Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An open letter to the manager of Tesco in Ballybrack.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to let you know about my shopping experience in your store yesterday. It started so well when I managed to park right outside the door and get a trolley that steered in a straight line. We'd just finished choosing our fruit and vegetables when Ben, my six year old, needed the toilet. As you are aware your store does not have a public toilet but the staff are very good about letting children use their toilets so I approached the men behind the meat counter. They told me they were very sorry but were not allowed to open the door for me, I would have to find Adrian. Now I know Adrian as the rude manager who walked away from me once mid conversation when I dared bring back mouldy tortillas without a receipt.

So I went looking for Adrian but he was nowhere to be found. Next I went to the lovely girl at customer services who called Adrian about five times, still no Adrian. Ben started doing the jig a boy does when he needs to go. Eventually the lovely girl gave up on Adrian and called over another important looking man in a suit. This man explained that he had to drop off some cash then would come and open then door. I told him that I thought it was ridiculous that in this day a large store which caters for families has no toilet facilities. I also told him that he was very lucky that Ben was able to hold himself and if he'd been younger he wouldn't have been able to wait the last 10 minutes and they would be calling a cleaner to clean up the pool of urine on the floor. The man in the suit said he understood but we still had to wait another five minutes before the door was unlocked.

Ben relieved we continued our shopping without any hassles. I didn't mind waiting for another five minutes for someone to scan my wine as the girl on the checkout I chose was too young, I was nearly done and out of there. At last, on the home straight, we swept through the door only for the security alarm to go off 'beep, beep, beep' very loudly and everyone looking at us like we were criminals. I looked at the top I had purchased for Ben and realised that the checkout girl had forgotten to take off the security tag. This happened last time I purchased an item of clothing in your store so I really think you need to teach your staff to remove all tags before customers leave the store (by the way not one member of staff or security came to see if I was stealing anything) and you need to build some public toilets.

Yours truly

Very annoyed customer.


Ailsa said...

Poor service seems to be a problem in most of Europe.

Talking of public toilets (or lack of) have you ever been to Boston? Even Starbucks doesn't have a loo.

Steffi said...

Yes,that´s true...I can wrote the same like ailsa.Poor service seems to be a problem worldwide...

enidd said...

enid suggests you invite adrian round to your house and give him lots to drink. when he wants the toilet, dither about finding the key, and then ask him for some cash because the last guest nicked the toilet rolls.

sallywrites said...

Excellent post Beccy!
LOL Enid. Great idea.

If I were you Beccy I'd send a link to this blog straight to Sir Terence Leahy. They'll give you his email address I expect at the head office, but if not the customer service email is:


Make sure that you say that you want a PERSONAl reply from Sir Terence himself!!!

Oh yes and in reply to Ailsa - they don't have public loos in lots of places in France either. We were in (pardon the pun) Toulouse once and had dreadful difficulty in finding one. We had been looking for a while and had several desperate children by then - and me for tha matter. Eventually I blagged my way into MacDonalds where you were only supposed to be allowed to use the loo if you were buying food. We were with French people who had no intention of buying anything from MacDonalds.....

I just smiled and spoke in English on my way out - then ran!

Anonymous said...

There used to be a saying in use when stores changed from counter sales to self service and it concerned giving a service "If you cannot stand the heat keep out of the kitchen" perhaps Adrian should get to read it.
Strange because when I used to serve in pubs I found no trouble in saying "yes sir how can I help", can't think why anyone else should. Keep it up Beccy bad service should not be tolerated. Love EmBee

Anonymous said...

First, I love reading your writing. I can almost hear the accent that goes with it. :)
Second, no matter where you are these days, it seems people are just not accomodating (a nice way to say rude)... I don't think you were reading my blog when I posted my experience with the "coffee girl" in the airport. It was back in December, I think...titled "I Don't Mean to be a Troublemaker." Sometime, if you have a chance to go back in those archives, you might enjoy reading my experience with a less than acomodating young lady.

ChrisB said...

beccy I would do what sally recommends and I just love enid's solution

ailsa- yes I was in Boston last year so know what you mean

Unknown said...

Great post Beccy, i know how it feels, being disabled is probably just as difficult.

Beccy said...

Never been to Boston Ailsa and can't believe a place that sells food and drink does not legally require a toilet.

Unfortunately it does Steffi.

Great idea Enid only Adrian is so rude and condescending that I don't think I could bear him inside my house for two minutes let alone waste my drink on him.

I'm going to do that now Sally, fab idea.

Dad, thanks for your support I know how much you believe in sticking up for the injustices in this world.

Swampy, I'll definitely read that back post. I'd be intrigued to know exactly how you imagine my accent!

Mum, I'm going to do it now, will report back.

John, I can imagine how hard it must be for people in wheelchairs. The staff toilets Ben used are inaccessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

my4kids said...

Fortunatly I haven't had this problem to much around here. I can imagine being pretty upset if I was in that situation with one of my kids. The closest thing I can remember would be during our annual Rose Festival here they have several parades on different days downtown and I know a fast food restaurant that tries to tell you that you have to buy something to use the bathroom. Usually unless I want something I will just sneak my way through since it is unlocked.

Beccy said...

Just to let you know I have sent Sir Terence the link and another letter describing other customer unserved incidences, I will keep you all posted.

Beccy said...

My4kids, I have done that plenty of times if there are no public toilets around. MacDonalds is always easy to sneak in to.

Barbara said...

I'm impressed you know the name of the store manager. We have two public toilets in our local supermarket. In NZ caf├ęs are required to provide public toilets if serving alcohol.

Sam said...

