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Bad Customer Service

(25 Posts)
AreYouJoking66 Sun 01-Oct-17 14:03:54

I was in Waitrose Winchester with my 17yr old daughter. I picked up a box of 4 bottled beers - on offer - for my DH. At the checkout we had bagged all our goods but the guy on the till called the manager over who refused to sell me the alcohol because my 17yr old was stood next to me in the queue. I thought he was joking...apparently not. I told him the beer was not for her but he didn't believe me ...rude! Called me childish because I refused to buy the rest of the shopping if they wouldn't sell me the beer. It seems that they are allowed to assume that I am buying alcohol 'by proxy' for her. Very embarrassing at the till. Has anyone else had this issue?

MsVestibule Sun 01-Oct-17 15:39:19

No, but I have heard of it. It seems an extreme way of staying within the law (presumably she wasn't actually holding the beer?) and calling you childish is not on.

Will you be complaining to their HO?

AreYouJoking66 Sun 01-Oct-17 17:17:39

No she wasn't holding the beer. I had gone in there to get something for dinner and wasn't intending to buy alcohol but it was was part of a meal deal so no point in buying the rest of it if I couldn't have the deal. I explained to him that it wasn't for her but he wasn't interested. Complained to HO and asked for an apology but they said that they can't insist that the manager apologises and he clearly isn't going to. What makes me hopping mad is that he's allowed to accuse me in front of other customers and I have no right of reply. Law unto themselves.

MrsEricBana Sun 01-Oct-17 18:05:28

This exact thing happened to me in Bath Waitrose 4 weeks ago. I explained that not only was the wine I was buying not for dd, it wasn't even for me but a gift for my mother who had invited us around that night. In the end they sold it to me as I told them dd is 14, but they did say they wouldn't have sold it to me if she'd been 16 or 17 as then could be for her. This is mad. In your case the manager was extremely rude to call you childish. I would definitely complain.

Iwannasnack Sun 01-Oct-17 19:09:21

Exact same thing a few years ago. Popped in with DH to get something for dinner. Got a dine in for £10 deal. They asked for ID which I had but he didn’t so they wouldn’t serve us. Obviously no point buying the rest so had to leave it. We were around 29-30!!

AreYouJoking66 Sun 01-Oct-17 23:12:10

I think Waitrose are going way over the top with this. Especially as I would imagine that if someone was buying alcohol for a teenager they wouldn't actually take the teenager into the shop with them. If it's delivered to my house nobody checks the age of the children living in the house. I too was told that if she had been younger it would have been ok!! Not sure where they get their logic.It's certainly been an eye opener from a customer care point of view....and I won't be going back.

AreYouJoking66 Sun 01-Oct-17 23:20:32

I'm outraged on your behalf Iwannasnack - did you complain? What was the outcome? Ours was also a dine in meal deal. Are they really saying that if you have a teenager with you don't even think about buying alcohol or do we all have to stash our kids behind the bananas until we have completed our purchase and then run for the door. This is really nanny-state stuff....and only in Waitrose from my experience. Already cut up my card and sent it back to them.

yodelehoho Mon 02-Oct-17 11:25:25

Wow, this is incredible.

Ojoj1974 Mon 02-Oct-17 22:41:42

Outrageous. I would be hopping mad. I'm very disappointed by HO reply

Not60andretired Mon 02-Oct-17 23:16:49

Happened to me in Tesco !!

AreYouJoking66 Mon 02-Oct-17 23:34:39

If I had the letter to hand I would quote from it but I don't at this moment but it was basically saying that the manager has the right to refuse to sell me alcohol if he believes that the customer is buying it by proxy for a teenager. He seems to have the right to act as judge and jury and I have no right of reply. I was given no explanation about what made him look and me and my daughter and think we look like we shouldn't be believed. What was that based on? Where is the transparency? And even though he admitted to calling me childish HO couldn't or wouldn't make him apologise.

AreYouJoking66 Mon 02-Oct-17 23:55:07

I'm surprised it happened in Tesco Not60and retired. Was that because you didn't have ID like Iwannasnack (which is outrageous by the way) or because you had a teenager with you? I guess it can happen in any of the supermarkets but they need to stop accusing people - we are customers spending hard earned cash on overpriced products and don't need to be lectured ...or called's not the playground. Professional? I don't think so.

