Customer gaffes

am1899

Hall of Fame
Thought it would be fun to share some funny/outrageous/ridiculous stories about interactions with customers.

For example:

1. A guy once walked up to me in the shop, as I was stringing a racquet...and asked me, "How many of these do you do a day?" "Depends on volume and the day," I said. "What's the most you've done in a day?" "Somewhere around 20, I think." "Wow, I hope you didn't get all strung out." :rolleyes::rolleyes:

2. Different guy walks in with his tennis racquet. My coworker asks him if he'd like to have it restrung. "No, I'd like them to increase the tension on my strings." My coworker explained that his current string would have to be cut out and replaced - in order to create a tighter string bed for him. He explained that he wanted to keep his current strings - "the strings are fine," he said. He reiterated that he "just wanted them tightened up." When I explained that that wasn't possible, he looked at me, puzzled. "I figured you could just hook it up to your machine and tune it up." Tune it up? What, like a piano? :D

Looking forward to hearing your stories.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent
Cust: I need a string job
Me: What type of string and tension do you want?
Cust: I don't know. I cut the old string out before bringing the racket here <at the courts>
Me: <Sigh> Do you know what type of string was in the racket?
Cust: I don't know, but it was blue with black stripes
Me: Were the strings really damaged before you cut them out? Did they looked frayed or notched?
Cust: Yeah, they were frayed all over
Me: Just in the middle or really all over?
Cust: Now that I think about it, it was in the middle
<An Eternity passes before we come to a conclusion that the frame can be restrung, with what, tension, etc.>
Me: OK, I've explained what I carry and we agreed that Prince SG at 57# is what you will get. Frame will be ready by tomorrow. I will have it with me. See you tomorrow.
Cust: Do you take Debit Card? <Somebody Shoot Me!> o_O
 
He reiterated that he "just wanted them tightened up." When I explained that that wasn't possible, he looked at me, puzzled. "
What? Couldn't you just untie the knots, unthread the old string and then restring the racquet using the same string strung at a much tighter tension.

Missed a huge opportunity to make a very tidy profit there! And would have had a very happy customer too.

;)
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
:confused: sounds like a normal interaction

Names have been changed to protect the innocent
Cust: I need a string job
Me: What type of string and tension do you want?
Cust: I don't know. I cut the old string out before bringing the racket here <at the courts>
Me: <Sigh> Do you know what type of string was in the racket?
Cust: I don't know, but it was blue with black stripes
Me: Were the strings really damaged before you cut them out? Did they looked frayed or notched?
Cust: Yeah, they were frayed all over
Me: Just in the middle or really all over?
Cust: Now that I think about it, it was in the middle
<An Eternity passes before we come to a conclusion that the frame can be restrung, with what, tension, etc.>
Me: OK, I've explained what I carry and we agreed that Prince SG at 57# is what you will get. Frame will be ready by tomorrow. I will have it with me. See you tomorrow.
Cust: Do you take Debit Card? <Somebody Shoot Me!> o_O

OP - my favorite will be my client who cut open a pack of gut so that he could feel it and smell it. He was frustrated when I told him to buy me a new pack and don't cut it open.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
I agree. Someone once tried to drop off a reel of string to be used with their frames. I needed 80' and s/he could not tell me what was left on the reel. Clueless? [Probably 80% of the US population.] We measured out from BL to BL plus 1/2 alley = 81'. Of course I told them to track the reel's remaining string. But suspect NOT!
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
Names have been changed to protect the innocent
Cust: I need a string job
Me: What type of string and tension do you want?
Cust: I don't know. I cut the old string out before bringing the racket here <at the courts>
Me: <Sigh> Do you know what type of string was in the racket?
Cust: I don't know, but it was blue with black stripes
Me: Were the strings really damaged before you cut them out? Did they looked frayed or notched?
Cust: Yeah, they were frayed all over
Me: Just in the middle or really all over?
Cust: Now that I think about it, it was in the middle
<An Eternity passes before we come to a conclusion that the frame can be restrung, with what, tension, etc.>
Me: OK, I've explained what I carry and we agreed that Prince SG at 57# is what you will get. Frame will be ready by tomorrow. I will have it with me. See you tomorrow.
Cust: Do you take Debit Card? <Somebody Shoot Me!> o_O
I do :) Just get one of those square readers for free, and add 3% to the price if you want to offset the fees.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Nah. Too much hassle if I am on the courts. Was thinking about using my PayPal ID, but decided against it. "Cash Only." :) "Sometimes Barter."
 

