Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Complaining

Do you complain to shops and businesses when the need arises?

Last night we went to the supermarket (turns out I do need to buy food after all) and I bought a squash. The cashier couldn't locate the exact item on the till so asked me how much it was, told her and she typed it in. When I got home I thought Id been overcharged so I weighed the squash and I believe I have been.

I decided to let it go. 

But then I decided not to let it go and, despite all my cringing and discomfort, wrote an email to the store about it. But instead of just saying "I was overcharged" I turned it into an email about hard to find items on the till. Oh my word, I think I was blushing as I typed. The thing is, had I dealt with it in the store I would have had no issue being blunt face-to-face. I think it's because it's such a small thing it seems more petty to deal with it after the fact that right there and then (when for various reasons I didn't pay enough attention). 

To make it clear, I didn't ask for my 50p back, just that it was a customer service issue that they might wish to look at. I think I felt particularly odd about it as after my week off I had totally forgotten how to work in a shop and my standards of customer service were certainly off their game yesterday, so am probably in no position to judge at all!

So, pointing things out, do you do it or let it slide?

24 comments:

  1. I went to our local lidl yesterday when I paid for the shopping the bill was €77 I looked at the shopping and thought that can't be right . I had been billed for some chocolate products instead of baguettes a difference of €13 , the girl tried to say the codes were the same but I have my doubts , if that was the case why wasn't it happening every time some bought a baguette . I got my money back any way .

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    1. Well spotted, that's a huge amount to be overcharged.

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  2. I will always complain if something isn't as it should be, sometimes I have been rewarded other times I have just had an apology.

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    1. I've noticed on most receipts there is an address to "tell us about your visit" so I suppose they rely on genuine feedback from customers.

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  3. It would depend on my frame of mind. If it was a small amount and a genuine error I would let it go, but if I thought it was a mistake from someone being careless or lazy I would have to point it out. X

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    1. I think that's why I sent the email, I'd been to Booths who pride themselves on their customer service, and I know that staff receive training on all the seasonal fruit and veg (we used to shop there all the time so have chatted to staff) so if someone has missed that or doesn't know the products I think they would like to know.

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  4. Sadly I am a bit of a pushover and generally let things slide, on the other hand my hubby would point out any error. We make a good team...

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    1. We work a bit like that. I think I've started giving more feedback as Dan is so keen on it. He's very keen to send off positive tweets and reviews of places we visit, as well as the very rare negative mention if the need arises.

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  5. I often feel sheepish when we've had really poor services in a restaurant about complaining even just to my co-diners and probably would never speak up there. As much as I thought I was a good server back in the days, I know I had some off days, so assume now that the worker tried to do their best. However, like you did, if it is systemic issues, likely an ongoing problem, I've sent an e-mail or two.

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    1. I agree with you. I know I had some nightmare shifts when I worked in hospitality and I agree that is quite different to something that's a basic issue that could and should be easily resolved.

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  6. I have been known to complain. I complained at my local Tesco the other week, as I can never find a trolley and there is a mad dash for any that become available. I was told by the manager, that apparently, they get stolen regularly for their scrap metal content and as the store is being redeveloped the company aren't currently investing in it. Having said this, the last time I visited the store they had bought some new ones, so I was happier.

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    1. Oh no, that must be so irritating, and although I understand their reasoning, it must be costing them some custom too. It looks like your comment helped which is good.

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  7. I always think it's best to politely point it out. Way back when I was a teenager I worked in a family run restaurant. The owner always said she would prefer a complaint to her face, which she could attempt to sort because if a customer when away unhappy they are unlikely to call again. I often find myself complaining at the supermarket (about food which is mouldy or out of date) and I'm often made to feel like a penny pincher!! But if the product is unfit to eat or in your case, not correctly priced, why shouldn't you complain. Sarah (ps. I always love reading your blog even though I don't often comment)

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    1. Thanks so much Sarah!