Dilligaf81 Tue 03-Oct-17 00:03:51

Also happened to me in tescos when I had my 13 year old with me and she doesn't even look 13. I had idea and produced it but still wouldn't let me buy the wine.
It's silly really as at that age im allowed to let her drink wine with a meal at home.

Iwannasnack Tue 03-Oct-17 08:44:38

I did kick up a bit of a stink and asked to see the manager. She came over and said sorry we can’t serve you without you both having ID. Bloody ridiculous. Especially because we didn’t even particularly want the wine but it was part of the deal.

I’ve had friends report similar things in Tesco though so it’s not just Waitrose.

AreYouJoking66 Tue 03-Oct-17 11:21:52

I'm not sure why we're being subjected to this nanny-state nonsense. They're clearly clamping down on teenage drinking - which I applaud - but treating law abiding parents like liars and criminals loudly at the till is just not acceptable. There are clearly ways around it - as friends have told me that they send their kids to the car while they go through the till if they're buying alcohol for themselves. But it just means we have no help with the packing and makes us look devious in front of our kids - creating an issue with alcohol.

AreYouJoking66 Tue 03-Oct-17 11:43:09

Dilligaf81 you're right - I think I read somewhere that you can give any child over the age of 5 alcohol at home under parental supervision so it's bizarre that we can't buy alcohol with a teenager stood next to us - it's not like she'll get drunk from looking at it! I could understand if it was a trolley full of cider - then I could imagine it would look like it was for a teenagers party. Iwannasnack - you're right it is bloody ridiculous. All this has done is to make me cross and to tell as many people as possible how I was treated in Waitrose. We felt picked on by an over assertive male manager telling us 'I know the law' and then calling me childish. They've lost a valuable customer and I, like many others, will shop elsewhere ...and without the kids.

yodelehoho Tue 03-Oct-17 12:02:20

I think you need to send a copy of this to the CEO of Waitrose. I really don't think he or she would be aware of what is going on and I imagine heads would roll if they knew.

AreYouJoking66 Tue 03-Oct-17 13:31:22

It's not a bad thought yodelehoho - I'll look into that though I doubt the CEO would read it and my sceptical mind would assume that it will just be pushed back to customer services and we're right back at the beginning again. I think big organisations like Waitrose pretend they care about customers until you really need them to care...and then they don't. It's all smoke and mirrors. The fact that I've been told that the managers of each store are allowed to make their own decisions and nobody can demand that they apologise - even for calling a customer names - means that the monkey is grinding the organ and HO are happy to let them.

yodelehoho Tue 03-Oct-17 14:06:43

Whoever told you that is talking rubbish. The managers are all accountable.

TSSDNCOP Tue 03-Oct-17 14:17:20

So in a half arsed attempt at interpreting the law, Waitrose employees are costing them sales revenue and business.

A re-think is needed I believe.

I totally get them not delivering when an adult isn't present - in fact that's worthy of applause.

But when an adult wants to legally purchase a product regardless of who they are with and are declined that's nuts.

Anyone tried it on the fag counter?

AreYouJoking66 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:06:15

yodelehoho I was told that over the phone by customer services and also in a letter. And TSSDNCOP you're right it shouldn't matter who you are with. It will cost them a lot as I shopped there regularly and its on the way home from work for DH so he would regularly pop in for extras. I won't go there again and neither will he.

yodelehoho Tue 03-Oct-17 15:36:49

OP customer service aren't very good IMO. I've had issues with them about stuff and instead gone directly in to a store (I'm talking John Lewis, not Waitrose) and the staff there dealt with it the way I expected.

Seriously. This is appalling and completely unacceptable.

yodelehoho Tue 03-Oct-17 15:42:00

I've just sent you an pm with an email address you might want to use.

AreYouJoking66 Tue 03-Oct-17 17:14:27

Thanks, I'll have a look, though I did find something online too - maybe I'll just send off to as many email addresses for him as I can find. Will post a message if I get a reply. Cheers

AreYouJoking66 Tue 10-Oct-17 23:02:01

Yodelehoho - it's no surprise that I got no reply...big companies are always disappointing when it comes to really caring about their customers - they like to look like they care but it's a mirage - they only care about their profit. They've lost me as a customer, not because of the alcohol policy but because their manager was rude to me, won't apologise and senior management have washed their hands of it. I'm not going to spend hard earned cash there when there are plenty of other supermarkets to go to, which will probably save me money in the long run, as Waitrose is over priced. Thank you to all of you who replied and supported me.

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