Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The service industry

So, award for worst service – quite possibly for the whole year as I cannot imagine this can be topped – goes to the Victoria branch of House of Fraser. I went in there yesterday to buy a small wheelie suitcase... It went like this:

Me: “Could you please tell me the price of the largest one of these? (proffering case) I’m going to buy this but I need a bigger case too”
Gormless salesman: “It’s on the shelf”
Me, patiently: “You don’t have that size, just the label which says it goes up to a larger size”
GS: “It’s probably a bit more expensive, like £20 or something”
Me: “Do you have a system where you could look it up for me? Maybe if you put the code in for this case, it would help you find the whole range?”
GS: “Nah, it just says we’ve got 4 of these in stock”
Me, giving up: “Okay, never mind, I’ll look it up on the internet. Could I have a fresh one of these rather than the one from the shelf then?”
GS, instantly: “That’s the last one”
Me: “But you just said you have 4....”
GS: “The system sometimes doesn’t update for 24 hours”
Me: “But it’s Monday morning, and you are in an area which doesn’t get much traffic at the weekend, are you really saying you’ve sold 3 of these this morning?”
GS: “Funny, innit?”
Me, to self: Not really.

Do you think there’s a dragon in the stockroom and it’s just too scary to even go in there?

This joins my past favourites:
1) Russell and Bromley when I took back my extremely expensive Superga plimsolls when the rubber edge had perished after only a couple of wears; they told me I had obviously been “scuffing my feet”. I pointed out that I was not, in fact, 7 years old. Nor had I been for some time.
2) L K Bennett where I witnessed a woman taking back her boots from which the high heel had broken off. She was told that the heel was “not an integral part of the boot” but a “fashion item”! I left swiftly, abandoning my intended purchase.

Well, off on this work trip now up north; let’s just hope it doesn’t jeopardise any future US career.


beth said...

hilarious. (But also infuriating).

That LK Bennett line is a CLASSIC. I'm guessing this episode was not recent, but I bet they think they can do no wrong now that Kate, erm, Duchess of Cambridge wears their wares...

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Lesley said...

I cannot STAND poor service....I now want to drive down to London and batetr the suitcaswe man over the head with the biggest (alas not big enough) suitacse in the offending line! What do they think they are there to do??? When I think of the hours I spend trying to help people, going out of my way to assist even where it is nowhere near my job and then numbnuts in shops can't be bothered to lsten and respond accordingly. Grrrrr

Anyway, blood pressure now raised to warm....have a lovely weekend hon.

Lesley xx

Seren said...

How was the trip up North (other than cold)? Did you manage to stay on plan?

Inspired by your comment, I am now on the hunt for beef cheeks!