Gransnet forums


"Customer service"

(55 Posts)
girlracer Sun 10-Mar-13 10:25:27

Is it just me, or are there others out there who cannot stand shop assistants who, instead of asking if I need any help, or am happy just browsing, say "ARE YOU ALRIGHT THERE?" I swear one day I will answer "No, actually, I am about to drop to the floor with a heart attack, are you a trained first-aider" Also, when people say "I'm fine" when asked if they would like, say, another cup of tea. I didn't ask how you were, I asked if you wanted another drink! Maybe I should just accept this is 21st century speak!

Goose Mon 11-Mar-13 17:51:10

I find the staff in 'Lush' so gushing, they're scaryshock

LullyDully Mon 11-Mar-13 18:08:01

It must make you gush working in that awful smell all day.

Anne58 Mon 11-Mar-13 18:49:22

The using name thing did get my dander up when used in telephone calls from my bank when I was having problems with them.

I did point out (in a letter of complaint about the more pressing issues) that repeated use of my name and title did NOT equate to building rapport, no matter what the no doubt very expensive training company had told them, it just got on my wick/up my nose/on my tits/ delete where not applicable.

(I might be exaggerating about the last bit...........blush )

Ana Mon 11-Mar-13 18:59:06

Even worse when they insist on calling you by your first name though, IMO...

Galen Mon 11-Mar-13 19:13:21

Princess cruises do that! I hate it! Even I don't refer to myself by my full first name! I use an abbreviated version. Cunard on the other hand call me ma'am to Dr W! Much nicer!

janeainsworth Mon 11-Mar-13 19:38:22

I agree Galen, the service on Cunard was fantastic and unfailingly polite.
I dislike the way staff ask you in hospitals how you would like to be addressed.
The clear implication is that if you ask to be called Mrs This or Ms That, rather than your first name, you will immediately be labelled 'awkward patient'hmm

annodomini Mon 11-Mar-13 19:40:48

When Virgin rang me up to 'offer' me some arrangement or other, the young man on the other end nearly drove me to BT by using my name in literally every sentence.

Orca Mon 11-Mar-13 19:50:39

What a miserable lot we are. Perhaps there should be a Gransnet guide for shop assistants, waitresses, and others on minimum wages , how not to upset elderly ladies old women.
I don't give a jot how I'm addressed, so long as the service is pleasant and efficient.

Bags Mon 11-Mar-13 20:38:35

Hear, hear! orca. Same here. And I don't mind the "I'm goods" either.

JustMe Mon 11-Mar-13 20:39:11

I've worked in fashion retail in a small shop and the owner always wanted us to pounce on the customers and stalk them round the shop. (not literally but that was her way of doing it...) I used to sell FAR more by gauging what the customer wanted. Some liked constant attention, some had body language that pointed to wanting to be left alone and to my mind, it's far better than constant attention. It doesn't sell more clothes!

Tegan Mon 11-Mar-13 20:40:02

Went to use some coleslaw at the weekend and realised the use by date was 8th so threw it out. S.O. said it was the one he'd bought on Friday so he took it back to Sainsburys expecting a refund [or at least an apology]. Was told he should have read the date on it when he bought it [I have to use a magnifying glas to read such things]. Phoned up customer services and demanded to be recredited for the amount, which he was. It was a point of principle. Expected more from Sainsburys, to be honest.

Orca Mon 11-Mar-13 21:01:42

It's illegal to sell goods past their sell-by dates. Your Environmental Health department at your local council need to be informed.

Orca Mon 11-Mar-13 21:16:00

Just realised it would not actually be out of date when bought.

Ella46 Mon 11-Mar-13 22:08:13

I've just made a new will,and after the first meeting with the solicitor I got an email addressed...... "Hi Ella"!
From a solicitor!

Ana Mon 11-Mar-13 22:28:47

That's terrible, Ella! You really do expect solicitors, accountants etc. to at least give an impression of professionalism, don't you?

