Winging Pom Has Winge

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Muddypause
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Winging Pom Has Winge

Post: # 53187Post Muddypause »

Had a most unpleasant shopping experience today. Well, it has to be said that I find most shopping experiences unpleasant, these days. So, this is a bit of a rant; pass right along if you're not interested in small time moaning.

Every so often, the clothing situation gets bad enough for me to need some new ones. Last time I went clothes shopping was two or three years ago, so I decided to prop up the consumerist society a bit more, do my bit for the growth economy, and visit Matalan. Last time I was in there, I thought there's not too much emphasis on 'fashion', they actually have clothes that approximately fit me, and it's cheap (actually, I worry about this - £6 for a shirt; somethings gotta be wrong there. How much are people being paid to make them?).

Anyway, after the best part of an hour, I had an armfull of shirts, trousers socks and things (several years supply). I queued at the checkout for 10 minutes, I watched as the checkout girl filled a large plastic carrier bag (ahem) with my goods, and handed over the crdit card, only to be told that I had to have a Matalan store card before I could buy stuff there. Huh? "You have to be a member of the store, sir." Since when? "It's always been like that, sir." It wasn't last time I was here.

By this time a supervisor had joined the checkout girl, and was adamant that the management was being very strick about this - I had to have a card. I turnd to the customer at the next checkout, and asked if she knew that she had to be a member before they would sell her anything. She didn't, and her expression made it clear that this was a surprise to her. I noticed, a moment later, that she had been presented with an application form, and she was duly filling it in. I pointed out to the supervisor that I had shopped here before, and not needed a card, not been a 'member', and was, at that moment wearing a pair of Matalan trousers to prove the point. They refused absolutely to accept my payment without a store card. I looked at the growing queue of customers behind me, looking increasingly impatient. Frankly, I was feeling thoroughly humiliated by this pubic expose. But I asked, loudly "Does everyone here know you have to be a member of Matalan before they let you spend money here?". They just looked ever more impatient. The suporvisor went on to state that this was common practice at, for example, Macro, Thames Valley Trading and other stores - I pointed out that these were cash-and-carry trade outlets who would only sell to legitimate traders who had validated card accounts with them. She continued to maintain that they could not sell me stuff unless I had a card.

Not knowing what else I could do, I walked away from the counter, shrugging my shoulders, feeling rather embarrassed by all this, and headed for the door. After ten yards, I though that this was just plain stupid; I had spent about an hour in the store, and I was offering them money - this should just be a simple purchase transaction. I went back and asked to speak to the manager. To my amazement, someone went to get him (at this point I was getting agitated enough to expect them to call security, instead). Meantime, I pressed the supervisor, asking how I was mean to know I needed the card. She pointed to a sign on the wall. But I pointed out that this only invited people to apply for a loyalty card, the same as any other store that operates a loyalty card scheme. At this point, with the manager on his way, she said "You don't have to have one, sir, but we would like you to." Wha...?!?

Apparently, and the manager subesequently supported this view, there had been a 'misunderstanding'. Apparently, I had never been told that I had to have a card, I did not need to be a 'member', and I could buy stuff there. Amazing. I must have realy bad hearing. Finally, my payment was accepted.

This sort of thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't like having arguments, still less so in public, in front of a queue of increasingly impatient customers. Two members of staff told me I had to have a store card before I could make any purchases. I think this was an attempt to railroad me into getting a loyalty card. I also think it was a damn disrespectful way to treat a customer. Time was when customers were valued, but it seems a place like Matalan operates on such high turnover levels, that the individual doesn't count for much. People will put up with this sort of marketing because it means they can get shirts for £6.

As I finished speaking to the manager, I carefully established with him that this won't be an issue again, should I want to shop there in the future. But actually, the more I think about it, the less inclined I am to shop in these sorts of places - there just doesn't seem to be any humanity about them. Elsewhere, a shirt might cost £40 or more, and this may make finances more difficult, but actually I think the sort of respect you get from a shop where customers are given individual attention has some value, too.
Stew

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Post: # 53189Post Magpie »

Nope, that's not winging, that's having some sense about you...how incredibly rude of them.

My current gripe is with our local 2nd hand clothing shop - they won't let me leave the shop without putting my purchases in one of their plastic bags - from behind the counter, not one I've brought with me. Even though they let my daughter wear her "new" jeans out of the shop, everything else had to go in the plastic bag...

So, how can I grow my own clothes now? :geek:

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Post: # 53192Post Shirley »

Definitely not whinging... what a disgraceful way to treat a customer!

Magpie - we must be lucky at our second hand shop (I've already got two hands... so mine must be a third hand shop - groan) - they now ask me whether I've got my bags and are more than happy for me to use them.
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Post: # 53197Post Wombat »

*sigh* I warned them not to get me angry, but after what they did to my friend Stew ...................they have given me no choice but to go get one of my rocket propelled grenades. :shock:

Sorry to hear about it Stew, sounds like they really would benefit from a regular grenading until they stopped such foolishness. Good on you for standing up to 'em. surely there must be a consumer watchdog in the UK you can alert ot this shonky practice?

