Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And another company who sucketh mightily: Tesco

I went to Tesco to buy a little Dell netbook and couldn't... because the staff couldn't find the key to open the electricals cupboard. After 45 minutes I left sans netbook and in a bit of a funk with Tesco.

They do have a decent contact system though. I got given a card with all their contact details on. Although the fact they have a card shows that obviosuly a few things go wrong.

This is an excerpt from the email I sent them to complain:
I cannot fault the attitudes of the young woman working on the electricals counter who dealt with me, or Laura on customer service, or James the store manager (who had unfortunately walked into all this first thing on his shift). They were courteous and I could sense their frustration on my behalf.
However, it did take some time and several phone calls from the assistant on the electricals desk before any action seemed to be taken. The assistant was on her own so could not go and find the key herself and there seemed a distinct lack of urgency or response to her pleas for help. It seemed from her demeanour that the people she was phoning were unhelpful and 'not bothered'.
I was left with the impression that this member of staff was left unsupported, which compounded my frustration. Having worked in customer service myself, I know how demoralising it is to disappoint customers because of reasons beyond your control.
There were several things that could have been done better in this instance.
A colleague could have taken it upon themselves to hunt down the missing key or proactively check the places it was supposed to be rather than have to be directed by multiple phone calls from the sales assistant.
Obviously a better system for key handover would have helped. The key had apparently been signed back in at some remote location (downstairs perhaps), but was now missing. Quite how that happened (and the stock control issues that it raises) seemed quite unprofessional for such a well-known company.
Realising that a customer had been waiting fro 45 minutes, a manager could have shown some initiative to offer an apology and / or seek an alternative solution.
Like I said, the staff I spoke to were very sympathetic and expressed their frustration on my behalf. I did make these comments to the newly-arrived shift manager in a level and fair way, but also related my annoyance at the situation. Again a chance to be proactive was missed because nobody on the customer service desk offered to take my name and contact details to follow up my experience and inform me whether the lap top was actually available or not.
So, all in all, I am left with a wasted trip to an out of town supermarket, and a sense that Tesco may be a very successful company, but on this occasion it failed miserably at providing me with the item I wanted. Very little help, really.
And I did get an email back. But it was a missed opportunity...

Thank you for your email.

I am very concerned to learn of the problems you have experienced when trying to purchase a laptop from our Culverhouse Cross Extra store. Please accept my apologies for any frustration this matter has caused you

We aim to provide the very best service and it is disappointing when a customer is unhappy with any aspect of our operations.

I have passed your comments to our Store Manager, Huw Cowell, who will address the matter with the staff members concerned. This will ensure that this does not happen again.

I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and I am confident that you will not experience any further problems on your next visit to your local store.
Making sure it doesn't happen again isn't exactly what I was looking for. I'd be very surprised if it happened again because they apparently had 50 grands worth of electricals in that room and didn't know where the key was (off being copied perhaps?). I imagine they'll keep a close eye on the key. Great.

But it doesn't give me back my valuable time and it doesn't make me feel any better about my situation or about the numpty twazmuppets at Tesco.

I'm not exactly sure what Tesco could offer me as recompense, but the customer service lackey's confidence isn't it.

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