Jani (hawes_chestnut) wrote in bad_service,

I should have slapped him with a Marigold gauntlet, I suppose ...

It’s only a little thing, I know, but it *really* bloody irritated me. Usually, our Tesco’s drivers are absolute sweethearts (Tesco, for the non-Brits, is a big supermarket chain with online ordering / home delivery service). They’re cheerful, friendly, helpful, very apologetic if anything’s wrong (and generally the wrongness isn’t even their fault, but a glitch on the part of the ‘pickers’ back at the store, who are the ones who actually take the stuff off the shelves and bag it). They also have certain procedures they have to follow, one of which is that cigarettes MUST be handed personally to an adult, not just bagged with the rest of the stuff.

So, this morning. As I’m glancing quickly into the bags as I take them out of the trays, I spot some items I haven’t ordered – yes, there’s a whole trayfull of someone else’s stuff. Being a boringly honest sort of person, I don’t pretend I haven’t noticed, but give that tray back. He takes it back to the van, I carry on unloading the rest of the delivery, he comes back. Then, since the ciggies aren’t forthcoming, I say “Cigarettes in one of the bags, then?” while rifling quickly through them – if you spot something missing at the time, the driver logs it for a refund there and then, saves calling the helpline. No, he says, they were in one of the trays.

Um, no, they weren’t, or I would have got them, wouldn’t I? And I haven’t. And it’s pretty obvious that someone who doesn’t take advantage of free smoked salmon, grapes and the other goodies that were in the returned tray is hardly Ms Crafty Scammer of the Year. But no, he stands his ground – he put them in the tray, all the trays are empty, therefore I must have them and I’m trying to pull a fast one. No, he didn’t *say* that, but it was clearly implied. I point out things like it’s a very small hall, I haven’t even moved out of the doorway, and I’ve just gone through all of the bags *again* in front of him. We go around it for a few moments, then he shrugs, says “ring the helpline then” and huffs off.

Cue a rant at the nice lady on the helpline, who is a model of Customer Service patience and efficiency, and tells me she will email the store manager immediately. Five minutes later, store manager is on the phone; he also listens patiently to the rant and agrees that implicitly accusing customers of trying to rip off the store, as well as not following required delivery procedure for ‘secure items’, is not good. Then, I hear a bit of mumbled conversation in the background, and he interrupts me to say “Um – yep, we’ve just found the cigarettes. They were here all the time; no, he didn’t put them on the tray in the first place. I have a driver out your way in an hour, we’ll drop them off. I’m really sorry about this.”

In the meantime, of course, helpline lady has emailed to tell me they’ve refunded the cost of the missing items, so when the second driver turns up (rather bemused by this Very Tiny Delivery he has to make) I confuse matters further by pointing this out, and asking him to tell the store manager to charge it back to the account. Because I don’t try and get stuff for free, which was why I was so damned annoyed in the first place.

Seriously, when is it ever acceptable to ignore your own company procedures about delivering adult-only items, and then virtually accuse the customer of stealing the item? I didn’t mind that he’d forgotten something; it happens, no biggie. I *did* mind the attitude, and the fact that if he’d done what he was supposed to do, the situation wouldn’t have arisen in the first place: if you have to hand over something personally rather than bagging it, then there’s no question that you did put it on the van, and the customer did receive it. And if someone has just *handed back* a whole trayfull of expensive groceries which they could quite easily have hung on to, and said nowt, are they really going to pretend a packet of fags wasn’t there, when it was? Grrrr.

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