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
Nah. Too much hassle if I am on the courts. Was thinking about using my PayPal ID, but decided against it. "Cash Only." :) "Sometimes Barter."
square reader is like 1" x 1" and plugs into your smartphone 3.5mm jack . I keep one in my tennis bag.
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
How quickly a thread can get derailed...

I do :) Just get one of those square readers for free, and add 3% to the price if you want to offset the fees.
Nah. Too much hassle if I am on the courts. Was thinking about using my PayPal ID, but decided against it. "Cash Only." :) "Sometimes Barter."
square reader is like 1" x 1" and plugs into your smartphone 3.5mm jack . I keep one in my tennis bag.
You can also collect without the reader. Just have to type in card #. Paypal and cash are still the easiest.
 

SavvyStringer

Professional
How quickly a thread can get derailed...
To try to redirect this thread:
The most common gaffe to me is: me: How about we try a different string so that you get less shock, more playability, and more power.
Customer: Ok sounds good what do you think?
Me: I'll put in a hybrid to soften it for you and make it play better, longer (it's also cheaper).
Customer (two months later): I can't tell any difference. Can we just go back to full poly?

Most annoying thing about rec players. They have no idea what they're doing with strings. They think RPM is the king of string but if put in a black syngut they wouldn't know the difference.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
^^
Along similar lines, I've had more than one customer come into the shop and complain about GE, TE, shoulder soreness, etc. Of course, I have encouraged said customers to take a break from tennis, and go see a medical professional. But, I've lost track of how many times I looked at the label on their racquet, and find out that the racquet was strung with some stiff poly, 2 years ago (or more :eek:), at some obscene tension. And people wonder why their arms are falling apart (or off entirely).

Btw...I thought of another funny one. Customer calls, wanting to talk to a stringer about grips. After 5 minutes of trying to understand what the customer was getting at, here's the gist:

Customer stated they were looking at buying overgrips in bulk (instead of buying from us). So the customer inquired if they could bring the big roll of grips to us and have us "trim to size." o_O WUT?

I eventually figured out, customer was under the impression that big overgrip packs (say a roll of 30)....is one continuous roll of grip tape - not precut into individual grips. Here's where it gets good. The customer thought they would bring in their giant roll of grip tape (every time they drop off the racquet for service) and we could trim off only as much as we would need to grip the racquet, (presumably) so the customer could squeeze a couple more grip jobs out of a roll - to save money.

Can't make this stuff up. :D
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Here’s one where the customer wants to save money string on reels. They bring me a Wilson Steam 99 Spin from to string with 40’ Of string cut off a reel. I told him I did’t need all 40’ and to let me cut it next time. Next he brings me 40’ again. LOL
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Another customer brings me 40’ of Hyper G cut off a reel. Then asks how many 40’ sets were on a 660’ reel. 660/40 = 16+
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Another customer brings me 40’ of Hyper G cut off a reel. Then asks how many 40’ sets were on a 660’ reel. 660/40 = 16+
It amazes me that some people can breathe air without thinking about it...let alone balance a checkbook.
 
Last edited:

Imago

Hall of Fame
While waiting for their rackets to be strung, some of my customers play table tennis (I've got 5 tennis tables and one is in the room where I string). The funny thing is that they play backhand with two hands.

 
Last edited:

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I was stringing a racket for a friend of mine years ago. I was using an old MP-100 hydraulic machine so it must have been in the 80s maybe early 90s. Anyway this friend of mine was very smart, he was an Engineer that worked in Nuclear Power plants all over the world and had graduated from a very prestigious engineering school. He was watching me string and noticed every time I pulled tension the turntable never moved but when I would move the clamps or get ready to string the next string the turntable moved with relative ease. So he asked me why doesn't the turn table move when you pull tension. I said the shortest distance between to points is a straight line. His face turned a beat red as he turned away.

GAFFE - an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator

EDIT: Now I wonder how many people do not understand that?
 

mxvb

Rookie
My experience just recently: a befriended trainer came to me to string a racquet of an elder lady, who has been suffering from tenniselbow for some time.
Racquet specs: 255 gr unstrung, balance 35, grip size 0, string with Babolat pro hurricane tour -> after 2 years DT was still 34.
I don't want to know how high it was strung..

I advised to string it with gut,to build up the the grip to a bigger size and to tune the racquet to a more even of HL balance.

players reaction: It's fine, I'm playing like this for years..