Greatnan Mon 11-Mar-13 22:31:25

I suppose I should be loyal to my adopted country, but customer service in France is often non-existent. There will be one till open in the supermarket, with a long queue, while assistant stack shelves or label goods. Of course, not that the larger supermarkets stay open at lunch time, there will be one person on duty as the French regard their lunch hour/hours as sacrosanct.
They rarely make eye contact, although now you do get the obligatory 'Bonjour'.
A very different story usually in New Zealand where customer service is excellent - but my grand-daughter and her fiance went into a large jewellers last week with a voucher for NZ$600 (nearly 300 pounds) which she had won in a short-story contest. Because they are both young (20), they were completely ignored. She is going to tell the manager that they would have lost their custom if they had been paying cash! She is about 5' tall, but as fiesty as her mum!

Galen Mon 11-Mar-13 22:47:07

And her grand mum I suspectgrin

Greatnan Tue 12-Mar-13 02:17:13

True, but I was 5' 6" before I shrank to 5' 4"! It always amused me to see my little daughter telling off her hulking great sons - and they listened!

Faye Tue 12-Mar-13 05:19:56

Movedalot, I can see that the sales assistant using your name once at the end of a sale may make you feel good, and it may just be me being a misery. Other examples which I am thinking of in other situations could be: Can you imagine yourself, Susan, wearing this coat. Or even worse: David, think about how this could help you, especially, David, when you are really busy and need some assistance. David you would be the type of person who could succeed with this..... Supposedly making the person feel good about themselves because they are being recognised.

Repeating my name sends signals to me that this person is not genuine. hmm

Jadey Tue 12-Mar-13 13:30:12

Hi girlracer I thought you were going to complain about the lack of good customer service but when I read your post it was about staff asking if you were ok=would you like some help.

I may be un popular with you for saying this but it is their job to ask that, they are probably bored out of their mind in a job they probably hate and are happy to see a face/customer that they may be able to pass some time with.

I always say, I'm fine thanks just looking, or if they are up for it I get them to help me decide what purchase to make, they usually do have valuable advise about their products.

Maybe seeing it from a different angle might make you a bit more tolerant of these poor

annodomini Tue 12-Mar-13 14:22:46

Does my silver hair entitle everyone to call me 'dear'? Somehow I don't mind 'love' so much because that seems to apply to any age group, but 'dear' pigeon-holes me as someone who needs help or protection. hmm

Bags Tue 12-Mar-13 14:38:56

Only if you interpret it that way. It has positive connotations as well. I don't understand why people get in such a stew about being called dear. It's not so very different from 'love' or 'pet' or 'my duck' or 'hen'. In fact, I don't think it's different at all.

If someone really is patronising you, that is their problem, not yours, if you simply choose to ignore it.

Bags Tue 12-Mar-13 14:40:02

Besides, what's wrong with needing help and protection? We all do, sometimes.

But I think it's wrong to assume that, especially when you can easily show anyone who might think that how mistaken they are.

JammieB Tue 12-Mar-13 15:12:07

We have a branch of Boots in our village, they have one of those ding dong things on the door, I can walk into the shop, find what I need off the shelves, go to the counter and wait............and wait............and wait! In the meantime I can hear them all chatting away in the dispensary! On several occasions I have just left my purchases on the counter and left - it never ceases to astound me how they get away with it! How hard could it be to just call out "be with you in a minute" - however they know there is nowhere else for us to go so treat their customers with total contempt. On another occasion there were two staff members stacking shelves, neither even glanced up when I entered - when I got to the counter I had to ask "am I invisible?" - if looks could have killed I would have been stone dead by now!

Deedaa Tue 12-Mar-13 20:29:28

I know I have said it before, but at M&S we were all told to say Thank you for Waiting which I always thought was a complete nonsense. But they had spent thousands on the course we all went on so it was all treated as Holy Writ.