I had hoped to blog about my new rock chick purchases this week, but due to an unforeseen sizing issue (ahem) I have to get my new trousers replaced and shall blog next week now.
However, this post is not unconnected, as I was in a well known department store yesterday looking for a pair of killer ankle boots to finish the ensemble and subsequently found them.
The boots in question were not too high, had a thin heel and were slightly pointy. They also had some interesting seam work, so although fairly plain, they were a bit different. I couldn’t find a pair of black ones in my size so I tried the brown pair and they looked fab.
So I Took them over to the counter and awaited a shop assistant to scurry over, all smiles to help me “with my purchase”. There was no one there. So I waited. I then thought they might be out the back or something so I embarrassed myself a bit saying “Excuse me….excuse me” at a partly opened door. Nothing. Eventually I left the boots on the counter and found a woman in another department who offered to find someone for me. As I needed to go to the children’s department I told her not to worry and I’d be back in 10 minutes and maybe they’ll have returned. So I did just that.
Upon my return there was someone at the counter, working around my boots, so I said: “Hi. I was just wondering if you had this size and style in black.”. She replied “I’ll go and look”. She wasn’t particularly friendly, I can live with that (I shouldn’t have to, but I will). She came back to me. “Yeah, sorry we don’t have that size in black”. Silence. Is it just me or is this the bit where they offer to solve my problem? “Ummm, can I order some then?”. She looks at me, slow blinks and says “yeah, you can order over there”. She points vaguely behind me. “Where?”. ” Over there, near the mirror. It’s a way to order things”. Buoyed by her over exuberance to all things customer service I say “how will I know what to order?”. At this point she explains I could try scanning, but that probably won’t work so I should type in the brand of the boots and I’ll find it. Clear as mud. So now I realise I won’t be speaking to a person but dealing with a machine. Shoe girl drops her head to get on with her paperwork and I feel a bit left out in the cold. Well that’s an understatement, I feel pretty pissed off actually. I’ve just told someone I want to buy their wares and they’ve basically shown they don’t care whether I do or not. I do shop emotionally and I like to be loyal to certain brands and certain shops. This department store has always been pretty good, so it probably felt a lot worse because of that.
So I wander over to where she had pointed and there tucked behind a mirror is a big “ordering machine”. It’s not quite a computer nor is it like an ATM, but somewhere between that. I start looking. It is incredibly slow, slower than my iPhone and every time I try to search the brand in the boots section, it doesn’t exist. Not another shop assistant can be seen and I’m now royally peeved. I dump the boots on the desk and storm off.
Am I expecting too much? Is this really the way I should be treated. I may not be spending £1000’s of pounds, but I bet my return custom does (and now I think of it I had my wedding list here). Why didn’t the Shoe girl offer to order my size in? That’s my first question. Isn’t that normal helpful behaviour? And if this department store has taken to making everyone order through this ghastly, clunky machine, then why didn’t she offer to do it for me?
I know I wasn’t spoken to rudely, or ignored entirely or treated badly, but why should I only complain under those circumstances. I was treated like I wasn’t worth her time and in some ways, that’s nearly as bad. I won’t be rushing back to their shoe department any time soon.
I’d like to say I didn’t buy those boots, but although I tried to find a boot that was similar on my walk back to work (going in 3 shoe shops) I did end up buying online. I’m not proud of myself, but as I mentioned before, I won’t be going in the shoe section again if that’s they way I will be treated.
I do intend to write a letter.