Gransnet forums


to expect shop assistants to at least acknowledge that I am there

(65 Posts)
nannysgetpaid Sat 01-Oct-11 12:28:24

I am sure that someone has brought this up before but I am furious. Yesteday I went into Pets At Home. Got what I wanted and went to the counter. The assistant took the article out of my hand without a word, carried on talking to the other assistant behind him, took my money and turned away. I very pointedly said Thank you and he looked at me as though I was of no importance. I asked if if his mother had taught him manners and (he was not much younger than me) and got some smiles from other customers. Needless to say I will not be shopping there again.

Annobel Sat 01-Oct-11 13:14:27

nannysgetpaid, I agree, but fortunately I haven't seen much of this kind of ignorant behaviour in this part of the world. Good retailers have decent training for their staff, even youngsters who only work weekends.

pompa Sat 01-Oct-11 13:42:52

Coincidently, our Daughter has just posted this on her Facebook page :-

"Felt sorry for the poor woman I'm the chemist who after talking quietly to the lady at the counter had to deal with the embarrassment of the lady shouting out the word 'canestan' to the pharmacist whilst holding the packet in the air for all to see."

This is a Co-Op chemist. The Co-op in our village is awful, many of the staff totally ignore customers whilst they are serving them, no surprise that the store is being taken over by Asda.

glammanana Sat 01-Oct-11 13:43:50

nannygetspaid same here just before school started I went with DD to collect school uniform's for DGCs and we spent over £120s with not so much a smile from the assistant in the shop,I asked DD if we where invisable but obviously not as she had no problem in taking the money,we would have gone somewhere else if it was possible but this was an allocated shop via the school.

dorsetpennt Sat 01-Oct-11 14:06:57

We don't do it in this country, but we should complain about poor and rude service. Without your patronage the shop assistant wouldn't have a job. I work as an internet shopper for an upmarket supermarket and we are strictly trained about our service to our customers. Our till cashiers have a strict criteria when dealing with a customer at the till namely : Greet the customer and use eye contact,apologise if they have been kept waiting, ask if they need any carrier bags, offer to pack, state the amount owed and thank them as the end of the transaction. If a member of staff on the shop floor is asked where an item is they are escorted to the item,handed the item and then asked if they can be helped in any other way. Obviously not everyone follows the procedure to the letter but I can safely say in our shop most do - we also have a Mystery Shopper and woe betide us is we don't score 95% plus. If some staff are falling behind this criteria they are given further training and observed carefully. I don't want to follow the American way which is very overdone and can seem insincere but politeness is free. We should expect and get the best.

grannyactivist Sat 01-Oct-11 14:16:16

I've found that I am more inclined to complain as I get older. Never nastily or rudely (that would defeat the object really!), but I am much more inclined to be assertive than ever I was before and I actually feel quite good about it because even if I don't directly benefit from my actions I hope the next customers will.

glammanana Sat 01-Oct-11 14:18:56

Wishing you where in front of me grannya we may have received better service.

nanapug Sat 01-Oct-11 14:42:02

I agree that it is so rude to ignore people, and it is very annoying, but at the other end of the scale I personally find it so irritating when assistants start asking how your day is, and if you have done all your shopping. They clearly couldn't care a toss and have been told to say it. I must admit to wanting to burst into tears and tell them that my day has been dreadful, that my dog/cat/mother has been run over or something, just to see their reaction. Manners is important, but being the grumpy old woman that I am I really don't want to talk to the assistant about my day.

Barrow Sat 01-Oct-11 15:42:04

I encountered this rudeness when I tried to get a key cut a couple of days ago. I walked up to the counter where two (male) assistants were talking. One looked at me, without saying a word, so I asked if they could cut a certain type of key. He took the key from me (still not saying a word) and carried on his conversation. I tried to interrupt to ask how much it would cost. He finished his conversation with his colleague and then started another with a couple of people walking past!! I calmly took the keys out of his hand and walked away! Probably called me a silly old bat when I was out of earshot!

bikergran Sat 01-Oct-11 20:28:23

I had a friend.....who was in M n S one day....he went through the checkout....and when having paid for his items...asked the girl on the till
" was it closed today " ? girl replied " sorry was what? closed"! my friend replied... the charm school lol lol...grin
personly I think M n S have one of the most sour/stern faced checkout people that there are ..(certainly in our local M n S! its like they have been programmed not to smile!! I find the smiliest ones are our little Tesco

jinglejangle Sat 01-Oct-11 20:55:46

pompa, that happened to me in a small Boots shop a little while back. I was buying something a bit personal - oh, ok. Anusol! The shop lady spoke to me very quietly at the counter, but then went to get the stuff off the shelf and SHOUTED "do you want the actual Anusol because Boots do their own one you know"

No, I don't want the Boots one. I just want you to be quiet!

Jacey Sat 01-Oct-11 21:15:35

Me ...I asked a male assistant for some advice about a piece of electrical equipment I wanted to buy. He gave the answer to the fella I was with! The same happened with my follow up question! angry

I then pointed out ...that I was the one asking the questions ...that I was the one who _ had been planning_ to make the purchase!

