pushy marketing at the till

(47 Posts)
YBR Wed 26-Jun-13 08:06:05

It feels like every time I go to the Post Office/WHsmiths/Costa/Upper crust/Pumpkin etc this they're not listening.

If I go to buy stamps they push insurance, if it's a tea they push food, and if it's a snack they push a hot drink. I realise that these people's bosses expect them to do this in the hope of making more sales, and consequently I say clearly and politely as I approach the till that I only want this item. I'm fed up with being ignored and having to repeat "No, I only want this."

Does anyone think a clear statement should be accepted by till staff the first time, so I don't get marketed-at?

kim147 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:09:20

My Post Office seem determined to get me to buy a lottery ticket.

threepiecesuite Wed 26-Jun-13 08:10:39

Wilko and Claire's Accessories also bad for this.

Our Post Office is the worst. I went to get a passport application form. None out, so had to ask. Had to go into a booth for an 'interview' which basically involved the staff member asking when/where I was going - then heavily trying to push the Check and Send service as 'recommended', travel insurance, currency and a credit card for abroad. None of which I wanted. She wasn't happy.

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 08:14:04

superdug lady asked me if I was interested in some fake eyelashes on offer at the counter she got this confused face and a DO I LOOK LIKE I WEAR EYELASHES , Pushing offers and whatnot on people really annoys me and i always just say NO im fine thanks then dont engage

They literally HAVE to ask. You are better of letting them do it and then saying no. I agree it's fucking irritating though. It's irritating when you are the staff and you have to do something you know will irritate the customer.

freddiefrog Wed 26-Jun-13 08:18:26

No, it drives me mad. I just want to buy my stuff and leave, not enter negotiations into whether I want a storecard/stamps/insurance/whatever. I've selected my purchases, if I wanted all these extras I'd've picked them up in the first place

Superdrug are the worst for it, they always seem determined to sell me phone credit and won't take no for an answer.

DeepRedBetty Wed 26-Jun-13 08:21:26

A loud 'no thank you' with something rather like a death-stare normally stops the WHSmith chocolate selling in its tracks. You'd think they'd know by now though, it's not a very big shop, I go fairly often, and haven't ever, ever said 'yes' in three or four years since they started this mullarkey.

To be fair, my bank has now given up attempting to upgrade my account/get an ISA/re-mortgage. All five of the staff remember the slight meltdown when I threatened to move my overdraft elsewhere if I heard another word of spiel about such things when I'd been stuck in the queue behind a man paying in a week's worth of takings in cash and a very old lady rather confused about her savings and I could see the warden homing in on my car.

Trills Wed 26-Jun-13 08:21:33

Someone somewhere has a spreadsheet.

They believe that the number of customers who will leave in disgust and never return is outweighed by the number who will think "oh yes I will have a biscuits/stamps/travel insurance actually, thanks".

Tee2072 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:21:46

Every time I go to the Post Office they ask me if I want to buy long distance service, as I am American.

"No." I always reply. "I don't call my American family. I hate them." Big grin. "Have a nice day!"


mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 08:22:10

I can Imagine the till assistants dont like doing it either they sort of need to push the offers dont they

VivaLeBeaver Wed 26-Jun-13 08:25:33

I was in Clarks yesterday and the manager was giving two of the staff a bollocking. Saying that they weren't doing enough till sales of stuff like leather protector, etc. It was affecting the shop's targets and she was getting grief from head office.

So yes, they do have to do it. I know they have to, but people have always been OK when I've said "no, thanks".

strawberryswing Wed 26-Jun-13 08:25:52

Its so irritating. I had to do this when I worked in retail and till staff do get in trouble if they're caught not asking.

However once a customer says no then its a no, simple as that. Its completely rude to actually ignore the customer and carry on pushing and its different to asking once because you have to.

RedPencils Wed 26-Jun-13 08:26:37

I try not to get too narked because they're only doing their job and would probably get in trouble if they don't ask.

Particularly annoying is costa asking if you want the giant size or whatever poncey word they use to try and trick you into buying a bucket of overpriced cold coffee.

ElleMcFearsome Wed 26-Jun-13 08:27:32

AFAIK it's mandated by the companies and the staff are told to upsell. Same at the staff on supermarket checkouts commenting on purchases (as per a thread past). The staff don't want to do it either - it's bloody company policy. It drives me mad too, but I try to smile and be polite. Write/email/phone the customer relations part of said company and tell them you find it objectionable? Maybe then everyone will stop having to partake in it?

ElleMcFearsome Wed 26-Jun-13 08:27:56

Massive x-posts with many grin

I work in retail and there are times when you have a massive list of questions that you HAVE to ask. "are you interesterd in this or that deal today?", "Are you collecting....?", and even worse "WHat is your postcode???!!!"" I can understand how frustrating it is for customers but believe me, it's far worse as a cashier, having to repeat the same thing over and over. I even end up saying it in my sleep! grin

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 08:32:18

what is the WHat is your post code thing about ? TBH although it is annoying I am never rude and the superdrug woman did laugh when i said do i look like I wear lashes, but it would be nice just to get your stuff and leave

raisah Wed 26-Jun-13 08:33:00

Kim147 the next time they push lottery tickets say that you are a JW/Mormon/ Muslim/Christian (delete as required) & gambling is against your religion!
It works for me every time!

MyChemicalMummy Wed 26-Jun-13 08:33:42

We have to do it or face a disciplinary. We don't like doing it, but we have to so that we keep our jobs.

YBR Wed 26-Jun-13 08:34:23

I know till staff have to ask, and realise that local manages get grief from their head offices. I just wish the whole system would accept that when we customers state clearly that we only want this then we're not going to say yes to that.

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 08:34:40

Same at the staff on supermarket checkouts commenting on purchases (as per a thread past

DD works in a supermarket and they HAVE to ask and interact with customers , fwiw she thinks it is rude commenting on peoples shopping but they are told too,

I had a emoish looking young guy mumble ask me if I was having a nice day in Primark bless him he looked so awkward putting bras and pants in my bag grin

AuraofDora Wed 26-Jun-13 08:35:37

It doesn't really work though IMHO it just causes long ques and pissed off faces ... don't them with the spreadsheets and fat pay packets who thought up the idea not have to think up a better idea instead of inflicting this kind of ridiculous retail rigmarole on the rest of us.

treaclesoda Wed 26-Jun-13 08:39:02

what I don't understand is the 'did you get everything you were looking for today?'. I foolishly answered 'no, actually' once, thinking the cashier would tell me if they actually sold the thing I was looking for, or if it was sold out or whatever, but actually she shrugged and said 'oh', then carried on. Not much point asking then, was there? confused

cardamomginger Wed 26-Jun-13 08:42:51

Hate this. Gives me the rage when then do it in my local Post Office, where the staff are always unbearably slow and the queue is inevitably out the door.

FrenchRuby Wed 26-Jun-13 09:19:27

I know it's annoying but they get in trouble if they don't ask, I used to work at Claire's and had to ask people and hated it because no one wants the random tat by the till but my manager used to have a go at me if I didn't ask. Just say no thanks and don't get annoyed at the till person, they're only doing as they're told.

Tabliope Wed 26-Jun-13 09:30:51

Hate this too. Especially at the bank. I want to pay a cheque in and go. Instead they scrutinise my account balance, which I find rude, then try to sell me something. I say "no, thanks" and they say "are you sure", "it won't long" etc, forcing me to repeat myself. I want to go in, pay it in and leave. I do not want to engage. If I want anything I'll either ask or in a shop have it already among the things I'm buying.

I agree with FrenchRuby. The sales staff HAVE to ask, my cousin works in a shop and hates it but has to ask customers to try and push further sales. She's trying to find a different job now.

mrsjay Wed 26-Jun-13 09:33:13

MY mum works in a tiny CO OP and they need to do it as well it isnt just big shops they have till promos every week

StuntGirl Wed 26-Jun-13 09:40:15

Sales staff are required to do this, its non negotiable.

It does work, which is why companies do it. You might not be buying it, but enough other people are to make it worthwhile to continue.

madamehooch Wed 26-Jun-13 09:43:35

We have to ask. A simple 'no thank you' usually does the trick. There is no need to give retail staff a 'killer death stare.' We don't need to feel like dog muck on the bottom of your shoe thank you.

I remember asking one particular customer if she needed a bag. Her reply was "You people really annoy me. How on earth do you think I'm going to carry this without a bag? (It was one book...)

P.S The times I don't ask customers if they have a loyalty card, they inevitably produce one after their purchase and ask to have the points addedsmile

Graceparkhill Wed 26-Jun-13 09:49:26

My DS used to work in retail and "up selling" was compulsory. They used to live in fear of the mystery shopper reporting them so always complied even when it was obvious the customer would not be interested.
Maybe a Mumsnet campaign could be considered-targeted at the owners and not the frontline staff?

YBR Wed 26-Jun-13 10:36:11

grace I agree with a campaign targeted at higher-ups.
Why should staff be forced to annoy (some) customers? The idea that they have to follow the "up-selling" script regardless of what the customer says is bad customer service and bad for staff morale.

Kafri Wed 26-Jun-13 12:01:14

I used rework in a bank and hated the sell sell sell thing.

My boss would come to my desk each morning and ask 'now Kafri, how many mortgage appointments are you going to get me today' in an unbearably fake happy bouncy tone.

My reply was always 'well (boss) it all depends on who walks through those doors today'

Given that the branch I worked in was in a uni city, most of my customers were students panicking about reaching the end of their overdraft.

Leaving was the best move I made.

stupidlybroody Wed 26-Jun-13 12:18:11

As a checkout assistant I know it is annoying. And some people are really rude when you try to sell them something. If I had the choice I would not bother, but are sales are recorded and I have to hot an average upselling sale of one customer in 30. If I didn't actively upsell I would get a disciplinary which I obviously don't want on my record.

