$5 ‘Browsing Fee’ is Bad Customer Service!


The word ridiculous doesn’t even cover this. Instead of this retailer learning some customer service skills & learning how to not spend too much time with customers who only use her an info source & buy elsewhere, she is charging a $5 ‘Browsing Fee’!!! I would also have to ask WHY her pricing is not competitive?! This is indicative of what is wrong with a high % of retail in Australia!! via 9 News  read the Channel 9 info here.



  • AMEN
  • In my opinion, People shouldn’t use Retail outlets as catalogues for an online purchase, We should respect the fact that business owners and employees have work to do in a shop as well as customer service, i’m not saying it comes second at all, but if you have made a Solid decision to buy online because it is cheaper, don’t pick the brains of an assistant only to go buy elsewhere, There is more information than ever before online (half the problem right there) to help make a decision. i know your not silly and are aware of the cost involved in a bricks and mortar store, but in comparison to online, how can you be “competitive”, in my industry i have an online competitor that imports from asia the same products that a distributor has in australia, He retails to the public BELOW my by price. i’m always up for the challenge of converting someone to buy instore for service, knowledge, warranty returns etc. But some people who have made the conscious to buy online should except the service that comes with the purchase. I don’t agree with what this business is doing, but in some industries “fitting fees” etc maybe a good way to cover labour cost, if explain politely.
  • as they said on the show this morning, people pay $50 to get ski shoes fitted as a trial b4 they buy them so why shouldnt a shop owner sell her knowledge. the woman clearly stated on tv this morning that she does not charge people that just come in and look, she only charges those that ask of her time and knowledge. pretty sure thats similar to people paying for counselling. Who ever Nancy Georges is maybe she should have actually watched the program and listened to the full interview before mouthing off



Thanks for your comments X & Y, what you say is what I hear from retailers all the time and while morally valid, it is not reflective of the retail world we all live in. I personally would not go into a store and pick the brains of a retailer then buy online. But that is me.
The fact is that the consumer now chooses, who, where & how much. As retailers, we have to gauge and manage the instore / online conversation. I have been long saying that retailers have to change / refine their sourcing & pricing model to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.
This $5 browsing fee is a joke. She should have called it a ’10 minute consult’ and charged $5 for that – then she is attaching a true value to the service & knowledge (then it could be $10) redeemable with purchase….. but a browsing fee??



I agree Nancy – I think there’s other ways around it
My hairdresser sizes and fits wigs and he found a lot of people booked an appointment – tried on several wigs, found out their size, and then didn’t purchase a wig from him (this was a free service).
Now – he charges $100 for a wig consult, and when you order a wig, the $100 comes off the cost of the wig – so the consult is still free, if you buy a wig That’s a win – win



now THAT’s a clever strategic thinking retailer!! some people may not still buy a wig, but he has valued his expertise & they purchased it… love it!! thanks for sharing you fabulous retailer you!! Invitations by Melita has always balanced service and product! AND your customers love you!!


Retailers have to understand the world they trade in and how to market yourself accordingly…  This shop owner was cranky and fed up – BUT THE SITUATION IS OF HER MAKING!! I hope she values her time and information accordingly now….

Leave a Comment

We would be glad to get your feedback. Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.