      I agree with you about a visit to somewhere like a restaurant, whenever I see on social media that someone has left a damning review where the issue could have been dealt with easily with a good outcome for all parties it rankles.

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  8. I do complain when the need arises but I also give praise where it is due. I am happy to ask to speak to a senior member of staff and praise someone who has gone out of their way to help.

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    1. Absolutely, I will always thank a helpful person and let management know if someone has done a fantastic job, thankfully that's something that happens much of the time.

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  9. Sometimes I do. If it's constructive criticism then the company can improve things. Whether I'm writing or in the shop I'm polite, but not apologetic.
    Arilx

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    1. That's a very good tone to take I think.

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  10. I have been a Sainsbury customer since the seventies except for a year or two at Asda and I use Tesco and Morrisons in Scotland - oh and Waitrose as a treat when we visit Sheffield - anyway a long time so I expect good customer service and I mostly get annoyed when they display a notice and then do not abide by it. Recently I returned an item of clothing on the last return date of 30 days and was told it was 28. I questioned this and the assistant said no it had changed but she would 'let me off this time'. Whilst waiting for her to complete the transaction I noticed the notice on the counter that said 30 days for returns! I took the notice and politely handed it to her and said she should not be displaying this. She told me to put the notice back - so I did face down and when I got home I rang the manager who did not even know what their returns policy was. On my next visit the counter notice had disappeared and they have updated their notices now. I had a similar do recently on the bread counter which closes now at 7pm and is displayed on a counter notice. So at 6.45 I went to have my loaf of bread sliced only to be told they were closed and they had cleaned down the machine. I asked for the manager and told him I don't mind if you need to clean down your machines before they close but their notice should say no facility to slice bread after 6.30pm He said they should be slicing bread and serving cakes right up to 7pm and there shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes I think they need to go shopping in their own stores to see how it is run. So yes I do complain but I also thank a particularly good assistant for their assistance.

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    1. Oooh, that would have displeased me, being told I was "let off". Glad to hear you had a positive interaction with the manager of your store about the bread, that conversation will have helped a number of people I would imagine.

      I think I must have been that way out yesterday as I had an issue with Sainsbury's too.

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  11. I'm 50/50 on this one - sometimes I follow it up, sometimes I let it slide. I am better with the email afterwards though, rather than the walking-back-to-the-till approach.

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    1. I do let certain things slide, everyone makes mistakes or has an off day in terms of service skills (I know I do, ask anyone at my shop on Tuesday!). I don't demand perfection but I do expect a certain level of service (don't ask anyone at my shop about that!).

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  12. I am different with different places. My favourite Thai restaurant has excellent service in their restaurant but we got a takeaway from them last weekend when we were at our friend's house. We ordered with Just Eat app which said the food would be there at 21.15. I then phoned the restaurant to let them know I didn't want mmushrooms in my Thai Green veg curry and I DID want the Tofu (they don't always put it in but sometimes do, so we always ask for it when we order it). The manager was super rude on the phone and said,"Yes, i heard you," when I phoned back to check that he had heard both instructions and hung up on me. At 22.00pm, the food still wasn't there so my friend called and was told, "It's on its way." and was hung up on. When it arrived 10 mins later, we ate our starters and when we got our main meals out, I discovered that though mine had the correct number on, it was Sweet and sour vegetables. No tofu- just nasty veg in a different sauce, not Thai Green curry with tofu. I HATE Sweet and Sour sauce so I was really annoyed, esp as I had phoned up to make sure that they would make it the way I liked it. The phone rang and rang and then was hung up and then finally I managed to get through 10 minutes later. The manager was trying to have a conversation in the background too and kept putting me on hold (someone was swearing in the background so I think they were having a rushed night) and then hung up on me. I gave up then and attempted to eat my (now cold) veg. I really wanted to complain when we went to the restaurant on Friday but the manager wasn't there and I was too embarrassed!

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    1. Oh no! That sounds like a disaster from start to finish, what a shame. Bad service is annoying, but at the end of it getting the wrong meal too just makes it worse.

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