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Horrible experience in Tesco

(68 Posts)
Dahlia Sun 18-May-03 20:49:53

Sorry, this is a long rant, but I need sympathy and understanding! Went to Tesco on Friday, bought a toothbrush for dd which is battery operated, big signs on it saying reduced from £4 odd to £2. Got home and checked through receipt only to find I had been charged £7.99. So after picking dd (age 7) up from school went back to Tesco to get balance refunded. Went to Customer Service and the woman was serving a queue of people on the next counter which is the photo counter. She looked at me like I was in the wrong place and said "Yes?" So slightly flustered I said I needed assistance, so she came over and I briefly explained the situation. She said oh, those sort of toothbrushes are about £8, and I said no, they had reduced signs all over them, so she came from behind the counter and went to look. Because she still had a queue at the photo counter I followed her to point out where the toothbrushes were to save her some time, and sure enough, she had walked straight past them to the end of the aisle, so I called out loudly excuse me, excuse me! They're here! and pointed to them. She stalked back to me with a glare on her face and said something like 'there's no need to be so rude, I'm not deaf and I don't take kindly to being yelled at blah blah blah' or words to that effect. I was gobsmacked, she looked so angry - I could feel myself start shaking (bear in mind I am 35 weeks, AND I had dd with me who is a very sensitive little soul) I said I wasn't being rude, I was merely trying to help her and point out the toothbrush as she had gone past it, and she carried on saying yeah well you shouldn't be this and that and the other, and then I lost it, and started crying, so then she calmed down slightly and started muttering excuses and took a toothbrush off the shelf and walked back to the counter, she then started putting it through the till and faffing about, and then said "I can see you're annoyed" I was still crying and shaking, and I said I wasn't annoyed, I was upset, and I just wanted the balance back, I didn't want a second toothbrush, but she didn't even listen to me, and other customers were staring and I felt absolutely humiliated and distraught and dd was staring up at me looking worried, and then this stupid bitch calls to another member of staff and mutters "I think I've upset this lady," and the next thing they were handing me a bunch of flowers off the flower stand nearby, and i was saying look, I just want my refund, and bitchface said I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap, I've had a stressful day, so because I am nice I said oh, never mind, don't worry etc etc, and then just legged it with my second toothbrush that I didn't want and my crappy flowers and dd who was trying to be brave. Once I got in the car I just sobbed my heart out, and I couldn't stop til way after I got home, then when dh got home I burst into tears again whilst telling him. I have today written to the chief executive of tesco telling him I am not impressed because the more I think about it the more incensed I become. The worst thing was that dd was with me and I HATE her seeing me upset. And I wouldn't f*cking mind but I wasn't even rude to the stupid cow, I was just trying to help. So I need some nice mumsnet sympathy because I am feeling very sorry for myself!

SamboM Sun 18-May-03 20:54:29

Poor you Dahlia, I can remember several similar incidents when I was pg, it seems so much worse than usual doesn't it.

Big Big Hugs to you ((((())))))

WedgiesMum Sun 18-May-03 21:06:27

Much sympathy and hugs to you. And well done for writing a letter of complaint, how DARE she take out her bad day on you, completely not on at all, and in front of your DD. How would she feel if someone did that to her, selfish cowbag??? I have started comlaining more about things now I have children because I find it terrible that people feel free to behave badly infront of children because they don't think of anyone but themselves.

Please try not to let it upset you anymore, easier said than done I know, and remember there's lots of us here sending you love and support.

judetheobscure Sun 18-May-03 21:31:40

Rude and unhelpful shop asssistants drive me mad. I try so hard not to go back to shops whcih don't treat customers with respect. Having said that, I'm just about to do my Tesco's shopping (though fortunately it's via internet so no need to talk to anybody(!) except the delivery man.

Good for you, writing a letter of complaint.

Just one thing though; maybe she was suffering from pnd or menopause or something. No excuse for her behaviour but perhaps it's a reason she was so below par.

I know the feeling of getting upset by other people's rudeness, even when not pregnant so lots of sympathy flying your way.

happyspider Sun 18-May-03 21:37:03

Dahlia, I find myself oversensitive and crying for nothing as well now that I am nearly at the end of my pg.
What really upsets me sometimes is that I am normally quite upfront and don't easily cry, but now I do. And the attitude of the people like this shop assistant makes things even worst as they make you look like a poor helpless woman.

That upsets me even more, since I think I am not.

I am sending you all my understanding and a big hug and my message is what I keep telling myself: not long to go!

kaz33 Sun 18-May-03 21:47:28

Big cyberhug - I'm 38 weeks and I'm a hormonal mess.

