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To expect an appology and not be made out to be a liar?

(51 Posts)
ginormoboobs Fri 06-Nov-09 11:58:15

Am I being unreasonable to expect an apology?

I was in Smiths in Edinburgh waverly. I was trying to buy a book. 2 members of staff had blocked the aisle with boxes and were standing in the tiny space that was left. They were gossiping about another member of staff.
I said "excuse me , please" They both looked directly at me and didn't even move. I said it 5 times in total and each time said "Excuse me , can I get past you" Ignored again.
Then I said "Will you just move" They stepped aside and as I walked past them the boy shoulder barged me.
I then said that it is a shop that people come in to buy things , not a place for them to gossip and said how dare he push me as I walked past. I realise that I was quite rude and did appologise for this in my email.
I said I was going to complain to the manager. They told me that the boy was the manager and there was nothing I could do about it! I shouldn't have been so rude, they didn't hear me as they were talking about work and certainly did not look at me whne I spoke to them hmm
Boy then scuttles off. I find my husband and we put back all of the things we were going to buy. Boy was pointing me out to all of his colleagues so I pointed him out to my DH. We then walked out of the store.
We met my Mum who had the kids and got on the train.

I complained to their head office and they sent me an email back saying that :
we returned to the store after the incident. The boy realises that he should have dealt with us then but he felt threatened , (he watched us put our stuff back and walk out.)
I swung my handbag and hit him with it as I walked past him, (I did not have a bag with me)
They did not hear me until I raised my voice and was rude to them, (they looked at me each time I sopke to them)
I could have stepped over the boxes (erm.. not unless I could stretch my legs 8 feet!)
The boy was not the manager,
I was informed that he had recieved further training.
No apology but they do hope that I continue to shop at Smiths angry
I really feel that the manager should have sent me an appology. Am I being unreasonable to expect that?

Vivia Fri 06-Nov-09 12:04:17

YANBU! I was in Smiths at Waverley yesterday and was expected to climb over boxes too - it's far too small a shop anyway. I was throwing filthy looks at the staff. They ignored me as they were talking at it definitely wasn't work they were talking about. I was first in the queue and it took ages to be served because they wouldn't stop talking. I left the magazines on the counter and walked out.

Your response from Smiths was terrible. Let's boycott them all.

lisianthus Fri 06-Nov-09 12:04:50

YADNBU! They "hope you continue to shop at Smiths"? Yes, because it's so lovely to be treated the way you were and it's not as if there are any other bookshops with better service you can go to instead. [sarcasm emoticon]

I can't believe that they accused you of lying! What possible reason would you have to go to the effort of writing to them to make stuff up? So much for customer service.

This has put me off going there as well.

tethersend Fri 06-Nov-09 12:05:39


Get them to check the cctv, and demand photographic evidence of you swinging your handbag at him.

Abubu Fri 06-Nov-09 12:05:48

Vote with your feet! Don't go there again. They sound like a load of unprofessional idiots. I would write and tell them that too.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 06-Nov-09 12:13:36

This attitude is just too bloody prevalent in shops - talking to each other, ignoring and inconveniencing customers.

I have worked in shops (and enjoyed it), and this is shit customer service.

I would write back (email and send a hard copy) and refute the lies you have been told, and tell them you will not be shopping there again.

MintyCane Fri 06-Nov-09 12:13:55

YANBU I would write back again.

emsyj Fri 06-Nov-09 12:17:58

YANBU, but honestly even in the big chains there is no customer service any more (except possibly at John Lewis). I received a leather sofa from M&S with a gaping hole in it and when I complained they were rude to me, accused me of doing it myself and even after I contacted Consumer Direct who were disgusted and wrote them a letter basically saying, 'you can't do that', said that if I wanted to take it further I should see a solicitor. Unfortunately for them I AM a solicitor, so I sued them. Ha!

Sorry went slightly off track there - the moral is, don't shop at Smiths, don't buy furniture at M&S and if possible do all your shopping at John Lewis.

NickNemo Fri 06-Nov-09 12:20:28

Lordy, YANBU at all!!! How rude and unprofessional!

Much prefer Waterstones myself. But sadly have to go to Smiths (in Liverpool) as its my closest post office.

I think I'll try and find a different post office.

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 12:21:02

you should definiteyl reply to the email with the facts and ask them to play the CCTV footage for that aisle.

the very very very least i should have expected would be an apology, certanily not a list of rebuttal!
that's the very worst of customer service.

if i'd done that when i worked for a chain (of a similar description) i would have been hauled over the coals for that kind of behaviour.