#RIP
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
My experience just recently: a befriended trainer came to me to string a racquet of an elder lady, who has been suffering from tenniselbow for some time.
Racquet specs: 255 gr unstrung, balance 35, grip size 0, string with Babolat pro hurricane tour -> after 2 years DT was still 34.
I don't want to know how high it was strung..

I advised to string it with gut,to build up the the grip to a bigger size and to tune the racquet to a more even of HL balance.

players reaction: It's fine, I'm playing like this for years..

#RIP
If she died this is a real gaffe.
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
I was teaching a fellow how to string.. so good so far.

On his solo, he's all hyped and proud as he's unclamping the last strings.. and loosening up the mounting brackets, when to his horror the racquet flips up on the tip of it's head, the handle is at about 45 degrees seemingly held by magic. He's like.. WTF???, he looks around the top mount and he's looped the top string around at, thus attaching the racquet to the top center post.

Needless to say, it was rather amusing.
 

ShahofTennis

Professional
Don't work at a pro shop anymore, but the funniest experience I had was a mom and her kid who picked up a Pure Aero for him to demo. While his mom was filling out the demo sheet and signing off on the terms for the demo, her kid was arguing with her nonstop. They took the demo out on Friday and were back in the store on Saturday. The kid had apparently smashed the frame on the court several times in a fit of rage. His mom had called ahead to ask us in helping to teach her son a lesson. So we, along with a police officer, pranked the kid into thinking he was going to jail.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
Used to string for this guy named Ron. Ron would bring in a Prince, something with the big O ports to get strung. about after the 3rd string job.. he comes back a few days later, very upset. Seems his racquet collapsed on him, right at about the 1:30 mark on the racquet. No explanation of why or how it got that way, .. just happened. I was puzzled and felt very bad for him, so bad in fact, I was contemplating replacing the racquet. After some more investigation, I found out he bought it from Sports Authority or something..and, it was one of those cheap o racquets. I asked Prince about it and they said, no warranty, they are cheap made of aluminum... WAIT, did you say aluminum? Racquet was made out of cheap aluminum subject to metal fatigue and weren't designed to withstand multiple string jobs! I brought this to his attention thinking it would resolve the issue, but he got madder, stormed out and I never heard back from him... oh well.
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
Here's a doozy for ya guys. Just picked this up yesterday. Has critical thinking completely escaped our society?
People buying the most expensive stuff on the market having no clue what they're talking about......:rolleyes::eek:


 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Here's a doozy for ya guys. Just picked this up yesterday. Has critical thinking completely escaped our society?
People buying the most expensive stuff on the market having no clue what they're talking about......:rolleyes::eek:...
Makes me wonder who strung that racket the last time and why it broke prematurely.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
Guy I hit with plays with full poly. He says he just got it re-strung (free of charge) from a shop because he measured the last string job with his stringmeter and it was 5lbs lower than it should have been so he took it back!

I said, "didn't they tell you poly loses tension soon after stringing (not to mention the stringmeter may not be accurate)?"

He just said, "the tension was wrong so they had to re-do it!"

I hope I was missing something in translation!
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
Here's a doozy for ya guys. Just picked this up yesterday. Has critical thinking completely escaped our society?
People buying the most expensive stuff on the market having no clue what they're talking about......:rolleyes::eek:
If it wasn't for the frayed 6th cross, I would have patched it. ;)
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Recently got chewed out for my "ripoff pricing" after stringing up a set of babolat xcel (taken from my own stash). My price? $20, literally the TW price for the string alone. I thought I was being super nice since this guy is a friend of a friend.
 

chrisingrassia

Professional
My sticker label was still on the throat, so it could have been my string job still in there. However, I don't do stencils, so I'd question it. Strings break for all kinds of reasons, especially gut that's customer-supplied. I would only second-guess it if it happened at the knot. Grommets are in great shape, tall and no burrs. I'd have to guess a terrible mishit.
Makes me wonder who strung that racket the last time and why it broke prematurely.
I don't think the cross was frayed. I think that inner main just shredded quite a bit and the angle it sits at looks like a fraying cross.
If it wasn't for the frayed 6th cross, I would have patched it. ;)
 
Last edited:

chrisingrassia

Professional
I always string 1pc regardless of material as long as it's not a hybrid.
At the end of the day, no way to know what happened. Given this guy's "request", I take it something pretty stupid happened
Do you string a full bed of natural gut as 1 piece? Seems like a lot of opportunity to unnecessarily damage the string pulling the majority of the string through half the mains and then the crosses.
 
Top