My 2 Sense My 2 Sense

My 2 Sense

Lordco Customer Service

Without Prejudice - May 8, 2013

With 81 stores you'd think they'd know how to treat customers

I'm not sure if Lordco's customer service problems are systemic throughout their company or simply isolated at the East 2nd Avenue store in Vancouver where I shop.

What I'm talking about here includes:
  • Unfriendly service bordering on surliness
  • Lack of product knowledge
  • Incompetent parts counter agents
  • Cashiers with zero customer skills and zero product knowledge
  • An overall attitude problem inconsistent with a retail sales operation

The following are anecdotal stories of my visits to Lordco stores, particularly the East 2nd Ave one.

Incident # 1 - Having my mechanic tell me my car needed new header gaskets and collector gaskets, I went to Lordco just to see if they carried them. I wouldn't be needing them for a month or so but thought I'd do the research given my engine is a older 1987 Buick V6..

The only free person at the parts counter was a young lady and I thought to myself, great to see young women getting into the automotive business. I told her in exact detail about the specs on the Grand National V6. She spent 8 minutes on her computer and showed me a set of head gaskets, not header gaskets for a V8. That told me she hadn't a clue and I left the store.

Incident # 2 - A month later it was time to get the gaskets so again I went to Lordco on East 2nd. Ave. This time I took actual header and collector gaskets off my car for examples. This time I dealt with a nice - too be politically correct - ethnically diverse individual, who told me no problem, to call in two hours and he'd have them.

I called in 2 hours and was told, well that was just an approximate time, but to come in in 2 more hours. I dutifully did only to find this moron had actually brought in the wrong header gaskets from their warehouse. He also tried to sell me some collector gaskets that were an inch bigger than the actual one I brought in. Strike two.

So I slid over to a young guy who appeared to possibly have SOME interest in and understanding of cars. He located the actual part and part number which had eluded those who came before him and ordered the part from the warehouse and told me they'd be in at 10am the next morning.

Incident # 3 - So I show up the next morning and another young lady at the parts counter tells me the part didn't come in as promised. So she phoned over to the warehouse and they said something about the shelf being empty.

At this point I'm thinking these parts people are all blithering idiots. And not only are they incompetent, but if you indicate in any way that you as the customer are not pleased , they get chippy with you, making excuses but not apologies. I was dealing with a child I suggested she pick up the phone and call one of the other stores to see if they had the gaskets in stock. Her demeanor indicated she wasn't thrilled to have to do this but, Eureka....she found the part in the South Surrey store and told me they could send it it. Not trusting Lordco at this point, I told he I'd drive right out there myself and get them. She gave me a contact name, we'll call her "Crystal" and told me she'd have them there for me.

An hour and a half and 35 km later, I arrived at the Delta Lordco store to get a greeting by the person at the door who cheerfully pointed out "Chrystal" who had the parts all ready for me with a big smile and a "how are you today, sir." I thought I'd gone through some kind of Lordco time warp to when service people actually cared about their customers.

I can report that my gaskets are in place and if I lived in Delta I'd marry Chrystal just for being a normal human being.

Incident # 4 - Just the other day my mechanic told me I needed to buy an aerial for my car radio and the Lordco had some itty bitty ones which were perfect. With great trepidation I entered the East 2nd store and asked the cashier at the front counter where I could find car aerials. She frowned and pointed up to the parts counter saying, "I dunno ask them."

Stunned at her attitude I went up to the parts counter and asked where I could find car aerials and the gruff response was down there and he pointed right down to in front of the cashier. I asked him why she wouldn't know that being it was in her area and he gave me attitude saying, "she's a cashier, she doesn't have to know where." So...with no actual assistance I ended up wandering around until I found the aerials, which I could have done in the first place. I felt like I was in some kind of Kafkaesque Unionized Hell. the owners of Lordco I ask the simple question. What the fuck is the matter with the operation, and staff at your East 2nd store. What ever happened to greeting the customer with a friendly smile and "hi how are you?" or "what can I do to help you?" rather than the attidude that customers appearances and requests are inconveniencing their busy and important business of shooting the shit around the parts counter.

I've relayed this story to my mechanics and a few other hot rodders I know who all laugh and say, "oh yeah, Lordco on 2nd, they're all assholes."

Gentlemen of Lordco....your people NEED an attitude adjustment. They need to learn to respect their customers and to SERVE their customers in a sincere, friendly helpful way. They need to learn the very basics of retail sales. The customer is always right. The people paying the money deserve to be served properly. And ANY human exchange in the course of business should be in a spirit of friendliness, not condescension.

Your people also need to know their inventory. Every employee at my local hardware store knows every screw and nail in the building and how to locate it and sell it to me with a friendly smile. Hell if they can do it at Safeway, why can't they do it at Lordco? I don't know if East 2nd is a franchised store or a company owned store but either way, head office should do an Undercover Boss examination of the place.

* Dislcaimer - I'm not trying to demonize these Lordco employees.They are not bad people. They are either just ignorant of good customer service or just don't care. It would seem the Lordco head office doesn't care either.

I have to say the people at the Delta store were great. And I also stopped in at the North Road store a few months ago and had a young man very patiently explain a whole lot about certain products. So it would appear to be a localized problem at the East 2nd Lordco Store.

From now on its NAPA Stores for me.

Just my opinion

Courtney Smith