use the restroom but I never just run in to use their facilities. There have been a few times where a no public restroom sign was posted but I asked to use it anyway. I was desperate and I'm sure it showed on my face.
     
  11. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    At least you offer them a reasonable alternative. I could understand your position because you aren't really a retail establishment. I went to a feed store once and asked to use their restroom. I had to wind my way through a maze of all manner of things including box cutters lying in the walkway, forklifts, etc. It was NOT a safe environment. But I appreciated it very much at the time. I wouldn't have minded, though if they had told me there was a restroom right across the street.

    donsgal
     
  12. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    Ya know, I really don't care if they call me a customer or consumer. I just care about whether they have the right product, at a fair price, and treat me well as a buyer. If they violate any of those, they won't get my business now or in the future. As far as restrooms, it always irks me when they say they don't have one for me to use. I know their employees have one and why can't they let me use it. I know that if I am in a public place and ask to use a restroom, it is cause I really need it. Public restrooms aren't my first choice. I'll wait if I can. If I can't, I ask and I really need it when I ask.

    For what it is worth, I most often find the small business owner as the one that limits the access to the bathroom. In the mass market stores (ie. Wal-Mart), they have big ones (given, maybe not always the cleanest) and ready access. I know a lot of folks here are supportive of local businesses rather than the big box stores. If I was a locally owned business, I would have one of the best bathrooms around. Something that people would talk about in a really positive manner. I remember there was this place in Branson, MO, the Shoji Tabuchi theater. They had such elaborate bathrooms that folks used to go there just to see them. Here is a description from a travel website:

    "The restrooms, in particular, have come to be a thing of legend throughout the area. Entrance to the men's restroom reveals a luxurious pool table, fire place and leather seating, while the women's restroom is adorned with onyx and granite sinks, a chandelier and stained glass accents throughout."

    Pretty cool getting people to come to your place just to see your restrooms.

    Robert
     
  13. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was in a thrift store with a *mostly* toilet trained child one day. She was wearing panties. the door to the rest room was wide open and directly behind the woman standing behind the counter. kid had to go - NOW, and the woman said "I'm sorry, we don't have a rest room." I stripped the kid right out of those panties and her shoes (she was wearing a longish dress) and asked "do you have a mop?" funny thing - she suddenly remembered that she had a rest room.
     
  14. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Big box stores cater to the masses - and can afford the space to make restrooms easily accessible. Small business owners generally do not have that luxury. In some small strip malls there is one restroom or maybe a pair for all of the stores employees to use that is accessed via a common freight/employee hallway. The liability of letting a customer into those areas would be huge. I don't fault the small business owners for not having public restrooms.
     
  15. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    and do you offer the same if they have done an unexpectedly good job? I never hestitate to tell a business that I am/was impressed with thier service....if I get crappy service I ask for a manager or "higher-up"

    as for the establishment that had food but no washing facilities I prob wouldnt be back....and possiblly sic the health inspector on them!

    Rachel
     
  16. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    Humm... the big box stores offer better prices (I think that is generally true when compared to local small business owners), better selection, and can afford more of the amenities to make shoppers comfortable. And we wonder why locals have trouble competing? Go figure.


    I don't fault them either. I also don't cut them any slack

    Robert
     
  17. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    In some areas there are laws about public restrooms, they have to be handicap accessible and all that jazz.

    Now, as an employee of a grocery store that did not have a "public" restroom until recently:

    We did allow the public access to our bathrooms. There were only two toilets for the store, which was adequate for the employees, but not the entire public! The bathrooms were (groan) right off of our breakroom,, which meant that we had to eat our lunch (or attempt to) while gagging on the bathroom odor of a long line of customers. Employees, some of whom were pregnant and all of whom were on very limited time, had to wait in long lines right along with the customers. It's really aggravating to waste your entire 15 minute break (oh well, no food for at least two more hours!!!) standing in line behind people that you were escaping from for a very short time, just to go to the bathroom. They go in there and style their hair, apply their makeup, chat happily with their best friends and children, like they have all the time in the world, while you're trying not to wet your pants and hoping desperately that you will get into the bathroom before your break has expired. Worse, they had the nerve to announce (haughtily) while we were eating, that the toilet paper was out in the bathroom. They expected us to stop eating, jump right up and go downstairs to get toilet paper, right NOW. One lady changed her kid's diaper right on our table while we were eating. :grump:

    They backed up the toilets so that they overflowed all over the break room (more gagging) and then didn't even tell us most of the time....they crapped all over the floors in the bathrooms and tracked it through the break room and down the stairs (very well dressed people do this sometimes!!), our personal belonging were at risk of being stolen from the break room......there was a basic lack of respect. I am SO glad that we finally got public bathrooms and now we have our own, exclusive employee bathrooms. People are just unspeakably rude.
     
  18. logbuilder

    logbuilder Well-Known Member

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    Oh really?? Employees deserve restrooms but shoppers don't?? I better shut up on this subject now. Some businesses (and maybe their employees) just don't get it. You are competing on the whole shopping experience. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure this out???
     
  19. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    When I was 7 long months pregnant with my eldest daughter I was at a flea market in Branson with several of my friends. We had all wandered up and down the isles and we all of had several items that we were going to purchase. Nature was screaming at me as only one who has been pregnant can understand. When I asked the clerk where their restroom was, she told me that I couldn't use it because it wasn't for public use and she pointed at a sign at the front door. All four of us just looked at her with astonishment, then laid our various potential purchases in front of her and I said something to the tune of, "Well, that just cost you some money," and we walked out. There was several hundred dollars worth of items that we were going to buy, too. That clerk displayed one of the best examples of bad customer service that I've ever experienced.

    We went elsewhere to spend our money. It was another flea market where the clerk knew when to bend a rule for a needy customer.
     
  20. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Never ran into something like that. Retail establishments generally need restrooms available 'here', and at times I think the laws have gone too far requiring small businesses to shut down. Can't afford $20,000 renovations.

    Some laws require a seperate restroom for the food preparers, so perhaps that became the issue for you - they legally can't allow customers in the one restroom?

    Still not a good business practice, and I would want to go elsewhere as well.

    As to customer or consumer, who the heck cares? Same thing. I want good service, & they can call me whatever they want. I'm just a small portion of the weekly receipts in the end, no matter what business it is.

    --->Paul