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about being cross with Waitrose?

16 replies

geekgrrl · 22/02/2007 12:23

feel free to tell me so
'tis my letter:
To Whom It May Concern:

I had come to Waitrose to get a refund for an out-of-date product I had purchased and to do a small amount of shopping. The refund was handled very well, however, when it came to paying for my shopping I chose to pay by credit card and it appeared that the card handling machine at the till was broken.
All my cards were rejected immediately and it was obviously an equipment fault. The member of staff handling my transaction asked me and my young daughter, who had accompanied me to the store, to wait whilst he went to talk to the manager. After a considerable amount time he returned and asked me whether I could not 'go into the town centre to get some cash' ? at this point it was raining heavily, I was running late for medical appointment due to all the delay and I also had my disabled daughter with me. Naturally, I said no to this request and explained that I had to attend a medical appointment. Your employee asked me whether I could 'return afterwards with some cash' again, this would have caused me great inconvenience, so I said no and asked why he couldn't just put my shopping through one of their other many tills, as obviously the card machine was broken.

He did this, whilst making a comment to one of his colleagues along the lines of me 'obviously thinking there's money in the account'. Well, actually, yes, as it happened there was money in the account and the card went through just fine on the other till.

I am very cross that instead of assuming that there was an equipment fault, your employee instantly made the assumption that I was obviously stone-broke and had no money available in the three accounts for which I had offered cards. He could have easily attempted to put the shopping through on another till, instead of expecting me and my young daughter, who is obviously disabled, to trudge through the rain into the town to 'get some cash'.

I am a frequent customer at this store, usually doing a full week's shopping for my family of five, and am very disappointed with this poor level of customer service.

OP posts:
rey · 22/02/2007 12:36

But phone and get the name of the top man/woman so they can't just pass it by hoping they would not do this though but a name on the letter makes it that persons responsibility. At the very least would expect an apology and vouchers!

itsmeNDaveP · 22/02/2007 12:39

whether I could not 'go into the town centre to get some

doesn't need the not.

Angela1982 · 22/02/2007 12:39

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all and if you have the time personally I would take it further by complaining to Waitrose head office (you never know you may also get lots of vouchers) It annoys me that staff are not trained correctly when it comes to card payments and I have also been in the same situation (but before my lo was born so not quite so bad) again like you I also knew that I had money in the account. The really annoying thing was that my card HADNT been declined it had been flagged up for a random referal which is very normal! (I work for a Bank when not on maternity leave so have had much experience) The shops are all to ready to blame the Banks/Credit card issuer when its just that they don't train their staff. Anyway enough of my rant. As I said though take it further and sent a complaint in writing. Hope this helps

geekgrrl · 22/02/2007 12:45

thanks, have sent an email to customer services, and if I don't hear from them quickly with a satisfactory answer I'll write to the head office.
I was so p*ssed off with them (and it's not even PMT time!) - I was sitting in the waiting area at the hospital fuming. Seeing I spend so much on their overpriced groceries every week, they could at least treat me like a valued customer, rather than someone who is delusional and maxed out all her cards.

OP posts:
MrsGoranVisnjic · 22/02/2007 12:46

I think its reasonable but I think it could do with a bit of a re-write too if I'm honest

mainly because it comes across as a very personal view rather than an official complaint

I'd make it stronger and slightly more formal in the hopes of getting huge amounts of vouchers from them

MrsGoranVisnjic · 22/02/2007 12:47

oops too late ..ignore me .. it is more than sufficient

geekgrrl · 22/02/2007 12:48

ahh, oh well ! sorry, I just had to get it off before I gave myself an ulcer

(in all fairness, I'm having a sh*t time with a lot of things at the moment and my tolerance level is rather low)

OP posts:
jellybellie · 22/02/2007 12:51

Definitely send it - their staff should be trained to deal with such situations like this in a much more appropriate manner - apart from anything else it is embarrassing when everybody else in the queue starts overhearing whats going on. I'm also pretty sure that if all the card machines in the store were broken they should have a manual back up.

For what its worth, Waitrose customer services are supposed to be good at dealing with this kind of stuff because they pride themselves on their levels of service (that's what you pay over the odds for!!)- let us know how you get on.

Lilymaid · 22/02/2007 12:55

I would address this to the store manager and copy it to the Customer Services Manager rather than "To Whom it May Concern" - which is rather off putting. The manager should have apologised to you for the problem at the time. I've often seen people brandishing several pieces of plastic in Waitrose whilst trying to pay, so I'm sure your problem wasn't that uncommon.
Waitrose used to have mystery shoppers employed by the JLP to check up that their staff were polite. I personally think that it isn't as good as it was for customer service, but in every other way it is a much better place to shop than the other supermarkets.

Freckle · 22/02/2007 13:13

I have to say that, as a rule, Waitrose staff are among the best trained and most polite and helpful I have ever come across. I also like their policy of employing people regardless of age, disability or gender.

I suspect that the person who served you is one who slipped through their normally very tight net. However, it doesn't hurt to point out when service has fallen short so that they can revise their training.

In any event, if you were paying with a credit card, you wouldn't have needed money to be in any account.

mawbroon · 22/02/2007 13:17

Don't think you are being unreasonable at all. That is quite shocking. I wrote to Waitrose recently about some nappies I bought there. I had tried emailing the manufacturer and got no reply and genuinely couldn't find a postal address, so I wrote to Waitrose customer complaints department and got a nice letter back with £20 of vouchers. I'm sure I read someone else on here got vouchers for their complaint letter too. Of course, that doesn't excuse the way their staff treated you but it helps a little. Good luck

nogoes · 22/02/2007 13:26

I have always found Waitrose staff to be very polite and helpful up until the point that you have a problem then they are the rudest most condescending people you could meet.

Fenella1 · 22/02/2007 13:34

I hope you get vouchers from them

Now, didn't Cod have probs in their restaurant recently I think she was going to write to them too. Wonder how she got on?

FluffyMummy123 · 22/02/2007 15:39

Message withdrawn

IntergalacticDave · 22/02/2007 15:44

Agree that Waitose staff are very good until they need to actually help you with something.

There's something about Bath Waitrose that makes me want to be armed with an AK47 whenever I cross its threshold

Backthennnnnn · 11/11/2022 21:09

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