If It Ain’t On The Rack We Don’t ‘Ave It

by admin on January 25, 2011

Here is a published story from a British webpage called The Daily Mail.  In this story, Ms. Liz Jones unleashes hell and many etiquette blunders on the poor unsuspecting sales associates of various British retailers.  Her reasoning?  They don’t serve well enough, so she went “undercover” to grade the stores based on their ability to do things such as guess her size, bring clothes to her dressing room, and return a piece of lingerie that she wore into the store.  Here is the link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1346991/Fed-surly-shop-assistants-care-Youre-We-unleashed-LIZ-JONES-investigate-just-Britains-served.html#

I can agree with some of her more generalized points, to be polite and smiling to the customers who patronize your store.  But it seems as if Ms. Jones expects personal shoppers to predict her every want.  I admit, I have twice had sales associates offer to bring me different sizes when I was in the dressing room, and I was pleased with their attention, but I would never think to demand service like this in every store. 0119-11

Weigh in, dear readers!

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Kry January 26, 2011 at 3:07 am

A few years back I had the unplesant task of shopping for an outfit for my grandfathers funeral. This was the first funeral I had been to and had little idea of what to wear so when I got to the store I asked one of the sales ladies ( a lady of 40ish years) for help. This was a mid range store and yet I was lead around while being shown various outfits and combinations that were apropriate and in my (limited) budget. There was no pressure and when I thanked the lady at the end she was surprised by my gratitude. When I was walking out of the store I heard her boss complaining that she had spent so much time on one customer (all up it was about 15-20 mins). The reply was that she would rather see me walk out with a purchase and want to come back again than a customer not want to enter the store because of bad service! The boss couldnt say anything to that and a few days later I sent a box of chocolates by way of thanks.

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Eisa January 26, 2011 at 3:13 am

Oh, this was linked on Customers Suck…the comments were much less polite. :P

Honestly, I think she was a rude, entitled, self-important brat. Retail associates are there to help you, not become your personal slave and devotedly follow you around. You are NOT their only customer. And with her attitude, I wouldn’t have wanted to give her very good service, anyway. She may have raised a few good points–VERY few–but I find them difficult to swallow with what a Speshul Little Snowflake she was being in every store, the entire time.

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Squashedfrog January 26, 2011 at 4:42 am

Ms. Liz Jones is frankly, in every article she writes, the most entitled, snotty, rude, bigoted, on Planet LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! Special Snowflake I have ever read. Please in the name of all that it holy dont think that she reflects the majority of English people’s attitudes in any way.

I actually think she does it on purpose, because making people’s blood boil is a way of getting people to read your article, so they can then vent their rage across the web. Her recent ‘story’ on a poor girl that was murdered here in England (her body found on Christmas Day – its been the main news here for weeks) got a such a barrage of complaints that they stopped peoples ability to reply on the website (it had hit over 1,000 negitive comments by the time I got there!). It was very much in the vein of the recent “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME! YOUR DEAD DAD TOLD ME SO!” story on EHell, where Liz Jones decided she would show her superior knowledge of everything by walking the last steps of the victim (whom she’d never met). And of course, this is what the victim MUST have been thinking, because thats what Liz Jones thinks … In fact Liz Jones totally in tune with the mind of the poor girl!… Look at me! Look at me! I’m now the centre of this heart wrenching story!”

And her comments on the circumstances surrounding the accidental heart related death of a famous g*a*y boy band member a few years ago turned peoples stomachs (think along the lines of “well its obviously HIS fault he’s dead, as he lead a sordid and disgusting lifestyle).

The best advice I can give about Liz Jones and The Daily Mail is : Don’t Feed the Troll.

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ferretrick January 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

The Devil Writes For The Daily Mail

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MamaToreen January 26, 2011 at 8:18 am

All I know is if I tried that, my Nana would return from the great beyond and throw me a beating!!!!

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Kovitlac January 26, 2011 at 8:20 am

“Can’t you look, as you’re not busy?”

It’s especially annoying how she just assumes the poor girl has absolutely nothing better to do, other then to act as a personal slave to a witch of a woman.

Now, maybe it was a slower day, or the girl just really didn’t have much else going on at the time and was able to help. But to assume that her entire duty list consists of helping That One Woman is demeaning to her, and downright rude.

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irish January 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

@Rebecca – couldn’t you call out to the employees and ask if they could get you a different size? I understand that it would be nice for them to hover and think of asking you themselves. But then, they are probably trying not to bother the customers who want to be left alone (and in my opinion, the absolute Worst thing that can happen is a shop assistant who opens the curtain while you’re changing!) and would probably be happy to help out if you let them know you wanted help.

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AS PS... January 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

I am wondering for the millionth time –
Is J.K.Rowling’s “Daily Prophet” in the Harry Potter series based off such awful reporting in “Daily Mail”? I don’t live in UK, and don’t read the Daily Mail. So, I have no way of knowing.

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Eisa January 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Oh goodness. Liz Jones is Rita Skeeter. She must be.

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MurdockFan January 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

@ AS PS
I always think so whenever I read it :) It’s the nearest and easiest comparison.

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Kat January 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Entitlement much?! Liz Jones says it herself when she complains that “the customer is no longer king.” Customers are to be assisted with purchases, not worshiped as royalty!

