Sunday, 13 June 2010

Poor Business Practice - Whatever Happened To Customer Service?

I have had some very poor customer service from my local New Look store. We bought a pair of jeans for my daughter's birthday. They didn't fit her, so we brought them back to exchange them on a Monday. We arrived 10 minutes BEFORE 8:00pm (when the store was closing), and even though there was still 10 minutes left, the doors were locked and the girl at the door said it was too late. This annoyed me, but I hoped it was a one-off bad experience.

My husband and I walked down there (2 1/2 miles) on the following Sunday morning. We went to Asda first because the store sign on New Look said it did not open until 10:00am. When it was 10:10am, I walked out to the store only to find a group of about 5 women standing outside complaining because the doors still hadn't opened. One of the women knocked on the door and gestured to the sales girls inside.

Slowly, a sales girl walked over and opened the door. Another lady asked, "Aren't you supposed to open at 10:00?" and she gestured towards the sign on the door that stated New Look opened at 10:00am.

In a VERY snide voice, the girl said, "LEGALLY, we aren't required to open until 10:30!"

Now all of the women who had been waiting started complaining amongst themselves and commenting, reasonably, that the sign posted should state that they didn't open until 10:30am if they had no intention of opening until then!

I walked up to the counter to return or exchange the jeans and was told, "Oh, we can't do returns until 10:30!" ??? But they were already open for business!

Not wanting to wait around, I left. I shall walk back again tomorrow afternoon, get a refund and never shop there again. This store's employees act like they don't want customers! If a store acts as though my business is not needed or worse, in the case of this particular New Look, like customers are a nuisance, then they do not deserve my business and I will shop elsewhere.

Now add to this my poor experience with shopping on-line with Asda. Yesterday, Robert and I were very happy to see that a coupon for £75 off our very large order had been applied. Great! We even discussed shopping on-line more often with Asda in the hopes of future offers like this.

Fast forward to today, when, about an hour before our order was due to arrive, we got a phone call from Asda. The £75 coupon had been an error and they would not be applying it to our account afterall. Being that we had been overdue for a shopping trip and needed our groceries for our meals today, I told them to go ahead with the order, but I was seriously annoyed.

The error was on Asda's part, yet they did not offer any compensation. I understand that they did not mean to give us £75 off from our order, but what were they going to do to instill some good will on my part as the customer that their error had just greatly inconvenienced? Even a small compensation such as 10% off that order and free shipping would have gone miles to appease my annoyance. Nothing was offered. They have several competitors in the area for my custom. I am a customer with a large family and I regularly spend £200 to £300 a week at their store. This was a bad move on their part.

What ever happened to customer service? This is a bad economy, so it is reasonable to expect that companies will be going out of their way to make sure that their services are such that customers will want to return. Companies like New Look and Asda Walmart have several competitors for their business, and acts like the previously mentioned will just drive customers like me to their competitors.

UPDATE: ASDA has contacted me and offered some compensation for their error, and I am satisfied with the solution. Maybe customer service isn't dead everywhere yet.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

£5 Rocks

Gabby, Bella, Connor and a neighbor's kid collected together lots and lots of rocks. Then they had a "sale." They were selling the big rocks for £5. LOL!

They had one customer. The first customer got "the first rock free," so they didn't get their £5. But they were really, really excited that they had a "customer," and they told me that he said he was going to put the rock in his garden. (It was a neighbor from a couple of doors down).

I'm glad I have the kind of neighbors who are willing to humor children.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

A Saturday At The Park

Today we took our younger four children with us on our walk to a local park. It's a long walk, but we saw thousands of tadpoles there a couple of weeks ago, so we were hoping the kids would get to see lots of frogs today.

Some of the houses we saw on the way there had some pretty flowers in their gardens.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010

It was a long walk to get to the park.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 1

We finally made it to the park. There weren't any frogs, but there was a lot of clover.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 2

I was hoping to spot a four-leaf clover, but no such luck.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 3

There was a tire swing and a rope swing at the park. Connor tried them both out. Gabby decided to explore the area around instead. Bella tried the swings and did some exploring too.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 4

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 5

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 6

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 7

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 8

Cameron enjoyed himself, even though he didn't do all of the exploring and playing that the others got to do.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 9

There was a lot of nature for the children to explore.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 10

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 11

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 12

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 13

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 14

Today, the local farms were shearing the sheep. The children loved getting to see the sheep, and they even watched a couple of the sheep get rid of their heavy wool.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 15

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 16

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 17

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 18

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 19

There were a few benches along the way, and the children were quick to make use of them.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 20

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 21

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 22

When we got to the lake, we gave the children some bread to feed the ducks with. The lake's two swans swam over to us and brought along their three little signets.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 23

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 24

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 25

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 26

The park's Magic Kingdom was open. It is full of sculptures of giant toadstools and snails as well as other fungi displays.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 27

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 28

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 29

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 30

We hadn't realized that the BBC was holding a Breathing Places event at the park today, but since they were there, we took the kids to see some of the displays.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 31

At the beekeeper's stand, the kids got to try and spot the queen bee.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 32

Another stand had a live owl.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 33

There were other stands too. One of them was a stand where the kids could get free face-painting. Gabby is the only one who decided to have her face painted.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 34

There was an herb garden with an interesting center-piece.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 35

The kids got to bring home keychains with hedgehog pictures on them, booklets that explained about different things in nature and a few other things. Then it was time to head home again.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 36

Of course, the kids still found some last-minute opportunities to explore before we got home.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 37

Though Cameron had not run around as much as his brother and sisters, it was getting close to his naptime, so he was starting to get tired.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 38

Connor started to get tired too, but he already had the solution in mind.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 39

I thought it would be a good idea to show that I had actually come along with the kids on this walk to the park and lake, so I stopped so that Robert could take a quick picture.

Stanton Park 5th June 2010 40

Our walk to the park and around it and home again usually takes Robert and I 2 hours, sometimes less. With the kids along, and adding in stopping at some of the stands, it took us 3 1/2 hours. It was worth it to take the children out for such a fun day, and the family got some good exercise at the same time!

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Mommy Fly

With some much warmer weather arriving, we have had our windows open more often. Because of this, there have been a few flies that have been getting into the house.

Connor, my three year old, was very worried about a large fly that was buzzing loudly aorund the living room today. I explained to him that flies won't harm him, and that the fly was only looking for a way to get back outside.

That's when four year old Isabella chimed in.

"I saw a dead fly in the window! It was a little fly."


"It was just a baby fly and this fly" (indicating the large fly buzzing around the room) "is the Mommy fly. The Mommy fly is very sad that her baby fly is dead."

I explained to Bella that flies don't have those types of relationships with their offspring. They just lay the "eggs" and leave.

"Not THIS fly," Bella insisted. "This Mommy fly LOVES her baby fly and she is very sad that it is dead. She is so sad that she is not going to leave. She's going to stay with her dead baby fly."

Nothing I said convinced her otherwise.