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Sales assistants that pounce on you

(63 Posts)
TrendyNannie6 Thu 16-Jan-20 17:52:57

One of my big pet hates when I go shopping, Today went into a well known furniture store, I swear hadn’t taken half dozen steps in before being pounced on, can I help you madam, no thanks I said just browsing, within less than a minute another man carrying a clip board Hi can I help you anything in particular you are looking for, now I understand they would like to make a sale, but it’s very off putting when you have already explained you are browsing and don’t need any advise help. So after five mins out I go to one further along the retail outlet which allowed plenty of time before asking the dreaded words , Can I help you, and yes I’m well aware they are being told to do this, I’ve worked in retail myself for 40 years never in a furniture shop though,

Hetty58 Thu 16-Jan-20 17:55:24

I just say 'No' and march off (can't be bothered to thank or explain).

felice Thu 16-Jan-20 18:11:53

The ones I hate here are The Body Shop and the fancy perfume/cosmetic shops.
In The Body Shop with DD once and a young assistant was shadowing us everywhere. Everytime we looked at something she pounced. Showing us all the different products and watching us very closely. Eventually DD informed here that we were not planning to steal anything and could decide for ourselves.
In the posh place near here I was looking for a particular eyeshadow, could not find it and the hovering non-advertisement for cosmetics pulled out one in the exact opposite colour. DGS said so and followed up with Grandma doesn't want to look like you anyway. Why do you have all that stuff on your face blush. I have never gone back.

Doodledog Thu 16-Jan-20 18:12:29

I think that a lot of their pay is commission, so every sale counts. Furniture is expensive, so one sale will represent a bigger bonus than in other types of store.

I find it's one extreme or another. Assistants either pounce like you describe, or completely ignore customers.

I was recently in John Lewis carpet department and had a few questions. The assistant was sitting at a table dong paperwork, and looked irritated when I asked him for help (and I had to go and get him, which was annoying).

I also find that John Lewis assistants in the technology department are inclined to ignore me, as they seem think that I am either going to be hard work and not understand the products, or that I won't buy anything. In fact I have always been an early adopter of technology, and have ore disposable income than I did when I was younger.

MissAdventure Thu 16-Jan-20 18:17:05

We have a shop which sells lots of different stuff; like a pound shop but more expensive, although still cheaper than most shops.
As soon as my head even turns towards the shop, the assistant comes out and starts browbeating me, asking me what I'm looking for..

I haven't been in there for ages now, because it's really off putting.

Charleygirl5 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:37:52

Many years ago I ventured into a clothes shop. Nothing was priced so I knew I probably could not afford to buy anything. Two steps inside the door a sales assistant tagged on to me and when I said I did not want/need any help she said she was not allowed to leave me so I walked out.

Sara65 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:43:58

The worst shop for this is Lush. They pounce on you before you’re over the threshold, then follow you around with a running commentary on everything you as much as glance at.

My granddaughter and I were really put off the last time we went.

H1954 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:48:43

I'm a bit mischievous I'm afraid; if the mood takes me I make a comment along the lines of:

Shoe shop assistant........"Can I help you "?
Me.........."yes, I'm looking to buy a loaf of bread"!

They soon bugger off 🤣🤣🤣

Charleygirl5 Thu 16-Jan-20 18:49:51

One wonders how these folk shop themselves. Do they like shop assistants breathing down their necks?

My favourite is Debenhams- I see young people being pounced upon and offered heaven knows what when walking through the cosmetic area. I think they take one look at me and think there is little point wasting time there so I have an inunterrupted journey through it to other areas.

sodapop Thu 16-Jan-20 19:06:56

It's getting the happy medium isn't it. You either can't find an assistant or they pounce on you, both extremes are annoying.

JenniferEccles Thu 16-Jan-20 19:18:34

I can’t say I’ve noticed it much here but certainly abroad in countries like Turkey.

I’m not talking about street traders but normal shop keepers who stand outside the shop trying to lure people in .

Once inside I am invariably followed around , which of course results in me walking out.

I guess once they find out we are British they think we are rich pickings!

