Sunday, 29 January 2012

Off Her Trolley

A customer in Waitrose waits in the 'baskets only' queue with a shopping trolley (containing only a few items). There is a baby in the trolley seat:

Waitrose Partner: This is for baskets only, I'm afraid.

Customer: Yes, I know. I'm only buying a few items but I can't use a basket because I've got my little girl with me. I can't carry both - she needs to go in the seat.

Waitrose Partner: I appreciate that, but this is for baskets only.

Customer: So, what do you suggest I do, put the baby in the basket as well??

Waitrose Partner: [Blank look] Erm...

Customer: I tell you what, how about I put these items in the basket and then put the basket in the trolley, would that be OK?

Waitrose Partner: [panicked look] Erm, yes...

The customer picks up an empty basket, puts her shopping items into the basket, puts the basket in the trolley, approaches the checkout and is duly served.

31 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Anonymous said...

There's something not right with Waitrose in WP at the moment. Customer service is really poor.

I tried to give some feed back about the self checkout experience. I told the member of staff that it seemed slow and that the scales were over sensitive,unlike Tesco's.... Her response? Sorry sir I don't shop at Tesco's...

M said...

Shamefull! I shopped in Waitrose a few weeks back and was short by 3p, on a £30 shop. Asked the check out person if she could let me complete the shoping and I would bring her the change from the car in two minutes. She said this was not possible and I ended having to pay 3p on my card!

Sue said...

I was in Waitrose yesterday and felt as if I was in the way of the shelf stacking that was going on. 3pm on a Saturday afternoon is not the best time. People just couldnt get down several of the aisles, due to double parked cages.I stopped going to Tescos because of the lack of concern for their customers, please Waitrose dont go the same way.

Anonymous said...

How old was the Waitrose partner?

Anonymous said...

There's something not right with people at the moment.

Basket tills are for people with baskets... I don't recall they ever specify the reason you are having to use a trolley.

Was it really such a chore to queue the extra ten minutes at another till? Yes it's inconvenient, but if you have to use a trolley for whatever reason, then you should be expecting that anyway.

I can't believe someone made such a big deal about not being allowed to go through a basket only till.

Anonymous said...

On arrival in a car you find that Waitrose have very thoughtfully provided special parking spaces for those with child.

You are then able to select a trolley where Waitrose have obviously taken time to think about for those with child, inasmuch as the child can be seated in a trolley.

On entry into the shop you are then presented with the option to scan your shopping, negating the need for any queueing at all. So trusting of Waitrose, I think.

However, if you choose not to use that option, and have a trolley, you then have two other options to pay. The checkout for trolleys or the self scan.

Clearly for the parent in question this was not good enough. He/she only had a few items and so everyone else could just get out of way.

I tell you, if it was labelled 6 item or less, you would get someone with 7 items. If they changed it to 10 items or less, you would get someone with 11. Then if you let someone through with 11, someone would try 12.

So, Waitrose try basket only, and you get someone try it on with a trolley with only a few items and a child.

Good for the Waitrose partner. The attitude might be considered somewhat pedantic by some, but nothing in comparison with the attitude of the customer with child.

Anonymous said...

"Ten items or fewer" if we're really being pedantic

Anonymous said...

i think the worcester park blog has a real issue against waitrose you never seem to raise the customer service issue of the staff in icelands, whenever you make a trip into icelands the customer service is poor i dont wish to here them talking to each other about what there doing the weekend who there boyfriend is or them swearing in front of my 19 month old daughter on the shop floor. i have never had a problem in waitrose staff are polite and helpful, and if u do read the sign it says baskets only trolleys make the cue ten times longer, its a way to cut them down. there only doing there job remember so its not actually the employees fault its rules made from head office and signs are there for a reason !!

Worcester Park said...

If you read the post, I didn't make comment or judgement on Waitrose's customer service here. I simply related the scene that I witnesses. Whether you think Waitrose or the customer was at fault here is entirely for you to decide.

Anonymous said...

M it might only be 3p but the cashier could get into trouble if the till is short. You might have come back but how many would not?

Anonymous said...

from reading past comments about waitrose you do seem to be very judgemental with them at times. to be honest i think the employee was right because its one of those things if one person sees a trolley at a till they all do it and its very annoying !

Andrew Porter said...

Difficult one, but I think the woman should have used the ordinary trolley checkout just to avoid controversy.

Worcester Park Blogger said...

Why? What has age got to do with it?

Nichu said...

The same customer was really irritated when I borrowed a baby in order to make use of the parent and child parking spaces.

MW said...

From the description given by WP Blogger, this woman had well under a basket's worth of items to purchase but needed to use a trolley in order to be able to do her shopping, seeing as she had a baby with her and rightly pointed out that it's quite difficult to hold a baby and a basket at the same time. Asking her to go stand in the trolley queue and wait 10 minutes behind someone with a week's worth of shopping, just because 'the sign says so', is indicative of the lack of independent thought, common sense and courtesy that is rampant amongst certain segments of the population. I'm guessing that the commenters who would have kicked this woman from the queue have never had to hold a baby while shopping. If it strokes your ego to kick mothers with small children out of queues so you can buy your ready-made meal-for-one that little bit quicker and get back to bitching about the 'privileged' parking spots for parents and the disabled, knock yourself out. I just hope that baby girl grows up to be the one who kicks you out of the queue when your mobility scooter won't fit through the express checkout aisle in your old age. Or perhaps she'll be the one who decides whether you get a sponge bath that week at the nursing home...

