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To complain about customer service that other people received

(80 Posts)
Rhayader Sun 26-Feb-17 23:07:01

I was getting lunch yesterday with DF and the DC in a large shopping centre. The restaurant we were in overlooked walkways in the shopping centre where there are little kiosks - think the ones that sell pretzels or frozen yogurts but this one sold mid/high end small appliances for a well known brand.

It was a bit of a novelty looking down at all the people and we soon noticed that the lady who was working (solo) on the kiosk was spending most of the time on her phone. It wasn't checking a quick text or an email, she was actively on her phone for 4-5 minutes at a time until she was approached by a customer.

After around 15 minutes a man approached her with a backpack and a coat on and she started gesturing at him as if she was complaining about something - this seemed a pretty strange way to speak to a customer. He then took his bag and coat off, stuffed them in a cabinet and put his name tag on. He obviously worked there.

Five minutes after standing around (still wearing his headphones) not doing much, he leant on one of the displays and then had a 15-20 minute facetime conversation with someone - from the body language of the employee and the person on the screen it came across as a boyfriend/girlfriend type of relationship.

Customers were walking up to him and he was ignoring them. After the facetime conversation ended he had customers asking him for help, he would wonder off and speak to his colleague for really long periods of time until the customers got frustrated and walked away.

I've never seen anything like this and my overinflated sense of justice is compelling me to report them - although, it's not really my place to report, or is it?

WIBU to send an email to the company in question and report them.

Don't want to drip feed -- this is embarrassing but I actually did make a video recording of a subset of the events mentioned above, mainly so that I could show DH.

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Feb-17 01:05:43

Report them. The young woman you mentioned, I was prepared to say "Well maybe there was an unwell family member" or something but added to the young man's behavour, it sounds like they're taking the mickey!

If it were my business I'd be very grateful.

lackingimagination Mon 27-Feb-17 01:26:02

I don't think it's fair, if it were you that had received the poor customer service then that's justifiable.

You don't know enough about the situation. They could be underpaid, overworked, have an awful bully of a boss, lack of training and/or so many other things.

They'll figure out the working world eventually!

JamDonutsRule Mon 27-Feb-17 01:29:20

YANBU to report them, however I do think perhaps you can find a more worthy cause to be cross about?

Trifleorbust Mon 27-Feb-17 02:00:47

What an absolutely trivial thing to get so involved with.

Janey50 Mon 27-Feb-17 02:09:45

YANBU OP. This reminded me of an incident that happened yesterday. I was queueing to be served in a branch of a very well-known supermarket in my home town. There were 2 people in front of me. I noticed that the man on the till had a mobile phone on the counter next to him. Just before serving the person at the front of the queue,he picked up the phone and proceeded to fiddle about on it for about half a minute. We all just waited politely. He then served the customer,then did the same thing again for about half a minute. He served the next customer,then did it yet again,just before serving me,for about a minute. I was THAT close to saying something,but I didn't,for 2 reasons. Firstly,this chap is always very pleasant and polite when serving customers,and secondly,I have never witnessed him doing this before. Now I am pretty sure that he wasn't using the phone for something connected to the work he was doing,as I have never witnessed any of the staff using a mobile phone whilst on duty. But despite the fact that it was highly unprofessional,I decided against saying anything to him,or the manager,and to give him the benefit of the doubt, just in case he had some sort of crisis going on in his personal life and had been given permission to use it at the till. So OP,I would be inclined to report this incident,but be prepared to be told that there were 'special circumstances' involved!

MichaelSheensNextDW Mon 27-Feb-17 02:10:19

You should be a mystery shopper OP.

WinnieFosterTether Mon 27-Feb-17 02:17:32

If OP was a mystery shopper then her complaint would make sense. But since she isn't; it doesn't. Quite often stands in shopping centres are owned by the people staffing them. They negotiate rates with the companies that supply the goods but they don't work for those companies. As such if they're bored or disinterested, they're only harming their own business.

melj1213 Mon 27-Feb-17 02:31:32

YABabitU to report them with the intention of complaining to get the staff members in trouble. Since you weren't actually affected by their behaviour/actions and admit that you weren't close enough to actually hear anything that was said and are just interpreting what you could see ... which may or may not be accurate ... you can't really "complain" about them.

Also you don't know the policy that company has re: phone/electronic device usage - I work in one supermarket and there is a specific rule against colleagues having their phones on them on the shop floor, if you are seen with your phone it is a disciplinary offence. My friend works for a different supermarket and their colleagues are allowed to have their phones for work purposes - they have a store colleague app that they can download and use to access things like price checking/inventory levels etc so if a customer wanders up and asks "How much is this and do you have more in stock?" they can use their app to scan the bar code and instantly know it costs £4.65 and they have 10 more in the warehouse.

