Today, me and my sister decided to go through to Edinburgh.
Remember how after the blogger meet-up in May, I'd decided I liked the 'Burgh after all?
Changed my mind again.
Here are some things you need to know about me. Firstly, I do have a tendency to be extremely thin-skinned at times. Secondly, I'm a bit more vocal on my blog than I am in real life when faced with confrontation. And thirdly, I don't tend to try things on when I am in clothes shops.
The few times I DO try clothes on, I tend to be with my sister. And today, since I was with her, and since I was feeling a bit skint, when I found some dresses I wanted to try on in Top Shop, and she had some clothes SHE wanted to try on, we'd headed for the changing rooms.
I should also point out that, prior to finding these dresses, my sister had already paid for a pair of shoes in the sale in the same shop. She had been served by a girl who was rather sour-faced and let's just say her customer service skills were decidedly lacking. I remember commenting to my sister, who works in retail management, that I was sure she would not have put up with that kind of behaviour in her staff. She had agreed. Worse was to come though.
I had about 100 quid worth of dresses in the cubicle with me. Which probably only equates to three dresses in Top Shop world, but still . . . I would happily have bought them all. Because I loved them all. But I could only afford one. That being said, I was sorely tempted to buy all three.
My sister tried on her clothes and decided they weren't for her, but I was still trying things and I needed her help. On hearing the (nice) girl manning the changing rooms tell someone they were running low on cubicles, she nipped out of hers and came into mine to help me out so the cubicle was free for someone else.
I'm not really sure what the issue was on this. Me and my sister do this all the time in a lot of stores, mainly because neither of us are keen on leaving a cubicle wearing not very much to show each other our outfits in front of others - especially if they aren't particularly flattering. In fact, in the Glasgow branches of Top Shop in particular, we have done this on many occasions, and no one has said anything about it.
In addition, both of us had a tag stating how many items of clothing we had brought in with us. Neither of us were causing trouble. And both of us potentially had money to spend.
But as I decided on the dress I was going to buy and started to put my own clothes on, ANOTHER girl appeared outside my cubicle and started shouting into us to get our attention. She proceeded to then hold a conversation with me, me standing pitifully in my bra and leggings (and bear in mind that I am currently trying to lose weight, so this was not my ideal position to be arguing in), looking me up and down like I was some sort of cockroach (which made me feel even worse) about how it was against the rules for two of us to be in the cubicle together.
The implication being, I guess, that we were either trying to get it on with each other, or trying to shoplift.
I tried to explain that my sister had just came in to help me out and to free up the cubicle she was done with, but the girl continued to be argumentative and had a right attitude on her. My sister, who had just taken a phone call from her hubby at the time and was about to step out of the cubicle prior to the scene, then left the cubicle, loudly telling her husband what was going on, and the girl marched away.
But the whole thing really shook me up,
Like I said, I can be really thin skinned at times, and this is precisely the type of thing that gets to me. People not listening to me, and judging me when they don't have a clue about me.
This girl, who as far as I can tell, was not management, and probably earns less than I do, and CERTAINLY less than my sister, caused an unnecessary scene for no reason other than being, from what I can see, power crazy. In the process, she insulted two people who were patronising the store she works in, and for no other reason than because my sister had been helping me out in my cubicle trying to persuade me to buy a dress.
I was sorely tempted to actually toss the dress in her face, and tell her to shove it, that her behaviour had cost the branch my business . . . but I was actually on the verge of tears and knew I wouldn't be able to do it without crying. Which wouldn't have helped matters. And anyway, when we left the changing room, it was the nice girl who let us out, so it wouldn't have had the desired impact anyway.
I bought the dress anyway, and I love it. But the whole experience has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I have worked in retail and customer service, and I wouldn't ever have DREAMED of treating a customer the way she did. Sometimes I wonder how certain people manage to get a job in the first place. She was certainly one of those people and I am already composing a letter of complaint in my head to the company. In fact, so incensed was I, that had I noticed anyone in management in the shop today, I would have probably complained in person. And THAT is a pretty big deal for me!
Something I learned at university was that if someone has a positive experience in a shop or business, they will tell perhaps one or two people. If they have a negative experience, they will tell far more people than that.
Top Shop in Edinburgh . . . consider this me telling a lot of people about my negative experience.
PS I won't be back. Trust me on that.
So I ask you all: Have you ever experienced bad customer service? What happened?