Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bad customer service: not only in the UK

Wilco is our local grocery store. It is about a mile down the road so I usually just walk if I am not already out. I bring my own bags, a backpack (rucksack) and a shoulder bag, just as I did in Scotland. I just hate that I have to walk along the main highway through town, there are no trees, and no sidewalks on the side of the road that the store is on. And it is HOT right now (still).
So yesterday I did some shopping in preparation for our Labor Day barbecue. Let me just say, people look at you funny if you are drivable age and you are walking. Anyways, I walked into the store and was greeted by a smiling man who looked to be the manager (he was wearing a tie). I lazily did my shopping and proceeded to the check-out.
As the lady started bagging my groceries (they do that automatically here. And they have to stand, they don't get chairs) I told her, "I don't need any bags. I will just put them in my own." They lady says, "You'll whaaaat?" So I repeated myself, as I am taking the things out of my cart, and point to my backpack. She screws up her face at me and says in a very snotty tone, "How did you get in with that backpack?!" I stare in amazement at her and say, "Uh...I didn't know it was a problem..." She says, "You're NOT supposed to bring a bag in here. You have to check it at customer service. THERE ARE SIGNS!!"
I proceed with the transaction wide-eyed. I just put everything in my cart as I am too disoriented to pack my bags right now. I finish the transaction and before I walk away I say in a very calm manner, "The way you handled that was incredibly rude. You could have said that a bit more politely. I have just moved here and was not aware of the rules." As I walked away I hear, "oooh kaaaay"
I proceeded to the customer service desk, where a lady is slowly counting several piles of money. She is facing a wall, but should be able to see me in the corner of her eye. I clear my throat several times, shuffle things, move around. She pays no attention. After about five minutes I say, "Sorry. I just have a question. I have cold things that need to get home." She slowly walks over to me and acts a bit miffed that I have disturbed her (here at CUSTOMER SERVICE!). So I ask her, "How would I go about making a comment about service I have recieved? Is there an e-mail?" She pulls out one of their sales papers and shows me where to write.
As I am walking out, the same manager-looking guy tells me to have a nice day and looks at my cart. While I am packing up my bags in the entry-way he pops his head out and says, "Oh! I was wondering why they let you through without bagging your things." Then he tells me that he things it is great what I am doing and that they are always trying to think of ways to get people to bring their own bags. I tell him that I spent the last 2 years in the UK and most stores don't even offer bags, or you have to buy them (which was a bit untrue, as the stores in the cities do provide bags, but offer other incentives if you bring your own), so I was used to bringing my own. We had a wee conversation about the cost of groceries there and such, then I went on my way.
I plan to send an e-mail about my experience. I am confident the manager would appreciate the feedback.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would be irrate at such snobbery. I've never had that at Wise Way, so far. mom f