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to expect a proper apology fro Mothercare for appalling service

(230 Posts)
ChrisandChristina Fri 11-Mar-11 19:17:24

I have vowed never to use Mothercare again.

A sales assistant was so rude to my wife in their Brighton shop that she was reduced to tears.

The manager was useless when I complained to her and simply waffled on about investigating the incident I.E standard meaningless management speak

When I complained in writing to Mothercare customer services they sent us a £15 gift card to 'offset our disapointment'.... what an insult.

I will never spend another penny with them.

Just wondered if this was common for them and what experiences other people had had there.

Driftwood999 Fri 11-Mar-11 19:19:47

What was your complaint? Something faulty that could not be replaced? Need more info before passing judgement smile

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 11-Mar-11 19:20:20

before the jury can wield the gavel we need to know what was said to your wife

SecretNutellaFix Fri 11-Mar-11 19:24:22

More info please. Will not give verdict without full disclosure.

unfitmother Fri 11-Mar-11 19:26:16

Don't know.

worraliberty Fri 11-Mar-11 19:26:33

I don't get how offering to investigate the incident is 'waffle and management speak'? confused

FoxyRevenger Fri 11-Mar-11 19:26:49

I'm not generally a fan of Mothercare, they were clueless and very rude when we were looking for advice on getting a car seat fitted, the store is generally filthy and the toilets....

I feel your pain!

nancydrewfoundaclue Fri 11-Mar-11 19:32:39

Depends what was said I suppose.

My mum had bad service whilst returning something on my behalf yesterday. The item was 3 weeks old and faulty and I wanted to exchange it for something else.

Assistant basically accused my mum of lying about how old item was. Manager was not very helpful either and despite my mum proving item was only three weeks old would only grudgingly offer an exchange and not for the item I wanted.

I emailed mothercare last night and they replied virtually by return apologising and offering me the item that I wanted (which is about £25) in addition to keeping the other exchanged item.

I actually thought that was pretty good customer service.

I emailed mothercare yesterday

IcingOnTheCakes Fri 11-Mar-11 19:33:34

I think the ops complaint was the fact the sales assistant was rude and made his wife cry.

jenga079 Fri 11-Mar-11 19:34:58

More info please... We can't tell if you're being un/reasonable until we know what you're being un/reasonable about smile

AppleyEverAfter Fri 11-Mar-11 19:35:35

If she was crying it must have been pretty harsh! Just today I have experienced rubbish customer service at an optician's... twice I was told to wait on a chair and within 10 seconds the same assistant asked me to move into a different part of the shop. A bit petty but it really wound me up as I am pregnant and was struggling with shopping bags! And she looked at me as if I was a piece of crap. Ooh, I'm ranting now!

jenga079 Fri 11-Mar-11 19:41:56

Not necessarily... I am pregnant and cry at ANYTHING! (See earlier post about DP having the audacity to fart wink) I'd definitely have cried if asked to move in the opticians.

PfftTheMagicDragon Fri 11-Mar-11 19:48:51

What else do you expect from MotherCrap?

Awful shop, not surprised you got bad service.

Driftwood999 Fri 11-Mar-11 19:51:01

In the absence of OP, I shall regale you all with my experience of working for Mothercare 30 years ago (seems like yesterday believe me) when I was 18. Anyway, the customer was always right, spelt ALWAYS. The group had been taken on by Jasper Conran. It was a time of plenty and if the customer returned a faulty pushchair or had concerns about safety buckles after using the item for two children, no problem, full refund (in some cases) or replacement was offered. Working on the customer service desk, always with a smile accepting poo stained clothing that had malfunctioned been outgrown Just a thought, management on up high had a rethink, based on people's willingness to take the piss out of the very excellent customer service that was offered. Even then, word got round.

chipmonkey Fri 11-Mar-11 20:33:55

Appley, complain about that assistant. I am an optometrist and I would hate for anyone who came in to our practice to be treated like that. Phone up and ask to speak to the practice manager.

ChrisandChristina Fri 11-Mar-11 20:37:36

Will try to add more details, however the wee one has been screaming the house down so may not be until tomorrow. Will start drafting and then cut and paste in.........

Driftwood999 Fri 11-Mar-11 20:43:17

Correction - Terrance Conran, not Jasper!

ChrisandChristina Fri 11-Mar-11 21:06:53

On 2nd March my wife attended the Brighton Mothercare and purchased various items of maternity wear which she needed after giving birth to our daughter. She selected some tops from the 3 for 2 promotion, one of these being a black and white striped nursing top. This came up at £14 on the tills and was the cheapest item so she got it free. In total she spent £160.95.

She was impressed with her purchases, so much so that we returned on 7th March to purchase more. She selected three of the same top intending to take advantage again of the 3 for 2 promotion.

Initially she was dealt with by a nice sales assistant with whom we have no compaint, however there was a query over the pricing of the tops and another member of staff took over. As the tops were in the sale, she stated that they were not part of the 3 for 2.

My wife explained that she had purchased an identical top in the promotion at that price and produced her original till receipt. She disputed this and stated that it could not have been the same top because the code was ‘clearly different’. As she said this she waved the receipt and the label under my wife’s nose. My wife pointed out that she was actually wearing the top; however this fell on deaf ears. She went on in this vein and basically accused my wife of lying about purchasing that top at that price.

What then followed was an embarrassing pseudo staff meeting where the sales assitant shouted across the shop to someone else demanding to know why no one had told her that those particular tops were now in the sale and ‘who had authorised them going in the sale’

My wife and her mother were left standing at the till area for several minutes feeeling rather awkward whilst this debacle unfolded in front of them. The staff member then literally stomped off to speak to a manager. I had been in another shop until this point, but returned to find my wife welling up and clearly distressed. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that the staff were arguing over the price of a top.

