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Or are shop assistants (clothes shops, specifically) getting increasingly annoying

(85 Posts)
BakerStreetSaxRift Thu 14-Nov-13 14:35:19

Or did I just not used to notice it?

Today I went into a well known underwear shop, it's one haven't really been in since my student days (5 years ago).

So I walk in and there is the standard girl there to say hello, I thought, so I say hello and try to walk on passed but instead we do that thing where you try and go to her right, then left and she goes that way too and kept blocking me off then walked along beside me so she could ask what it was I was in looking for today, did I need any help, etc. This annoys me! If I want help, I'll ask, you've said hello so I know you are there. angry So I just say "I'm just browsing, thanks" and walk on.

So I go and pick up a bra to try and keep walking around looking when another girl comes over to ask if I off help. "No thank you", then another girl comes up to ask me "Did you not see the matching pants?" I say I did, and try to continue browsing, she follows me to tell me where the pants are or I can get the thong if I would prefer? I hate when they do this. I'm choosey about pants! I only get them from M&S and if they're not a PERFECT match, I can live with it, so shoot me But it's like they are judging you and giving the cat's bum face to make you get the pants too.

Then, in another shop, tried to go into the changing rooms to try on a jumper, no assistant there so I go on in myself when one runs across the shop to ask if I want to try that on? Well, yes, clearly! Then she takes it off me to walk me the 2 metres to the changing room of her choice (the first one), and then closes the curtain for me. I like to pick my own changing room down near the back, and close the curtain so I it is sealed with no gaps grin

Then, when you try and pay, they don't stop their conversation to say thank you, or they act like you are rude for interrupting their conversation to pay.

And why don't shops seem to have mirrors in them anymore? Sometimes I like to hold things against me in the mirror to decide if I like it enough to try it on, so I look around and there is one tiny one on the other side of the shop.


Disclaimer: I might just be in a bad mood as I've just had to pay £130 for a new passport and am trying to fill the 4 hours while I wait for it by hemorrhaging more money

Allthingsprettyreturns Sun 17-Nov-13 22:07:13

Op I got 'ok then' in a sarky tone when I said no to matching pants whem buying a bra recently.I was not expecting the sarky reply and just wanted to get out of the shop asap

Fecklessdizzy Sat 16-Nov-13 16:31:18

Two words for all you haters - Secret Shoppers - blame those fuckers not the poor old shop assistants. You miss one of those bastards and they submit a 6 page report detailing how you failed to do all the annoying stuff that people are ranting about up thread and your manager gets it in the neck and so do you! Spawn of Satan, I tells 'ee!

( PS. Guess who missed one last week ... grin )

CiderBomb Fri 15-Nov-13 13:08:53

I don't know anyone who enjoys being hum bugged by sales assistants whilst trying to do their shopping. I've not idea why companies keep pushing their staff into doing it? If I want help I will ask for it. Please leave me alone to browse in peace!

The absolute worst for it are The Body Shop and Lush. I've stopped shopping there now because I was sick and tired of being jumped on within about a second of entering the store. One time in Lush I was approached by about four sales assistants within less than five minutes, it was infuriating!

BakerStreetSaxRift Fri 15-Nov-13 11:22:02

Yes the asking you at the till if you want any of the tat there on special offer is really annoying too. WHS is bad for that, and the Lego shop, and Accessorize. Or when you're in an underwear shop and they look at the bra you're buying, feign looking for the pants, then say "didn't you pick up the matching pants?" shock angry Just fuck right off, would you?

But the one place I actually like it when they do it is Superdrug; "Do you want any stamps or phone top-ups today?" Oh stamps! Yes please! Honestly, if it wasn't for Superdrug, none of my family would get their birthday cards on time, they are the reason I am always known for having a supply of stamps in my purse. smile

moobaloo Fri 15-Nov-13 09:44:03

I am a hugely antisocial shopper and find it very annoying if shop assistants say anything more than "hello" usually!

However I work in a ladies clothing boutique! I have devised my own way of approaching customers as I am pretty good at reading body-language etc. in people and know how annoying it can be.

There are roughly 3 types of people.

1. avoid eye contact, mumble hello if you talk to them, no thanks I'm just browsing, uptight and very "no contact" feel about them. I leave these alone, they get "Hello, are you happy browsing? Yes you're very welcome, please feel free to look around" and "Thank you" as they leave. I'm not going to push them if they don't like it.

