Written on: 17/01/2013 by Warrenf
Sent the following to river island after being insulted by manager:
I am writing in regards to the disgraceful service received while returning some items to the Burnley (Lancashire) branch of River Island. The goods (Shirts) were initially ordered online and were promptly delivered, tightly packed around cardboard with numerous plastic clips holding it all together.
A few of the shirts ordered needed to be returned, so for ease I brought them to the Burnley store. Unfortunately, on arrival to the store, my packing efforts were apparently not good enough for the store manager (confirmed as Sarah Hadcroft), who immediately decided that she would do her very best to patronise and scold me and my wife on the condition of them loudly in front of the few people queuing to be served – bystanders who were very clearly embarrassed for the both of us.
Admittedly, I was unable to pack these shirts in exactly the same way as they arrived, so I had folded them the best I could and packed them in the plastic that they came in although apparently, as the shirts were creased Sarah would have to reduce the price in order to sell them in her store - an absolute ludicrous attempt at justifying her attitude.
I appreciate that goods need to be returned in the same sellable condition that they arrived, although when garments are received packed in this way, it is common sense to most people that creases are inevitable as soon as they are removed from the packaging, and it is really is virtually impossible to pack them in the same way as received. There seemed little point in attempting to explain this, as it was clear that any argument provided that was contrary to her point of view would only fuel her irritation and prolong what was already becoming an increasingly frustrating and stressful experience.
In my attempt to avoid the risk of confrontation, I was subsequently made to feel like a disobedient child forced into silence for the next 10 minutes as she begrudgingly processed the refund while complaining that she didn’t have the time to be dealing with this type of returns (internet returns): an argument which was ironic in itself as the process clearly took her longer thanks to pausing intermittently In order to provide me with fresh argument and justification of her issue, obviously in a (failing) attempt to rationalise her earlier outbursts. This tactic only succeeded in making her initial dispute more trivial and senseless by the minute to all who were close enough to hear, and to her credit she must have eventually identified this herself as she thankfully completed the last few minutes of the encounter in relative silence before awkwardly handing me my bag.
This incident happened on Sunday December 30th, and I appreciate that it is now a few weeks later although I did not feel that the exaggerated rants from this individual were justified, and feel that in retrospect, someone in your company should be made aware of the approach taken, frankly by a senior member of staff who should be an example to the more junior members, and not an embarrassment to your company.
I have always assumed communication skills to be a prerequisite for any manager, although the way in which her argument was conveyed, and the way her staff were spoken to in the short time I was in the store was nothing short of disgraceful and I do hope from your perspective that potential managers within the store do not assume this approach as the appropriate way to deal with situations and other staff members due to her behaviour.
Up until my unfortunate meeting with Sarah I have been dealt with reliably well by staff who are always clearly busy although manage to maintain a consistently cheerful approach. I therefore obviously feel particularly aggrieved to have been dealt with this way by a manager who clearly felt that processing a refund wasn't the most proactive use of her time, despite the store being half empty.
This is the first time I have ever felt the need to complain and while the temptation was to simply never return or order from you again, I feel a company should be aware of why it is losing custom, however meagre my contributions are to your sales turnover, and I expect I am not the first to make this decision as a result of coming into contact with this individual.
I really do hope someone reads this letter and genuinely considers these comments, because not all frustrated customers take the time to write and assuming this is not an isolated incident, the efforts of a majority of polite hard working staff in the branch are in danger of being eclipsed by the actions of a person who should have the self-control, training and composure to treat customers politely, despite having to attend to a task she clearly didn’t want to perform – something most of us manage to do on a regular, daily basis without the need to be insulting.
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