Dahlia Sun 18-May-03 21:59:09

Thanks everyone, I feel better already .

Nutjob Sun 18-May-03 22:10:07

Dahlia, I had a very similar experience in Morrison's when I was about 38 weeks pg and had ds who was then 2 and a bit, with me. I too was palmed off with a cruddy bunch of flowers, after I complained in floods of tears, so I know EXACTLY where you're coming from. Big hugs and I hope you feel better soon, don't let the sill old cow get to you!!

Ghosty Sun 18-May-03 22:31:56

Dahlia ... huge hugs to you ... hope the horrible old bat steps in some dog poo on her way home!
I remember losing it and crying when I went into the back of a woman's car once (not a big prang or anything). I was so apologetic and she just stood there in the middle of the street f-ing and blinding at me at the top of her voice ... I just stood there sobbing (I was suffering from PND at the time). It wasn't until a witness stepped forward and pointed out that she was reversing at the time (which I hadn't noticed) that I got cross and snatched my address back from her (She had stood over me and made me write down that it was my fault on the piece of paper).
I was so upset that when we had to phone eachother to sort out insurance stuff my DH had to speak to her DH .... cow!

mears Sun 18-May-03 22:36:27

Dahlia - lots of sympathy to you. You reminded me a the time when I was pregnant with my last child (albeit over 9 tears ago now - you will remember this forever!). I was in Mothercare with my 3 ds's, ages 5, 3 and 2. The youngest were trying to get on the musical car whilst I was trying to purchase something. I had repeatedly told them to come and stand with me but they were playing me up. The shop assistant was really rude to me, saying that they were stopping other children from having a turn. This was while I was at the till and I knew I only needed a couple more minutes to buy my stuff and go. I felt that it was the shop's fault by having the bloody thing there in the first place. I gathered up my kids and shopping and went home seething. I decided it wasn't good enough so phoned and asked to speak to the manager. I then promptly burst into tears when telling her my tale of woe. She was extremely sympathetic and apologised profusely for her employees behaviour. Never offerred any vouchers mind you

WideWebWitch Sun 18-May-03 22:48:17

Dahlia, so sorry to hear this and well done for writing to them. She was totally in the wrong and shouldn't have been so rude and horrible. I seem to have had a run of people shouting at me recently and it's so much harder to cope with when you're pregnant isn't it? I hope you get a response from the chief exec, and I hope you got her name too. Sympathy, hope you feel better tomorrow.

sb34 Sun 18-May-03 22:57:43

Message withdrawn

Moomin Mon 19-May-03 06:32:22

Dahlia, you've DEFINITELY done the right thing writing a letter - well done. This will almost certainly get you a huge apology at least. I don't think it matters if this woman was having a bad day - she is paid by Tesco to be of service and she could quite obviously, I assume, see that you were 1)pregnant and 2)with your small dd. I know it must be a pig of a job working at the customer service desk and quite stressful at times, but it's really not good enough. If I took my bad moods out at work I'd soon be in trouble. I'm forever having to switch a professional face on and it ain't easy sometimes! IME the big supermarkets bend over backwards to apologise to customers if things like this happen. I'm sure when it's brought to the manager's/chief exec's attention, you'll hear from them. All the best xxx

breeze Mon 19-May-03 08:31:50

I remember being heavily pg and it was DH birthday and I had nothing to wear so headed off to buy something, after hours of shopping I found something I liked tried it on and it was slightly too small, so I asked the shop assistant if they had the next size up, she "replied no sorry" and I just burst into tears (it was a saturday afternoon) the poor girl who was only about 17 clearly didn't know what to do. I still go red even thinging about it. So we all do it.

What a horrible experience for you though. I remember about 6 months ago I bought about 20 things from Tesco and had 4 shopping bags to carry and DS with me, when I got home it occured to me the shopping had cost more than I thought, so I looked at the receipt and the lady at the till had scanned 4 things through twice, totally about £12 (had some clothes). I contact the store who was very happy and told me to bring the receipt in. I did so the next day, and sounds like I was served by the same lady as you. She looked at the receipt and replied in a loud voice "OH XXXXX doesn't make mistakes like this" and just glared at me. By the time I left with my money I got the feeling that she was implying that I was trying it on and was a thief. I should of complained about that.

breeze Mon 19-May-03 08:39:39

Dahlia, and you never know the women might have been on grape duty all morning

Metrobaby Mon 19-May-03 08:51:03

Dahlia - Your Tescos experience sounds awful and there was absouletely NO excuse for the assistants behaviour. I'm getting mad just by thinking about the fact she reduced you to such a state. Honestly if people in people facing jobs act like this they shouldn't be doing the job at all IMHO.

