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AIBU to expect a modicum of manners from customer facing staff..

(82 Posts)
IchWill Tue 26-Mar-19 18:33:11

Right, tell me if I'm being oversensitive here. I might be, as I'm ovulating! 😅😂

I'm really annoyed with the "customer service" experienced in the Tesco petrol station about 30 minutes ago.

I walked in to buy a drink, after paying for my fuel at the pump. The two women on the till were deep in conversation as I walked up to the desk.

I was the only customer and as I walked to the till, I wasn't looked at, acknowledged, or greeted in any way shape or form and I then proceeded to stand there like a fucking lemon, waiting like I was invisible, while they finished gossiping.

Finally, they finished their conversation and one lady grabbed my drinks, again without acknowledgement, or a hello, scanned them and said "£2.58." (or whatever it was). No "please", she just said the price.

I gave my money and got a cursory "thanks", but no goodbye, they tuen went back to talking.

I think that this level of customer service is awful. I'm not expecting a friggin' red carpet and fanfares, but a hello, a please, maybe a smile and not being kept waiting while they chat away is surely the absolute minimum in polite exchange?

I worked at this Tesco when I was young and I did mystery shopping for a number of years, so know there will probably be an expectation by Tesco on how staff deal with the public.

I'm annoyed that it's annoyed me so much TBF. But I hate bad manners and lack of common courtesy towards others.

Right, I'm off for a cava.

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 12:33:54

Haha! Your dad sounds like he doesn't suffer fools @Bunnybaubles and surely he put himself out by having to do his shopping again, but he made his point.

He's also more patient that I am. I wouldn't have waited five minutes! 😅

VillageEejit Wed 27-Mar-19 13:00:20

I've only ever done minimum wage jobs and I have never ever treated customers like that. Even if they didn't purchase anything at all.

I would email Tesco customer services. I actively avoid shops where I feel I am made to feel that I am inconveniencing the staff. Tesco would not be happy finding out their staff are putting customers off. Most people can easily change their preferred petrol stations and take their money elsewhere.

Bunnylady53 Wed 27-Mar-19 13:10:43

I work on a checkout where sometimes you are back to back with a colleague - you do chat but as soon as a customer arrives, you focus on them. I love my job 99% of the time. Obviously you do get rude customers but I am always extra nice to them to try to take the wind out of their sails! Sounds like those 2 Tesco’s ladies need to learn some manners!

Tiscold Wed 27-Mar-19 13:21:30

Having a chat is fine but you stop as soon as a customer approaches and serve them to the best of your abilities and be polite when doing so.

Complain OP, they won't get the sack for this one thing don't be daft, they go through a proper process first. At Tesco you get a lets talk, so your manager sits down and speaks to you about an issue and then both sign a sheet. You do it again, another lets talk, again is a written warning, second warning, final warning, then dismisssal

VillageEejit Wed 27-Mar-19 13:25:18

Just a reminder to us all, when you meet a lovely, polite and helpful member of staff, don't forget to email head office about them too. We have two Tesco stores an almost equal distance away from us in opposite directions. We purposely go to the smaller, less well stocked on because there is a cashier who we see every time and she is so nice and helpful. She has a lovely chat with us while ringing up our trolliey, asks us about our kids (who are now all old enough to be in school so no longer come with us) and generally makes us feel welcome. We make sure her bosses know that she is a good un'.

Same went for our local Co-op. One friendly member of staff actually kept me shopping there despite "rude cow cashier" who would go so far as leaning over the counter to place scanned items around the outside of an open bag than to degrade herself by packing for us! Even if you stood there, bag held open, she would leave the plastic bottle of milk teetering on the edge just so she could manage to avoid putting them in the bag.

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 13:36:43

@VillageEejit I always write to head office, or tweet a company when I get exceptional service.

I had an excellent advisor helping me through my stressful NatWest mortgage application and after completion I emailed into the mortgage centre singing her praises and she emailed me a few weeks later thanking me, as she's come back to work after some holiday to glowing feedback from her manager. It made her week.

I also had exceptional service from a member of cabin crew on easyJet two weeks ago. I made a note of her name and will email easyJet to tell them how excellent she was.

pigsDOfly Wed 27-Mar-19 14:05:03

Dramatical How on earth was I blaming the OP when I asked why she didn't say anything? I don't believe in standing around waiting.

I was at Boots pharmacy counter the other day, lots of staff working in the back who must have been aware there were customers waiting, but no one serving. Stood there for a bit and then asked the man in front of me if he was being served as it seemed to me we were just being ignored and a queue was building, he said he'd been standing there for about 20 minutes (I suspect that was a slight exaggeration, but still) and no one had come to serve him. I took myself off and found someone who was stacking shelves and she came over straight away to take our money.

Some people, not just in shops, are extremely rude and will ignore you if you don't speak up.

HisBetterHalf Wed 27-Mar-19 17:42:57

and rude members of staff wonder why internet shopping starts to take over....

Ktay Wed 27-Mar-19 18:03:17

I marvel at how some retail assistants are able to get through a whole transaction without uttering a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ - I’d find it impossible! I know some customers can be dicks but no need to assume the majority of us are.

I actively avoid our local Boots pharmacy these days as they’re very indiscreet - have heard too much about other local residents’ embarrassing ailments to trust them with mine!

Sweetpea55 Wed 27-Mar-19 19:41:52

How bloody ignorant

Brilliantidiot Wed 27-Mar-19 19:44:13

I was at Boots pharmacy counter the other day, lots of staff working in the back who must have been aware there were customers waiting, but no one serving. Stood there for a bit and then asked the man in front of me if he was being served as it seemed to me we were just being ignored and a queue was building, he said he'd been standing there for about 20 minutes (I suspect that was a slight exaggeration, but still) and no one had come to serve him. I took myself off and found someone who was stacking shelves and she came over straight away to take our money.

