Skip to content

Service and Retailing

August 24, 2013

She sank down, sobbing in her chair, recovering from another harrowing shopping experience.

The idea of going shopping which some people find so wonderful and addictive, I find  terrifying. For me it is rarely a good experience, particularly when something doesn’t work and you have to go back into the lion’s den. What you do know is that the reception will be different from the politeness and smiles (if you were lucky) when you bought the item.
Consider what happened yesterday. I had bought a tent from Blacks in the UK. A good, reputable retailer. The first time I use the tent it leaks – like a sieve. I had put it up in the garden but hadn’t thought to see whether it was waterproof. I had assumed that it would be. As the item had cost me £120 I take it back to the shop.

Manager: Have you got the receipt?
Customer: No, but I have still got the bar code on so you can check back.
Manager: We can’t do anything without the receipt.

And that, dear readers, is a very shortened account of dialogue between myself and the manager at Blacks. On the one side is the customer saying that here is a faulty product on the other is the retailer saying that unless they have the right paperwork they can’t look at the product. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that the manager says it is my fault for not waterproofing the tent and I find myself walking out of the shop with a can of waterproof spray at £8.

Customer: I would have thought you would have given me one of those
Manager: I wish I could, but I can’t but if the waterproofer doesn’t work then I will be able to refund the £8 if you keep the receipt.
Customer: But that is mad, if that is the case, unless you are knowingly selling a spray waterproofer which doesn’t work, then you will refund me the money for a product which does work and I have to bear the cost for the tent which doesn’t.

I have achieved nothing and in fact have put another sum of money into Blacks till. But it is the last. I will never, never shop at either Blacks or JD Sports again and I will tell other people how I feel about the service I received. Every retailer should know the following statistics – dissatisfied customers tell, on average, nine customers and satisfied customers tell only one. You may think you are too big to care but remember that a crowd is a collection of individuals just like me. Treat them well and they will be back, treat them badly and they will be off to one of your competitors, telling the world as they go what happened to them.

There is a wider effect of an experience like this. I was actually going to Jessops after this to buy a camera. I thought I would go to a shop that I could trust and be guided by them into my selection but I was battered and bruised. Another retail experience? I think not.



From → website

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: