Recently I decided to do some hiking near Banff and decided that acquiring bear spray would be a great idea.
After going to numerous stores in my hometown (Wetaskiwin), and being met with really bad customer service and thinly veiled questions as to my intent for the use of bear spray, I headed into Red Deer, thinking the major stores there would not only carry it, but be glad for my business.
Boy was I wrong! After going to several stores, I came up empty handed.
Well, that’s not really true. I did get a lot of stares and questions, with a good handful of bad customer service.
At one store, I barely got a word out of the woman working there, and then she asked me suspiciously, “What was I going to do with the bear spray?”
The man at one store looked at me and told me that the store doesn’t carry bear spray, which was interesting, because upon leaving the store, I noticed a few cans of bear spray behind a glass case.
Perhaps he was a new employee and wasn’t aware of what products they carry in his department or he decided my purchase would be used for all the wrong reasons.
I had given up hope by this point, until I spoke to the ladies at the mechanic shop (thanks ladies). They pointed out the new store that opened up recently in South Pointe Common that might carry what I needed.
The store is called Atmosphere and it was a godsend.
I entered the store and was greeted by a sales associate who asked how my day was and what I needed.
After telling him, he said they did, got my two cans and the lady at the counter rang up my order after I signed the release form.
No strange glances or accusatory questions, just great customer service, quick service and really friendly.
I don’t remember their names, but whoever their boss is: please give them the praise they deserve and maybe a raise.
My only regret was not taking in the rest of the store, since I was in a rush.
So thanks for restoring my faith in Red Deer’s customer service. We had a great time hiking and felt at ease knowing if we ran into bears, we had the protection we needed.
So if you’re heading out to the backwoods or camping, I highly recommend Atmosphere South Pointe.
To the managers at the other stores, I recommend sending your staff there to get some pointers on customer service and how not to pre-judge people’s intentions.