Yes, it's annoying when that happens, but what customers don't see are the ridiculous policies that some places put in place.
One place I worked would only allow certain members of staff behind the bar, no matter how long your queue was. The restaurant staff literally had to stand there watching as I sunk dismally under a wave of pissed off customers. It was ridiculous, but we'd have both got into trouble for it had they helped. And the answer was 'too many people using the till' - then invest and fucking train them to use it, then everyone is happy. Instead me and the other staff got hassle from customers, because they had to wait. Something similar when I worked in a large retail and magazine/newspaper stockist. Not allowed to stop changing stock over to help clear a queue, and then had to put other stock out instead of serving no matter how busy the shop was.
Frustrating for everyone involved, except of course the ones closeted in hq who've never served a customer in their lives.
Unfortunately the feeling I have from the big companies is that not only do the staff not matter, but customers don't these days either, hq are simply not interested when you raise concerns, and fob off those customers who do complain with vouchers and apologies. And issue missives about customer service expectations.
Where I work now is family owned and we all just jump in and help whatever department needs it, customers see staff pulling together to make sure they get a good experience, staff feel valued and backed up, the whole place is happier.

RomanyQueen1 Wed 27-Mar-19 19:50:27

Shit job, shit wages, tbh I'm well qualified and experienced at a high level of customer service and have done training events for companies.
I wouldn't have done anymore working in a shit paid job like this.
It's not right but standards do tend to go if your job is rubbish and you aren't treated well.

GoofyIsACow Wed 27-Mar-19 19:54:31

I had this is a sainsburys teo checkout workers dicussing one of their ailments... i butted in and gave my opinion about her illness(nothing serious btw!) she cats bum mouthed me like i was being instrusive... it made me smile all afternoon! 😂

WitsEnding Wed 27-Mar-19 19:58:29

I think it's a systemic problem ... I was being served by a cashier at Sainsbury's yesterday who was obviously struggling a little bit, while he was putting my 8 items through he was interrupted twice by other staff giving him extra bits of work. In my mind if a member of staff is serving a customer they should not be interrupted by supervisors chipping in about unrelated matters.

LeesPostersAreInFrames Wed 27-Mar-19 19:59:00

YANBU I've had this twice in my local tesco express recently and it boils my piss. I've worked minimum wage supermarket and other jobs, I'm not on much more now, but you don't carry on conversation with your colleague while there's a customer wanting to be served, and you darn well make eye contact, say hello and mind your manners.

watsmyname Wed 27-Mar-19 20:01:31

@outpinked the only people being rude and entitled were the staff in this staff. Clearly rude and feel entitled to have a job without carrying out the role they are paid to provide.

As far as I'm aware Tesco pay more than minimum wage and many people who work in retail would not describe it as a shit job. Obviously not your career of choice but no need to be so rude about others.

sparklytwinklyfairylights Wed 27-Mar-19 20:03:16

I think the cost of your goods is irrelevant, it doesn't matter if you spent £2 or £2000 they are paid to offer customers a service and that includes basic manners. I'd be pissed off too.

I'd complain via twitter, it always works for me whether I'm complaining or complimenting customer service.

Liverpool52 Wed 27-Mar-19 20:08:33

What really gets me is when you're waiting for the staff to authorise the pump use and you can see them through the window having a good chat blatantly ignoring the chiming from the computer.

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 20:24:55

Thanks for the majority of comments saying I'm NBU.

A hello, please, thanks and goodbye is the minimum I'd except from any verbal exchange. An added smile is a bonus.

catsmother Wed 27-Mar-19 20:27:38

Why is 'shit job, shit pay' being put forward as an excuse for rudeness and poor customer service?

There are many other shitty jobs beside retail with shit pay - arguably even shitter in some cases and without the benefits of a useful staff reduction in Tesco or similar.

Guess what ... many of the customers being treated badly will ALSO be on minimum wage. Or on a pathetically small pension. Or struggling on benefits. Whatever ... the stresses of a low income are not unique to a particular group of workers.

RomanyQueen1 Wed 27-Mar-19 20:32:22


Because it's a well known fact that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Staff will not represent a company well if they are treated well.

rosinavera Wed 27-Mar-19 20:49:02

I've worked for minimum wage in a shop in the past too - I wouldn't dream of treating customers with such disrespect. I think I would have had to say something along the lines of "is anyone serving please?" and given them a 'death' stare!! :-0

Willow2017 Wed 27-Mar-19 21:55:00

I know plenty people in customer facing roles including myself and none of us are fucking monkeys thank you.
And none of us are rude to customers no matter what shit we get thrown at us by crap mamagers.

You maybe have a snotty attitude to people who serve you in various places but how dare you suggest we are all idiots with no idea of manners and who hate thier jobs.

If you treat service employees tje same way you talk about them then i bet you are one of the rude ignorant customers who we all hate which thankfully are few and far between in my job.

IchWill Thu 28-Mar-19 00:04:48


I agree, I worked for "peanuts" in my retail jobs, but treated my customers with good manners. Like many I had pride in my job and who I worked for. Our Price especially.

Monkeys happen in any job, I've worked with people in £100k jobs who are slackers and give no fucks to their customers / stakeholders.

peasout Thu 28-Mar-19 00:31:58

I usually say ' sorry to interrupt your riveting conversation ' coupled with a glare. That usually does the trick.
The only time i never said anything to a checkout assistant was an older woman, probably around retirement age who used to scowl as she threw stuff down the conveyor belt. I was scared that she might just bounce a tin of beans off my head just for saying hello.
Lodge a complaint OP, they are there to provide a service to the paying customer in a prompt and courteous manner.

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