2. also not interested in communicating very much, but slightly more friendly and relaxed. These are the hardest as some of them DO want you to talk to them, but on their terms. Watch and wait until they look fairly interested and then drop a friendly comment or piece of information (say if they're looking at the care label "Oh, that one's lambswool") and then back off, usually they talk back which is good.

3. Want to be ADORED! Some customers LOVE one to one attention and trot about the shop talking non stop about this that or the other, asking your opinion, more than happy to try on lots of items you show them and listen to you praising the merits of Merino etc. They are in and out of the changing room doing twirls for you and complaining about their various body hang ups, some of these are easily pleased and others are high maintenance, so you have to get them the "perfect" item and enthuse about how wonderful it is. I am nothing like these people, but they're usually the easier customers to sell things to!

Personally - I don't like retail! However it's something I fell into and can do and relatively enjoy, it's a funny old world smile

LionelRichieAndTheWardrobe Fri 15-Nov-13 09:25:39

commanderprimate, I think people could complain all they want. They'll probably receive an email saying 'they'll look into it' and then nothing will be done. Because all the greeting/smiles and scripts are not just there to try and make customers feel welcome, they are there to sell, to make shit loads more money and they'll never stop telling retail staff to do this because it will drive sales down.

I agree it is shit but they'll never stop.

BreakOutTheKaraoke Fri 15-Nov-13 08:46:43

Go blame Mary Fucking Portas or whatever her name is. She's put so much pressure on a lot of places with that countdown of who's worst at customer service. Do you really think shop workers want to make sure they hit every bullet point on a mystery shopper list with every customer who comes through the door, on the off chance that that is the mystery shopper? Every month, then you're on eggshells waiting to see if you're going to get in trouble for not mentioning that we have a website, or for another customer asking for something meaning you didn't greet the mystery shopper as she/he entered the floor. It's not fun, even if the shopper mentions in the report how good you were at customer service, you're still marked down for not hitting the specifics.

commanderprimate Fri 15-Nov-13 08:23:34

Totallyneedaholiday has it.

Blame the managers, and don't just do it by muttering under your breath, ask to see them and complain. If no one tells them, they won't stop doing it, and if it gets much worse I won't be able to stand buying new clothes in person at all.

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 15-Nov-13 08:18:42

Really annoying. Office shoes are terrible like this. I don't need to be told that you think the boots I'm trying on are lovely. I'm a grown woman and know what I want. Get the fuck out of my personal space.

southeastastra Fri 15-Nov-13 08:07:23

i actually quite like it, if they are helpful and know the range well enough. imagine it's quite boring if you just stand around.

it does depend on the shop though but mostly i have found them helpful.

needaholidaynow Fri 15-Nov-13 08:04:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snowbility Fri 15-Nov-13 07:08:04

I feel the shoplifting vibe sometimes when I'm followed around a shop and it annoys me so much I leave even if I want to buy something.

What I find is when I actually need help I can find no one to help me. They don't want to go get you stuff, they just want to bloody harass you. And don't make fake compliments about what I'm it's insulting.

chipshop Fri 15-Nov-13 00:21:44

It's really not that hard is it. Greet your customer when they walk in, don't pester but be on hand to help when browsing and trying on stuff and then be attentive at the till - a nice brief chat. So many shops get this wrong.

TheSinisterTrifle Fri 15-Nov-13 00:05:52

Engaging with a customer and making eye contact can actually stop a potential shop lifter.

I am not saying the posters are shop lifters but a simple 'Hi, can I help you'? and a smile means they know they have been clocked. It is standard retail practice.
My friend owns a shop and she has part time staff with varying degrees of efficiency. The ones who are chatty and friendly sell more on their shifts and the silent ones get more stuff nicked.

One sullen Saturday girl cost her over a thousand quid in a month due to shoplifters. The cost is past onto the customers which means you and me.

Then again, her staff were on an hourly rate and not on commission so no pressure on them to sell.

sandfrog Fri 15-Nov-13 00:00:02

I don't like the ones who want to squirt a perfume sample on you as you enter the store. As if you can't tell what it smells like from the clouds of the stuff sprayed on everyone who's already gone past.