In the USA toilets are not necessary in a restaurant. I hate it when you are in a mall eatery or restaurant where the 'bathroom' is somewhere outside the main dining room and you have to walk what seems like half a mile to find it, sometimes taking a key with you.

that said - i am sure Adrian's job is probably a pretty crappy one. Personally it gives me great pleasure to give good service which is why I love to host parties so much, but i can't imagine it is everyone's cuppa tea. He probably has issues with the management above him, himself, or otherwise maybe he is just a natural born A-hole?

Momo said...

Poor service IS FOR SURE a problem in my country, Romania!

But what can we do...some more petitions!

Emma in Canada said...

Great post Beccy. And what a silly thing, not having toilets for the general public. I bought Taylor a number of pairs of jeans from Zara the other day and they didn't take the tag off one of them, oddly enough the beeper did not go off. I'm annoyed that I have to go back to get it taken off.

Did you get nominated for the Irish Blog Awards? I was on the site, but had a hard time linking to the categories.

Anonymous said...

I hate grocery stores without public bathrooms. Only mothers with small children shop at these places. You'd think they'd know better by now!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to be a store manager shouldn't be allowed to be one. I think Oscar Wilde said that. I think he is just acting out of misplaced anger at being called Adrian.

Apologies to any nice Adrians out there. I'm sure you were meant to be named something else!

Tesco is evil!

M@ said...

Trifling. You should have brought Ben outside and let him take a leak against the buiding. They're not going to charge a small boy w/ public urination.

Me, they're going to charge!

Susan in va said...

Ohhhh (*cringe*) MYYYYYY!!!!!!

You poor thing!!!!

Anonymous said...

God, I feel your pain.

Emma in Canada said...

I amswered my own question and found out that you were nominated. Congrats! Now if I can figure out how to link the nomination to my sidebar can I ask people to go vote for you? Which I am about to do myself.

Beccy said...

Barbara this is why I know Adrian so well:
When returning the mouldy tortillas (as mentioned in blog post), Adrian refused to give me a refund as I had no receipt despite having been sold faulty goods, he then walked away while I was talking to him mid-sentence. Eventually he returned when I made it clear I would not leave without speaking to the manager or making an appointment with the manager. He conceded that if I could produce a credit card statement which showed a bill for Tesco I would be given a monetary receipt even if I knew and said that that bill did not include the purchase of the tortillas. Does that sound like good customer relations to you? The tortillas cost less than €3 and Tesco, with it's huge profit refused me a refund on faulty food they had sold me. Adrian who was acting manager refused to let me make an appointment with the manager for the following week, I was told the manager wouldn't see me, not exactly good customer service.

Sam, I can't believe it's not legal to have toilets in a place where they sell food and drink to consume.

Momo, I think more action by the customer could force businesses to change. I, for one, have been inactive but no more, I'm fed up the consumer being treated like second best.

Emma, that is so annoying. I supose I should be grateful the alarm went off but I wish the staff would remember to remove the tags in the first place.
Thank you for voting for me, I have no problem with you asking others to vote as well!

I so agree Karmyn.

Fatman, I wish Adrian would take his Adrianness out on someone else!

Matt, that was actually another option I put to the man in the suit, he wasn't amused. I would have done it only Ben is very self concious about weeing in public.

Thanks Susan and Jenny.

Ailsa said...

Must admit that lack of toilets aside, I love Tesco. Decent supermarkets are one of the things I really miss in DK.

Brooke - Little Miss Moi said...

Dear Beccy. I used to work at a supermarket. There were many Adrians who worked there. I always had a watery smile on my face when I had to lie and say things like, "he'll be here in five minutes".

I start to worry about the lack of toilets. In my experience, supermarkets are getting bigger and one day they will swallow us up and we shan't be able to escape. We will have enough food but nowhere to go to the toilet!

The very nice man said...

That-a-girl!! Well said!! Tescos are surely big and affluent enough to build some toilets!
As for the service . . why are people working in the service industry who quite obviously do not want to serve people?? Europe sucks when it comes to customer service!

Beccy said...

Ailsa, I have to admit that I'm more of a Sainsburys fan but alsa Sainsburys has yet to find it's way over to Eire, unlike most UK shops. I worked in Sainsburys from 16 -22 while still at school and then university and we would never have got away with the stuff people have to put up with now.

Ha, ha Miss Moi, I agree they are getting bigger so should provide for all our needs, I think I can buy anything I could need beside a car yet I can relieve myself, yep something is definitely wrong.

I so agree Eric, the attitude of some people stinks!

dodo said...

grrr. i, too, have grumped to the mighty tesco this week about the service on their delivery 'service'.
Sadly, they care not.

Yara said...

Isn't it our burden to always have poor custumer service.Where are all the well mannered people...
Happy Valentine's Day BTW!

Sam said...

also, in CA we are all more laid back. You should try it sometime, it's much easier on the nerves.

Beccy said...

Dodo, did you get a response, I'm still waiting.

Thanks Yara some stores manage it so I don't know why Tesco can't.

Sam I think the Irish are one of the most laid back races, maybe that's half the problem. I am extremely laid back, that's definitely a result of living here and it drives Mum mad but I still have a right to expect courtesy and common sense. It is not good for a child's (or an adult's) bladder to be put under such pressure. I didn't get mad or cross I just waited and waited and waited. The girl was more upset at the lack of a manager and embarressed. I pointed out quite calmly the potential problems with not having a public toilet.

Anonymous said...

There should be a rule that all Adrians be put in a cage with each other so they can cull themselves down to a single individual Adrian.

The drawback would be the most powerful Adrian would be left but at least there'd be only one and we could deal with him by feeding him stale tortillas and refusing him toilet privileges.

Any nice Adrians would have to undergo extensive retraining and psychological torture before becoming a Non-offensive Sam or Ben.

It may sound cruel but it's only fair.