Madlizzy Wed 26-Jun-13 12:29:41

If you don't want it, just smile and say "No, thank you" politely. It doesn't hurt. We're merely following instructions and there's no need to be rude to us.

BornToFolk Wed 26-Jun-13 12:35:02

If you don't want it, just smile and say "No, thank you" politely. It doesn't hurt.

That's always what I do, and I've never had anyone push the issue after that.

It's one of those mild irritations of modern life but it's not worth getting shirty with the poor sales assistants about. They are probably more pissed off at having to ask the same bloody question over and over! At least as a customer, you only hear it once...

quoteunquote Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:02

I just say, (directed at anyone senior) I think it is really unfair that (name or company) makes it's staff, ask the customers to buy extras, very silly policy.

treaclesoda Wed 26-Jun-13 13:09:23

I really feel sorry for the frontline staff who have to do this, as it seems most of them hate it. However, you do very occasionally get the overenthusiastic sales person who insists that you must want to buy that bar of chocolate or whatever, go on, you know you want it, treat yourself etc. It baffles me. I always wonder if they are auditioning for the Apprentice and have boasted that they can sell something to anyone, whether they want it or not, and there are hidden cameras somewhere monitoring my reaction.

HeffalumpTheFlump Wed 26-Jun-13 14:40:47

I was moaning about this just yesterday. I broke our aerial connector and so had to go to maplin to get a new one. I reserved it and picked it up in store. I had evidently been exposed to their range of products online and had made the decision to only buy the adapter.

The guy at the till was so pushy, trying to get me to buy garden lamps ("but they are solar!!" So? I still don't have a bloody garden!), batteries ("how sure are you that you have enough though?") and a USB stick. This went on for a good few minutes until I snapped a bit and told him that if I wanted those things I would have bloody well asked for them. angry

EarlyInTheMorning Wed 26-Jun-13 14:45:23

I absolutely hate it but it isn't their fault, they HAVE to ask. A lifetime ago when I was a waitress I HAD to ask customers if they wanted extra bread, a side salad, push deserts, insist on them having a starter.... I used to cringe!!!

TSSDNCOP Wed 26-Jun-13 15:13:22

We have to ask for customers names and contact info. We are not allowed to say why.

We are graded on it.

Please know that I hate doing it. And when someone dead eyes me and says no, I want to curl up and cry.

It's horrible. Please don't blame the shop staff. They'd give anything not to have to do it.

catsmother Wed 26-Jun-13 15:59:05

The thing about Smiths in particular is that you have to practically climb over crates of confectionary to get anywhere remotely near a till, so it's doubly annoying and intelligence insulting to then be asked if you want some bargain chocolate once you've negotiated the sweetie assault course - if you did fancy some chocolate you could hardly fail to have noticed it en route to the cashier ! (not that that's the fault of the serving staff)

I'd like to see Jasmine and Prudith from "Sorry I've Got No Head" in Smiths being asked if they want a mega block of Dairy Milk for "just £1.50" ..... "a thousand pounds, a thousand pounds. That's ridiculous a thousand pounds. I shan't pay - a thousand pounds little man" etc etc etc ad infinitum ..... "I hope you have a heatwave and drown in a puddle of melted Lindt - come Jasmine, let us hire a private jet to the depths of Ecuador where we shall pluck our own cacao pods by the light of a full moon and sip handmade cocoa surrounded by unicorns".

That'd show 'em.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Wed 26-Jun-13 16:12:49

Worst part of the WHSmiths half price chocolate is that it's not actually half price. You can still get whatever they're offering cheaper in a supermarket.


StuntGirl Wed 26-Jun-13 16:28:45

"The thing about Smiths in particular is that you have to practically climb over crates of confectionery to get anywhere remotely near a till, so it's doubly annoying and intelligence insulting to then be asked if you want some bargain chocolate once you've negotiated the sweetie assault course" grin

Complain away - as long as you complain to the CEO's and upper management and not the front line staff - but expect bugger all to change. Honestly, I know you think no one buys it but my company makes a considerable fortune from the small £1 items we add on to our sales. Sometimes things cost as little as 30p or so to produce and we sell them for £1; that's a huge profit margin, and enough people buy them to make it worthwhile to the business. Baring in mind the business - like many - is struggling for moeny. So that extra few hundred (or thousand depending how lucky you are) that you make can be all the difference to your targets.

Now if everyone boycotted it and stopped buying anything extra ever at the tills - that would work.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 26-Jun-13 18:00:46

You know why they have to do it?if they get a mystery vip shopper and they dont do it it will show up on the report,theyll get pulled up on it.at least theyre treating everyone as a vip.

MrsMook Wed 26-Jun-13 18:15:31

Another former Claires employee here. There were a lot of standard lines we were expected to say to each customer, all of which were annoying. How many customers really do need a basket, then some help choosing a hair clip??? Beware the wrath of the area manager if you mess up with your mystery customer. Sigh.

FrenchRuby Wed 26-Jun-13 19:55:30

Claire's is hands down the worst place I've ever worked. Just awful.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now