To think the customer service in WH Smiths is crap?

(96 Posts)
YourHandInMyHand Sat 09-Feb-13 22:16:45

I went in WH Smiths today with DS who has autism to choose some board games and learning toys, we also bought books and magazines. We were in there nearly half an hour, my arms getting gradually fuller and fuller, no staff offered to help, asked if I needed anything, or asked if I'd like a basket/stuff putting near the till, etc. I spotted at least 4 shop floor members of staff milling around.

I went to the till with nearly £90 worth of stuff, waited in line for ages, then was told if I wanted bags I'd have to pay 10p per bag or "how was you intending on carrying them home?" - said with a don't care stare. I don't even care about having to pay for a bag for life it was more the attitude of the person on the till, almost like she wanted me to be arsey with her! Which I wasn't, I've worked in many customer service roles and wouldn't dream of being rude to anyone serving me in a shop/pub/café/restaurant.

I came away wondering why I didn't just buy them all cheaper on Amazon/ebay, and amazed they are still in business. hmm This was a LOT of money for me to spend, but even if I was buying a 20p newspaper a smile and friendly manner wouldn't have gone amiss.

nancy75 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:23:58

Everything about wh smiths is crap, their stuff is overpriced, their shops are untidy badly laid out and never have what you want and their staff, if you can find them, desperately need customer service training.

usualsuspect Sat 09-Feb-13 22:26:45

The bags were only 1p the last time I was in there

slatternlymother Sat 09-Feb-13 22:27:06

I'm sure they used to be better a few years back.

They seem to be turning into a tat shop; and their stores are always untidy and cramped.

threepiecesuite Sat 09-Feb-13 22:27:26

I was after some stationery in there today but couldn't even get 3ft into the shore with my slim Maclaren buggy so god help anyone with a proper pram or using a wheelchair. Too much shite lying around on ends of aisles. Horrid shopping experience. They'll be next to go, I'm fairly sure of that.

MrsDoomsPatterson Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:51

Whs ain't going anywhere! They're doing well.

nancy75 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:53

I don't think they will be the next to go, they take a lot of money in their train station stores and they have opened post offices in many of their branches. They are still crap though!

usualsuspect Sat 09-Feb-13 22:30:42

It's a shame really.I've always liked Smiths.

Very true about the cluttered aisles. I was thoroughly pissed off with it the last time I was in there with the pushchair (a Bee, so tiny). Then I saw a woman in a wheelchair, one with her legs stretched out straight in front of her. She had no bloody chance of getting round. She kept going down aisles and then having to be pulled back by the person she was with. Was a disgrace.

KeepingCalmAndPostingNicely Sat 09-Feb-13 22:30:48

They lost me when they kept on relentlessly trying to make you buy a bloody Terry's Chocolate Orange or a 500lb bar of Galaxy every time you went to the till with the bloody Radio Times or whatever. Horrible shop and I'm sure there must be a reason the staff are always so angry - I expect the management treat them like shit.

cq Sat 09-Feb-13 22:30:49

Totally agree. Our local WHSmith is dirty, crappy and scruffy, always understaffed and overcrowded. Nightmare to get round with a buggy. Staff don't care.

My DNiece found £20 on the floor in there once, she was over the moon, me and my sister made her do the right thing and hand it in. We left her name and a contact number in case it was unclaimed. 2 weeks later went back in to enquire, was met with a blank stare from the manager who said, it wasn't written in the message book, therefore it never happened. Basically implying we were all liars. Couldn't have been one of his surly staff just pocketing it, oh no. Didn't even apologise for what might have been a mix up or try and be pleasant about it.

What kind of a lesson has DNiece learnt from that? Next time she finds anything she'll think twice before handing it in. angry

Pancakeflipper Sat 09-Feb-13 22:32:25

Awful place. I had a lively discussion with a sales assistant once about their rudeness. A shame as they were a high street fav but in recent years I wonder how they aren't another in administration. .

usualsuspect Sat 09-Feb-13 22:32:59

I've never had a problem with the staff TBH

YourHandInMyHand Sat 09-Feb-13 22:33:13

Yep our town centre Post Office has moved into the WHSmiths too, we also have a train station branch. The man in the train station one made DS cry last time we went in there!

I have looked on amazon and ebay and will be taking a couple of the items back for a refund as I've bought them online cheaper and didn't get scowled at during the purchasing process.

usualsuspect the 10p bags were the big sized plastic bags for life, as I had a few large board games that wouldn't fit in a cheap, smaller carrier bag.

MrsDoomsPatterson Sat 09-Feb-13 22:34:54

Staff always lovely in my local, the manager is a top bloke too, always visible, staff seem to love him.

ledkr Sat 09-Feb-13 22:36:42

I agree apart from them not offering you a basket when carrying stuff in your arms. You were in smiths not Harrods grin

usualsuspect Sat 09-Feb-13 22:36:48

I don't think you can judge all the staff on one arsey one.

IrnBruChew Sat 09-Feb-13 22:37:37

I used to work in WH Smiths, one of the train station shops. We had to push packets of sweets on customers when nuying papers etc.I never even tried, it's a shit way to get sales. If they want sweets they'll buy the fucking sweets!! Management are shocking, don't give a shit.

lastSplash Sat 09-Feb-13 22:38:45

Stopped going in there because of the chocolate/random shite pushing at the till...

lastSplash Sat 09-Feb-13 22:39:54

crosspost IrnBru. I did feel sorry for the sales assistants who had to hassle customers too.

nancy75 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:41:13

I think the not offering a basket is pretty bad, from a shops point of view you want the customer to buy as much as possible, if their arms are full and they are struggling to carry stuff they will stop browsing and go straight to the till, if the staff offer assistance the customer is likely to carry on shopping and buy more stuff, watching a customer struggle shows the staff have not received proper customer service training.

Awks Sat 09-Feb-13 22:41:45

Whoever thinks that tillpoint conversations don't increase sales, is an idiot.

WH Smiths are a trusted brand and will be around for yonks, and nope, I dont work for them.

MrsDoomsPatterson Sat 09-Feb-13 22:43:01

Nothing to stop op asking for a basket though.

mammmamia Sat 09-Feb-13 22:45:30

Awful. I hate them trying to sell you sweets at the till as well. Although I do feel a bit sorry for the staff who have to ask though.

YourHandInMyHand Sat 09-Feb-13 22:46:31

I'm not normally the sort of customer that want's following round the shop being offered "assistance" at all but on this occasion when I was obviously struggling, it would have made sense IMO for one of them to kindly say "do you want me to go grab you a basket?" Honestly I had loads, as well as DS's overnight bag, a bag of groceries, etc and was trying to keep an eye on DS who is like a large excited 3 year old in the body of a 10 year old (well behaved but bouncy and flappy and excited). Just a sympathetic bit of eye contact and an are you ok even would have done. It's not like they could have not seen us, we were in there ages and DS doesn't exactly blend into a crowd. smile

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