Sunday, October 08, 2006

Crappy customer award

Today's Crappy Customer of the Day is Mrs F.

By way of background Mrs F is a woman in her fifties (possibly) with that hideous tousled, streaked crop so beloved of would-be outdoorsy, horsey, yachtie types (who would be if only they could be if only they had the requisite family background, social circle, aptitude or money).

In moments of stress her carefully cultivated vowels are apt to slip; one day, we hope, she'll choke on 'em.

In the mean time she thinks she's up to each and every move on the board.

Today she turned up in the express lane demanding attention. She prefers to get her attention in such situations - a quiet corner simply doesn't offer sufficient scope for heaping humiliation down upon the head of whatever hapless flunky is unfortunate enough to have to deal with her. Today that hapless flunky was me.

She clutched in one hand a bag of mixed sweet peppers and in the other a receipt confirming that she (or at least someone) had purchased a bag of sweet peppers from us yesterday. She waved the bag of peppers at me and announced that she'd gone to use them when she got them home last night only to discover their condition. I looked at what she was showing me and could see through the CLEAR CELLOPHANE WRAPPER that of the three the green pepper looked well, slightly imperfect.

So I did exactly what she wanted me to do, I apologised and agreed that she could have the replacement pack she'd already selected and placed in her basket. I turned to walk away and as I did I heard her say as clear as a bell "And a refund. That's the standard, you know. A replacement and a refund."

I didn't acknowledge her, I was too slow and as yet unsure of my ground. I knew only that I was surrounded by a shop floor full of mildly interested spectators. I got the woman her refund which amounted to £1.59.

She went away convinced she'd scored yet another mighty victory. Meanwhile I had a moment to examine the pack she'd given me more closely. The mucky green bits I could see at one end were not as I'd initially assumed from the less than perfect green pepper, but were trapped there during the sealing process and possibly from an entirely different item. The pack itself had not been opened. The imperfections were not deterioration but the natural imperfections found in real fruit (rather than fruit grown in hot houses, shielded from the elements as they are).

It dawned on me that this ghastly woman had come in yesterday and spotted this packet. She'd selected it with the intention all along of bringing back, knowing that in doing so she'd get both a perfect pack, provided we had one, and her money back; or her money back twice. Not one of us would be brave enough or suicidal enough to challenge her. The imperfection was clearly visible through the clear packaging, there had been no abnormal deterioration and the other two fruit were absolutely flawless.

Mrs F (for going to all that effort to squeeze £1.59 out of us) is today's runaway Crappy Customer of the Day winner.

PS: I'm reliably informed that this particular carbuncle has in the past attempted to return (for a replacement and refund or double refund 'own brand' goods purchased at another supermarket chain.


  • At 6:57 pm, Blogger Al said…

    Isn't it great that some people have so little going on in their lives that they have the inclination and/or time to do these things?

  • At 10:53 pm, Blogger Raspberry Fool said…

    I might wish I had the time but I'm glad I don't have the inclination - indeed I'm constitutionally incapable of coming up with wheezes like this: which is why I work here rather than just shop here, I guess.


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