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★☆☆☆☆

“Female staff with all the charm of a rabid Rottweiler”

Written on: 11/06/2013 by cliftypops (1 review written)

I phoned Parkers after I found them on the internet, and realised they were relatively local to me, so wondered if the scooters I wanted for my twin sons' birthday were available to collect, to save time and postage. They only had one of the styles I was looking for in stock, so I wanted to enquire about whether or not they could get hold of the other scooter I needed. It seemed sensible to me to shop locally, and to put all the business with the same place - of course, on their birthday, I didn't want one twin to have his present and one to still be waiting! I sent an email through their website, but nobody had replied by the following afternoon, so I rang the office directly. I spoke to a very nice gentlemen who couldn't have been more helpful. In fact, so much so that I commend HIS exemplary customer service, and wish I didn't have to leave a negative review. He was so helpful, and promised to go the extra mile by ordering in the scooter they didn't have in stock, completely understood why I didn't want to buy the second scooter from an eBay seller, and promised to make sure the one they DID have in stock was reserved for me, as well as the new one which should be in for the following day. He also said he'd ring me the next day (and if he hadn't rung by 4pm, would I please ring him to remind him?) I ended the conversation feeling happy and positive that my sons would have the scooters they wanted in time for their birthday, and that this man would make sure of it.

The following day, I was dashing out to a meeting in Manchester, and received an email from Parkers which, read "Hi, Items can be collected from our offices on Wardley Industrial Estate between 9:30 and 4:30 Mon – Thurs or 9:30 – 4:00 on Fri. You will need to complete checkout online on parkersofbolton where you will be given the option to collect. You will also get several payment options, please select payment on collection. Bikes and scooters will then be available to collect the following working day, after 1pm. Regards" Because of the conversation I'd had with the gentleman on the phone who had assured me I could just come down when they were in stock, I took the "items can be collected" line to mean that the items were in stock, so went straight from my meeting that very afternoon to pick them up. He and I had already had a conversation about the fact that the blue scooter wasn't available online so I could just buy it when I got there.

When I arrived, nobody knew why I was there, which in itself was fair enough because I felt I'd easily be able to explain the situation, especially if the gentleman (whose name I, unfortunately, didn't get) was to hand. However, I explained who I was, that I had spoken to a gentleman the day before, and asked if he was around because I was sure he'd be able to clear it up. I was taken upstairs to the person who sent the email. She and the woman opposite her (who had all the charm and social grace of a bulldog chewing a wasp) couldn't have been any less helpful if they'd tried. I asked if the gentleman was available. They shrugged. I asked if they knew who I might have spoken to. They shrugged. I asked if the item was indeed in stock, at least. They told me it wasn't, as it wasn't on the system. I showed them a picture of the scooter he'd ordered for me, which I found on eBay. They told me that wasn't their website, it was eBay, which I knew. I had been trying to help. Then they shrugged again. Fortunately, the gentleman who I'd spoken to the day before eventually appeared, and sorted out the problem, even though these unhelpful women had been adamant that nothing could be done and if I hadn't ordered anything online then there was no chance of buying it. Utter "computer says no" culture, writ large. If he hadn't turned up when he did, I would have left and never come back. As it was, I left, having bought the two items the gentleman had reserved for me, thanks to his kindness and decent customer service.

I run a small business, and if I treated my customers the way those women treated me today, I wouldn't have a business at all. My dealings on the phone with the gentleman at Parkers left me with a good and positive feeling - that he wanted to help and couldn't do enough for me. I would have recommended them to anyone. However, I have NEVER been treated the way those women treated me today, in such an unpleasant, standoffish, rude manner. While I appreciate that they are an online business and my purchase was an unconventional one, I had no reason to believe that my appearance at their hallowed premises would be taken with such apparent offence. I urge Parkers to rethink having these two women face customers at any time. I am appalled, upset, and shocked that anyone can be bitter and miserable enough in the workplace that they feel the way they treated a paying customer today could be considered appropriate. Never again.