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AIBU to complain? Humiliated and angry about how I was treated in Waitrose.

(110 Posts)
JustSpeakSense Wed 08-Mar-17 15:15:31

I visited my local Waitrose cafe this morning, I placed my order at the counter (two breakfasts & two lattes, and a slice of cake) I was going to pay by debit card, the lady serving asks me to enter my card and then she goes off to make lattes. The card machine doesn't register my card going in.

She comes back and says 'oh sorry I didn't set it up right, put your card in again' which I do, nothing happens. She now gets quite annoyed with me and says 'you need to put the card in properly, all the way' I do this (again) and nothing happens, she lets out a massive sigh (I am obviously really dumb in her eyes!)

'Don't you have contactless?' she asks (I don't) <another big sigh> 'You'll have to use another card then' she says. 'Or cash' (I don't have another card and I don't have cash on me) 'your card's not working she says' (loudly and rudely - shaking her head at me) everyone in the long queue is now showing interest in the kerfuffle.

I say to her 'there is nothing wrong with my bank card, I use it everywhere I go, in fact I have just used it in this store'

'I'm not disputing that' she snaps at me 'you'll have to go and draw cash and pay that way'

At this point I turned around and walked out the store (I was humiliated at how she spoke to me and fuming) We went down the road to Sainsbury's cafe and had a delicious breakfast (and no problems with card machine)

I was fuming and I want to complain (I have never complained anywhere before) do you think I should complain and who should I contact?

JustSpeakSense Wed 08-Mar-17 15:16:42

BTW (the 2 breakfasts and cake weren't all for me! I had my DD with me wink)

Treysanatomy Wed 08-Mar-17 15:18:49

Contact Waitrose and complain, she was rude.

Their customer service is usually very good. I once emailed about their loose baking potatoes all looking past their best and they sent a £10 voucher 🙂

VintagePerfumista Wed 08-Mar-17 15:20:04

Well, she could hardly give you your breakfast free, could she?

Her manner sounds off, but clearly your card wasn't working in her machine. Not your fault, but not hers either. Not her fault either that you only carry the one card and no cash.

It's no biggie in the scheme of things tbh.

What would you have liked her to do?

Troubleinstore Wed 08-Mar-17 15:20:33

I would have told her that I'll pay at customer services till .... WHEN I'd finished my order. Cheeky cow

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 08-Mar-17 15:21:36

You wouldn't be unreasonable to complain about the way she spoke to you. Is it going to help you to revisit it all now though? I just mean, that while it was rude, it's done now. You've had a nice breakfast elsewhere. Is it going to help you to complain or would it be better to just put it behind you?

ZilphasHatpin Wed 08-Mar-17 15:23:07

but clearly your card wasn't working in her machine.

Or rather her machine wasn't working.

ScarlettFreestone Wed 08-Mar-17 15:23:49

I'm not sure why you were humiliated really, she sounds rude but you knew your card worked so why not walk to customer services, ask to speak to the manager and complain.

To be fair (although she shouldn't have been rude) she could hardly give you the food without payment.

Gunpowder Wed 08-Mar-17 15:24:07

Waitrose normally have excellent customer service. One of the reasons I don't mind paying more than other supermarkets.

If there was a problem with their machine the coffee shop woman could have called a manager, they could have taken payment at a till or even comped two coffees and cakes. I'm sure they would have preferred that than a thread on Mumsnet! I'd send them an email.

JustSpeakSense Wed 08-Mar-17 15:24:28

I should add that while I was waiting in the very long and slow queue, I watched her and she seemed very flustered and to not know how to operate the system (couldn't scan people's loyalty cards) and was getting orders mixed up a bit, and my first impression was that she didn't know what she was doing, and couldn't operate the till properly.

Floggingmolly Wed 08-Mar-17 15:25:18

She does sound rude.

Laiste Wed 08-Mar-17 15:25:43

There has to be a better way to deal with this situation than the way this cashier did. It's the store's responsibility if their machine wasn't working properly (and if the customer is saying her card is ok then she should be assumed to be correct - the customer is always right!)

A senior staff member arranging for the transaction to take place at a different till would have been the answer. With an apology!

Laiste Wed 08-Mar-17 15:26:36

So yes, i'd complain.

