Are customers always right?

In the workshop on handling complaints that I mentioned yesterday, the facilitator talked about a conversation between two women that he said he overheard during a train trip.

Woman A: I hear that your son has recently got married. How is your daughter-in-law?
Woman B: She isn't much help, doing nothing except eating, sleeping and watching TV at home.
Woman A: How about your daughter? She has recently got married, too.
Woman B: My daughter has married well. She just stays at home and doesn't have to toil.

This sounds much more like a funny story the facilitator made up than a real conversation, but the facilitator made good use of it to bring home the message that people are not always fair-minded when they make complaints. They may complain about things that they themselves are exactly guilty of.

He went on to ask us whether we agree with the statement that customers are always right. My take was: it depends on what 'right' means.

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