Queues and Disappointments 

Posted on August 4th, 2014 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Mutterings.
Tags: , , , , , .

4 08 2014

The week before last the UK saw a a rather hot heat wave. My bedroom fan fell to bits, and the only other I had in the apartment was a rather big industrial type thing that is rather loud… especially when using in the bedroom. I’d heard good things about the Dyson fans, and decided I needed one that day. Argos, John Lewis, Currys, everywhere that had a click and collect type service, sold out. I called John Lewis who said the local waitrose may have some in store. They didn’t.

I’d taken Mother shopping a few days later, and Tesco had the ‘Hot and Cold’ variety on the shelves, at a slight premium as they have a heating function too, at this point the hot nights were getting worse.. Did the shop and when going through the till a big warning came up on the till, saying it could not be sold. ARGH. Upon checking online, that model had been recalled, months before. Asking Mother (who works for the group), it’s a rather rediculious system they have in place for recalls. These only seem to be tracked at the tills. So it basically goes:

Customer tries to buy > Gets to till, and held back > Goes in the pile of other unwanted items at the till > Either goes straight back on the shelf or goes into the store at the back shop > Night shelf stackers see the item, go place back on shelf > Repeat.

Was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few weeks back, and finding the substitutes pretty grim, bread being one of them. However a lot of reading later, I had a few what good home made bread recipes. So this weekend I decided to brave Westfield, and go to one of the bigger John Lewis’ locally, as they stock a well rated bread machine for making Gluten Free bread. Check online and then head down to the store. I thought I’d call ahead, and make sure ‘Yep one in stock’. Perfect.

Get to store, find the isle, and the item. Get one of the PFYs to look it up ‘oh we only have the display model left’… Yup that counts as the one apparently, and they don’t sell the display models? Awesome. However I am told I could go to Oxford Street if I wanted, as they have some in stock, or order it in for click and collect and pick it up tomorrow. No no no. The idea of me going to a shop, is I want it there and then… If I want it tomorrow, why wouldn’t I just order online and get it sent straight home? Ergh, if you have an item in a massive department store, why would you not stock at least one item you can sell. What is the deal with getting someone to come back tomorrow? Surely retail is all about the impulse? If people need to order online to pick up, surely they’ll just order online and get it delivered?

Then decide to do some browsing, and popped into Game, again not something I would generally do, but I do enjoy some impulse shopping. Find a game I’d wanted to play… £37.99, bit steep compared to how much it is online, but oh well, I guess I’ll get it anyways. Oh… a big queue, but I’ll assume it will go down soon. 10 minutes later still not moved. It’s seems the two cashiers were explaining every single combination of how you could buy the latest console. Argh. Then in a very un-british way, someone in the queue asked one of the PFYs, who seemed to be just standing around picking his acne, if he could or get someone to open another till. There must have been 15 people in the queue. I then check Amazon, oh, I can get it for £29 and have it delivered for free on Sunday (note: I do have a Prime account). You know what happens next, I had planned to play it on Sunday anyway.

As I was walking out of the store, the original PFY and his fellow soap dodger was laughing that someone had asked for him to open another till.. I guess he didn’t have enough stars on his badge.

They wonder why Retail is f*cked…


The value of feedback

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Mutterings.
Tags: , , .

29 03 2011

I do sometimes question the value of review sites. Yesterday I bought a little 125cc Scooter to run around town on, and wanted to get the insurance setup, so when I picked it up, I could drive straight away.

I was looking at a few comparison sites, and one particular insurer came out cheaper than the others. Tried a few more comparison sites, all gave similar results. I went with one particular insurer, called them up, went through the paticulars, gave over my payment details. Job done. The chap seemed like a bit of a lad, but polite enough, said the paper work would take a couple of days to email through, as this time of the year is the busiest time for them. No problem.

I then thought I’d have a look about the company, just out of mild boredom. Found a review site, which was full of bad reviews on their setup process, mostly regarding docs that had been sent through wrong..etc couldn’t really comment further as hadn’t received my docs.

When checking my mail this morning, docs were in my inbox, all appear correct. So my experience didn’t seem to match everyone else’s. However would I go and give a good review? would anyone? I’d say not.

People usually only give feedback, when it’s negative. This is a somewhat over generalisation, however for the most part, true.

So what is the value of feedback sites? With the freedom of the Internet, everyone has a voice. Be it on a on a feedback/review site, forum, blog, twitter or the like. If people have a bee in their bonnet regarding a certain company, they’ll go and write paragraphs on how angry they feel, and how terrible the company is. Would they do the same for a positive? I’m not sure.

However, bring in new social media services, I’m thinking foursquare here. The idea is you ‘check in’ at place, and can leave reviews for others looking at that venue. I often give good reviews here, something short and sweet. The reason? because it’s so quick. Takes maybe an extra 2/3 seconds per check-in. I don’t need to write a lengthy review, with 10 options for different ratings, from decor to service.

As you can see my tips range from very positive updates, to beware of this place.

I use services like foursquare, over most review sites. Why? as I said above, mostly, people only (in my opinion) only write lengthy reviews, or go to proper review sites, if they’re pissed off.

Or am I completely wrong here? What do you trust?


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