However YANBU to want to make a company aware of the level of service their staff are giving. Whilst it may not have affected you this time, it will have an impact on whether you choose to use their services in the future and the company deserves to be made aware of the fact their staff are costing them potential customers. The company may not be aware of how the staff are behaving day to day if there is no manager physically present to supervise, and if nobody tells them then they can't fix the problem.

If you feel like you want to say something, I would write an email to corporate but I would make it very clear that you are writing as an "impartial" observer and purely want to make them aware of your observations. I'd just say this is behaviour you witnessed, and whilst you weren't a customer and weren't directly involved in the incidents it has given you a negative image of the company and their level of customer service and you wanted to make them aware of it so they can fix it.

EmeraldScorn Mon 27-Feb-17 04:56:36

You must have an incredibly tedious life if complaining about staff members from a shop that you weren't shopping in is high on your to-do list.

I can't understand why you'd want to possibly cost someone their job over what was a very trivial matter, it's not as if they were having sex on one of the display cabinets.

Drop the holier than thou routine for fuck sake, I'm sure many people use their mobile when they are in work (I do) and my job is pretty full on but I still from time to time in the day sneak a glance on WhatsApp etc; I can imagine manning a kiosk in a busy shopping centre can get quite boring after a while, I'm not surprised the phones came out!

What does surprise me is the level of surveillance you were engaged in (You filmed strangers?) while eating lunch with your family - You should have asked the restaurant for a colouring book and crayons, that would have kept you entertained!

kali110 Mon 27-Feb-17 06:08:27

If you were a customer then yes, but you weren't there, or even nearby!
For all you know he could have been on the phone to his boss...

kali110 Mon 27-Feb-17 06:09:20

Omg i missed the part where you filmed them! Wth shock

Fighterofthenightman Mon 27-Feb-17 06:41:09

Another MNetter scrabbling round for someone to report for something. FGS.

NormaSmuff Mon 27-Feb-17 06:44:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NormaSmuff Mon 27-Feb-17 06:46:52

I think if I really wanted to complain I would have attended the kiosk myself to see how they treated me.

pyjamaarama1 Mon 27-Feb-17 06:49:43

You mustn't have much going on in life to notice something like this from a distance, and also be thinking about it all this time later.

You don't know the circumstances surrounding using phones, they may have had permission.

I think complaining would be a pathetic thing to do.

They might have families, only just be managing to keep a roof over their heads or put food on the table.

Imagine if they lost their jobs because a stranger who didn't even use their services stuck the boot in.

You weren't a customer.
You weren't involved.
You weren't affected.

FindoGask Mon 27-Feb-17 06:51:22

I don't see the problem? At worst, they are just very inept sales people, and their figures will speak for themselves. Sounds like they won't have sold very much at all on a busy Saturday so they're bound to have a boss that will want to know why.

Archimandrite Mon 27-Feb-17 06:51:51

* are you in your 60s?*

Nearly 60 year old here. What has being in your 60's got to do with it?
I would complain about shitty service I receive but not of random people in a shopping centre.

roundtable Mon 27-Feb-17 06:52:05

shock at you filming them! I actually cringed for you when I read that bit.

If they're customer service is poor, it'll catch up with therm. If you buy something from them and they're rude, then complain but how does this even affect you?


roundtable Mon 27-Feb-17 06:52:37

Their customer service!

VintagePerfumista Mon 27-Feb-17 06:54:39

You saw customers being totally ignored to the point of walking away...if it were my business, I'd want to know.

MN is a funny place. Had the OP been one of the customers, she'd have been advised to complain straightaway, to name and shame on the company's FB page and all manner of "involvement".

Does the fact that she only witnessed people being crap to other people not count?

Obviously both of the members of staff may have had permission to spend their working hours on their phones and ignoring customers. But it's doubtful.

DildoGaggins Mon 27-Feb-17 06:55:19

Imagine having a life so dull that you would take time to record disinterested retail staff working at a stall you didn't even bother to visit.

Surely you must have something - ANYTHING better to do with your time than snitch on random minimum wage(ish) retail staff op?

SalemSaberhagen Mon 27-Feb-17 06:59:39

You were watching them for 45 minutes (or thereabouts). How weird. And what an utterly dull lunch date that would have been.

NormaSmuff Mon 27-Feb-17 07:04:53

* are you in your 60s?

Nearly 60 year old here. What has being in your 60's got to do with it?*


To Rephrase ... Are you a retired lady?

NormaSmuff Mon 27-Feb-17 07:06:31

MN is a funny place. Had the OP been one of the customers, she'd have been advised to complain straightaway, to name and shame on the company's FB page and all manner of "involvement".

But she Wasnt involved. The OP was Not even a customer, she was an onlooker.

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