Head held high ...I walked out the shop ...making my purchase elsewhere! smile

jinglejangle Sat 01-Oct-11 21:30:48

Oh yes, I've had that jacey. And when I'm with daughter. I feel like shouting "actually, I'm the one with the plastic"! grin

Jacey Sat 01-Oct-11 21:36:15

You'd think by now, that we wouldn't still have rampant sexism hmm

Does anyone have problems when taking their car to the garage for a service or work to be done on it?? So, often get treated like an idiot know, females don't understand these things!! angry

yogagran Sat 01-Oct-11 22:25:10

I have a friend whose DD is a highly qualified helicopter engineer, when she took her car for its MOT and they tried to fob her off with all sorts of expensive unnecessary work, she insisted on inspecting the things that the garage claimed needed doing. Although she's only a few inches over 5 foot tall and a beautiful blond, I will always remember her satisfaction on seeing their about-turn

GrannyTunnocks Sat 01-Oct-11 22:36:27

We should think ourselves lucky. While on holiday recently I visited a few supermarkets, mainly in France near the Swiss border. There was no help packing, they were very slow at the checkouts, you had to ask for bags and the assistants were anything but helpful. On more than one occasion I said to my DH or DD "Thank goodness for Tesco and M & S.

Joan Sun 02-Oct-11 02:21:16

Sometimes I'm so invisible I don't even get served, but one day it felt much worse, when the automatic doors didn't open for me, then a big bloke rushed up behind me - and they opened!!

It is not always being old though - one day in NZ in my twenties, where i was a purchasing officer for a big company, a rep I'd never seen before knocked, came in, looked at me and said "Oh, there's no-one here - I'll come back later." (Raw material purchasing was usually done by men, for some daft reason - after all, it is women who are trained to purchase wisely from a very young age, especially in Yorkshire)

Later he came back all apologetic. I didn't buy from him - not out of pique, but because his prices weren't good enough.

glassortwo Sun 02-Oct-11 08:52:42

Having been on the receiving end of some very shoddy service, which I must say usually comes from younge male assistants.

In the two retail companies I have worked for in the last couple of years we received a very high standard of training in customer care.

As a shopper I hate being bothered constantly, being asked repeatedly if I can be helped when all I want is the time to look at the items I am interested in purchasing and be aware that a member of staff is available if I require help, (one of these companies being M&S) the training is all about customer satisfaction and the frequent visits from mystery shopper should means that every customer should get the same level of service.

I think that as an assistant you need to take the training you are given and temper it to contain all the criteria required but in a freiendly way and not like a robot.

But can I also say that people do complain (and rightly) about bad service..... but not many people actually comment on good service.

Barrow Sun 02-Oct-11 10:39:07

I received some very good service recently from Western Power. My electricity went off early on a Sunday morning (I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee!!). I rang Western Power, they said no-one else had reported a failure (probably all still in bed) but that an engineer would be with me in 15 mins. 20 mins later he turned up, checked the fault wasn't in my house and said he would phone it in so they could get a team to track down where the fault was. He also advised me to only have the radio switched on until the power came back as otherwise it could blow all my trip switches. Two hours later my power came back on. I then received a phone call saying the power had been restored and to check my power was OK. I said how pleased I was with the service and asked that my thanks be passed to the engineer who had called on me. The next day I received a phone call to tell me why the power had gone off! Thats what I call good service.

harrigran Sun 02-Oct-11 11:32:42

I can relate to what you say Joan about being invisible. My daughter worked for a multi-national company and whenever she went to meetings she found that the male at her side was greeted and addressed whereas she was the one in charge and giving the presentation. She is a director and works in Brussels now and the situation is completely different, accepted for her position not her gender.

gma Sun 02-Oct-11 12:18:01

The answer to shoddy service gransnetters is to veto these stores that persistently give bad service. OK! I know that it is not always possible but a letter to the MD or customer services manager can work magic. I worked for many years for a large retail company (never know the rest) and letters of complaint were always taken very seriously and action was always taken, and you will get a reply (if you give your address!) We had a league table which showed the number of negative and positive comments for each department and nobody wanted to be at the bottom. Take it from me, High Street giants do not want to lose your custom in the present economic climate. So don't put up with it, do something about it.

raggygranny Sun 02-Oct-11 15:38:05

I agree that it is important to complain when we have received bad service (not that I am very good at this!) but I do think it is also important to give praise for exceptionally good service. Not just run-of-the-mill politeness, that's what should be provided without question, but anyone who goes out of their way to be helpful should be thanked not just to their face but by a letter to management, to show that this level of sevice is noticed and appreciated. (And no, I don't always follow my own advice blush)

gma Sun 02-Oct-11 15:58:11

Yes raggygranny you are quite right! It is important to acknowledge outstanding service, usually above and beyond what is expected. When I was at work, if a colleague received a letter of thanks from a customer, even if they thought that they were only doing their job, it was a real 'feel good' moment. grin

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 03-Oct-11 10:14:51

Don't forget that if you've got something to say about a holiday, product, day out etc, and think others should know about it, you can add it to our new Reviews section, where you can rate and add comments on the service you receive.

We completely agree that it's important to do something if you feel that you've had a bad experience!

nannysgetpaid Mon 03-Oct-11 11:12:27

I do agree that we should acknowledge outstanding service and I have done so. When I started this thread I was really angry at the service I had received but on reflection I have had far more good service than bad, shame it's the bad service I remember. sad