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Are You Being Served? – the Bad Service Fairies strike again!

By bunnycoat - 8 February 2008 38

I went to Fyshwick today to try to buy some lamps.

Visited 6 stores – only one where anyone seemed to be interested in helping me by asking what I was after and checking their catalogues and floor stock.

In one other (national chain) store I was greeted and directed to the relevant area of the store where 3 young women were too busy talking to each other to pay any attention to potential customers.

Another (national chain) had no floor staff in the furniture section. In another store I was faced with a surly “nup we don’t have anything like that” and I left to find the car blocked in by a delivery truck in the customer car park.

The other stores were completely empty of all floor staff so I could easily have helped myself to anything, including the cash register. Maybe these stores have come to the conclusion that paying staff to provide bad service is more negative to their business than letting potential customers help themselves to free goods.

Alas, the lamp hunt continues…..

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Are You Being Served? – the Bad Service Fairies strike again!
ant 9:26 am 09 Feb 08

I really appreciate good service in shops, because it’s getting so bloody rare. Good ones lately (it’s easier to list the good ones, much quicker….) were Timberland furniture in Fyshwick. A chap in his 40s, I think, was helpful, chatty, but not pushy. So we bought off him.
Manuka Coles continues to try to ensure customers don’t stand in line for too long.
Angelo’s shoes in Manuka has some very skilled sales ladies, once you’re trying on a shoe, they produce others that are similar in your size! argh. Ended up with 3 pairs yesterday but they’re all gorgeous.

Oaks Estate grog shed has a bunch of friendly, knowledgable staff, you never get ignored OR hassled there.

And that’s about it.

For lights, Ikea (in sydney) is pretty good. And there’s a light place in Queanbeyan on Crawford st, up from Aldi (going towards Oaks Estate) that seems to have lots of nice ones in the windows, dunno what the service is like though.

Thumper 9:11 am 09 Feb 08

They may be paid a monkeys wage, but they are still being paid to do a job.

Yes, service in this town is pathetic.

However, you can let your feet do the walking.

Mælinar 12:36 am 09 Feb 08

What do you expect from those on monkeys wages ?

Use your superior intellects (that you are proposing you have), and negotiate a better deal by pulling the wool over the eyes of your inferiors.

I regularly find myself several hundred dollars up on purchases in this town, merely on the monkey not scanning what I present to be paid for, there is further discount avaliable in negotiating and outright ‘I am only going to pay $50 for that item’ sales.

AFAIK lamps are pretty similar no matter which store you go into, so the purchasing options reduce to either confusing the monkey, or informing the salesperson that you can buy it cheaper at ‘hardwarelightinghouse’.

Anyways, bad service in Canberra is merely a perspective. As a customer, you reserve the right to walk away whenever you like, its up to them to impress you, not the other way around.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 11:43 pm 08 Feb 08

I generally agree. Service in most industries here is fking awful.

JackW 11:31 pm 08 Feb 08

danman, I hope this isn’t too “emotional” for you, but you’re an absolute jerk. If you had any common sense, you’d make a split second decision on which RiotAct article/story/rant/whinge, advertisement, free plug or news you want to read. It’s not rocket science, or didn’t you ever do the speed reading course in the Public Service and you find it all a bit overwhelming???

bunnycoat and iluka, I too am disturbed by the lack of service in this town. Happens everywhere. People just don’t care. Quite embarrassing when we are labelled as being “super friendly” by many people in other countries. I haven’t found a friendly customer service floor person in Canberra since I moved here …

Danman 11:21 pm 08 Feb 08

LOL @ all comments re me..
Did you try communicating your concerns with management before posting here ? I am a big fan of giving teh benefit of the doubt.

I do not mind waves on RA – but it seems to be coming quite frequently a rant site. Everyone vents lately – barely news worthy.

If you genuinely wish for results I would take it up behind the scenes – talk to store managers etc.

Failing that then post away…..

Either that or make the story less emotive

Lines like Another (national chain) had no floor staff in the furniture section. In another store I was faced with a surly “nup we don’t have anything like that” and I left to find the car blocked in by a delivery truck in the customer car park. are totally unrequired. Maybe they did not have any lamps, and maybe you accidentally parked in the wrong place.
In any case, I am not sure exactly how this part of your trip added up to your woes ?

PS Best you never order a pizza from APK Civic – long story ….

needlenose 10:29 pm 08 Feb 08

Or the USA. While there are many bad things about a culture of a minimum wage and service staff who can only reach the poverty line via tips and commission (such as actually being one of them), when you are the customer, it’s frickin’ brilliant.

chaton 10:00 pm 08 Feb 08

I’m sure it’s a canberra thing, we often comment on bad service around town, it’s like they really don’t have to try to make the sale.
I love visiting cities like Melbourne for this reason, people who know service seem to live there!

ramblingted 9:59 pm 08 Feb 08

I think Danman is the type who just likes Riotact to not make waves…you know, just regurgitate what he’s heard on 666….more of a gnat than a blowfly…

bunnycoat 9:55 pm 08 Feb 08

Danman, while I am capable of being assertive with the best of them I can hardly fix the problem for myself when the sales staff are invisible. BTW do you work at Hardly Normal?

el ......VNBerlinaV8 7:30 pm 08 Feb 08

I’ve experienced identical treatment in a large national chain store multiple times (lets call them “Narvey Horman”)

iluka 6:54 pm 08 Feb 08

I rather think my problem becomes the sales assistant’s problem whilst i’m in their store, trying to buy one of their items… Why shouldn’t they solve it for me? Isn’t it their job? Or should i be punished for daring to intrude on their social catch-up (or whatever the hell they were doing while they were invisible on the sales floor)!?!

astrojax 6:45 pm 08 Feb 08

mebbe danman, but these inept sales staff are in your town, serving you… (or not, as it were…)

bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Danman 6:26 pm 08 Feb 08

Another blowfly who complains from behind an ISP because they are too timid to fix their problems for themselves.

RiotACT Canberra new……errr Canberra rant

iluka 6:17 pm 08 Feb 08

A similar thing happened to my partner and i a couple of weeks ago when we tried to buy a bed. We visited a particular large furniture store – a national chain, let’s call it Store One. In it, we found the perfect bed. It was a pretty good deal, too, so we were willing to end the search there, and started to look around for a sales assistant (none had offered any help up to this point). There was only one in sight, and he was busy. My partner wandered up towards another end of the showroom, looking for help (the staff were all wearing fluro “SALE” shirts – shouldn’t be too hard to locate one, surely!). He asked a staff member he found near the sofas and coffee tables, only to be told that she couldn’t help him buy a bed, he’s need to find a bedroom furniture staff member. We eventually found one, who told us straight out that the bed we liked wasn’t in stock. He said “I can ring Barry if you like, he’ll be able to tell you when we’ve got one coming in.” It sounded like a bit of a chore for him, but we said Yes please. He wandered off, talking on his mobile, waving at us to indicate he’d be back in a minute.

Several minutes of standing around later, during which time another staff member asked us if we needed help (Baaaahh!!), we wandered over to the other side of the bedroom area – only to see “our guy” (inept sales assistant) assisting someone else!!!! Stuff that, we thought, and left!!

Unfortunately, we visited 4 other chain stores and found that the service was no better anywhere else, but the prices were much more pointy. We sulkily dragged our feet back to Store Number One and returned to the staff-poor bedroom department, to our favourite and budget-friendly bed. We saw “our guy” again, and avoided his gaze – we searched out another staff member (found one this time!) and made our purchase.

I hope they work on commission at those shops.

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