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 12:22:24

(NickNemo, waterstone's is shite now too, although customer service is better after teh event.... speaking from experience, sadly)

MintyCane Fri 06-Nov-09 12:23:27

They can't help some of their staff being rude sometimes but they should have apologised in writing. I had a member legoland staff be rude to us in summer. We complained and they sent us a lovely long letter of apolgy and free tickets.

They should have said sorry not given you a list of what they thought you had done wrong that is really off.

NickNemo Fri 06-Nov-09 12:25:28

Nickel, not had a problem with them so far, have been all friendly and helpful, unlike Smiths. Fingers crossed!

I once had the temerity to ask a Smith's assistant if she could point me in the direction of Alexander McCall Smith's novels. She said 'I don't know who that is' and turned her back to me shock I don't consider Smith's a bookstore now anyways.

fairycake123 Fri 06-Nov-09 12:29:39

YANBU. I hate Smiths and I would boycott them in solidarity, but I never shop there anyway!

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 12:31:02

i used to think the workd of them too, Nick, but i worked for them for too long and have lost that sparkly glow (mainly because of the problems with re-organization etc when they took over ottakar's)
and no, i don't conside smith's a bookshop anymore: the amount of people who come into my shop complaining about how rubbish smith's is (although they complain about the crappness of their knowledge, most of the staff in the shop are lovely, so they can't complain about the shit that the OP received)

shonaspurtle Fri 06-Nov-09 12:33:38

YANBU. Smith's staff at Waverley are experts at the ignore-the-customer-for-as-long-as-possible game.

You should email their head office this thread. We can't all be making it up hmm

They must really hate their jobs (although that's still no excuse).

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 06-Nov-09 12:34:02

write or call and say you are not satisfied with their response. Honestly - do these people not realise that they need customers to survive? Tesco messed up my delivery the other day and the driver was rude to me, I got the delivery charge refunded and a £10 online voucher, no questions asked. I will now use them again, and as long as they don't mess up again, will carry on using them. Asda have done similar when they messed up - it's obvious. An apology and a gift voucher wouldn't have cost them anything but the lack of it means they have lost a customer for life!

shonaspurtle Fri 06-Nov-09 12:35:13

Hey nickel, I worked for the big W (also for too long). Remember having to take the customer to the shelf and place the book in their hand for full mystery shopping marks...

ginormoboobs Fri 06-Nov-09 12:39:04

I did send another email.
I said that I had worked in the retail industry for 10 years. If one of my staff had acted in this manner I would have issued a written warning and expected them to send a letter of appology to the customer.
I told them that I was very unhappy that they had basically denied it even happened and accused us of returning to the store. I also asked how exactly they managed to have this backed up by other members of staff as there was no one near enough to see what had happened.
I told them not to bother responding to me.
I totally understand that they will get complaints made by people who are just being a pita and who complain about everything because they want gift vouchers (I experienced this myself when I was still working ). I did not want gift vouchers. I would have refused them and suggested they spent the money on recruiting members of staff better suited to the job grin

diddl Fri 06-Nov-09 12:42:34

I hope you have emailed them back pointing out that you couldn´t step over the boxes and that you had no bag.

You will not be using their stores anymore as not only have you not received an apology, but they have effectively called you a liar.

And this on the basis of a staff member who told you that he is a manager when he is not!

gagamama Fri 06-Nov-09 12:53:11

Oh, I'm getting the train up to Edinburgh Waverly tonight (although think WHS will be closed by the time I arrive) - can I print this thread out and stick it on their window? grin

It is a pokey little shop though, has barely any magazines or books but every piece of plastic crap with with Scottish flag on that you could possibly conceptualise! Just what you need when about to embark on a 4-and-a-half hour train journey.

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 12:54:34

shona: yep! and then hover over them for ever until they look at you and tell you to go away and leave them alone grin

my old store got 15% a couple of months ago for their mystery shopper....

famishedass Fri 06-Nov-09 12:54:48

YANBU - if I hadn't already boycotted Smiths because of their continued insistance in stocking the "Playboy" range of stationery, I would boycott them for you.

Having said tht, I did go in there the week there was a promotion whereby if you brought the daily mirror you got a free lego toy. The sales assistant was talking to the woman in front of me for ages (she obviously knew her) and gave her 2 of the free lego toys - when I came to be served there were none left. angry

Smiths had a golden opportunity to take over where Woolworths left off and they have ballsed it right up.

Rhubarb Fri 06-Nov-09 12:55:10

Definitely stick this thread on their shop window!

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 12:56:13

yes, gagamama, d o it!

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