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to expect polite & pleasant service from M & S not an angry rant from a stroppy teenage staff member?

(54 Posts)
NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:31:05

popped into my local M & S food hall in my lunch-hour and mistakenly thought it was reasonable to ask for help from a customer assistant as I hadn't used their self-service check-outs before.

I couldn't get the bloody thing to work, not helped by the fact that I was laden down with a heavy laptop and files, was late for a meeting and there were no bags/baskets for my stuff..

Anyway, scanner wasn't working for me so assistant came over as requested, but grabbed the stuff off me rather impatiently and remonstrated with me that I wasn't listening to instructions. I explained politely that she hadn't shown me how to use it. She told me off again at which point I again politely but this time firmly pointed out to her that i was
a) merely asking for her help
b) actually a paying customer and didn't expect her to get angry with me.

She retorted that she was, quote "angry with me for not listening"!! wtf?! Where does a slip of a girl get off on feeling it's acceptable to get angry with a customer asking (politely) for her help?! angry

I appreciate this is hardly up there as a majorly significant awful event of my life but I'm enraged that this casually rude and downright aggressive attitude is seemingly acceptable on the high street.

Is it my pmt over-reacting or is this v unreasonable??

My rant over now. I shall go and get a life...wink

Stayingscarygirl Tue 03-Nov-09 11:33:54

This was very very unreasonable of her indeed. I would be making a complaint to her manager, if I were you.

Well done for staying so polite and restrained in the face of such rudeness!

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:35:53

thanks, I was too laden down with stuff to complain at the time. I've tried M & S website since but all i've found is a general national customer service contact email so no doubt will get lost in the sytem/get bland email apology back from HQ without anyone actually speaking to the staff member in question.

LadyOfTheFlowers Tue 03-Nov-09 11:37:09


edam Tue 03-Nov-09 11:37:43

You could go back to the store and ask to speak to the manager or get their contact details. I'd be tempted to, that assistant clearly needs a talking to.

bellissima Tue 03-Nov-09 11:38:40

Once saw an incredibly loud argument between shopper and cashier at a till at M&S in Kensington HS. Must say, from what I could hear, that it seemed to be six of one and half a dozen of the other but I was very surprised that the staff member was retorting with such gusto. Even if the customer was being unreasonable then I would have thought that the staff member could have been trying to calm things down and not inflame them. You sound to have been completely in the right - those self service things drive me bonkers and I'm sure that the staff who stand near the ones in our local Tescos (but never actually come over to help until begged) are principally there for their own amusement.

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:40:02

Yes, will do I think. Called up for manager's name but there isn't one at the moment (it's only one of their largest stores after all hmm)

ruddynorah Tue 03-Nov-09 11:40:17

if you email the customer service address it will be forwarded to the store.

perhaps if you have a lot to carry so struggle to work the scanner then use a manned till next time <said in the nicest possible way smile>

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:49:27

thanks, rn. There was only 1 manned check-out in use with a huge queue hence my resorting to the self-service!

Lilymaid Tue 03-Nov-09 11:56:51

Don't expect too much - one of my colleagues had a problem in M&S last year and she and I wrote a very carefully e-mail complaining about the attitude of a member of staff at one branch in contrast with the helpfulness of one at another branch.
She received no reply at all - not even an e-mail acknowledgement.

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:58:16

I think it's indicative of how the country's going to the dogs myself (not sounding like her father at all)

Maybe I'm just getting old and expecting old-fashioned service which is no longer commonplace..Sigh.

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 11:59:37

lilymiaid - how unprofessional of them! Not surprised though, seriously think they've gone downhill and they've made it v hard to contact them direct.

2Eliza2 Tue 03-Nov-09 12:03:02

I was an M&S Saturday girl and holiday sales assistant in the early eighties. We would have been SHOT if we'd been rude to customers like that.

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 12:08:25

exactly, it used to mean something to work there. I should know i only managed to get a Saturday/student job at Smiths...

junkcollector Tue 03-Nov-09 12:10:23

You certainly don't expect it in M&S...Lidl maybe...

Firawla Tue 03-Nov-09 12:14:32

you should complain, maybe if you go into the store again next time ask to speak to someone in charge and let them know or else just email. if you have the staff members name that will be good, you can name and shame them properly to their boss. it sounds she was very rude

stellamel Tue 03-Nov-09 12:14:50

I managed to find an actual address to send a letter too on the M&S website - when I wanted to make a complaint about their staff.

I got a VERY bland letter back, with spelling errors and missing words! I wasn't what you call pleased about their 'customer complaints service' grin


stellamel Tue 03-Nov-09 12:15:34

ahem.. to not too! blush

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 12:21:47

That's really bad especially in a letter. Did you follow it up at all?

pigletmania Tue 03-Nov-09 12:45:00

YANBU how rude, i would see the manager about it this is not acceptable. This is about upbringing nowadays we are not even allowed to raise or voices at children or correct them with the fear of damaging their self confidence oh woe, as a result this kind of thing happens. Dragged up rather than brought up IMO

yojojo Tue 03-Nov-09 12:52:18

yanbu, definately go back in and complain at customer services.
Although i'm very blush as I used to be a sour faced,upmyownarse shop assistant when i was a teenager and now i think back, should have been told to get over myself!

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 12:55:16

well, at least you realise it now! smile

I was (and still can be) stroppy at home but would never dream of being so during paid work! I was a v nervous, shy teenage worker. Too lacking in confidence to be stroppy!

Vinomum Tue 03-Nov-09 12:58:26

This girl needs a kick up the arse. She's bloody lucky to have a job when thousands of people are losing theirs every week.

I would go back to the shop and find her and ask her to take you to her manager then make her stand there while you tell the manager what she did. That way you can watch her squirm which might make you feel better.

I don't think it makes any difference if it's M&S, Harrods or the Pound Shop, people are paid to serve you politely no matter how much money you are spending.

Bucharest Tue 03-Nov-09 13:01:36

Oh, yes, do what Vinomum suggests!
YANBU at all.

NewPenName Tue 03-Nov-09 13:03:17

she is lucky. but you know there were hardly any staff in the shop and had too much stuff to go hunting them down. They actually seemed seriously understaffed to me - one check-out manned plus this girl, that was it.

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