Have you written to your local Tesco store manager too ? If not you should and enclose a copy of your letter to Tesco's CEO. Hoepfully as well as an apology you'll get some vouchers or freebies

mouli Mon 19-May-03 08:59:41

Dahlia, poor you. I am really glad you wrote to complain, you should print off this thread and include it in your letter. I amsure Tesco would be horrified to hear all the bad press they are getting.
Try not to dwell on it...just look forward to your gorgeous new baby- lucky you!!

Copper Mon 19-May-03 09:42:05


this sounds appalling and I hope you get a decent response.

But someone on here said the customer is always right. I had an experience from the other side which still upsets me. I work in a reference library on the enquiry desk. The day that my mother was having a mastectomy, this woman came in wanting to find out something extremely complicated, and I started trying to explain to her how to go about it. She was very impatient and wouldn't listen to my explanations. I could tell that I was not explaining as clearly as was needed (largely because I was in a really nervous state), because she obviously thought that I was being obstructive and that what she wanted to find out should have been instantly available. So I said to her that I would find a colleague who understood this information source better than me, went and found him, came back and told her he would be with her in a minute, and apologised for having to pass her on. I said that I wasn't on top form because I was worried about my mother having a mastectomy as we spoke. She said, very angrily, 'Don't lay your problems on me. You are here to help me, not to indulge yourself'. Fortunately my colleague arrived just then, as I was in tears for about the next hour. I still dread trying to explain that particular information source to anyone.

So you can see, I don't think the customer is always right .... But I think you are definitely right!

tigermoth Mon 19-May-03 11:25:33

Dahlia, glad you're feeling better today. That sort of thing can linger on in the mind for ages, I've found. It was really out of order for that assistant to get so personal with you. Surely that's not in her training? Perhaps she'd had a bad customer just before you and took it out on you. Sounds like your tesco at least needs more staff on the customer services desk - so well done you for writing a letter.

Your story reminds me of something I still feel horrified about 4 years on.

My son, aged 5, was in a summer holiday playclub. I dropped him off and picked him up on my way to and from work. My drive was an awful one - motorways and a toll crossing, but I used to leave plenty of time. I was 36 weeks pregnant. My son wasn't settling that well into the playschmeme, and on the fourth day, due to horrendous traffic, I was 20 minutes late in picking him up. My mobile phone had no signal so I couldn't phone the playclub. I arrived to find a helper standing outside with my son. I apologised profusely and explained I could get no signal from my phone. The helper was really stoney faced, and did not accept my aplogy. OK, I was in the wrong. But then she said in front of my son that she was on the point of phoning social services and was going to arrange for them to take him away! When I got home I was furious. If that was going to happen, she should have told me in private. How cruel to say that in front of my son, especially as he was not settling in that well anyway. He was really upset. I phoned to complain and got an apology but don't know if things were taken further.

jodee Mon 19-May-03 13:13:39

Tigermoth, I read that in disbelief! How dare she say that, just because you were a little late, and absolutely NO excuse to say it front of your son, I hope you reported her!

Dahlia, glad you are feeling more positive, what a horrid, horrid woman - take your custom elsewhere!

chanelno5 Mon 19-May-03 13:24:29

Dahlia - poor you! Thought I was the only one who met nutters like that! Glad you're feeling better about things now and hope that you get a grovelling apology (and a good few Tesco vouchers!) back.

ThomCat Mon 19-May-03 13:42:17

Bless you sweet little cotton socks Dahlia!
Big hugs - Thomcat xx

leander Mon 19-May-03 13:43:44

Dahlia,I am so embarrased about the way you were treated.I work on customer services for Tesco and would never dream of treating anyone like this and I hope I speak for my collegues,the policy is to refund the money paid for the toothbrush and you get to keep the toothbrush,I know this wont help you now but I am really sorry about your treatment and hope you get a letter of apology and some vouchers.

54321 Mon 19-May-03 13:58:23

Dahlia, if only I had time I would have written 3 long letters of complaint in as many months about Tesco's staff telling me something which if only I had time I could have proved and in each case they were rude to me and I remained calm and friendly because of the children. Leaves me thinking do Tesco's treat their staff so poorly that they are taking it out on the customers having said that usually the staff are very human and nice. Massive cyberhugs !

edgarcat Mon 19-May-03 14:28:30

Message withdrawn

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