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Post: # 53201Post the.fee.fairy »

Its not whinging! Its pointing out the stupidity!

I hate loyalty cards with a passion. I prefer to pay cash when i go shopping etc etc. i hate the traceability, and the directed marketing.

grr...you've got me fired up at them now.

Can i borrow that grenade launcher for a while?!

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Post: # 53203Post Jack »

Gidday

Thank you for sharing that. Bloody good news, that stupidity is general throught the world, and not just down here.
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Post: # 53204Post Muddypause »

Well, I feel better now I've shared that with y'all. But Nev, and Fee, you really should know better than to threaten violence on my behalf - I am increasingly of the opinion that violence solves nothing.

Interestingly, I happened to mention this to a friend this evening - turns out he has a Matalan loyalty card, and had been told that you have to have one before they will let you shop there. Seems they have a policy to promote this idea, even though the manager denied it. Can't help wondering if the staff are given an incentive to get people to sign up.
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Post: # 53205Post Wombat »

Muddypause wrote:Well, I feel better now I've shared that with y'all. But Nev, and Fee, you really should know better than to threaten violence on my behalf - I am increasingly of the opinion that violence solves nothing..
I quite agree, it's just that it's fun (MWA HA HA HA HA)


Sorry mate, just kidding!

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Post: # 53229Post Thomzo »

The first time I went to our local Matalan, I was pounced upon by a member of staff who wouldn't even let me in the store unless I purchased a card for £1.

I don't think it can be called a loyalty card as I have never had any benefit of it. I don't get vouchers or money back or anything. Not even a catalogue through the post.

This treatment is outrageous. Mind you, if I had been in the queue behind you I would have whipped my card out and presented it on your behalf to save your blushes and the tempers of the rest of the queue.

Just for the record, our local Matalan is advertising on the radio that you do NOT need to have a card to shop there. Which annoys me as I had to pay my £1. I think I should ask for it back.
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Post: # 53241Post red »

I thnk perhaps you need to push this at a journalist/watch dog or something - could make an interesting story - the 'you have to have' optional card...
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Post: # 53251Post the.fee.fairy »

Wombat wrote:
Muddypause wrote:Well, I feel better now I've shared that with y'all. But Nev, and Fee, you really should know better than to threaten violence on my behalf - I am increasingly of the opinion that violence solves nothing..
I quite agree, it's just that it's fun (MWA HA HA HA HA)


Sorry mate, just kidding!

nev
Not even a little bit...It'll be quick, easy and over in seconds...very humane... :wink:

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Post: # 53255Post Paddy's mum »

This same scenario happened to me too, in September 2001, when I had recently moved from the south to Lincolnshire. I had never been in a Matalan store before but I had a lot of money to spend completely re-equipping a new house.

Like Muddypause, I was in turns astounded, embarassed and finally furious. Eventually (as I refused to be made to feel foolish) I left the whole lot on the counter and walked out. I have never returned even though there are two of their stores in nearby big towns where I go to do my 'big shop'.

What infuriated me was that when the assistant showed me the application form and what it entailed, I asked if my privacy was protected. I most emphatically did not want to be on anyone's mailing list having worked long, hard and persistently to put a stop to junk mail.

She said that there was no way to prevent my details going onto the store's records. I then asked her if I had to produce ID since I had nothing on me. "Oh,no" she said "we just issue the card". I then asked if I filled it in with Joan Bloggs of Station Road, Anytown would that be acceptable. She replied that it was - SO .... what does Matalan get out of it if I give a completely fake name and address?!!!!!

Their attitude has lost them a potentially very good customer and like Muddypause, it left a permanent nasty taste in my mouth.

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Post: # 53262Post Millymollymandy »

I don't know the shop from adam but I think there's only one thing for it - boycott the place. Sounds dreadful.

You can always go get cheapo clothes from the supermarkets though not that T***o place (really wanted to type that name in now it is on the swear word filter :mrgreen: ) and many high street stores sell really cheap stuff too.

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Post: # 53264Post Wombat »

Funny thing you know,

I went with Mrs Wombat down to our local shops today, she was booking in for a "free" hair colouring from a card she got from the hairdresser when it was ner birthday. Standing at the counter I saw a registration slip which you are supposed to fill out listing all the usual details plus occupation, birthday etc. I asked Mrs Wombat if she filled one out and she said yes. I gave her to understand what I thought of that idea and determined never to go to this establishment myself. All this for a HAIRDRESSER :shock: ? Pee off!

Nev
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Post: # 53267Post Thomzo »

I know - everyone wants your inside leg measurement these days. I take great delight in telling them that I'm a lion tamer or a diamond smuggler or something. It's going to get me into trouble one day.

The best bit is their faces when they look at you all wide eyed and say "RREALLLYYYYY". :lol:

If I get cold callers on the phone I tell them that this is the number for the local homeless shelter, prison, unmarried mother's hostel or whatever - depends why they've called. If they really annoy me I start saying something along the lines of "Let me tell you about the enlightenment I have found by becoming a ...." by which time then have rung off. :lol:
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