the joys of swedish customer service

I try to lower my expectations of customer service when I am out of the United States.

Americans just do the whole smile even if you don’t feel it the customer is always right thing so well.

But Sweden has, to me, a surprising touch of communist Eastern Europe to its often surly service.

It reached the absurd the other day.  We went to the toy store to buy a bouncy baby seat for BT.  There were four floor models of the brand we wanted.  And we chose the green.  But there were no boxes around.  Hmmm, odd.  E went to ask.

The staff said there are no boxes, only floor models.  We had to buy the floor model, at no discout, and with no option of return.

They said that people kept messing with the boxes, so they only keep one floor model now … in the entire store.  Yep, the moment they sell one, they have to order another from the manufacturer, take it out of the box and set it on the shelf.


Then at checkout, they almost bent the seat in half, and then, not one, but two of them gave us attitude about it.

We wanted to go check later to see if the new green chair was out on the shelf, flown “magically” from the warehouse.  But we didn’t.

I wonder if they use that system for all their inventory.  You know, keep one soccer ball in the store at at a time …

Needless to say, we will not be going back.

But BT sure does love his new chair, bouncing along, sitting below the dinner table, drifting in and out of sleep.


2 thoughts on “the joys of swedish customer service

  1. uuggghhh!!! I’m SO with you on this one – makes me see red everytime – even just reading a post like this! It is so sad really, there is a lot to be gained interacting with people in a perfectly pleasant way – whether selling them something or not.

  2. Eastern bloc is the perfect analogy. Then again, I guess it wasn’t a bread line. Attitude sounds the same though.

    Just try to walk by check out with an empty handle basket. Oh boy.

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