Thursday, 22 November 2007

Are you being served?

There's quite a few things that the English are pretty bad at (football springs immediately to mind) but customer service has to rank pretty high on the list of blind spots in this country.

A particularly annoying example arose this evening, albeit with a satisfying twist. I returned some gadgetery to a store in Croydon - having apparently baffled the 12-year old behind the till with the concept that the thing didn't work properly, she asked for the card I paid with and then proceeded to refund the item before I even had a chance to point out that I wanted a replacement, not a refund.

When I deigned to ask for a replacement (the items are kept in a glass case - well, it is Croydon) I was told in as many words that I had to 'go over there and ask for one then'.

So I went over there. And I asked for one. And they handed me one. And I took it back to tilll-bound turnip who, still in a state wild befuddlement, had apparently forgotten that she had given a refund and processed it as an exchange.

The upshot? I walked out into the dark night of Croydon with a broad smile on my face and £50 of technology completely free of charge.

On the subject of service (good service), Longella left a long and well considered comment here (having stumbled on the blog whilst looking for a nail bar, apparently).

She writes:

"As a fellow Worcester Parkite I would like to show some (deserved) recognition for FRIENDLY shop workers...mine being:
1)Italian (?) man in Checkers sandwich bar (always cheers me up),
2) the pharmacist in Boots - he always goes out of his way to help,
3) the lady who serves in WH Smiths - friendly, helpful...polite
4) the waiter in Pizza Express who always remembers us (OK we do go in there a lot - I LOVE PE)"

Well, sounds like a good local blog topic if ever I heard one. So my nominations for GOOD service in Worcester Park:

1) Ross, from Ross Fruiterers - always a friendly and helful. Makes you glad such local shops exist
2) Mr Mustafa in Kingfish - fish served with crispy banter
3) People in Cuppaholic cafe (near the station) - neither brilliant location nor brilliant food, but 10 out of 10 for effort
4) Staff at Le Kitchen - for their sheer delight at remembering my address every time I pop in to place an ordet
5) The chap in the Post Office convenience store (near Mr Ink), for sheer hard work and friendliness

O.K. That's my list. Now over to you....