Kittye Thu 16-Jan-20 19:24:46

H1954 can’t wait to try that one 😂

CanadianGran Thu 16-Jan-20 19:45:58

I understand that a lot of shops pay commission to their staff, so i generally say 'no thanks, just browsing', but will find the staff member that initially asked me if i need assistance. That way they get the commission.

I find some of our department stores that used to be known for their customer service now have no staff in sight. Disappointing, since I feel that is part of the shopping experience. Otherwise I could just order on-line and not be bothered actually interacting with a person.

NotAGran55 Thu 16-Jan-20 19:49:43

Lush assistants are off the scale . Nothing on earth would get me into one of their shops ever again .
They are so thick skinned and almost impossible to shake off . They drove me mad before Christmas when I was asked specifically to shop there for a gift for a relative .
The irony was I would have probably spent more if they had left me alone - I grabbed one item and left as fast as I could.

LullyDully Thu 16-Jan-20 19:50:36

I think you can handle this politely and firmly. What also annoys me is when the assistants ignore me as they did the other day.

Septimia Thu 16-Jan-20 19:59:33

I had the opposite experience to being pounced on in a moderately (but not hugely) expensive shoe shop.

I arrived and browsed a bit, then looked for help. the manager told me to sit down and someone would be with me shortly. I sat. They served the customers already there, then the ones who came in after me. When the shop was empty, I was still sitting there (and had been for over 30 mins) and all the staff, manager included, were standing at the other end of the shop talking.

I was quite visible, so what did they think I was sitting there for? No-one approached me so I stormed out, using the door which meant I had to pass them. At that point, something was finally said but I made it quite clear that they were far too late!

Parklife1 Fri 17-Jan-20 10:34:30

I agree about the John Lewis technology department and JL in general. I had terrible trouble trying to speak to someone when my Apple Watch failed after less than a year. There was a techie man, but the queue was enormous. It took forever to be served and then it had to be replaced.

There seem to be few staff around in all departments. We wanted advice on a particular pan and no one could advise. We went elsewhere.

I agree that you are pursued in some places though. Lush is one such.

pamcuthbert Fri 17-Jan-20 10:37:45

Sarah65 - my daughter works there & hates having to do this! However it’s either that or she will lose her job! Spare a thought for all those workers stuck in this situation. Why not write to Mark Constantine (the owner of Lush) & express your feelings? I think Lush in particular have this wrong & rather than encouraging sales, it discourages! Lush owners take note please.

frankie74 Fri 17-Jan-20 10:38:36

I live in France and it's the same here (why not?) The last time it happened I was definitely being shadowed, so I turned round and asked why the assistant was following me, as I could practically hear her breathing. She apologised and went off to pester someone else

25Avalon Fri 17-Jan-20 10:41:16

I can remember as a child when you didn't dare set foot in a shop unless you were serious about buying something as you were immediately pounced on with no browsing. Woolworths was one of the few places you could go in without fear of this and be able to browse around.
I don't find it too bad today as once you have said "no thanks" they don't stand by your shoulder and intimidate you .

Lizzies Fri 17-Jan-20 10:43:39

I saw somewhere about a store that had different coloured baskets, one to indicate that you would like help and the other that you did not. As usual I cannot remember where I saw it or which store it was!smile

Nannyknee Fri 17-Jan-20 10:44:04

My pet hate is as soon as you walk in a shop the assistant says You Alright’. What’s that supposed to mean. My husband usually say no I’m not well today 😩

J52 Fri 17-Jan-20 10:49:44

I too hate being pounced on. However, while doing my Christmas shopping for perfume in Boots and Debenhams I allowed two assistants to help me. I knew what I wanted, but went along with the ‘talk’ . The result was beautifully gift wrapped presents and several free samples for me.
So not all bad.

inishowen Fri 17-Jan-20 10:50:50

Just say you'll come and find them if need any help

EllieB52 Fri 17-Jan-20 10:51:30

I got immediate service from one of the techie guys in a John Lewis when I was looking at the Mac computers (for myself). Maybe because my 37 year old son was with me 😠!