ThornSayre Thu 14-Nov-13 23:53:30

The last time I went shopping for something specific rather than just to replace worn-out basics was many years ago for my wedding.

I was pretty much left alone. Yesterday I was looking for a top to wear with a black suit and I was constantly harassed. I wouldn't mind if I was examining everything in the shop and browsing but I was purposefully stalking around and homing in on anything which looked suitable.

The number of times people asked me what I was after! I got quite fed up with explaining that I wanted a top in purple or jade, not sparkly or flashy for my mother's funeral gave me the rage.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Thu 14-Nov-13 23:47:21

The pushing stuff at the till thing is really bloody annoying too. Clinton's are awful for this and I really feel for their sales assistants. I was in there the other day and I think I was offered five different things at the till? The assistant looked embarrassed and bored to be saying it all. What I really don't like there though is the attempted guilt tripping over cancer research pens. 'Would you like to help fight cancer today?' What are you supposed to say to that? 'Oh no I don't feel like it'?! and I've already got five of them at home because they write beautifully

Snowbility Thu 14-Nov-13 23:35:50

I'm very direct with Lush Sales assistants - I say if I need help I'll ask, any more enquiries and I'll repeat, it's all I say to them, the kids like the bath bombs, the shop stinks - no way would I use that amount of perfume anywhere near my skin.

Snowbility Thu 14-Nov-13 23:31:23

I hate it when you try on a jacket and the Sales assistant starts to gush about how amazing it is on you - while you are thinking it's at least two sizes too small, most likely 3 but they don't give a shit...make that sale! I hate it when they tell me they love the item I bought - I've heard them say the same thing to every single customer before me. I love clothes but shop assistants make me grumpy and annoyed and so often I have left shops and because I feel hounded. There are loads of shops especially boutiques that I have to be pretty desperate to face, their sales teams are exhausting.

Gavlaaa Thu 14-Nov-13 23:28:29

I agree that lush is too much, so much so that I now do not shop there. Yes, it is nice when they know their products, but the endless questions, and demonstrations of the products are overwhelming, annoying and time consuming.

They do not seem to understand that "oh, I'm just browsing thankyou" does not mean "please, follow me, talk to me, and make me stop at every single product so you can give me a hand massage" hmm

Spaulding Thu 14-Nov-13 23:01:02

PumpkinPie, agree with your comments on the Disney Store. Was in one recently and DS didn't want to let go of a toy which he already has a smaller version of. Assistant next to us, "Oh it's only £10 now" (I had seen the price) We smile and explain he already has one almost the same. Assistant: "I'm not sure how long it'll be £10 for" AAAAGG WE'RE NOT INTERESTED (I said in my head) We smiled politely and left.

Financeprincess Thu 14-Nov-13 22:51:16

I can't bear the cynical, fake, "oh, that's lovely isn't it?" at the till when you're buying something. I know it's nice, that's why I'm buying it. Harvey Nichols are the worst for this. Their assistants also insist on telling you that things look nice when they obviously don't. The thought bubble with, "what about my commission?" written in it is almost visible above their heads!

PumpkinPie2013 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:46:00


I don't mind the 'hello' or even 'do you need any help' being asked once.

Anymore than that I leave without buying anything!!

I find bodyshop one of the worst but disney store and claire's accessories have also been bad when I've gone on for presents for nieces/nephews.

OneUp Thu 14-Nov-13 21:09:28

I can't stand shop assistants coming up to me, I'm a very antisocial shopper and I like to go in, get what I want and go. I have a rule that if I'm approached twice in a store that I leave and never come back.

howrudeforme Thu 14-Nov-13 21:06:53

My worst experience was about 15 years ago in a shop on oxford street.
best friend was a trainers addict and saw a pair -asked shop assistant for her size. Shop assistant sneered and went off to get her size - i'm talking 15 frigging minutes later in a quiet and big shop this shop assisant was talking to her mates so I went up to enquire on if they'd found my friend's v. normal size 5 size.

She sneers - 'well, ovbiously not' at which point I had three pair of shoes in my hand that I was going to try on and I just dropped them at her feet and started to walk off.

Assistant went ballistic at me - at which point I sneered at her back.

Job done.

Not the best way to buy shoes. Not the best way to sell shoes.

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