Botanicbaby Wed 08-Mar-17 15:31:14

What's the AIBU?

As PP said if you're unhappy with the service you received in the shop, make your way to customer services and take it up with them. Or if you can't face that, email, phone, write or tweet to them.

Can't believe you have to ask on mumsnet what to do?

FruSkogKattOla Wed 08-Mar-17 15:33:00

It's probably no consolation to you now, but I've had problems with my debit card in a Waitrose card reader three times now within the last two or three weeks.

Nothing wrong with the card (i.e. it's not old and worn out), nothing wrong with my bank balance either. The card reader said something like "can't read, re-insert card". Three times this has happened.

The first time it happened I could pay by cash, but went into the bank immediately after. Assistant in the bank said 'no problems', and couldn't understand what the problem was with Waitrose.

The second time, it was only a smallish sum - so I eventually paid by contactless which, unsurprisingly, went straight through.

The third time I was served by a long standing member of staff who admitted he didn't know what the problem was, but suggested I put the card in the reader to pay by Chip & PIN - again worked fine.

I wonder if this is a Waitrose-wide issue? Or maybe you and I shop in the same Waitrose, JustSpeak?

Dontactlikeyouknowme Wed 08-Mar-17 15:33:23

Hahaha at the customer always being right.

PrivatePike Wed 08-Mar-17 15:33:32

I wouldn't complain.

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 08-Mar-17 15:34:07

She could have transferred the order to a working machine, called her supervisor to sort it out, apologized for the technical problem etc etc, rather than huff and puff and roll eyes at a customer.

I think with card/card machine issues there can be some stigma about having a card declined because you've got no money in the account. I know my parents used to get very upset and humiliated if it happened to them. And I used to, but have stopped feeling that way as it never turns out that I've completely run out of money... more likely a machine error or an Amazon order going through at the same time and causing a problem.

I do make sure I work out what's happened at the till though and talk about it to the person on the till, and if it's causing a queue I'll feel embarrassed about that, or at least awkward, so maybe I'm more concerned than I think, and maybe that feeling would flood back if the person at the till went out of their way to be rude and unpleasant about it.

I'd complain. The person needs to be taught how to behave appropriately to customers.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 08-Mar-17 15:34:58

I really think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. It was unreasonable of you to walk past Customer Services and not say anything IMO.

Dontactlikeyouknowme Wed 08-Mar-17 15:37:10

I wouldn't complain either. Lifes too short to get her up about every day shit that happens. I cba to make a drama about someone having a bad day.

stephenisjustcoming Wed 08-Mar-17 15:37:51

I would send a very passive aggressive email to Waitrose Customer Service suggesting that (a) they inspect the card machine at X branch, as it failed to register your valid card, and (b) refresh the customer service training of the cafe staff, as the unhelpful and aggressive manner in which the cafe assistant handled the problem led to you leaving the store (at her suggestion!) and having breakfast in Sainsburys instead. Where your card worked perfectly.

HappyFlappy Wed 08-Mar-17 15:39:25

2 breakfasts and cake weren't all for me! I had my DD with me

hmm I'll bet!

grin

She was appallingly rude. She may have been rushed off her feet - who knows, but it wasn't your fault that your card wouldn't register, especially if she had set up the machine incorrectly (technology resents this, and often stops working for no apparent reason - I speak from bitter experience angry)

I hope that it went on declining cards for the rest of the morning.

JustSpeakSense Wed 08-Mar-17 15:40:11

miscellaneous that's exactly how she was acting, as if my card was being rejected because of lack of funds. (Very vocally in front of dozens of people) her attitude was 'go away and get cash I'm too busy for this' (the cafe was packed and she was indeed very busy)

When I left the store, it was because I was angry and did not want to eat there.

Dontactlikeyouknowme Wed 08-Mar-17 15:40:20

Sometimes card readers just won't recognise someone's card. It's just one of lifes irritations.

MiniCooperLover Wed 08-Mar-17 15:40:46

It sounds like a mixture of the machine not working, your card declining from too many attempts, no big deal. Why would you care if people hear the conversation, I'm sure it wasn't that interesting? Could your DP not have used his card? If you couldn't be bothered to complain there and then, then you'll sound quite petty doing it after.

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