The sales assiatnt returned and stated that her manager had said she could not have the top at that price and that it should not have been sold to her at that price on the previous visit. She also stated that she’d need to take the details of the previous transaction in order that it could be investigated as the member of staff would need to be spoken to.

My wife became more upset, visibly so and yet she continued with her poor attitude.
We decided that we would not purchase anything in the shop and so left the tops and other items, despite my wife needing them desperately. When we went to leave she demanded that we hand over our original receipt again so that they could take the details of the staff member that served her so that she could be spoken to. We refused as we did not think it was fair that the original sales assistant should get in trouble through no fault of her own. She re-iterated that we ‘had to give it to her’. On principle we refused and left the store.

Once outside my wife broke down into tears and was literally sobbing. I left her mother to comfort her and went inside to obtain the sales assitants details to make a complaint. I saw that her name badge gave only her first name and very politely asked for her full name. I explained that my wife had been reduced to tears due to her conduct and that I intended to make a complaint. She refused to give me her full name and stated ‘I don’t have to give you that’ I pointed out that there may be more than one person of that name working for Mothercare and that it was not unreasonable to request her details. With that she put her hand up and arm outstretched towards my face and said “I don’t have to deal with this, I’m fetching my manager’. She then walked off and a short time later I was approached by the manager.

I explained to her that my wife had recently given birth and did not deserve to be reduced to tears due to the conduct of her staff. Instead of apologising at that point, she retorted that her member of staff was pregnant herself and was out the back of the shop in tears. She stated that part of her workplace risk assessment was that she had been instructed to walk away from any stressful situations. She continued to trot out management speak about ‘investigating the incident’ for over five minutes before finally apologising only after being prompted. She then asked what I expected of her.
I explained that a prompt and simple apology would have sufficed and that instead she had chosen to justify her appalling treatment with management hyperbole followed lastly by an insincere apology.
During the conversation, my wife returned however I asked her to wait outside as she was still visibly upset. The manager could have taken this opportunity to apologise to my wife, but did not.
It was then left to me to suggest that I provide my details so that she could ‘investigate’ the incident and report back to me in writing. It should not have been for me to suggest this.

I had no faith that the manager would deal with the incident and emailed Mothercare customer service. I received a reply the following day which did include an apology and a promise to refer the incident to the area manager. Although the sentiment appeared reasonable, the letter smacked of a stock response to a complaint rather than a considered response.

We were informed that they had sent out a good will gesture of a gift card to ‘offset’ the disapointment my wife had experienced.

We have today received the gift card through the post and was astounded to find that they considered £15 to be reasonable for the upset that my wife was caused. The purpose of my original complaint was never the pursuit of compensation, simply a sincere apology and an explanation of what they would do to ensure that it did not happen in the future.

As a new mum, any trip out with baby in these early days is a significant experience and my wife’s trip into Brighton was solely about visiting Mothercare and buying some much needed tops and breast pads. The poor experience she suffered, plus the subsequent distress and disappointment cannot be under estimated and certainly cannot be 'offset' by the offer provided by Mothercare.

I’ve rejected their offer and informed them that I’m sending it back to them. In response they’ve said that they did not mean to cause offence by the ‘goodwill gesture’ but that they would not extend it in anyway.
I stress that this really is not about compensation, however if they really believed that was the right path to go down, then £15 is well below the mark and frankly rather offensive.

Hope the detail helps.

nancydrewfoundaclue Fri 11-Mar-11 21:16:16

Seriously I think you are being massively oversensitive.


SecretNutellaFix Fri 11-Mar-11 21:19:16

I think that YANBU to expect a proper apology (which you got)- but you seem to think you are owed a hell of a lot more than a giftcard. Why?

Because a staff member refused to give you their full name- which by the way she was correct in refuseing to give it to you. Most retail companies have that policy. I have known a couple of people get stalked when full names were given.

Can I just ask- are you a tall/ big person? Were you taller and bigger than the staff member? If so, and she felt threatened she was well within her rights to physically stop you from coming closer by extending her arm.

The receipt being asked for was a reasonable request by the shop, yet you refused to give it- how else do you expect service to improve if you won't give the info that will allow those improvements?

If your attitude in store was as arsey as it comes across, then, IMO you behaviour was unreasonable.

Driftwood999 Fri 11-Mar-11 21:22:20

It takes time to adjust to having a baby, and well done getting your wife out of the house. One does feel a little fragile and coming across people that do not instantly accommodate you can be upsetting. It sounds to me as if there was an intial mistake on pricing, which your wife was fortunate to benefit from. This was explained> Imo you should have accepted the situation gracefully, an intial mistake does not give you automatic rights. Why expend your energy in this way, you have been given an apology and a voucher, peace man {smile]

hocuspontas Fri 11-Mar-11 21:22:43

If the tops were priced up as 3 for 2 on your 2nd visit then you are only being slightly unreasonable.

If the tops weren't priced up as 3 for 2 on your 2nd visit then you are being very unreasonable and completely overreacting.

LowRegNumber Fri 11-Mar-11 21:28:11

IT is pretty standard practice for 3for2 to be removed once something is in the sale.

TBH this all sounds like a big hoo-haa over nothing. Your wife was emotional, the staff were a bit rubbish... other than that a normal shopping trip!

supersewer Fri 11-Mar-11 21:34:10

take a deep breath and get a jojo maman bebe catalogue!!

LadyBiscuit Fri 11-Mar-11 21:35:34

I'm sorry but you lost all credibility at your wife 'desperately needing' nursing tops. Yes, they're nice but they're not ever something anyone desperately needs.

YABU and sound a right pain in the arse

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