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What the hell happened to customer service?

February 17, 2013

In the good old days people took pride in their work. Shop assistants actually did what their job title depicts – assist. It shouldn’t be a refreshing change when it happens – it should be the norm. But not in Marks and Sparks in Ealing. What a bunch of lazy tossers.
I popped in quickly between the bank and the solicitor appontments to pick up a bite to eat for us tonight before we go out. The queue at the till was about 5 deep. Only one till was open, but there were the self service ones (more of which later). I caught a passing shop assistant and asked if he could get more people on the tills. He did that sucking of the teeth, shrugging of his shoulders ‘That’s not my job’ kind of look, and said “There’s nobody around”. I said “Well, you are around and there are numerous colleagues over there” as I pointed towards the self service tills. He shook his head, and at that moment an older, female member of staff came by. “Daniel, can you go on the tills please?”. He shook his head in dismay and reluctantly opened up a till.
On my way out I passed the self service tills with numerous assistants all standing round chatting. The older woman came by and asked one of the “Could you go on the stand up till please?” “No.” was the reply “I’m going on them later”. The supervisor did nothing. I couldn’t believe it. The customers needed service. This person was being specifically asked to go on a till and point blanked refused and there was no come back. Bizarre. They just stood around the self check out area chatting amongst themselves as people got more and more frustrated.
I never use the self check outs. Christ, I’m already doing most of the work picking up all the shopping, the least they can do is scan it through for me. If it was simple and it worked I’d use it. But it isn’t. It must be the most annoying and pointless phrase ever – “Unexpected item in the bagging area”. How is it fucking unexpected? I just scanned it and put it there you stupid fucking machine. I feel an “Unexpected fist in the computer screen” may be my only answer.

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8 Responses to “What the hell happened to customer service?”

  1. michael Says:

    you think the m&s in ealing is bad, you ought to see the co-op in acton

    jesus fucking christ


  2. Sarah, just discovered your blog this evening and love how you “tell it like it is” with just the right touch of irreverence.

    Please keep it coming!

  3. janetditch Says:

    I sometimes used the other pay counters in M&S Ealing (the ones you think will only let you pay for clothes)…fine unless you have something that requires weighing as they don’t have the scales.
    I always found the staff very polite but SLOW..standards nust have fallen since I left Ealing!

  4. Kate Morgan Says:

    the only way forward is to skip marks and replace with waitrose for food -always – they have good customer service and also, I have to say, one of my top ten “gamechangers” – a really easy, scan as you go self check out – I love it!
    Marks also annoy at the refund till – they will dutifllt reprice and rehang every item whilst queues of customers get longer and longer! John Lewis (solihull)just chuck it in a huge bin to be sorted later!
    Mind you for best service go independent local. Crustum, a tiny baker’s in Kenilworth, even let me take bread and chelsea buns and trusted me to pay later as I’d forgoten my purse!! There’s a queue, but its chatty and cheery!


    • Yes, sadly this is true. Marks are losing the plot in so many ways. Perhaps Waitrose and JL remain good as all the staff are shareholders so they do have a vested interest in making us happy. But yes, a good independent local is hard d to beat x


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