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AIBU?

M&S ridiculous policy

39 replies

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 20:58

I need a new pair of work shoes and I found what I was looking for online at Marks but I was a bit hesitant because of the price. They went into the sale yesterday but they were sold out in my size. I checked in store availability and the nearest pair to me was a 45 minute drive away, but they were a bargain so off I set.

When I got there I couldn't see them so I asked an assistant who told me they were out the back in the storeroom but she couldn't sell them to me because they were in the sale. I was a bit incredulous and thought I'd misunderstood so I spoke to a passing manager who confirmed that no they wouldn't go and get the shoes for me. I could have bought them online at the sale price in a size smaller or ordered to collect them at that very store but I couldn't have the one from the back in my size.

Am I missing something or is this a crazy policy?

OP posts:
Secretsandwalls · 24/09/2022 21:00

While you were buying them in store someone could’ve ordered them online to collect in the store and then turned up and they’re gone.

HaggisBurger · 24/09/2022 21:02

That’s insane. I’d tweet them. What is the point of the store availability function if that’s their policy. Charge them for your petrol.

MandyMotherOfBrian · 24/09/2022 21:03

Yes as PP said, it’s because their online ‘stock’ comes from all different branches and so if the item isn’t out on the shop floor it might have been ‘sold’ already online. When you order a few things at a time one of the things they explain is they might all arrive at different times as they may come from different locations.

KingCharlespen · 24/09/2022 21:05

The same type of rules apply when they close their changing rooms and still won't allow you to exchange sales items even though you can't try them on. I've seriously considered stripping on the shop floor

Newrumpus · 24/09/2022 21:05

So why didn’t you go onto the website, buy online to collect in store and then ask them to get them out for you.

HundredMilesAnHour · 24/09/2022 21:06

I don't understand why you didn't order them to collect before you left home?

luxxlisbon · 24/09/2022 21:06

I don’t really understand, is it just that they only offer what’s out on the sale rack and can’t go and get additional stock or sizes for sale items?
Ive worked at an M&S years ago and they are always crazy during sale time, they probably don’t have the resources to keep going out the back to look through sale items. People did overnight shifts to put sale stock out when I was there.

But with 1 item I’m surprised they didn’t just say there is a margin of error in the system and just because it says there is 1 item in store doesn’t always mean there is.

ThinWomansBrain · 24/09/2022 21:07

I live in central London, so stock in the large stores is fairly fast moving, and giant sale rails to sort through.
I never trust the "in stock at" on the M&S website - always order to collect, or get delivered if enough for free delivery.

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:08

But if they had been sold online they wouldn't be showing as in stock in the store surely? That didn't seem to be a concern to the staff member, she advised me to come back tomorrow as they'd be putting them out in the morning. She wouldn't have said that if they were for an online order.

OP posts:
Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:11

They were there, she told me there were two pairs in the back room. It's a small branch in Ireland, believe me the sale was not 'crazy', the shop was nearly empty with a small sale area in one corner.
I couldn't order for click and collect because they weren't available online in my size. Obviously I would have just ordered them online if I could have.

OP posts:
Secretsandwalls · 24/09/2022 21:15

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:08

But if they had been sold online they wouldn't be showing as in stock in the store surely? That didn't seem to be a concern to the staff member, she advised me to come back tomorrow as they'd be putting them out in the morning. She wouldn't have said that if they were for an online order.

It’s not that they’re for an online order that had been placed, it’s that someone could’ve done click and collect for them and turned up at the store and they wouldn’t be there because you’d bought them in store rather than click and collect which would’ve updated the online amount available to other customer’s and stopped them being able to click and collect them.

TheSummerPalace · 24/09/2022 21:17

But with 1 item I’m surprised they didn’t just say there is a margin of error in the system and just because it says there is 1 item in store doesn’t always mean there is.

They did say that to us once. According to their website, they had a set of suitcases at a large store, a 45 minute drive away! I really liked so we drove there. They checked the store room, after we looked on the shelves and told us, just because the website said they were in stock, it didn’t mean they were!

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:19

@Secretsandwalls nobody could have done that because they weren't available online. If it was possible I would have done it.

OP posts:
luxxlisbon · 24/09/2022 21:25

TheSummerPalace · 24/09/2022 21:17

But with 1 item I’m surprised they didn’t just say there is a margin of error in the system and just because it says there is 1 item in store doesn’t always mean there is.

They did say that to us once. According to their website, they had a set of suitcases at a large store, a 45 minute drive away! I really liked so we drove there. They checked the store room, after we looked on the shelves and told us, just because the website said they were in stock, it didn’t mean they were!

To be fair it’s right.
It’s not necessarily that it definitely isn’t in the store but it might be in a different area, as a return or packaged ready to be transferred to another location and not in the stock room in the right section so the staff wouldn’t be able to find it.

Somethingneedstochange · 24/09/2022 21:34

I ordered my daughter a coat from Topshop (instore). I paid for it. Said they would text me when it was in, in the next 5 days but received no text. Went in on the third day to be told they no longer had it. It had been sold to someone else. It's no wonder they closed with customer service like that.🤬😡

KittyKatBlue · 24/09/2022 21:37

Why didn’t you stand in store and order it on your phone for collection? Since you were there.

Lovecat · 24/09/2022 21:37

I was once told by a lovely assistant in M&S, who was helping me search the rails for a top in DH's size that their computer had said was in stock, that quite often if it's just the one in stock and they can't find it, it may well have been shoplifted... however, your situation is ridiculous, OP. No reason for them not to sell it to you if it's unavailable online.

(found DH's top in the end, it had been hidden amongst a load of other t-shirts!)

EfficientDynamics · 24/09/2022 21:40

I would have bought or reserved online, not driven 45 minutes without doing either

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:43

@KittyKatBlue as I have previously stated they were not available online in my size so I could not do that.
They were not inaccessible, it was not a glitch in their stock control system, she knew they were there. It's a very small branch. The only thing stopping her getting them for me was M&S policy.
I'm a retail manager, we run bigger sales and I would absolutely not countenance this level of service in my store. If we had it and the customer wanted it, we would get it for them.

OP posts:
Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:45

🤦🏻‍♀️ thanks@EfficientDynamics. Not sure why I didn't think of that! Oh wait...

OP posts:
JuliaDorneys · 24/09/2022 21:45

I've worked in retail in the past and have come across this .

They are often not allowed to put stock out if the sale (in store) hasn't started.

If they were due to go into the sale (but not yet) then they are not allowed to display it at the sale price.

Savingpeoplehuntingthings · 24/09/2022 21:47

Another bizarre M+S tale here
An assistant was putting some sale items on the shelf. I saw a pair of shorts I liked, priced up ready to go on the rail she was filling from, I asked if I could take them she said no, they weren't for sale until she put them on the shelf - the shelf that was around 6 inches from her. I waited until she had put them on the shelf that was right next to her which inexplicably took her about five minutes before I was allowed to take them straight off the shelf and to the till.

BatteryPoweredMammy · 24/09/2022 21:48

Which store was it? Dublin somewhere?

I can't imagine the Cork store following such a ridiculous policy to be honest. We're not the Rebel County for nothing. 😂

JuliaDorneys · 24/09/2022 21:48

When it shows in stock in a branch, can you reserve it for collection or not?

Twoscotcheggsandajarofmarmite · 24/09/2022 21:56

@JuliaDorneys no you can't. It may different in the UK but you can't here.

@BatteryPoweredMammy Clonmel. If it was Cork I'd have got my shoes! They'd have realised the insanity of the rule, we have a bit of common sense down here.

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