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Would you complain about the way another customer was treated in a shop?

(17 Posts)
Hayls Mon 23-May-05 08:34:23

This happened on Saturday and I'm still thinking about it...

I was in Wilkinsons and waiting to pay for my stuff (it was really busy and every checkout was mobbed) The checkout next to me had two boys, maybe 13 or 14yo, who were buying a botle of Lynx shower gel, Lynx shving foam and 2 cans of deodorant (buy one get one free). They were standing chatting when a member of staff (I'm assuming she was management because she wasn't wearing a uniform) came marching up and tried to take the deodorant off them, shouting @I'll have that thanks'. They looked really confused and asked why, to which she replied 'I'm not letting you buy that to go and sniff. You're underage and you can't have it' Thyey handed it over without any argument but looked so embarrassed and I felt really sorry for them. I wanted to go and talk to them but they left before i did.

I work with teenagers and my gut instinct, based on their reaction, is that they had no intention of using the Lynx for anything other than under their arms. ALso, surely they wouldn't have been buying other toiletries? However, the main problem I have is that she didn't have the decency to talk to them privately or even quietly and caused them and others in the shop real embarrassment. Her attitude was awful. She even explained -loudly-to the security guard at the other side of the checkout what had just happened. DH said I was overreacting but then I wondered how I would have felt if it had been my dd who had been spoken to like that (ok she's only 1 but in the future!) and I was angry. What if it was innocent and there were friends of their parents in the queue? Surely they're not underage, although I accept that it might be illegal to sell it to them if they think it will be abused.

I wish I had said something at the time but I didn't. Do you think I should write and complain? I've already decided that I will never shop there again.
Sorry it's so long . Treatment of teenagers is a sensitive subject to me because I work with them so much and see how it can affect them

ninah Mon 23-May-05 08:43:17

I would definitely write or phone and complain

LGJ Mon 23-May-05 08:44:24

I would ring the area office and create merry hell.

expatinscotland Mon 23-May-05 08:45:30

I'd complain. Teens are people, too. Would she have acted the same if the person had been of a certain ethnicity? That's shocking.

franch Mon 23-May-05 09:01:07

Yes sounds like the staff need proper training for this, if it's an issue they're supposed to be dealing with. I hate the assumption that all teenage boys are delinquents - how can we expect anything better from them if our expectations are so low?

Jimjams Mon 23-May-05 09:02:52

I complained to Virgin (both in the shop and to their head office customer services) about a way a customer with obvious learning difficulties was treated by the woman on the till. I got the brush off and was told how caring all thier staff are, and how upset the girl was to be complaied about as she really liked people with learning difficulties. Wasn't impressed by their response, but was pleased I complained (and haven;t been in there for a year!)

franch Mon 23-May-05 09:03:36

Good for you for complaining JJ - but what a pathetic response

assumedname Mon 23-May-05 09:41:48

Yes, I would complain. It would probably end up with me walking out though, because I'd have embarrassed myself!

I don't know what the law is on these things, but the cashier could have had a quiet word, couldn't she?

handlemecarefully Mon 23-May-05 09:49:09

Yes please do complain. The manager handled it dreadfully

hana Mon 23-May-05 09:53:27

I would also complain - it's not her place to assume that the teens were going to sniff. I also work with teenagers - at risk ones - and this would have serioulsy put a dent in their confidence etc etc

Nothing to do with teenagers but I also have been thinking of complaining about the attiitude and manners or lack of in the receptionist at my dr surgery - I live in v multicultural area and there are frequently patients who speak little if no English - the receptionist is v v rude to them and never has any patience with them - shouts v loudly ( hello? just because they speak little English doesn't mean they are deaf!) Its been something playing on my mind for a while - it happens most times I am there.

yoyo Mon 23-May-05 09:55:07

Yes, definitely complain.

Gwenick Mon 23-May-05 09:56:17

I'd definitely complain - that's not on!


We live on a relatively quite street - but near a large park - and the church opposite has a public right of way through the grounds. The number of people I see having a go at the youngsters (probably mid teens) for 'hanging around and causing trouble' near the church makes me mad. It's usually people that don't live on the street that have a go at them yet as I DO live here (and practicaly opposite the church too!) I KNOW that they aren't the trouble makers and vandals. They're actualy a really lovely bunch of kids (although I supposed they 'could' look intimidating if you didn't know them at all), polite etc etc......

Sadly the 'problem' kids are the 10-13yr olds that hang around the same area...........but people say "oh they're only young"

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's very WRONG to make assumptions about what people are like/up to without 'probing' further - and there's absolutely no need to be rude like that women in the shop was.

bubblerock Mon 23-May-05 10:01:27

When I was 14 I didn't even know about 'sniffing' aerosols. These kids could go away and try it if they are not aware of the dangers and just want to know what all the fuss was about - I know most of the time if I was told not to do something I would inevitably find it more attractive at that age! I would definately complain!

hana Mon 23-May-05 10:08:49

if they are 14 they would have learned about solvents and sniffing in drug education through the PSHE curriculum

Hayls Mon 23-May-05 11:11:07

So that's unanimous then! I'm going to make a complaint- just wish I'd done it at the time.

WideWebWitch Mon 23-May-05 13:12:55

Yes complain. Let us know what response you get.

Hayls Wed 25-May-05 08:34:50

I emailed customer services and this was their reply...

Thank you for your e-mail and for the bringing the matter to our attention.

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the incident which you have described.

I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the store manager will further investigate the matter and will take any action that he deems necessary to prevent any recurrence of this nature.

Once again thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and assuring you of our best attention at all times

Hmm, pretty unsatisfactory imo but not sure what else they could have done really. Especially as I think it was actually the manager who did it!

ANyway thanks for convincing me to complain. Hopefully it won't happen again

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