Shelokay said...

I hate "basket only" queues!! should be 20 items or fewer.. a fit person of 30 could hold more in their basket than a lady of 70.. but why should the lady of 70 not be able to use a fast lane too even though her trolley holds less items than most baskets!
and so what if someone has 22 items.. an aisle like the "baskets only" or "20 items or less" means if you dont have many items.. regardless of the wording!!
discrimination is discrimination.. so dont discriminate against people who cannot carry baskets!

W. Parker said...

Isn't the basket only register there for people that are only buying a few items? Unless I'm totally wrong, that is the case here. There does seem to be a bizarre amount of people commenting that rules are rules, without considering the circumstances... I'm confused by those people.

W. Parker said...

All of a sudden, all mothers shopping alone, carrying babies a few goods in a trolley will be queuing at the basket only register? I'm okay with that. Are you so against that?

Huey said...

Thinking the situation through to it's logical conclusion and pre-empting a query at the checkout, the mother should have stuck a basket in the trolley in the first place, using this to contain her few goods.  Regardless of how she carried the child, be it arms, pushchair or trolley, there was no basket in the equation so she could reasonably have been expected to be challenged.  Just because it seems odd that at the checkout it would be fine if she had put the items in a basket in order to pass through the checkout according to Waitrose guidelines, had she put them in a basket and the basket in the trolley, no one would have batted an eyelid.

Dave said...

I find it quite remarkable that Waitrose is the only shop I use, albeit very occasionally, where the self-service checkout machines only accept payment using plastic. All the others I shop at - including Sainsbury's, Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, M&S, B&Q - accept cash. Waitrose supposedly prides itself on service (presumably that's partly why their prices are so much higher [waits for a bleat from one of the "partners"]), but then fails to install machines that take cash. Everytime I go in there there are queues at the staffed checkouts while the self-service machines go largely unused. Can anyone make sense of that?

Anon said...

That is because Waitrose wants only the better class of customer who refuse to use cash

R Jones said...

MW, are you one of the ladies who think you are always right? think you are.

By the way, would rather have a meal for one than have a meal with a lady like you.

Not about Egos, women are happy to moan about oaps and teens, let us moan about you mothers

Anonymous said...

I assume that Waitrose's Head Office welcomes feedback to :
CustomerSupport@waitrose.co.uk

They may well be monitoring sites such as this anyway.

I do wonder how many people praising Waitrose, particularly their staff, have a vested interest - "partners" or their relatives.
My experience is that store staff tend to be much the same everywhere. Can't expect much, beyond basic civility, from people doing repetitive, low-paid jobs.

Anon said...

I think that this branch has always had problems - it is the worse Waitrose branche that I've encounterted, and I believe it is due to the Management, or lack of it - when was the last time you saw a branch manager, Managing! or even a manager?

In my experience the staff in Iceland are miles better than most of the ones in this Waitrose, very helpful. I hope that Waitrose Head Office sees this and makes some changes.

Mr W. Park. said...

What ever happened to 8 items or less??

Mr_W_Park said...

What ever happened to 8 items or less??

Lobocop72 said...

I have always found all the staff in Waitrose to be extremely friendly and helpful, and I really do not understand why this blog has such an issue with this branch. I shop here regularly, sometimes with my two young children and have never had a problem with the staff. Having said that, I have not had any problems shopping in Tesco or Sainsburys either. Of the three shops, Waitrose staff are by far the most personable. Is that down to my good manners and respect for other people, or are commentors in this blog just picky?

Test said...

I shop at Waitrose regurlary and have never encountered any issues. I've always found the staff extremely helpful, polite and always willing to help. I remember when I worked in a supermarket as a student, staff were regularly treated like dirt by customers just because we had 'low paid jobs'. 

With regards to the lady with the baby in the trolley - she could have used her pram.

Rick_kt4 said...

My experiences of Waitrose reflect those of Lobocop. They are unfailingly courteous, cooperative and smartly attired… in contrast to a few of the customers!
 
Perhaps such qualities of Waitrose employees make some customers feel socially inferior and trigger their desire for confrontation?

Eddiecartledge said...

If true I think that those people commenting below who believe that the cashier's response was adequate are exactly what is wrong with this country. Seriously...get a life!! A baskets worth of shopping is surely representative of the fact that the customer only has a few items. Whether you carry those items to the checkout in a trolley, basket or wheelbarrow is frankly irrelevant. That is all.

Maria said...

I always get an excellent customer service from Waitrose, the staff is always courteous and helpful. Every time I encountered a problem they will go the extra mile to put it right. The staff at Iceland are pretty good as well, both business really care for the community.  Both of them support local causes in the other hand Sainsbury is pants, ones I asked for support for the school and the duty manager refused…I will go always to Waitrose as we got £240 to buy plants for the station. Love Waitrose!
Maybe the customer should ask first if is was ok to use the basket only till due baby etc...

Post a Comment

The Worcester Park Blog welcomes your comments and opinions!