And why in tarnation does she feel that she deserves a SALARY from these shops because no one offers to carry her purchases or…help her try them on? (Can I possibly be reading that right?) The difference between you and the salespeople, madam, is that they are there to help you, and you are there to help YOURSELF, and I’m afraid none of us gets paid for that.

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Bint January 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Liz Jones is a ridiculous, self-obsessed hag who is reviled by many people – she was so rude about her neighbours when she moved to the country that someone fired a shotgun at her letterbox (in England!). Her column is always followed with strings of comments telling her what a nasty rude witch she is, but then the Daily Mail is a horrendous rag anyway.

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Jessyy January 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm

1) It’s the DAILY MAIL. Any Brit will know that The Daily Mail is extremely unreliable and loves making stories out of absolutely nothing, or blowing things ou of proportion.

2) My God, I would slap her. Her attitude towards shop assistants isn’t “you’re here to do your job” (i.e. looking after the shop, tidying stock, ringing people out), it is “you are my slave. WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE MIND POWERS. GRAHHHHHHH.”

3) Ew. Never return WORN underwear. That is just disgusting.

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Anonymous January 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Wow……and I felt rude for trying on a nice top in a size “large” last week, and asking the saleswoman if I could get it in a medium. At least I was able to take “no” for an answer.

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Vicki January 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

There’s a reason my friends call it the Daily Fail.

Also: yes, I have asked a salesperson to help me figure out my size. But it wasn’t a guessing game, it was “the last time I bought pants it was online and I took an 18, but I’ve lost some weight. Where do you think I should start?” And she helped me find some 14s and 16s, to try on. There would be absolutely no point to asking my size if I already knew; not for a sane human being. There are better games than “annoy this underpaid stranger.”

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Allie II January 30, 2011 at 5:34 am

Quite aside from the sense of entitlement Ms Jones has, she makes an interesting point: if one is mediochre at their job, they should be sacked. So why is she still allowed to work as a journalist?

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Kirsten January 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

Look, the Daily Mail is the devil’s toilet paper. Pay no attention.

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harryr January 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

re As PS.
Yes Rowling has stated publicly that the Daily Prophet is based on the DM and Rita Skeeter could be one of 3 or 4 of its “journalists”.

Incidentally, in muggle-world Uncle Vernon reads the DM and believes everything in it.

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Ella January 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm

@ Squashedfrog – Liz Jones did not write the article about the heart condition-related death of the gay singer, that was Jan Moir, another columnist for the same newspaper. It did receive plenty of formal complaints.

As a Brit myself, the worst example of customer service I can think of was going into a WH Smith (a large book/newspaper chain) at a major London railway station. I waited around for several minutes while the two sales assistants behind the desk had a conversation and when one of them noticed me she said “we’re not open, innit” and told me to get out. In general I think that staff talking to each other rather than serving customers is a major problem here, particularly in small or independent shops where they don’t have to meet the franchise’s sales targets and therefore feel free to carry on conversations as long as they like. I’ve travelled in Europe and Asia and very rarely had this happen to me anywhere else.

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Twik January 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Well, I think there’s a balance in all things. I don’t think one should, as a previous poster said, feel rude for simply asking for reasonable assistance. If you can’t ask if something is available in another size, what *can* you ask?

I think stores should, when planning their staffing, remember that increased personal service usually equals increased sales per customer (I went into a store recently where the salesclerk was able to turn “Can I try this one thing on?” into an 8-piece purchase). But it’s unreasonable to expect a clerk in charge of a huge department with no support to give that sort of attention.

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Library Diva February 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm

This ‘journalist’ was a real witch, but she’s not exactly wrong about customer service. It’s not the fault of the poor underpaid cashier either. Rather, it’s a corporate shift towards doing the very least they can to enlarge profit margins. They halve the amount of staff on the floors of large department stores, often having just enough staff to keep the line moving faster than a glacier while keeping the store from looking like a tornado just tore through it. They’ve largely closed customer service departments. If you buy a blouse and it tears two days later, hey, that’s your problem. In love with a pair of pants, but they’re a little too long on you? You’re on your own to get them altered. And how can the staff have any familiarity at all with the merchandise when a. it changes every two weeks and b. they play games with the hours, having four people work 10 hours a week rather than one person work 40 hours a week, thereby ensuring that c. anyone with half a brain will move on to somewhere else rapidly?

I worked in a large Macy’s-style department store several years ago, so I have seen this stuff first-hand. It’s actually gotten worse since I worked there. We used to offer free anytime gift wrap on anything you’d bought in the store. Even if you bought on Dec. 1, had every intention of doing your own wrapping, and by Dec. 22, realized you’d been wildly unrealistic, you could bring your items back and we’d wrap them. The whole department is gone now.

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Enna April 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

The Daily Mail is known for it’s simplistic, poorly reserached, scare mongering and racist/xenophobic articles. I’m not really surprised at this article. Kirsten’s right: it’s the devil;s toliet paper. This lady would be the customer from hell.

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Margo August 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

As others have said, Liz Jones is the most appalling, self-centred, self-entitled special snowflake you could ever hope to avoid.

Her most recent piece is a complaint that the NHS “let her down” (for which read “refused to allow her to jump the queue, in order to get non-urgent inoculations, at a surgery where she was not registered and which did not have her notes”

If she says something is wrong,unreasonable or that someone was rude to her you can pretty much guarantee that it was correct, entirely reasonable and that someone refused to allow her to bully them!

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